Should I Stay or Should I Go? Was “The Clash” singing about your home??? Now get that song out of your head, and if you’re under 30, just disregard. And before you go on an 80’s YouTube music video bender, focus and finish reading this helpful article first! 🙂

It’s an age-old question that many homeowners have faced: Renovate the home you live in but don’t exactly love anymore, or leave it for a new home? There’s even an HGTV show based entirely on this premise. It’s not an easy choice.

If it’s a choice you find yourself facing, keep in mind that there are some very important things to consider.

You can only change so much

If you’ve become dissatisfied with a home because of dated décor or a few maintenance issues, those are easy fixes. Paint can go a long way in sprucing a place up. New floor coverings and window treatments are quick and can be inexpensive. Even a house that needs a new furnace or roof, isn’t the end of the world.

But some things aren’t as easy to change. If you have a family that’s grown, keep in mind that it’s very difficult to change the size of a home. Adding square footage means full-room additions that are massive undertakings and can be quite expensive. Sometimes, families just need bigger houses.

You can’t fix a neighborhood

Also, regarding change, you can fix up most houses, but you can’t fix an entire neighborhood. If you’ve realized that you don’t love your house as much as you once did, but still DO love the neighborhood, it can be quite a conundrum.

What happens if you can’t find another great home for sale in your own neighborhood? If you still choose to sell your home, rather than spend the money to renovate, you have to make sure you find a neighborhood that makes you happy. That means considering things such as schools, crime rates, amenities, public services, and maybe even a new commute time to work. All of these items carry weight.

Consider all the financial costs

When getting prices on renovating, it’s tempting to say, “Well, for that price, we may as well just move.” But it’s important to consider all costs associated with both continuing to live in a home and leaving it.

A major remodel could certainly be expensive. If you choose to remain in the home, maybe it’s really going to cost you. But putting that home up for sale and buying a new one has costs, too – beyond just the purchase price of the new home.

Hiring a moving company to move into the new home will cost you money. And unless your new home is completely turn-key, you might even wind up spending money on improvement projects there as well.

Now, even with all those costs, it still might make more sense to move, rather than to renovate. Just make sure you calculate ALL the costs.

Think function, not just form

People who do renovation projects tend to focus on cosmetic things they don’t like about their home. But remember, any modern countertops, light fixtures, floors, etc. you put in, will eventually become dated as well. So, when considering a renovation, think about not just making your home look better, but also to function better.

Maybe you need more counter space. Maybe your kids’ bathroom could use dual sinks. Could the laundry room be bigger, or have more storage? Could your entryways become more practical, with drop zones or mudrooms? What can you change in the home, that won’t just make you happier with its looks, but will also make living in it more pleasant for you each and every day?

Again, the choice between staying and fixing, or listing and leaving, is one that a majority of homeowners will face at some point in their life. There’s often not a clear right or wrong answer. It’s a personal, individual decision. If you are at that decision making point, get in touch with us. We’ll help you come to an informed resolution, so can feel confident with either decision!

Photo credit: Getty images/marchmeena29

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