Should I Renovate or Buy a New Home?


There comes a point when you look around your home and feel like there are simply too many things that need repairing or changing. The pressing question then creeps up: should you stay or should you go?

There is no answer that universally applies to every homeowner’s situation. Each person comes with their own concerns, needs, and attachments, which are huge factors in decision making.

While you are still on the fence about doing a remodel or purchasing a home, think long and hard about each option first. This way, you won’t get into sudden commitments that you could potentially regret months or years down the line.

When Moving Out Is Better

On the surface, renovation seems to be the most reasonable of the two options. It would mean less spending and less moving around. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

There are occasions when a home is in such poor shape that a large-scale renovation could cost close to or even more than just moving out and buying a new home. In these cases, have your trusted real estate agent provide an assessment of the practicality of renovating versus finding a home that has the features you are looking for.

Structural issues could make renovations difficult

Additionally, you should also think about the reasons behind your need to renovate or move out. Has your family grown bigger? Are there safety hazards that have become apparent because you are taking care of a baby?

Note that there are changes that your current home may not be able to accommodate. Some properties make it hard to make structural changes, such as adding rooms or redoing the current floor plan. If you are working against structural and location issues, then moving to a new home could be the wiser option for your situation.

Consider current mortgage rates

Opting to buy a new home instead means having to get a new mortgage. Fortunately, mortgage rates remain low despite experiencing a rise this year. With vaccinations allowing businesses to reopen and the economy to slowly pick up, take the expected gradual increase in rates into account when computing for house costs.

This is a good time to check on your credit score, too. Maintaining a good score increases your chances of getting a good mortgage rate.

When You Should Stay Put Instead

The obvious case in which you should renovate instead is when the costs of a remodel are significantly cheaper than moving out. Renovating is a good idea when there are only particular parts of the house that need changes while the rest of the house is still intact and stable.

Opting to renovate also puts you in greater control of the results. Moving out could include compromises on design or layout preferences in favor of the substantial home features that you need.

Do you have time to move out?

Both buying a new home and renovating involve a lot of movement, but a new home will involve more moving parts and a lot of time to fix.

First, you need to get a real estate agent to sell your home. You also need to scout for a new home that has the features you need during a time when the housing market is hot and so many buyers are competing for the same homes.

You also need to pack up practically your whole life from your previous home so that selling it will be easier. This requires you to find a place to rent in the meantime if you have not yet secured a property to move into.

Have a plan for renovations

Renovations will go much more smoothly when you plan out the steps that you should take. A suggestion is to first go through possible structural weaknesses or safety hazards in your home before doing the remodeling projects you plan to do.

You can also reduce the cost of your renovation by taking charge of areas that you can. If you or other people in your household can handle a chunk of the improvements by DIY-ing, then contractors will need to do less. This results in smaller expenses afterward.

Take Some Time to Think

While the practical aspects usually have more weight, consider how you feel about either option, too. Do you like or dislike your neighborhood? Is there a strong sentimental attachment to your current home?

Renovations and home purchases are both big moves, so allow yourself to reflect on the possibilities to come to a conclusion that gives you peace of mind.

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