Determining if you should buy a new home or fix up your current one isn’t easy. In fact, the decision can be steeped in so much drama they make reality TV shows about it!
So if you’re considering whether to move or improve, here are some things to consider.
Will a renovation truly fix what you don’t like about your property? If you’re craving a cosy fireplace in your living room, new kitchen cabinetry, or major bathroom overhaul, then a renovation could make that happen. But you may only be able to get features like an easier commute, larger kitchen, or simply just more space, by moving.
How much will a renovation cost? How does that compare to the cost of moving to a new home? It’s important to get accurate estimates of each so you can make a smart decision.
To accurately assess the cost of moving you'll need to make a few phone calls.
First, talk to your bank or mortgage broker to find out what your budget on a new home would be, and whether there would be any penalties for breaking your mortgage. Might as well ask what your possible renovation budget would be too, and see what your options for financing that would be.
Next, call me for an evaluation of what your current home could sell for, and an estimate on the costs of selling (realtor, land transfer tax, legal).
Finally, a call to a moving company should give you the final piece of the puzzle.
On the renovation side, you'll first need a clear idea of what you would want to accomplish with the renovation. I can then recommend a few good contractors, and the next step is to get a couple of quotes.
Keep in mind that renovation costs do have a habit if ticking upwards as hard-to-resist upgrade options or unforeseen hurdles come up throughout the construction process. So be sure to build some flexibility into the budget as well.
A very important estimate that you must also get is how long the renovation will take, whether you will need temporary housing during the process, and if so, what to budget for that.
Unless your budget is unlimited, be prepared to make some compromises, no matter which decision you make. That’s normal. Only you can know which compromises are the easiest to make.