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Should I Remodel or Move?

Posted by Daniel Mizrahi on Friday, September 22, 2017

If your home is no longer meeting your needs, or if you can see that it will no longer do so in the future, you know that a change is needed. But what kind of change? Should you remodel your current home, making improvements so that you can stay where you are for longer? Or should you sell your present home and find a new one that fits all your needs. The question "Should I remodel or move?" is a common one for Los Angeles area homeowners.

The place to start is by making a clear list of what you are hoping to improve about your living situation. Do you need more space? For example, another bathroom or bedroom, or a bigger kitchen? Or are you hoping for specific features, like a walk-in closet, a patio area, or a laundry room? Or maybe you want some aesthetic upgrades, like granite countertops and hardwood floors.

Once you have a list of what you are hoping to get from your remodel or your move, you can evaluate what those items would cost, and whether you can afford to make them happen. Here are a few considerations to help you decide whether to seek those improvements by remodeling or by moving to a new home:

What Do You Think of Your Neighborhood and Home?

If your really love the area where you live, whether because of the schools, your neighbors, the view, the level of activity, or other intangible features, that may tip the scales towards remodeling. Even if moving to a new home might make more financial sense, if your family isn't as happy there, then it's not worth it.

Also, if you are very attached to your home, then even a whole-house renovation might be a better option than moving.

Will Remodeling Give You a Good Return on Investment?

The "move or remodel" debate is motivated by your family's needs and lifestyle, and not by the return on investment. However, the ROI should be considered in the equation: the majority of home remodling projects do not completely pay for themselves in resale value. If you are going to remodel, you need to consider how much of that cost you could eventually recoup by selling the home.

For a house that is already comparable to others in the neighborhood, major improvements are less likely to pay off. However, if your home is lacking features that other houses in the area have, then adding those features is more likely to increase the home's overall value. 

Is It Possible to Get What You Want from a Remodel?

In many cases, putting an addition on your home or reconfiguring the interior layout could meet the needs and goals you have listed. However, sometimes the local building codes or Homeowner's Association bylaws will not allow the type of remodel you desire. Talk to a home remodeler about how to ascertain these important facts.

What Is the Total Cost of Remodeling or Moving?

For a clear, "apples-to-apples" comparison of the financial situation, it's best to have a meeting with a remodeling contractor and a realtor. The remodeler can give you an estimate of what it would cost to remodel your house, including permits and so on. A realtor could help you find a few homes that fit your needs, and help you calculate what the net cost would be if you sell your current home and buy a new one. 

Remember that the "sticker price" of the homes is not the only thing you need to compare to the "sticker price" of a remodel. Selling your home and moving would also involve loan-closing costs, realtor's fees, and moving costs, in addition to the difference in selling price between the homes.

Remodeling Contractors in the Los Angeles Area

Open Hand Remodeling is a full-service contractor in the Los Angeles area. We would be happy to talk with you about the possibilites and benefis of remodeling your current home. However, we promise NOT to push you into a remodel that is not in your best interests. Our estimators will give you an honest evaluation of your home's potential, along with the costs and benefits of various remodeling options. Don't hesitate to contact us with your questions!

We serve Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Hollywood, Brentwood, Pasadena, Beverly Hills, Glendale, and the greater Los Angeles region.

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