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Should I Remodel Or Move?

Published:
November 17, 2021
Last updated:
November 24, 2021
Time to Move or Renovate?
In This Article

Wondering if you should remodel your home, or sell it and move? There are pros and cons to each option. Here are the things you need to consider before making your decision.

Remodeling your home and purchasing a new home are both big decisions. Is your current home ripe for a remodel, and do you have enough cash or equity to pull it off? Or is it better for you and your family’s needs to pull up stakes and move to a new city?

Can You Afford to Remodel Your Current Home?

If you love your neighborhood, the people in it, and the local amenities, a remodel could let you stay put while upgrading your living situation. If you are in a terrific school district, relocating your family could disrupt your children’s schedule. Likewise, if you’re currently close to your job, a move to a new city  could mean ending up with a longer commute.

However, remodeling can be extremely expensive and time consuming, and might even mean a temporary relocation elsewhere  if there is extensive work to be done and a crew is going to be working on site. Consider the following things when planning your next renovation project:

  • What type of budget do you have?
  • Who will complete the work?
  • How much time can you dedicate to this project?
  • Can you stay in the house during remodeling?
  • Are the improvements you’re planning to make going to increase the home value?

Remodeling is not cheap, even if you save some money by doing it yourself. There are added benefits such as increased value per square foot with a major remodel in contrast to with less costly basic repairs. However, a few simple upgrades can help keep up appearances, especially if there are other major repairs that you cannot afford to address at the moment.

How much will remodeling cost?

An average renovation costs $46,788 in the U.S., but remodeling popular areas in the home can easily range anywhere from a low of $18,372 to $100,000 and beyond. For example, the average basic kitchen or a bathroom remodel starts at $6,000 and can easily go up to $20,000 or more, and that’s just one room. A bigger renovation may require permits and easements, and can quickly become even more expensive.

You can attempt to keep costs down by doing some work yourself, but lack of expertise can lead to costly mistakes. Hiring a general contractor may be the answer, but you’ll need to vet your choices carefully and find out what your recourse is if they do shoddy work or don’t complete your home remodel.

If you have to relocate while renovations are being completed, you’ll have to factor in the costs of renting another place or staying in a hotel or motel. If repairs take a long time, your living expenses can add up fast.

Can You Afford to Move And Make A New Home Purchase?

It might be time to simply sell your house and purchase a new home. You’ll have to consider if your family will benefit from leaving your current residence, as well as the costs of selling your house, moving expenses, and getting a new mortgage. For many, the historically low mortgage rates and steadily rising home prices are signs that right now is a better time to buy than to renovate.

Today’s Mortgage Rates

Consider the following factors:

  • The financing options that are available to you
  • The type of residence you are looking for
  • What location or neighborhood suits you best
  • The logistics of moving across town, to a new city, or another state
  • The distance your new home might be from your work
  • If you can buy a new home before selling your current home
  • If you want a bigger house or a smaller home
  • Whether or not your employer will cover moving or job relocation expenses
  • How a move will affect your life, your job, and your family

Is it time to move to a new city?

American families spend a minimum average of $10,000 to relocate across the country. If you are moving to a bigger place near your current location or just a city or two over, you will likely spend significantly less. You may be able to research and compare local movers, make the move yourself, relocate with the help of friends, or opt to downsize before it is time to move.

Besides the logistics of the move itself, if you are seriously considering buying a home, you may end up with the same temporary residence expenses that accompany renovations. There can be a disconnect between when you sell your current home and when you move into a new one.

A few other costs that you will also need to budget for when switching homes  include:

  • Selling your current home (you’ll have to pay real estate agent commissions),
  • Getting utilities set up at your new place (if you’re in a new municipality, that could mean deposits are required)
  • Covering a higher mortgage payment if you upsize with your new home
  • Coming up with a down payment if you buy before you sell your existing house
  • Buying new private homeowner’s insurance if you aren’t putting 20% down

How much will it cost to move?

Average costs to prepare your home for sale, do any needed repairs, put it on the market, pay real estate commissions, and hire movers to take your things to your new city can total up to 6-10% of the sales price.  Add to that the $15,000 or so you’ll spend on buying your new home, including closing costs, prepaid expenses, any needed furnishings, and so on, and you’re looking at a lot of expenses to move.

If you end up in an area with a high cost of living, plan on your monthly expenses going up as well.  All things considered, a new home purchase is usually well worth it. This is especially true if you have outgrown your current home, need more space, prefer to live closer to family, need a change of scenery, or you can work from anywhere. Likewise, buying a new house can also be a great investment opportunity, which might help you realize other financial goals in the future.

Get an Instant Mortgage Rate Quote Today

Ready To Make A Home Purchase?

Are you curious about mortgages or financing for home renovations? If so,  Sammamish Mortgage can help. We are a local mortgage company from Bellevue, Washington, serving the entire state, as well as Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado. We currently offer many mortgage programs and financial services to home buyers all over the Pacific Northwest and have been doing so since 1992. Contact or call us today with any questions you have about mortgages.

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