If you have a growing family and need more space, you might be able to renovate your current home to make better use of the space you have, or to add an addition. Of course, you also might just want to move on and build something new that’s perfect for you and your family.
One trend we are seeing regularly is that big houses are increasingly becoming a thing of the past. More and more people are instead looking for smaller houses that are easy to look after and don’t cost an arm and a leg to run. Even people with growing families are looking for spaces that use space efficiently, so they don’t have to build the gigantic houses of the past.
However, the choice isn’t always so simple. Maybe you don’t want to move, or perhaps you’re in love with your current neighbourhood. These things and many more are what you should be considering before making any decisions.
To make it a bit easier we’ve come up with a list of things you should think through in order to make an informed choice.
When you should consider renovating:
- Location, Location, Location- You love your current neighbourhood and would hate to leave. Popular neighbourhoods can be hard to get into. If you don’t want to think about leaving, then renovating might be more suited for you. However, check to make sure there are no available lots in your preferred area for sale first.
- Emotionally Attached-You have an emotional attachment to your current home and the thought of moving makes you cringe. If you don’t want to move from your current home and have the money to make changes then renovating is a good option. Just be sure to check with your local municipality to approve your blueprints as you may not be able to change as much as you would’ve hoped for.
- Property Value is Rising- The property value in your neighbourhood is rising and depending on how much money you spent initially you could make a bigger return on your investment. Check with a realtor and ask them what the market is like in your area and whether it’s wise for you to sell now or hold on to it a bit longer.
- Poor Home Value- Your home is in a prime location but it needs a lot of work compared to the other homes in the area. Building a new home can be expensive so selling your current home for top dollar is important. Renovating your current home can increase its value and will make it easier for you to sell when/if you decide to.
- In Love with Character- Most new homes don’t come with all the character that old homes do. If you’re in love with the old charm of your home and can’t imagine yourself living in a modern home, renovating may be a good choice. You can always add charm to any new build, however it can be costly depending on the amount of work.
- Short Timeline- Building a new house can take time, especially depending on the time of year and the weather’s cooperation. If you have a short timeline then renovating is probably the best idea. Depending on the amount of work that needs to be done, renovating typically takes less time than building a new home.
When you should build new:
- Preferred Lots Available- You love your neighbourhood but you hate your house. Sometimes the cost of renovating outweighs the cost of starting new. If there are available lots in your ideal neighbourhoods, it might be a good time to consider moving. Lots in popular neighbourhoods can go quick so if you’re considering building in one of these neighbourhoods, now might be a good time.
- Low Resale Value- Before you make a decision, it’s a good idea to weigh out the costs of renovating versus building. Sometimes the cost of renovating will outdo a home’s resale value. Check with a realtor to make sure you’re not wasting your money on a renovation that will never pay off. If that’s the case, then building new can be a better option.
- Unable to Make Changes- You want to make changes to your existing home but can’t. Perhaps your lot is too small, or your permits weren’t approved. Some neighbourhoods are strict on the changes you can make, which can really limit your options. Building new can give you more flexibility and you can get exactly what you want.
- Home is structurally unsound- If your home has structural issues it’s probably easier just to tear it down. Unfortunately, not all houses can be saved unless you have the money to spend. It’s always best to check with a structural engineer just to be safe. If the home is unsafe and needs a lot of work, it’s probably cheaper to build new.
- Price-Sometimes building can be cheaper than renovating, depending on the amount of work that needs to be done or the age of the house. Figure out a budget you’re comfortable with and compare which option would be cheaper for you. Something to consider is newer homes tend to have a higher resale value.
- Too much Hassle- Sometimes a small renovation can turn into a big project. There’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to renovating since you don’t know what’s inside the walls until you start tearing them down. Things tend to go a bit smoother with fewer surprises when building new and you know what you’re getting.
- Stress-Living through a renovation is stressful. Things can get pretty messy with dust and debris, making it impossible to keep clean. There’s also the hassle of having to move furniture around or put it in storage, making it hard to find things you’re used to having easy access to. Nothing about a renovation is relaxing, especially if you’re doing the work.
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