After years of living in a home, you may be ready for a change. Maybe you’d like a bigger, more functional kitchen. It could be that your family has grown and you need more room. Perhaps, you’re working from home full-time and need office space. Whatever the reason, you will arrive at a point where you have to choose whether to renovate or relocate. Here are four questions to help you with the decision.
What’s the Cost to Renovate or Relocate?
For most families, the cost is the biggest factor. It is easy to look online and price homes you are interested in. You probably have already determined what you can afford. Figuring the cost of a renovation project can be more difficult. Both renovations and moving to a new home may have hidden costs.
If you’re hoping to buy a larger home, that property will cost more to insure. You’ll also pay higher taxes and utility costs. Renovation work can also be costly. You may need to budget for renting a storage unit and paying for nights in a hotel and eating at restaurants. Other expenses you’ll face include permits and inspections. Look at the costs of each option to make sure you’re able to accurately compare the two choices.
Can You Renovate?
Your home may already be as large as allowed by your HOA or local government, or you may not have enough room on your lot to expand. It’s also helpful to have a good idea of whether this will be your only renovation major project. Can you renovate your current home so it will meet future needs? If that won’t be possible, it might be much easier to relocate to a home that is right for your family.
What Will You do With Your Current Home?
The process of relocating focuses on where you’re going, but you’ll also need to think about the home you’re leaving. Whether your current home is paid off or you still have a mortgage, you’ll make a decision about what you’ll do with the house.
The local rental market may be such that it would be profitable to use it as a short or long-term rental, especially if you have paid it off. The current state of the real estate market will also factor into your decision to renovate or relocate. If it’s a buyer’s market, you may struggle to sell the house after moving, leaving you with two mortgage payments. If you decide to move, create a budget that takes this possibility into account.
What Disruptions are You Willing to Deal With to Renovate or Relocate?
Any change in your living arrangements will be inconvenient. Renovation is particularly challenging because you’ll empty certain rooms temporarily. You may need to rent a storage unit to store furniture and create alternate sleeping arrangements. During construction, there may be periods when you do not have power, water, and gas available at home.
The other option, moving to a new house, will require a balancing act between when you must vacate the old home and when you can get into the new one. You may have to wait a while for the perfect home to come on the market and moving requires packing up your entire house, hiring movers, and unpacking over the course of several days or weeks.
When it is no longer practical to live in your current home, you have a decision to make. You can go through the expense and hassle of renovating, or you can direct that money and energy into packing your belongings and moving your family to a new place. Both choices have their pros and cons. There are many factors to consider, but only you and your family can decide.