Perhaps the time has come and you know your home as it currently stands is no longer working for your family, whether you're struggling from a lack of usable space, inadequate outdoor living areas or a general distaste for the layout and design style.
Being aware of your growing dislike or frustration is only the starting point, though. From there, you can determine the best solution.
The main question is whether the issues you have with your Northern Virginia home can be adequately addressed with a remodel or room addition, or if the time has come to pack up and move.
In short, yes. Return on investment after a remodel is noticeable, whether it be monetary or personal value. But since every homeowner’s personal situation, priorities and budget differ, there is no definitive right answer when it comes to whether you should remodel your home or just move to a new one. Instead, there are numerous variables to take into account, which can guide you to the best solution for your particular scenario.
Here are some of the most important factors to consider:
No home is perfect, unless you have recently built a fully customized residence that is tailored to your exact specifications. Whenever you buy a house, there will be small issues and the need to compromise. One of the first steps is to identify your needs and how much work it will take to transform your house to meet them. If you are living in a starter home that you settled on in the first place, there may be several elements that are less than perfect.
On the other hand, you may love a majority of your home and simply want a few changes, like an extra bedroom, a second story addition or a larger and more luxurious kitchen. You want to think twice about giving up a home you love only to move into another home that may be imperfect. However, there are certain problems that no amount of remodeling can fix. For instance, if you’re ready for a single-family home instead of living in a condo, or you want more outdoor living space but are lacking a yard. These are things a remodel likely cannot accommodate for, and indicate a move may be best to fulfill your needs.
Both remodeling and buying a new home are major investments. To get an accurate comparison about which is more cost-effective, you’ll want to think about the distinct expenses associated with each option. If you buy new, you can use the revenue from the sale of your current home to assist with your purchase. On the flip side, you’ll incur the costs of moving, making minor repairs to prepare your house for listing, agent commissions and, of course, your new house, which is likely to be more expensive unless you’re deliberately downsizing. The costs associated with remodeling include permits, architectural plans, materials, labor and financing costs (i.e. interest). If you select a design-build remodeler, some of these expenses should be consolidated into an overall project price that you can use for a better comparison.
The next question to ask yourself is whether a remodel is feasible. Do you have space on your property for adding onto your home horizontally to create a new master suite, home office or other space? Is it structurally sound enough for building a second story? Do you live in a historic home that is subject to restrictions when it comes to modifications? Based on the topography of your land, as well as the type and condition of your house, you may not be able to remodel in the way you would like. If the restrictions are too severe, moving is optimal.
Your home is the backdrop of family life, but where it’s located can also impact your day-to-day comfort and convenience. For example, if you’re in a desirable school district or your commute time to work is already ideal, it’s probably better to investigate adding extra space or remodeling your house. A few other location-based factors to consider are your sense of community, proximity to family and friends, and the quality of nearby parks, restaurants, shops and other attractions and activities. However, you may not have a strong attachment to your current community, in which case moving could put you in a more attractive situation. You could relocate to a different job market, school district or to be closer to your loved ones.
Another variable to consider is the local real estate market in your part of Northern Virginia or Washington, D.C., as well as the area where you want to move. In a seller’s market, you should have an easier time finding a buyer for your current home, and you could make a considerable profit on it. However, if you want to stay in the same neighborhood, there’s a good chance home values have gone up and the equity you make from your sell won’t go as far. To get a better sense of the market before building an addition or moving, research real estate comparables in your neighborhood. You also will want to estimate the anticipated return on investment (ROI) of your remodel. How much will your specific project improve the value of your home? Are there other similarly valued homes in your neighborhood to make it worth the while? For example, there is a risk of over-improving if you do an upscale remodel when most of the surrounding homes are priced in the midrange.
There are pros and cons to both remodeling and moving into a more suitable home, and an advantage of one option isn’t necessarily a disadvantage of the other. Ultimately, it comes down to your unique situation and lifestyle, budgetary and timeline needs. If you decide to stay where you are, or if you decide to move into a new place that would need improvements, our team at Denny + Gardner can collaborate with you on a customized remodeling project to get your home where you need it to be. Our team has the skills and expertise to handle every part of the process, from helping you refine your vision and develop architectural plans to ordering materials, pulling permits and making the improvements.