Should You Move Your Family…or Remodel Your Home?

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Last updated on January 1, 1970

Here’s a guest blog post from our friend John Sylvestre of Sylvestre Contruction, Inc. in Minneapolis, MN

Should You Move Your Family…or Remodel Your Home?

If your current home no longer meets your needs and you feel you need a change, you have two basic options: you can move or you can remodel your home.

While we are inclined to favor the “remodel your home” option (for obvious reasons), we would like to offer you some guidelines to help you make the right decision for you and your family.

Choose to move your family when…

  • You don’t like the area/neighborhood in which you live
  • The area no longer has the services you want/need
  • Your home is much too large for you and you don’t expect you will ever need the extra space (for visiting family, for live-in help, for use as an office, hobby or exercise area, rental unit, etc.)
  • You need to relocate for work, to be closer to family or special services, or some other reason
  • There are community or homeowner association restrictions that prevent you from making the changes you would like to your current home
  • The neighborhood is going downhill and is not likely to get better
  • You can’t afford to live in the home or the area and need to downsize and/or rent instead of own

Choose to remodel your home when…

  • You like your neighborhood
  • The cost of living is more affordable than other locations where you would move
  • You and your family are connected to the community (house of worship, schools, doctors, family, friends, organizations, etc.)
  • Your home has special memories for you and your family
  • Your home can be remodeled to meet your new needs and done so cost effectively
  • You have enough property so you can put on an addition that will give you the extra living space that you need
  • In the case of older homeowners, remodeling your home to fit your new or expected future requirements is a lower-cost and more acceptable solution than moving into an assisted living center (if applicable)
  • The cost* of buying a new home and selling your current one (including the cost the real estate commissions, closing costs, and of moving and relocating) is more than the cost of home remodeling
  • You think the hassle of moving is too much
  • There is a likelihood that you would need to fix up, customize or remodel the new home you move into anyway
  • The market is such that you won’t get a good price for your current home or your home might be on the market for a long time before being sold

*While costs depend on the sale price of your home, how far you move, the amount of household items you move, etc. between real estate broker and legal fees, moving costs, moving-in costs, etc. a move could easily add $30-$60,000 or more to the price tag of the moving option, in addition to the cost of the new home. These “hidden moving costs” often are overlooked when someone compares the price of a new home with the cost of remodeling.

In addition to the hidden costs, there is a lot of uncertainty in any move. Will your new neighbors be friendly? (Or will they make you wish you never moved?) Will your kids be able to adjust to a new school and teachers, making new friends, and dealing with the loss of old friends? The decision to move or remodel is yours. We hope that we’ve helped you consider all the options when you’re deciding.