Upgrading or Downsizing Your Home? - Tips for Deciding Whether to Move or Remodel

There comes a time in homeownership where the home you have no longer fits your needs. So what are your options? Well, you can move or remodel. The first step is to decide which makes more sense for you, home remodeling or a move to an entirely different home that meets your needs.

First you’ll need to evaluate what your additional needs are. The best way to go about this process is to make a list. Start with the additional number of rooms you require, like a play room, master suite and any adjustments to existing rooms: such as a bathtub where there is only a shower, or a breakfast area in the kitchen. If downsizing, make a list the features you still can’t live without.

Once you have a list of your needs, the next thing to look at is the amount of equity or funds you have available to cover remodeling costs or to start the search for a new home. Getting a CMA – Comparable Market Analysis is the first step. This information will help you determine the equity in your current property. If you are considering home remodeling, I’d also suggest you request a valuation of the property’s value when the planned improvements are made.

Things to consider before attempting a home remodeling project.

Moving Up: Love It or List It

If moving up, you should now be ready to determine if you are going to move or remodel. There is a TV show called “Love it or List it”, and that’s the process you are going to go through (without actually doing the remodeling first). With your project list done, it is time to go out and get a general idea of the remodeling costs. Often you will need plans to get a bid from a contractor, but you can get a ballpark estimate if you have general plan or idea. Now that you have a general idea of the remodeling costs – it’s time to go out and look at what is on the market that fits your needs. After you find a house that fits your needs it’s time to compare the two options and decide, will you move or remodel?

There is more than just money to take into consideration. Here are a few of the things you should think about:

  • Time frame of the planning and building compared to moving in within 60 days
  • If doing home remodeling, can you live in the home or will you need to move – this is additional cost and inconvenience for your family
  • Do you want to leave your current neighborhood?
Things to take into consideration before looking for a new home.

Downsizing Your Home

Downsizing is a little easier process but there are still several factors to take into consideration, such as:

  • Where do you want to be? Do you want to stay in the same community? Are there opportunities to do that, such as townhomes or senior communities? Or do you want to find a whole new community and what does that look like? I think for many of us this is a hard question. Families often play a role in this decision.
  • How much do you want to spend – just the equity you are pulling out of the sale of your home or do you want a mortgage?
  • How does downsizing play into your goals and plans?
  • How much space will you need for your Stuff? You don’t want to end up with a storage space.

Whether you move or remodel, upgrade or downsize, there are several factors to take into consideration. Take your time and weigh your options. Most importantly, be realistic about your needs as well as the time and expense that will be required.

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