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Moving vs. Completing a Home Renovation – Weighing the Pros and Cons

Color palette, various paints, and a calculator for home remodeling

It’s finally here! After a long and uncertain winter and spring, we’re approaching the summer home buying season! Not as excited as you thought you would be? Well, you’re not alone. In this blog, we’re going to walk you through what everyone is going through at the moment – choosing between buying move-in ready vs. pouring a bit of sweat equity into a home renovation to make your dollar stretch just a bit further. And maybe, just maybe, we can get you excited about taking on a project this summer!

Questions to Ask Yourself

Before you begin any purchase (especially the largest purchase you will probably make in your lifetime), it’s good practice to conduct a personal inventory on affordability and what you’re looking for before leaping in. The biggest mistake we see homeowners make is jumping into a home they either don’t really want or aren’t really prepared for because the market wouldn’t give them time to make an informed decision. Do you know your maximum budget? Do you have your ideal school district, numbers of bedrooms, baths, and yard size all narrowed down? If not, take a moment to do that now. Don’t let the market dictate what you can purchase. At this point, simply begin with a want vs. would like list, and allow the market to narrow down those expectations at a later date, ideally when you’re looking at those homes in-person.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Deciding to take on a project to get what you want out of a home means you’ll either have to do the work yourself (which can be awfully daunting) or you’ll need to have a partner firm to help you through the remodel. A custom, ground up restoration can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to complete. By the time you save and put in that effort, will you be eager to sell again? If the elbow grease is contained to a bathroom remodel, be sure you understand what’s involved before you decide to tackle the project on your own. Often, homeowners will take a trip to Home Depot and watch a Youtube video only to find that they are ill-prepared for the work, the permits, and the inspections. Have a plan before you decide to avoid taking on a money-pit that you will soon regret. Anyone can pull a homeowner’s permit, just be prepared to study the building code and understand what’s required for inspections before you catch yourself in a tough position. If you are considering doing the work yourself, read https://vigeoconstruction.com/homeowner-general-contractor/

The last thing to keep in mind is that remodeling almost never goes according to plan. Keeping a contingency budget for the random things you’ll find behind the walls and under the floors will prevent the heart attack you will have without one. If you have any questions about what is possible, budget, timeline, or scope, we highly suggest you partner with a firm like Vigeo to navigate those questions and make the most informed decision that you can. Now let’s navigate the advantages and disadvantages of moving vs. completing a home renovation.

Advantages of Moving

Less home maintenance

If you are not an experienced homeowner or are not comfortable with significant home maintenance, it may be better to move to a home that comes with warranties or is in excellent condition to minimize large projects and allow you to learn over time. It may also make more sense to move if you have issues with the layout of your home and don’t absolutely love the location. Remodeling becomes less practical when it requires moving walls, but is still a good option if you love the neighborhood, have close friends nearby, or have an easy commute to work.

A change of scenery

This brings us to another benefit of moving—getting a change of scenery. Sometimes this comes from necessity, such as if you change jobs to a new area and want to live closer, but this can also be a great way to start fresh, make new friends, find new communities, and overall just enjoy the area you live in more, as opposed to just the house.

Remodeling can be a hassle (depending on who you hire)

And finally, one of the biggest motivators for moving to a new house instead of a home renovation is that you just don’t want to deal with the hassle of a big renovation project. Although Vigeo makes all attempts to help a project run smoothly, not all general contractors do, which could be more of a risk than some homeowners are willing to take.

Disadvantages of Moving

The market is competitive

According to Marketwatch.com, sellers appear to be holding off on listing their homes for sale in anticipation of less buyer traffic during the normally busy spring home-buying season. Housing inventory is low and the demand for quality housing is high. You may not get exactly what you want due to the lack of inventory, thus settling for something that is ordinary and not up to your standards. You may even consider a home renovation in the future to fit your needs and expectations, accruing even more costs.

Moving can be time-consuming and stressful

Finding a good realtor, searching for a new home, figuring out financing, and closing on a new home while trying to sell your current home can be downright exhausting. You also have to take the time to pack all of your belongings, which can be a tedious task regardless of whether your hire professionals or decide to do it yourself. Buying a new home definitely takes time, patience, and an occasional calming, deep breath.

Moving is expensive. 

Moving is always more expensive than you think. Real estate agent commissions, closing costs on both homes, hiring professionals to help you pack and move, and any minor upgrades you would like to complete before you move in (new carpet, fresh paint, maintenance work, etc.) can add up fast. Why spend all of your money on moving when you can spend it on getting your home exactly how you want it? Look at more costs you can incur here https://www.thesimpledollar.com/save-money/10-reasons-moving-always-costs-more-than-you-think/

Saying goodbye is hard

It is always hard to say goodbye to friends, family, and your community. You may love your new home but what if you don’t like your new neighborhood or your child is having a hard time adjusting to a new school? Although new beginnings can be wonderful, it can be tough to say goodbye and start over, especially if you love your neighborhood.

Advantages of a Home Renovation

You make it your own

You can remodel a home to your exact needs, wants, and expectations. Creatively designing your home to meet your particular lifestyle allows you to create a home you love, not just reside in. Many times there are only a few areas in your home that you want to change, giving you the option to upgrade certain areas and keep other areas the same. At Vigeo, we keep our eyes out for unique remodeling ideas and strive to create a space you absolutely love. We design, build, and reconstruct homes to optimize productivity for homeowners, giving you the chance to focus on what is important to you – your family. 

You don’t have to say goodbye

It can be hard to say goodbye to neighbors and friends if you have been a member of your community for quite some time. It can be especially hard if you have children in school who don’t want to start over and have established connections and friendships. Whether it is adding a family room, completely renovating your entire home, or bringing in more views of the outdoors and natural light, almost anything is possible with remodeling without all of the goodbye tears.

Increase the value of your home

Renovating is one of the best ways to strategically increase your home value. Before you decide to remodel, always consider cost versus value and whether it is a worthy investment to remodel your home. Updating bathrooms, finishing your basement, creating a home office, or building a deck are all great ways to increase the value of your home. Even a minor kitchen remodel can return a large percentage of money when it is time to sell.

If you are renovating solely to increase your home’s worth, always do your research. Vigeo identifies potential areas to consider improving while explaining the importance of these recommendations, ensuring homeowners receive a return on their investment while getting exactly what they want. With extensive experience in management consulting, Vigeo not only rebuilds your space but we optimize it for what you value most. 

Disadvantages of a Home Renovation

It takes a lot of work

Consider if you truly have the time to devote to remodeling. Even if you are undertaking a large remodel and hiring someone to complete the work, it will still take a significant amount of time and effort to complete the design, find the perfect products, and to oversee work completed. This is one of Vigeo’s main focuses: to make the renovation process as effortless or as hands-on as you want it to be and have time for.

It can be chaotic at times

Some of the processes that Vigeo has implemented to make home renovations a bit easier to handle are a design team that handles product ordering, project management services, and a foreman that is focused on each project from beginning to end. There are some other things to consider however. For one, you will have to be okay with a certain amount of chaos in your home while the project is being completed, which can be minimized with good organization and planning, but cannot be completely avoided.

You will find hidden issues

Additionally, there are unknowns in every house. It is very rare to find a house where everything was completed perfectly, but most quirks won’t be discovered until new designs are put in place. At best, this could mean a slightly increased cost with a creative solution; at worst, this could lead to lengthy delays and huge price tags. Luckily, experienced remodelers can start to predict these type of issues that might arise based on the year the house was built, the area, and the type of build. It will never be possible to predict everything, but having a general idea of potential problems can help create more realistic expectations from the start.

Cost is always a factor

For some homeowners, the question of move vs. remodel comes down to nothing more than cost—if you hate the home you live in but don’t have the cash on hand to remodel, it may make more sense to move to a home that has more features that will work for your family so that you can receive financing. If you have equity in your home, you may also be approved to take out a loan for home improvements.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

There are plenty of questions to ask yourself when deciding whether you should buy a new home or do a home renovation. If you are having a hard time coming to a conclusion, review the questions we listed above and any additional pros and cons that come to mind before leaping in. Consider your lifestyle and what is best for your family and always consider finances and affordability, as both remodeling and moving can be expensive.

Does your home fit your family’s needs, wants, expectations in the future? Will you need to make changes to your layout or downsize once the kids are in college? Do you love your neighborhood and community but the house just needs a little work? Asking yourself these questions and thoroughly going over every detail will steer you in the right direction to make an informed decision. If you are considering remodeling but have questions about what is possible, Vigeo is always here to help. If you are leaning towards home remodeling but need a little guidance on financially preparing, check out our blog https://vigeoconstruction.com/financing-home-remodeling-projects/