Go Big or Go Home? The Best Reasons to Renovate or Sell Your Home

Fri, Dec 18, 2015 @ 08:12 AM Dawn M. Smith Home Maintenance, Selling a Home

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Do you feel that? It’s an itch. An itch that often comes when military renters or homeowners live in one spot for too long.

We know most people outside of the military don’t feel it, but every three years or so, there is a twitch inside that makes us antsy and ready to just get the PCS over, even if we happen to like where we live currently. Or, blessedly, to remove us from a mistake we are ready to be rid of.

Similarly, that itch also is also felt by military homeowners on the verge of retirement or in a time frame of their career that remodeling or buying a new home would make sense. Making the decision whether or not to renovate their current home or move into a more suitable place to meet the needs of the family accurately is a challenging one.

These are some of the most common factors to delve into before making any determination regarding selling or renovating.

Reasons to Renovate

Local communities. Treasured communities are substantial reasons as to why families stay put. The perfect school, local shops, and a great smattering of chain and mom and pop restaurants make local neighborhoods hard to leave. Not to mention the neighbors who will help with no questions asked. These features are hard to curate and not likely to be found in every potential new neighborhood.

Commute. This is a make or break factor for some families. Simple logic is at work here. There is no use in remodeling a home if too much time in the car or on the train keeps you from enjoying the hard work put into the house. However, if the family lives in a sweet spot where the commute is minimal, well, that’s tough to beat and might sway a family to live in a renovated home.

Previous upgrades. It’s hard to determine if the new roof and siding that was installed last year make the case to stay. According to how much money has been invested throughout the house in the last three to five years, it may be more cost effective to investigate how much the desired upgrades or additions will cost versus buying a new home.

Lot or house is conducive to renovations. Architects, interior designers, and contractors can easily give estimates and ideas for expansion plans building either up or out. They will be upfront on how difficult these changes will be to achieve your goals for the house. Depending on the options, the affordable revisions may keep the family in the home for years to come.

Sentimental value. Sentiments are hard to put a price tag on. Military families who haven’t lived in a particular home for decades might not struggle with this factor as much; but for others, births, weddings, holidays, and even the passing of a beloved pet might equal reasons to renovate the home instead of leaving.

Reasons to Sell

Mess and chaos of a renovation. After a major or even minor reno, some people swear, “Never again.” The prolonged and heavy disruption of an entire family’s life can wear on nerves quickly. If previously they have been so adversely affected, homeowners will become home sellers in a skinny minute. Truly knowing your aptitude for disorder is critical.

Unfixable house qualities. Maybe you have always hated the Tudor style of your current house and neighborhood. A renovation may change the appearance somewhat, but likely the Tudor vibe will remain. Also, driving down an entire street of Shakespeareian-styled homes each day will continue to get on your nerves.

Renos will price the house out of the neighborhood. This won’t bother the owner with sentimental attachments and the desire to pass the home to their grandkids, but many families consider resale value for the possibility of a sale in the future. Dumping tens of thousands of dollars into updates might not translate to buyers even five years from the renovation.

Updates will ruin the nature the house. Truth be told, some homes were always meant to be three beds and one bath, no matter the genius of an architect. Savvy owners who are sensitive to this fact will be eager to leave well enough alone and sell this style house to a young family just beginning their lives together who are happy to buy at an attainable price point.

Initial estimates for renovations are very wrong. Just like a box of chocolate, you never know what you’re going to get after demolition has started. Initial tear downs could reveal unknown projects that will price the renovations right out of the owner’s budget.

Ideally, if there is a substantial discussion between renovating or selling, owners should arm themselves with multiple professionals to guide the decision. A team of skilled real estate agents, architects, contractors, and interior designers have the know-how to demonstrate the worth and costs of major changes to the house. It would be wise to spend a little upfront for estimates and consultations (although many offer them free) to ward off any costly mistakes that can haunt you years from now.

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Photo: freshidea/Dollar Photo Club