There comes a time in every homeowner’s life when they have to decide whether they should renovate or relocate. Deciding between renovating or selling your home is not an easy choice, though. After years of improvements, saving, and creating a home paradise, it is hard to know when, if ever, is a good time to say goodbye and move on to something new.
For many, the choice may be obvious, especially with a growing family or an empty nest. But for others, you may love your home (and location) so much that the thought of moving is unfathomable. If you’ve outgrown your current home and aren’t sure what to do next, you may want to ask yourself these six important questions.
What Do you Want in a New House?
Visualize what your dream home would look like. Think of what your current home offers and what you would change if you could. Do you want a bigger kitchen? Would extending the kitchen to have extra counter and storage space be enough for you and your family?
Perhaps your family needs a family room in the basement. Would a sunroom addition make the summers more enjoyable?
Once you’ve decided on what you want your dream home to have, think about whether your current home can accommodate these needs with a renovation. Do you have the space to make these changes or is a move imminent?
The renovated basement, added storage space, or new additions need to be worth the time, effort, and money once things are said and done. Plus, once plans and permits are in place for a renovation and the construction begins, there is no time to turn back.
Do You Like Your Current Neighbourhood?
What is your current neighbourhood like? Have you been able to cement a bond with your neighbours? Do you and your family feel welcomed and safe there?
Families with young children enjoy being able to live in an area where everyone is friends and their children always have a safe place to play. Good neighbours are hard to find, so in this instance, perhaps a renovation is in order.
Aside from having great neighbours, consider how close your current home is to family amenities, your office, your children’s school (if applicable), and local stores. If you move to a new neighbourhood, will it cut down your commute time or will you now need to spend hours in rush hour traffic? Will your kids need to transfer schools or change buses? How would relocating to a new neighbourhood affect your family?
Will the Renovation Require You to Move Out Temporarily?
Depending on the renovation plan you have in mind, consider if it constitutes you and your family having to relocate for a short time. With a complete kitchen renovation, for example, the interruption to your daily life may be too much and you may need to stay at a hotel for a few weeks or longer. Having a larger renovation can take months.
Think about whether your family can afford the added expense of moving out temporarily and whether the renovation is worth the effort or within your budget.
Is a New House in Your Budget?
Speaking of budget…this is the BIG question. Is it cheaper to renovate your current home or to buy a new house? If you are considering selling your home and moving, start by asking yourself if a new house is really within your budget. The housing market has its ups and downs and can turn on a dime.
Your budget for your new home should not include the gains from selling your current home. Is a new home feasible? Very few people can move directly into a house without having updates or renovations done first. Calculate the extra costs of that as well as moving costs, real estate fees, and any potential land transfer taxes. And don’t forget bridge financing in case you need to bridge two mortgages until your current home is sold.
Is Renovating a Long-Term Solution?
Regardless of whether you decide to renovate or relocate, consider what your long-term goals are. The idea behind renovations is to update the home for long-term enjoyment.
If you live in a popular area, you may want to consider renovating instead of relocating right away. This will add value to your property in case you decide to put the house on the market down the road. Many people renovate their home to give it a facelift, and then place it on the market to sell later on.
Or maybe you live in a great neighbourhood or have a large property with lakefront views. Would you be able to find that in another home if you decided to sell it? And even if you did, would you be able to find that home within your budget? You might have won the jackpot with your current home. In that case, renovating so your home can grow with your changing needs might be the best option.
Do You Have a Good Contractor?
If you are planning renovations, be sure to hire an experienced and respected home renovation contractor. Check their references, online reviews, and any business listings. It is important that the company has liability insurance as well as a professional employee record.
Companies such as Elite Construction and Renovations can provide guidance and professional services from initial concept to project completion.
Contact Elite Construction and Renovations for a Quote
Discuss your renovation vision with our design and building experts! Our team understands and complies with the Ontario Building Code and your city bylaws to ensure a smooth process for you and your project manager. Ready to transform your home into a living oasis? Contact us today for a consultation and quote.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jay McDonald, general contractor and owner of Elite Construction & Renovations, has over 20 years of construction experience. He has completed various Ontario Building Code and Business Management courses from George Brown College and has managed over $50 million-dollars-worth of construction in his career.