The truth is that there isn’t one single checklist that will allow every homeowner to determine whether they should move or remodel. Everyone who faces this dilemma has a different set of circumstances, needs, and expectations that they have to consider. These will alter the details of each checklist, but those details fall within a small set of ultimate categories.
To flesh out your own checklist, you might have to have a few conversations with potential contractors, realtors, and other experts. But you can start right here by thinking about how the following topics apply to your situation:
Reason for the Change
What was it that convinced you your current home is not good enough? Depending on your answer, you might have had an immediate impulse to fix it either by moving or by remodeling. But you should consider the trade-offs very carefully. If you’re inclined to move, are you sure that you can’t restore satisfaction with your home by making specific changes? And are there other factors you aren’t considering, which might cause you to lose as much as you gain by moving?
Long Term Goals
While your motive for moving or remodeling is probably a current issue, you should also think about the effect your decision will have over the long term. Will your current space become more or less suitable as your career develops and your lifestyle changes? Do you need more space because you’re just starting a family, or do you have adolescent children who will be moving out in a few years, freeing up entire rooms for you to customize?
As you think about long-term goals, you should consider both your home life and your finances. If you expect your income to grow, then it might be easy to justify purchasing a new house. But if you have a lot of equity in your existing home, then you can borrow against it in order to make your renovation project much more affordable.
Housing Market and Outlook
Both remodeling and moving can be costly and disruptive. But the comparative impact of each will vary depending on the options that are available to you. If you need to look far beyond your current neighborhood to find a home that suits your needs, the appeal of moving may diminish, unless you were already hoping to start over in a completely new place. But if you like your neighborhood and you believe that demand for local housing is increasing, then a major remodel could boost long-term resale value to the point where you can recoup your investment if you move later.
The Value of Staying
Whatever problems you see with your current home, you shouldn’t feel compelled to leave if you’re otherwise happy where you are. Remember that remodeling can take care of most any issue, and can even reduce utility and insurance costs if it involves upgrading infrastructure. Also keep in mind that when there’s sufficient space on your property, the cost of adding an entire new room is usually only slightly greater than the cost of fully renovating an existing room. If you don’t have a compelling reason to move, there are a thousand ways to improve.
But again, these are just general categories for you to think about. Your own compelling reasons to either remove or remodel are probably hidden in the unique details of your own situation. If you are having a hard time finding them, you might want to consider contacting a realtor to review some homes that meet your criteria, or some that show what it might look like when your home’s general layout is fully renovated.
And of course you can also contact AAA Remodeling or another qualified local contractor can improve your home according to your specifications, and whether they can do it with a timeframe and a budget that makes moving seem pointless.