It’s not easy to decide whether you should remodel, rent or sell your home. A home renovation or remodeling project may serve your purposes, but so could putting your house up for sale and finding another one. The topic is complex. Maybe the home no longer fits your family’s needs, perhaps it’s showing signs of age or you just inherited your parents’ property. Your job as a homeowner is to ask not only how you’re currently using the space but how you intend to use it. They key is to have a five year plan and keep your eye on the housing market.
Why should you remodel?
You love your neighborhood – You can walk to the park, you have lots of close friends nearby, and the guy at the espresso stand knows you by name. There are features of a neighborhood, whether it’s tree-lined streets or annual community celebrations, that you just can’t re-create somewhere else. If you love where you live, that’s a good reason to stay.
You like your current home’s floor plan – If you enjoy the configuration and overall feeling of your current home, there’s a good chance it can be turned into a dream home. The combination of special features you really value, such as morning sun or a special view, may be hard to replicate in a new home.
You’ve got a great yard – Yards in older neighborhoods often have features you cannot find in newer developments, including large lots, mature trees, and established landscaping. Even if you find a new home with a large lot, it takes considerable time and expense to create a fully landscaped yard.
You can get exactly the home you want – Remodeling allows you to create a home tailored exactly to your lifestyle. You have control over the look and feel of everything, from the color of the walls to the finish on the cabinets. Consider also that most people who buy a new home spend up to 30 percent of the value of their new house fixing it up the way they want.
It may make better financial sense – In some cases, remodeling might be cheaper than selling. A contractor can give you an estimate of what it would cost to make the improvements you’re considering. A real estate agent can give you prices of comparable homes with those same features. But remember that while remodeling projects can add to the value of your home, there’s no guarantee that the costs will be fully recovered when you sell.
Why should you sell?
Your current location just isn’t working – Unruly neighbors, a miserable commute, or a less-than-desirable school district – these are factors you cannot change. If your current location is detracting from your overall quality of life, it’s time to consider moving. If you’re just ready for a change, that’s a good reason, too. Some people are simply tired of their old homes and want to move on.
Your home is already one of the nicest in the neighborhood – Regardless of the improvements you might make, location largely limits the amount of money you can get for your home when you sell. A general rule of thumb for remodeling is to make sure that you don’t over-improve your home for the neighborhood. If your property is already the most valuable house on the block, additional upgrades usually won’t pay off in return on investment at selling time.
There is a good chance you will move soon anyway – If your likelihood of moving in the next two years is high, remodeling probably isn’t your best choice. There’s no reason to go through the hassle and expense of remodeling and not be able to enjoy it. It may be better to move now to get the house you want.
You need to make too many improvements to meet your needs – This is particularly an issue with growing families. What was cozy for a young couple may be totally inadequate when you add small children. Increasing the space to make your home workable may cost more than moving to another house. In addition, lot size, building codes, and neighborhood covenants may restrict what you can do. Once you’ve outlined the remodeling upgrades that you’d like, a real estate agent can help you determine what kind of home you could buy for the same investment.
If you’re going to renovate to rent …
Renters generally don’t associate themselves with the property they rent because it doesn’t reflect on them as human beings the way it does for a homeowner. Renters expect a property to already be at the standard for the neighborhood. If your property is the only one on the block that doesn’t have appliances and central air, you’re making it harder to rent. Make improvements that create a feeling like people can and want to live there comfortably and conveniently. So it’s not necessary to make the property look more than average. However, tenants really do want energy-efficient appliances, storm windows, clean dry storage space, and small creature comforts like ceiling fans, air conditioning and microwaves. Focus on the kitchen and the bathroom – the places where people spend the most time inside the property – on improving functionality, efficiency, and comfort, and you’ll rent faster and for longer.
Before making the decision ask yourself:
What is your home currently appraised at?
How does your home compare to recent sales in your neighborhood?
Is the housing market predicted to change or remain the same?
What kind of space do you currently need or think you need?
How might your lifestyle change in the near future?
Are you considering relocating to be closer to family and friends in your retirement years?
Why do you want to remodel?
How much will home improvements cost in your current home?
How long will the projects take?
Will these projects improve the resale value of your home?
What requirements do you seek in a new home?
How much might home improvement costs be in a new home?
- Do your children or relatives wish to inherit the property?
- Do the benefits of selling outweigh emotional attachments you have to your house, neighborhood and neighbors?
Once you’ve addressed all the questions carefully, you’ll be able to make an educated decision – both financially and emotionally.
At Xtreme Home Improvement we have the experience and capability to help you enhance and maintain the livability, functionality, beauty and value of your property. Contact us to discuss your options and help you make the best next steps. Whether it’s time to remodel or sell, we can help get you there.