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Move versus improve: factors to consider

When your house no longer feels like your dream home, is it time to look for somewhere new — or simply time to improve what you have? These insights will help you weigh important factors before making your decision.

What’s not to like?

First, evaluate what you do and don’t like about your current home. This will help you pinpoint what you want to change — and whether that can be fixed with a renovation. Consider both your property itself — square footage, number of rooms, style, landscaping, etc. — and the neighborhood, your commute, the schools and area services.

Also factor in your budget, your available time and any regulations that could impact a renovation. (For instance, some communities restrict house size compared to lot size).

    Three reasons to renovate

  1. It may cost less than buying a new property. For an estimate of what your project might cost, use online tools like our Remodeling Calculator and Houzz’s Real Remodeling Costs. Also, consider different financing solutions to help pay for the renovations.     
  2. You could increase your home’s value. Most projects won’t return as much in value as you’ll pay, but you’ll get the added benefit of enjoying the enhancements.
  3. You can get exactly what you want. When you’re choosing every piece, color and material type, you won’t have to make the compromises you might when buying an existing home.

Renovation challenges

Your home could become harder to sell if your renovations push its value above the average value of other neighborhood homes, or if your changes are too personal and don’t have widespread appeal. In addition, remodeling projects are notoriously stressful and generally take longer to complete than anticipated.

    Three reasons to move

  1. It might be faster. In a “seller’s market,” where the inventory of homes for sale is low and demand is high, you may be able to sell your property faster than you can complete a large remodel.
  2. You might swing a profit. If your home has increased in value since you bought it, you may net a profit on the sale. That could give you extra funds to help afford your dream home.
  3. You have more flexibility to change. Let’s face it, you can only remodel so much. No renovation will expand your yard, eliminate traffic noise, remove obnoxious neighbors or de-stress a bad commute.

What feels right?

While it’s important to consider all of the practical factors of renovating versus moving, emotions matter, too. As you think through your options, the benefits and the drawbacks, make sure to ask yourself and those living with you what will make you happiest. That answer will guide you toward a choice you can live with.

To learn about renovation loan solutions that can assist you with financing a remodel or purchasing property, contact our Mortgage Concierge Team at (816) 234–2600 or We’re happy to help.