Are there aspects of your home that you want to change? Some people are frustrated by an outdated kitchen. Others long for a great home office with tons of storage. Still others can’t figure out what to do with an awkward formal living room or a cramped bathroom.
Sure, most of us loved our home when we first purchased it. But over time, as life and circumstances change, some of us become dissatisfied. If you’ve been thinking of renovating or finding a new home, you’re not alone. After all, in 2017, more than 600,000 people purchased new homes and another 5 people million bought existing homes. And almost half of all homeowners reported engaging in home renovations in 2017.
Why were all these people unhappy with their homes? Sometimes households grow larger as kids (or parents) arrive. Some homeowners want better laundry rooms, bigger closets, updated bathrooms, or even luxurious outdoor kitchens. And sometimes, homeowners just want to be closer to work, school, or the beach.
While many people want to change their home to suit their lifestyles, not everyone wants to move. Some folks opt to remake and remodel their current home. Should you move or remodel? Which choice is right for you?
The Financial Pros and Cons of Buying a Home
According to recent reports, home prices are on the rise in all 50 states, and home prices rose in 99 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. from Q3 2017- Q3 2018. That means that it’s a good time to sell a home, but it may also be an expensive time to purchase a new house. Costs vary widely between towns and even neighborhoods, so no one rule of thumb applies. But no matter what kind of housing
market you live in, it’s smart to do a complete financial analysis before you decide to buy, sell or remodel a home.
So, do your financial homework before contacting a realtor, homebuilder, or home remodeling pro. Make sure you’re choosing the option that makes the most sense for you. Start by asking yourself these questions;
• Has my household income dramatically increased since I moved into my current home? Can I afford to upgrade?
• How much have comparable houses in my neighborhood sold for in the last 6-12 months? What is the potential value of my existing home?
• How much equity do I have in my home, and how much will I have to pay to sell the house (including realtor’s commissions, closing costs, moving costs, repairs to prepare the home for sale)? In other words, how much cash will I keep after the sale of my property?
• How much can I afford to spend on a new dwelling that meets all my needs? Will I pay more to get a custom home?
• What is my total real estate budget? How much cash can I contribute? Don’t forget to include a down payment and the profit you will make from the sale of your home.
• How much more can I pay each month for a new home that meets all my needs?
• How much remodeling could I do for the same increased monthly payment?
• How much will my remodeling add to the value of my home? Am I getting long-term value out of this remodeling project?
Every situation is different. You may discover that moving makes a lot of sense, or you could see that the costs outweigh the benefits. You may also find that remodeling your home is a good choice. Regardless what’s next for your family, it’s a good idea to fully understand the financial impact of any home decision.
The Logistical Pros and Cons of Moving vs. Remodeling a Home
While financial implications are key, don’t ignore the logistical considerations of changing your home. Whether you decide to purchase a new home or stay put and remodel, you should think through these pros and cons;
• Seasonal Factors: It may be easier to make a change at certain times of the year. For some people, stability at the holidays is paramount. For others, they want to work around school, work, or travel schedules. Others are trying to work around weather and avoid moves during hurricane season or the heat of the summer. Whatever your calendar looks like, remember that moving and remodeling will significantly disrupt your life, so try to plan accordingly.
• Preparing to Move: Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who can hire movers to do every part of your move, changing homes will involve a considerable amount of preparation. Many people find this is a good time to donate unwanted items, clean out closets, or hold garage sales. After all, why move things you don’t really want in your new home? Others spend weeks, or even months, packing boxes and patching nail holes in the walls. No matter how spartan your lifestyle, you’re going to be surprised by time and effort needed to get ready for a move.
• Preparing to Remodel: While a remodel is much less disruptive than a move, there are still considerations. Before workers come into your home, you must spend time figuring out which items you need to remove, and where you’re going to put all that stuff. While some people can use a garage or spare bedroom for storage during a remodel if you’re revamping a kitchen or a closet you may need to access items during the remodel. Take the time to think about how you’ll function while a critical space is being overhauled. With some planning, you should be able to create transitional plans that reduce stress and confusion during a major remodel.
• Family Considerations: For better or worse, moving will affect everyone in your household. A move can shorten or expand commutes. You or your family members may want to stay close neighbors (or move away from them.) You may want to schedule a big move or remodel around major life events like a birth, graduation, marriage, or retirement. Some families want a bigger yard for the dog or prefer to stay close to a local dog park. No matter what your situation is, make sure you’ve considered how your decision to stay or move affects all members of your family.
How Customized Should Your Home Be?
Your dream home will look different from anyone else’s dream home, but how individualized should it be? While you may long for a highly personalized home to meet your every need, extreme customizations may by hard to find in a new home or reduce the value or your existing home.
For example, a large, modern kitchen with a big island is a great upgrade that adds value to almost any home. But a garage converted into a gym with a rock-climbing wall may not have universal appeal.
Upgrading your bathroom with a big soaking tub and a walk-in shower is a probably a remodeling home run but replacing your second full bathroom with a steam sauna might increase your home’s resell value.
However, if you’re not planning to move for many years, or if you’re willing to trade higher resell value for the better quality of life right now, go for it. After all, having a house that completely fits your personal needs is a one of life’s great luxuries. So, if it makes sense for you, go ahead and create a highly unique home that fits perfectly with your aspirations.
Does it Ever Make Sense to Move AND Remodel?
The short answer is YES. Sometimes moving is less about finding the perfect house and more about finding the ideal location. If your primary motivation for moving is your desire to be closer to work, school, family, or friends, find the perfect home may be difficult. But if you look for a house with remodeling in mind, you’ll find many homes can be altered to suit your tastes and lifestyle.
After all, a home with an outdated 80s kitchen will have a more attractive price tag than the house featuring a 2018 kitchen with all the bells and whistles. By planning to remodel your new home, you’ll save money up front, and still be able to create a new kitchen that’s updated and perfect for you.
If your new house isn’t quite spacious enough, consider a home addition. Many new homeowners have found that adding rooms over the garage, onto the back, or even onto to the front of the house, are great ways to add square footage and architectural interest to an otherwise ho-hum home
Remodeling your new home also allows you to modify the floor plan in ways that makes more sense for your family. If you’re not sure what to do with an outdated formal dining room, consider converting it into a home office with custom built-ins and big workspaces. Or knock down walls and get more space for a dream kitchen. If a three-car garage feels like a waste of space, think about turning part of it into an extra bedroom. If you can’t figure out what to do with a too-tiny bedroom, revamp it as a gorgeous walk-in closet.
COMMON REMODELING PROJECTS
If you’re wondering if you should customize or remodel your future or existing home, here are some of the most popular remodeling projects to consider.
• Kitchen Remodel: Kitchens have come a long way in recent years, with beautiful, new cabinet styles, space-saving custom cabinet features like soft-close hinges, cabinet lighting, tons of builtin storage options, and amazing new countertop choices. Today’s families also love the light and space that comes with spacious islands, creative task lighting, and better use of natural light. Best of all, kitchen remodels are usually great ways to add real dollars to your home’s resell value.
• Bathroom Remodel: 25 years ago, most bathrooms looked the pretty much the same. Today, there are endless custom options. For bath lovers, big soaking tubs or sophisticated spa models can be freestanding or built into an alcove. Showers can be part of the bathtub area, or be large, walk-in rooms with benches, rainfall showerheads and room for two, or sleek hand-held models that take advantage of every inch of space. And don’t get us started on sink options. If you haven’t lived with a newly remodeled bathroom in the past few years, you’re missing out on some of the most satisfying home remodeling options available.
• Garage Conversion: Garages have grown larger and larger over the years, but not every family wants or needs all that space. While garage renovations used to be limited to man cave renovations in the 90s, these days, extra garage space has unlimited uses. Some homeowners use the extra space to expand a kitchen, bedroom, or bathroom. Others create well-used workout rooms, practical home office spaces, or even a wing for the parents. Other homeowners reconfigure part of their garage to add to their outdoor entertaining areas, game rooms, or home theaters
• Upgraded Outdoor Living Space: Sure, you may want to create stylish lanais, screened porches, verandas, or amped-up grilling and outdoor kitchen spaces. But sometimes revving up your outdoor living space is also a way of expanding your indoor space. Want a bigger kitchen? Create a backyard food prep area with a fantastic grill, stone countertops, and sink. Want more space to watch TV? Add an outdoor pavilion complete with a large sectional and a big screen TV. Want space for big family dinners? Create an outdoor dining room complete with fireplace and chandelier. Need more entertaining space? Create an outdoor living room with a comfy wicker sectional and a large-screen TV.
It’s Your Choice. Create Your Dream Home.
Whether you decide to move, build, remodel (or all three), you can create a home that makes sense for your family and your lifestyle. Don’t settle for good enough. Look at all your options, and find the solutions, or combination of solutions, that work for you.
Beattie Development helps Floridians build or remodel the home of their dreams. If you want to find out more about any of our custom homes or premier remodeling services, please contact us today.