As a designer, I am often asked by clients if moving is a better decision than remodeling their existing home. The answer is tricky and different for each individual situation.
Moving and remodeling are both emotional and financial decisions. But I’ve found that homeowners’ answers to these 3 questions will help them best determine if they should move or remodel:
Am I in a committed relationship?
I’m not talking about the relationship with your significant other! I mean the assembly of wood, shingles, glass, and insulation that make up your home. Are you committed to your current home? Do you see yourself living there 7 years from now – or even longer?
If you answer NO, then only minor cosmetic updates are in order to keep the home in style and up to date for resale in the near future. Keep your eye on moving.
If you answer YES, then the extensive kitchen remodel with the latest and greatest appliances, or that “car wash” shower with body sprays that reach every area of skin is a good idea. Remodel to create your ideal lifestyle.
How do I feel about the neighborhood?
Assess these items about your neighborhood and the surrounding area:
• Local schools
• Traffic on and near your street
• Safety and crime
These are items that are beyond your control, and you either like them as-is, or wish they could be improved.
If any of these items are a bigger fixer-upper than your own home, it’s a better use of funds to move.
If you’re satisfied or happy with these items, then your home and the surrounding neighborhood can usually support an investment in a major remodeling project.
Do I have a spare $12,000?
According to most psychologists, the most stressful event that one can experience is divorce. Number two on that list is selling your home and moving! Yes, for some, the mere thought of finding an agent, preparing to list your home, repairs to your existing home, having showings… and then actually shopping for a new home… and then packing, moving, cleaning, etc. are enough to drive one mad! Then there’s THIS:
$12,000 is the average cost of relocating a 3-bedroom household using professional packers and movers.
There are plenty of other home selling expenses beyond simply packing and moving. Here are some of the other expenses that explain why a seller’s costs can easily inch toward $20,000+.
There is no payback whatsoever in moving. That $12,000 – $20,000 may be better invested into your existing home.
Also keep in mind that most of us do some level of renovating in the new place we move to. Ironically, you could potentially be performing the same updates and remodel work that someone else chose not to perform by selling the house instead!
If you plan on staying in your home 7 years or more because you like the neighborhood, you’re better off investing that money into your house rather than into sales and relocation expenses.
Home ownership and remodeling are lifestyle choices, first and foremost, and financial choices, second. It has always been a rule of thumb that remodeling is more cost effective then selling and moving, but just like any rule there are exceptions.
It pays to analyze all aspects of the situation before making a decision. Either choice creates a lifestyle change and disruption – although if you remodel with us at Mosby Building Arts, there is far less disruption to get exactly the house you want! For help with your decision to move or remodel, give Mosby a call at 314.909.1800, or contact us here.