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Remodel or Move?


Remodel or Move?

Should I Remodel? Or Move? 

You’ve reached a fork in the road. Time to call the movers or the handy man?

You’ve come to the point where you’re thinking about the home in which you live. Specifically, you’re thinking about a change in the basic, everyday living of the home – either changing the existing structure you’re in or moving into a new-to-you home. Assuming you’ve accumulated some equity in your existing home, it becomes a significant decision, not only emotionally but fiscally as well. Pointing your ship in one direction or the other will have an impact that will last for years to come.

Setting your course.What are the factors that will go into making a decision and setting your course? There will be many factors – a mix of the emotional and the practical, the obvious and the less than obvious. Among them: location, suitability of the home to a remodel, adaptability of home to evolving family/home life, personal tolerance for a remodel experience and of course, financial considerations. How do you go about considering all the factors?

We suggest getting your thoughts on paper a couple of ways. One: get a list together of the things you think you need and want in a remodeled or new home. Two: create a breakdown of the plusses and minuses within those two options and how they check off that list. A simple four-quadrant ledger might work best. Filling those quadrants just takes a little thoughtful consideration about what matters to you most. Think about what, in your mind, are the plusses and minuses of each option. To start, consider these key elements in a little more detail:

Something like this can do the trick:

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Remodel Plus                                                             New Plus                                                               
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Remodel Negative New Negative      
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Adaptation – Is there an upheaval at home? Are your kids passing dear old mom and dad in height and consuming unimaginable volumes of breakfast cereal each morning? It’s possible that the charming home and small lot they came home to in baby blankets cannot adapt to the real change – third car, larger beds, bigger friends and their stomachs – that growth brings. A renovation should probably be undertaken if you plan on living in your home another five years or more.Location – It’s the first topic of nearly any real estate conversation, right? Are you interested in staying put? Do you love your neighbors, your school and the short walk to the corner store? Or, have you always had your eye on a nearby community and the amenities it holds for you? Love of location is one of the primary reasons homeowners choose to remodel.

Suitability of Self – Is your temperament and patience suited to a remodel? Maybe the situation is right for a remodel, but you simply don’t value the experience. It’s not for everyone. There are often hiccups. And if you’re involved in the management, you may learn to dislike the building permit process that can seem convoluted to a pro, much less a novice just looking to make a few updates. It’s not for the faint of heart.

Or you may simply be a person who likes new stuff. And likes the ready-to-go feeling of buying a house. There’s no shame in that! Going new may be right up your alley. On the other hand, if you’re ok with the activity and sometimes hectic pace of a remodel, that can be rewarding and keeps you in place.

Suitability of the (New) Home – Let’s say you’ve decided to do a remodel – and it looks great
on paper. You may ask before teardown – will it fit in the neighborhood? It’s another angle to consider. That is, just how will a potential remodel, one that works so well to meet your needs for the future, fit in the neighborhood in which your home has existed for years prior?

On the other side of the ledger, if you’re thinking of going new, how much home will you need to check off the boxes on that first list you created? When you add them up and it becomes an actual home on the market, is it what you thought it would be in terms of location, convenience, schools, etc.?

We haven’t discussed the financial component of this decision. Of course, it could be the most significant factor of all. As you make your plus/minus lists, you’ll need to look at budget, renovation estimates, resale values, mortgage rates, your credit and more. Consider it the potential tiebreaker in your chart if you’re on the fence.

A Central Bank mortgage officer has resources that include a wealth of experience and a deep bench of support personnel to help you navigate the financial questions. More on Central Bank mortgages, plus calculators and other tools can be found at this link, or for on the go access, download the Central Bank Home Loans mobile app today. Good luck in your journey to a renovated or new home!

 

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