If you are a homeowner looking for a change in your current living situation, you’re likely deciding whether it makes sense to renovate or move. Whether you are craving more space or a change of scenery, deciding between the two can be costly, stress-inducing, and time-consuming.
As a majority of Americans think moving is the most stressful life event, even more so than a divorce, making the right decision here is key.
Below, we’ll discuss some questions to ask yourself before you decide. Make sure to check out our flowchart at the end to see whether you should renovate or relocate.
1. Cost: Is it cheaper for your family to move or to renovate?
Many factors can play into whether it is cheaper to renovate or sell. Your current mortgage cost and savings will play a role, as well as your equity and what the housing market looks like. Will you get a good deal if you put your house on the market today?
You should also consider the number of renovations you’ll need in order to feel comfortable again in your current home. An average home remodels and renovation costs $46,503, but if you choose to just renovate certain rooms of the house, such as a bedroom or kitchen, then the costs can be much lower.
2. Emotional attachment: Will you miss your current home?
Another thing to consider is your emotional attachment to your current home. While picking up and moving can seem like a nice escape plan, you and your family may feel more connected to your home and neighborhood than you realize.
This might be the house you watched your son take his first step or the last place you saw a grandparent. Consider these moments and whether you and your family feel prepared to leave them behind to create new memories somewhere else.
3. Current market landscape: Is it a profitable time to sell?
Even if you are ready to pack up your bags, is the market cooperating? You’ll likely want to bring in an expert to talk about market conditions and house selling trends before you list your house on the market. In addition, there are seasonal real estate trends to consider. Spring and summer are the most popular times to buy, meaning you’re more likely to sell at or above your asking price due to demand.
4. Timing: Can you and your family juggle a move right now?
Timing is everything. Before you decide whether to renovate or move, consider the rationality of both choices given other life events and expectations you and your family members are involved in. For your kids, moving might mean a new school district. For you and your spouse, it could mean a longer commute and higher mortgage costs.
Remember that renovating comes with a lot of upfront costs as well, so if you are saving for college tuition or another big expense, selling your house at the right time could mean gaining a lot of equity as opposed to just spending money.
Still can’t decide whether to renovate or move? Check out our flowchart from The Zebra for even more helpful information and tips!