Whole Home Blog

Modify or Move: Things to consider before your summer remodel

Posted on June 15, 2015 by kim

Over the years families grow and change but, unfortunately, houses don’t automatically change with them. Needs are different, and issues may arise that you didn’t foresee when buying the house. The next question is whether to remodel and modify your home to suit your needs, or move and find a new house that more closely fits your family’s current needs. We’ve compiled a list of a few important considerations when deciding your next step. 

How long will you be in this home?
Do you see your family staying here for the next 5 years? 15? 50? Depending on your answer, the changes you make to your home could be large or small. If you don’t plan on being in your home long-term, you might not want to make drastic changes. If, on the other hand, you plan on staying for life, you should consider what life changes you might experience in the future. Is it possible that an elderly parent would move in with you, or a married child? Consider adding an in-law suite for them now so it will be ready when you need it. In the meantime, the room can be used as an office, homework room, or rec room based on current needs.

What makes you want to stay in your house?
Do you have a great relationship with the neighbors? Is the kids’ school a block away? Is your life centered around your community? Those are things that you can’t take with you when buying a new house. If you can’t give up the location of your current home, remodeling is probably the best option. We can get creative with space, but we can’t have all your neighbors move with you.

What are the current and future needs of your family members?
Your needs as a family with a toddler are going to be dramatically different than your needs as a family with college students and live in grandparents. That in-law suite you were thinking about? Put it on the first floor. Many things may make stairs difficult or impossible for a short time, or permanently. Having a full bedroom and bathroom on the first floor ensures that everyone in your family will be comfortable no matter what their needs are.

How does your family use the space in your home?
If the biggest reason you want to move is a lack of space, first consider how each room in your home is being used. You may be able to re-arrange and be comfortable and flexible as time passes. If you’re not actually using your dining room you could use it as a playroom while the kids are little, reclaim it for a few years, then use it to set up a home office. If there’s always a battle for the family room television but nobody is ever in the study, think about making it a rec room. Maximizing your space is an easy way to make your home feel like new and work better for your family.

How much will it cost to renovate a house vs. buy?
Last, but certainly not least, consider the financials. Chances are you’ll pay more for a new home than you did for your current home. You also have to add in the out of pocket costs including moving expenses, closing costs, broker commissions, and any redecorating or renovations you’ll need to do in the next few years (no house is perfect!). You should also look at what you can afford to do in a remodel. Compare the two numbers and see what makes the most sense for your family.

No matter what you decide, making sure your home is comfortable for your whole family should be at the top of your list, and we can help with that. Learn about your home modification options with a free in-home consultation with one of Whole Home’s experts. To schedule your appointment, you can call us at (513) 482-5100 or send us an email at info@wholehome.org

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