Update vs. Move: How to Determine Whether to Renovate or Sell Your Home

Many homeowners face the dilemma of whether to move to a bigger, better home, or renovate their current home. It’s not easy to move, especially if you like your neighborhood. On the other hand, sometimes it makes more sense to start over with a fresh slate, rather than tweaking an existing structure. Fortunately, as with any big decision, there are ways to break this one down into manageable considerations. For instance, many homeowners begin by acquiring renovation cost estimates from remodeling contractors; this helps you understand the costs associated with each option. Below, we’ve listed a few more tips to make this personal decision easier.

Factors to help you decide if you should renovate or sell your home:

  • Your budget. Gather the cost estimates for the renovations the house needs and compare that to the cost of the homes you are interested in purchasing. The cost difference between the two options may lead you in the right direction.
  • The reality of home renovation. If you cannot renovate your home to suit your needs because of zoning issues, sewers or gas lines and local laws, selling may be the only way to get the home you want.
  • Pros and cons. Along with cost estimates, you can conduct a cost-benefit analysis to help you decide if your current home is worth renovating. Once you know which renovations you can afford, write down the pros and cons of the renovation, and then write down the pros and cons of acquiring a new home.  This will help you organize your thoughts and see the situation clearly. Folding the costs in will add another level of analysis.
  • Property value. Consider the value of homes in your neighborhood and find out if they are going up, down or nowhere. You’re likely to lose money if you sell your home when property values are low. If long-term real estate trends are optimistic for your area, it’s probably better to improve the home now, and wait for the uptick in home prices.
  • Location of the new home. When looking at the location of the new home, don’t forget to calculate how much it would cost to move into it. Figure out how much homeowners’ insurance and property tax would cost for the new home, and calculate how much you would spend in gas to go to and from work and places you frequently visit. It’s also wise to research property values in the new area, to see how they stack up with your current neighborhood.

One thing’s for sure about both renovating and selling a home: they take a lot of work. The hard part is deciding on the type of work you want to do. Don’t try to do everything yourself– find a real estate agent and a trustworthy contractor to advise you and ensure a satisfactory conclusion. If, like us, you call the Pacific Northwest your home, we’d love to help you discover your current home’s potential. We offer Portland, OR remodeling services, as well as commercial remodeling and new construction. Call us today at (503) 747-7492 for a free estimate.

[photo: Alan L]