Has your life outgrown your current home? You may have been asking yourself one of the hardest life-changing questions: should I move or should I remodel? You are not alone. Many people have been asking themselves the same exact question. Though the answer is rarely easy, we’ve researched and provided the top 9 considerations for making this very personal decision.
1. Can what I want, be built?
The plat of survey provides an overview of your home in relation to your lot. Every Illinois municipality has its own rules and regulations that will ultimately determine where and what can be built on your home. With the survey and some quick measurements of your home an experienced design professional can develop a plan that achieves your goals while working within your municipality’s requirements. In remodeling it is not only important to take into consideration what you want but also what the house and lot wants. In some instances, if the family’s needs don’t align with the home’s structure or the property’s building guidelines then moving becomes a more viable option.
2. Timing can be everything.
While house hunting and buying a home can take an average of six months, some remodels can take longer. However, there can be issues that arise with both. When selecting your remodeling professional it is important to ask if they will be establishing a written schedule. Moreover, a qualified remodeler should be able to provide several references that can speak to the firm’s ability to adhere to that schedule. Airoom’s S.T.A.R.T. system (System to Assure Resources and Timing) ensures that timing and cost are aligned with expectations from the start of the project. While the duration of your remodeling project may be longer than anticipated, there is comfort in knowing that there is a defined timeline- something that does not always exist when buying and selling a home. The timeline for moving can be sporadic and hard to predict. Ultimately, your timeline is established by third parties, the buyer of your home and the seller of your next home. If the sale of your existing home does not coordinate with the purchase of your next home you could be left carrying two mortgages or rushing your buying decision.
3. Moving and renovating are stressful.
There is no doubt that a renovation can disrupt your daily routine. At times, the dust, noise and inconvenience may seem overwhelming. With proper planning, scope coordination and well-constructed barriers these inconveniences can be greatly reduced. In a move, stress takes form in numerous ways. Preparing your home for sale (and keeping it showing ready), timing the sale and purchase (see #2) and interrupting social circles can all add to the stress of the move.
4. Will I price myself out of our neighborhood?
When exploring a potential remodel, it is common for a homeowner to at some point ask if the proposed project scope falls within the neighborhood’s property values. A qualified design professional can help navigate your goals as an investor and as a family that wants to improve their lifestyle. The approach of someone that plans to be in the home for 2 years will inevitably vary from that of a person that plans to be in the home for 10 years. If selling your home in the near future your goal might be to focus your remodel on items in disrepair or any major deficiencies your home may have when compared to comparable homes in the area. If you’re on the 5 year plus timeline, focus more on how the improvements will enhance your family’s lifestyle. With proper design and execution the next family will undoubtedly see value in the improvement as well.
5. After the move, are you back in the same predicament?
If you’re like most homeowners, the purchase of your current home was the culmination of an exhaustive and comprehensive search. Now, years later, your needs have changed. What was once the perfect fit is now feeling a little snug. Some needs may have become apparent shortly after moving in (that dining area looked a lot bigger before you moved your table in, after further review the shower wall tile might not have been installed by a professional, etc). On average, a person is in their new home for less than an hour before making the decision to purchase. There is a huge advantage to the knowledge gained by living in your existing home. Discuss what you have learned with a reputable company and have them tailor your home to meet your family’s needs. The perfect home may be out there, but home inventory is currently low so odds are your next home may require some improvement- some more evident than others.
6. I love my location.
In real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. Perhaps you are comfortable and love your community. You’ve grown close to your neighbors, school district, public parks and more. Renovating or remodeling helps you invest in your home while keeping you in the neighborhood you’ve grown to love and still getting the home you want.
7. What does your home want?
It may seem like a silly question but your existing home plays a large role in your next move. As mentioned previously, it is important that your family goals align with your home’s existing infrastructure. A structural professional with an eye for design can address your wish list while working with your home’s structure. Of course, with the right engineering anything is possible but at some point if the modifications are forced, you may not be getting your best bang for your buck.
8. What is affordable?
Whether purchasing a new home or looking to remodel a great first step is to consult with a mortgage professional. Just as a design and real estate professionals are there to guide you through your family’s next move, a mortgage expert can make sure that move is a comfortable one. Identifying a reliable company that has a history of sticking to your remodeling budget is paramount. Again, a firm should be able to provide numerous references that will speak to the company’s ability to design and keep to a budget. With a written contract in place prior to your project’s start, you can rest more easily knowing you are working within your comfort level. The home buying process often can have more variables as what you ultimately sell your home for could affect the budget of your new home.
9. Unforeseen Costs?
Unforeseen costs are often preconceived to be associated with remodeling. A well-qualified design-build firm can properly anticipate conditions and address those costs in their initial scope of work. An experienced firm will not leave unidentified costs to be discovered after the start of the project. When moving, it is important to take in account all costs. Some may seem obvious but that does not make them easy to predict. Commissions, movers, transaction fees, and tax implications will vary greatly depending on your sale price, municipality and tax situation. Other costs are less obvious like decorating, furniture, increased utility costs and even restocking the refrigerator and pantry.
There really is no one-size-fits-all solution to the dilemma of remodeling vs. relocating. Each family and home will have unique needs that can greatly influence their own ultimate right decision. A thorough understanding of the pros and cons can be a tremendous help and provide guidance when making a well-informed decision.
If you would like to learn more about a remodeling project and how it will work in your home contact Airoom today and receive a complementary design consultation. Or browse the remodeling galleries at Airoom.com.