Guest Post by Rob Woods of FixitDads.com
Should you stay or go? It's a common question when your current home starts to feel small, old, or boring. Moving locally is common, so you're not alone if you move. However, renovation can be the right choice for some people. Here are some tips and resources that can help you make a decision.
Identify the Issues
Evaluate what doesn't work in your current home. Some problems, such as a long commute or insufficient space, are difficult or impossible to fix in your current home.
Determine what's important and list possible solutions. If your current home feels too small, is it a minor nuisance or something that needs to change? Possible solutions include moving to a bigger house, finishing the basement, rearranging how you use rooms, or building an addition.
Think About Your Feelings
Moving to a new home sounds exciting, but leaving your current home is often emotional. Consider your emotional attachment to your home, the memories you've made there, and your favorite things about the house. Think about how much you'll miss it before selling.
Crunch the Numbers
Moving costs a lot of money. However, renovation is not cheap either. A whole-house renovation can range from $15,000– $200,000. The specific numbers vary widely based on your circumstances. For example, moving costs depend on the distance you're moving and how much you're moving. Renovation costs depend on how many rooms you do, what you change, and the materials you choose.
Consider the specifics to get a more accurate estimate for both options. When evaluating renovations, consider the return on investment you get from each option and the cost of hiring professionals versus doing it yourself (if you happen to have the skill set).
Factor in the Timing
Moving and renovations can be stressful, but moving often comes down to timing. If you're dealing with other major life changes, adding a move to it can be overwhelming. Consider your family's current circumstances. If you have teenagers who'd have to switch schools, moving might not be a popular decision. Waiting until they graduate might be better timing.
Scope Out the Market
Another timing aspect is the current real estate market, which fluctuates frequently. If it's a seller's market, limited real estate inventory, high prices, and bidding wars can make moving difficult and stressful. Look at the types of homes you can afford in the current market to ensure they meet your needs. If you move to a home that still needs work, you're not coming out ahead.
Research Loan Options
Before making a decision, consider your loan options. Use a mortgage calculator to estimate your payments, and get pre-approved for a mortgage to ensure that moving into a new home is an option for you Don't forget the closing costs and other expenses you'll have with the mortgage.
A home equity or home improvement loan is an option to finance renovations if you decide to stay. Calculate payments for those options to see if one fits your budget.
Whether you decide to move or renovate, start taking the next steps once you decide. Both processes can be lengthy, so taking action immediately helps you enjoy your new living arrangements faster.