Should you renovate or move?

March 19, 2018

Making the decision to renovate or move is not always an easy one. At one time, chances are your home worked for you, otherwise you probably wouldn’t have bought it. But now, it’s not meeting your needs, so what to do?

The answer is not the same for everyone and will depend on your family circumstances, your attachment to your home and your finances.

Here are some key questions to ask when trying to decide:

Is staying in your neighbourhood important? If it is, then you’ll need to weigh whether there are homes for sale in your area that would meet your needs and your budget against what it would cost you to renovate.

Do you have the budget? This question is for both buying and renovating. Are homes affordable where you want to buy? If so, moving might be the better option. But if you’re in an area that has become popular and you want to stay there, buying may not be practical.

Similarly, if you are thinking of renovating, do you have the budget to undertake the type of renovations you feel you need to make you happy in your current home?

What are the unexpected costs of renovating and moving? There are a lot of extra fees and expenses that come with buying and selling a home, from agent commissions to legal fees, to land transfer taxes and moving expenses. Are you aware of what they all are, and are ready to factor them in?

And while we do our best to mitigate any surprises, renovations can uncover unexpected issues. We do our due diligence in the planning stages, and will prepare a budget that factors in as many of these “bumps in the road” as possible, but it is always a good idea to include a contingency fund in the case of unforeseens.

What are your goals? This may be a difficult question to answer, but it’s an important one to ask. Do you need to save for your children’s education or your retirement? Do you hope to do a lot of traveling or open a business? All of these can affect your decisions about your home.

What does a new space need to have? Do you need a kitchen that’s more functional, upgraded bathrooms, an open-concept layout, more bedrooms or living space? Can these needs be met with a renovation or addition? Is it realistic to expect to find them in a new home within your budget? Keep in mind that often a new home you move to may need renovations to become your dream home. Determining what you need from your space can help you figure out which option is likely to be more cost effective for you.

A good renovator can help you determine whether your existing home can be transformed to meet your needs and give you a clear idea of what that will cost. If you’re wondering whether a renovation is the right choice for you, give us a call!