Renovate or Relocate: A Common Homeowner Conundrum

Almost all homeowners contemplate buying a new house or remodeling an existing home at some point in their lives. There’s no right or wrong choice but several potential life-changing considerations.

Before jumping into a major home remodeling project or spending hours online searching for a new house, create a wish list outlining your needs and wants. Here are four primary considerations to include in your list:

1. Location, Location, Location

How much do you love your existing neighborhood? If you have a family or are thinking about starting one, how are the school systems. Would you be leaving behind neighborhood friends and playmates? What amenities are readily available that may not be easily accessible in a new town or city.

Another incredibly important factor in Northern Virginia is a move’s impact on your commute. Will it be longer or shorter. Are you willing to spend more time in your car than enjoying your new home?

If these factors make you want to stay, can you renovate within your current footprint? An experienced architect can help you determine if your existing home can expand to meet your needs while complying with local building codes. You may uncover areas for expansion you never realized were available. (See related: Four Ways to Gain More Space in Your Home.)

Great Room After

Great Room AFTER Renovation & Expansion

Great Room Before

Great Room BEFORE Renovation & Expansion

2. Quality of Life

Living through a renovation can be stressful but so can moving! Are you prepared to live through a few months of flying dust, the constant sound of power tools and a bevy of contractors walking through your home. (See related: The Remodeling Process Rollercoaster – What You Can Expect.)

The idea of packing a lifetime’s worth of belongings may be reason enough to stay put. For some though, moving is an opportunity to purge and start anew.

If you’re unable to line up closing dates, you may find yourself in a temporary housing situation. Can you deal with the stress of packing/unpacking and moving twice?

Carefully consider the impact a home renovation or multiple moves may have on your quality of life before, during and after!

3. Budget and Financing

A new house means qualifying for a new mortgage and expenses beyond the purchase price of the home—i.e. real estate transaction fees, closing costs, moving expenses, new fixtures and furniture, etc.

There are also numerous tax laws that affect the calculation of taxes upon the sale of one’s home and the repurchase of its replacement. Tax credits may be available, depending on when you buy the property. Seek professional advice to understand the tax implications of selling your home and buying a new one.

A renovation can be financed through savings, home equity loans or lines or credit. Acquiring a home equity loan or line of credit depends on several factors: the equity in the home before the project, the cost of the remodel, and the expected market value once completed.

Extensive renovations and expansions also may end up more costly than expected if your wish list changes throughout the course of the project. It’s important to plan for the unknown in any high value investment involving your home.

4. Value

Are you currently living in a booming neighborhood with rising home values. If so, you may want to stay put and invest in your house. A remodeling project should result in added value to your property. According to Remodeling Magazine, the most profitable renovations when putting a house on the market include kitchen remodels and room additions.

Whether you choose to renovate or build new, it’s important to work with an experienced architect. Superior design not only increases the value of your home, but can also greatly improve your quality of life. Conversely, mediocre design may diminish resale value and lead to missed design opportunities and years of regret.

Kitchen After Renovation and Removal of Fireplace

Kitchen and Breakfast Area AFTER Renovation

Kitchen and Fireplace Before Renovation

Kitchen and Breakfast Area BEFORE Renovation

Next Steps…

Determining you need more space or a change of environment is easy. The quandary is how best to achieve it. Relocating and renovating each can be satisfying and effective if you weigh the options carefully. Seeking the assistance of an expert residential architect may result in upgrades and additional space you never dreamed available in your existing home.

An informed and educated decision can minimize your aggravation and ensure your family years of good living!

Give us a call today at 703-255-9861 and let the experienced architects at Commonwealth Home Design help you to weigh your options.

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