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A Comparison: Buying New or Remodeling / Adding On

Should I remodel/add on or buy new? If you’re a homeowner, I’m sure this is a debate you have had at some point during your homeownership journey. It’s a valid question in almost every situation, and so we thought that it would be smart for us to cover this debate in part two of our comparison series.

What’s the right choice? Like we said in our last post, it depends! And the reason it depends is because there are a lot of things that can play into this decision. So, where do you start? We’d argue the first thing you need to do is ask yourself is this: do you want to move?

Moving can be a big pain. You have to box everything up. You have to hope your closing dates align so that you can move smoothly from one home to the other (which we all know almost never happens). Once you finally close, you have to spend months unpacking box after box, figure out where to put all the furniture that fit your last home perfectly (and this new one less so), and in some cases make it yours with paint, new fixtures, and other cosmetic updates.

And while some people may love the opportunity moving presents to purge and start fresh, we know many, many more people hate it. So the next question is: do the features of the new home (location, amenities, updates) outweigh the pain of having to move? If you’re not sure, here’s another question to ask yourself: would adding on or renovating your current home provide you with all the things your current home is lacking?

These are great questions to ask because there are some things adding on can’t get you: 

  1. Adding on won’t be able to change your location. If you want to be in a better school district or closer to work, you will have to move
  2. Not all additions are possible in a home. Maybe you don’t have enough land or maybe there are factors that would make adding on to the home financially not feasible
  3. Not all floor plans are possible with every home. While it’s usually possible to renovate to make things work, there are sometimes limits on how much you can change around within a home.

In these situations, it definitely makes sense to consider buying a new home, instead of adding on to or renovating your existing home.

However, we know there are also a lot of people that LOVE their current home, they love their location, and they love their neighbors. Many times, our clients that fall in this category have stayed in their home until they’re at a bursting point. They’ve tried to make weird layouts, too few rooms, and outdated finishes work for as long as possible because they don’t want to give up all the other great benefits their home offers.

Or maybe they just really hate moving more than anything in the world! But for these people, adding on or renovating is a great choice! By going the renovation or addition route, this allows you to keep all the things you love about your home (whether it’s the great curb appeal or the great schools), AND you get to make your home work for you and your lifestyle.

One question we did want to address with the addition/renovation route, though, is a big concern for many families when they are considering making this investment, and that is: will it be worth the money? Or am I wasting my money by adding on a new kitchen?

Our answer? Very rarely have we ever found it to have a negative impact on the resale value of the home to renovate or add on. In fact, in MOST situations, it significantly improves the resale value! Aside from that, by going this route, you also get to retain the bulk of your equity, which is a huge financial bonus!

So to summarize, we just wanted to give a recap on what things you should consider when deciding between a renovation/addition or buying new. First, consider the fact that buying new will require the hassle of moving. However, if there are benefits that will result from moving that you can’t achieve with a simple remodel (for example, a better location), then it might be time to start packing up! Second, if you really love your home, consider that when you renovate or add on, you not only get to keep all of the things you like about your home, you also get to keep all that equity you’ve built up!

We hope this has helped you lean one direction or the other, but if you’re still on the fence, we’d encourage you to reach out! Our owner James is always willing to chat with any homeowner about their concerns and provide his professional opinion on the updates you are considering making to your home!

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