Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

July 13th, 2016

You wake up one day and your house isn’t working anymore. You have three choices: move, remodel or ignore reality. Considering the cost and inconvenience of either moving or remodeling, ignoring reality seems like the only reasonable alternative. But where will that leave you in the long run?

There’s only one way to arrive at the smartest possible decision, do the analysis. First determine what it is about your house that is causing the most angst. Reasons like, the two hour commute to work and back is starting to get to me, are more clear indicators for a move than, my wife made herself a promise to be living in a 5,000 square foot house before her 30th birthday. Or are they?

The key point here is that there are logical and emotional reasons to change your home through renovation or a move – and while your head might be pushing you toward logic – the emotional pull could result in a tidal wave that sucks you under.

Do you have to make a change, or do you want to make a change? If you’re just looking to “move up” to a bigger and better neighborhood because it’s what you want, the financial analysis might be irrelevant. You can’t get those things in your present location, your only choice is to move. But know that. Don’t undertake a costly move, give up the kids’ schools and your wonderful neighbors because it would be easier to brush your teeth at night if there were two sinks in your master bath. There may be another way around that.

Even some issues that seem obvious, like we had two kids and four bedrooms, now we have three kids so there’s no guest room for visitors. If that’s your only reason to move you need to consider letting the kids camp out in the living room when grandma and grandpa are in town. That’s going to be one heck of an expensive guest room – in money and aggravation.

Aside from cost and aggravation, you might also lose that floor to ceiling butler’s pantry that you so loved in the old house. Is moving worth that price? Recent research ((Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University – Improving America’s Housing 2015) states that “recent movers spend considerably more on home improvements.”  We’re all so intent on finding perfection in that new house.

If your choice could go either way, move to a larger home or add that master bedroom/bathroom suite, you need to conduct a thorough audit before landing on your final decision. First and foremost, the cost of renovating vs. moving – and don’t forget to factor in things like: we’ll have to live in a motel for 6 weeks if we renovate, and our taxes will triple if we move. If money is removed from the equation, there are still issues like: will an addition to my current home make the backyard too small, or will a move force my kids to make all new friends?
Whatever you decide, make sure to have a thorough outline of what you can expect, the cost and the timing. If you’re choice is to stay, make sure that your renovations increase both functionality and livability – but above all be sure it will make you happy. In these post-recession days, you’re more likely to err on the side of too conservative. Get expert advice and spend your dollars wisely. Don’t over improve for your neighborhood – but be sure to think several years down the road! Even if your choice is to move, you may choose to make some minor renovations that will add resale value to your home – remember – every day on the market costs you money!

In today’s market, most minor renovations are focused on curb appeal, safety and efficiency. Replacing a few front facing windows and retrofitting other systems within the house can go a long way toward attracting a discerning buyer. Professional Builder’s April 15, 2015 article Kitchens & Baths Going Strong reminds us that “The key is fine-tuning designs so that money and attention go to features that linger in the buyers’ mind long after they’ve left the model.”

Pella Windows and Doors can help with both curb appeal and energy efficiency. They can guide you toward the most affordable and attractive options, ones that will appeal to prospective buyers. And to ensure that the rest of the house house meets buyers’ environmental requirements within a stringent renovation budget, you might also consider visiting with the experts at Westlake Ace Hardware. They are geared toward finding extremely affordable methods to increase your efficiency throughout.

Maximize your investment by being thoroughly informed whether you stay or go!