You have decided that your home feels cramped and you need
more space. You also want a better kitchen and you've had
it with the lilac bathroom fixtures which are nearly four
decades old and showing it.
Still, you love your garden and your home's location. The
school is nearby and your kids have their friends in the
neighbourhood. It's a real dilemma. Do you but another
home, or do you renovate?
Not so many years ago, people generally sold a house when
they became tired of it or found it no longer suited their
lifestyle. But today, with construction and land costs so
high, more and more people are taking a look at their
existing home and deciding to transform it into the home
of their dreams. By renovating, they get a different house
without ever changing their address.
To move or renovate - what's right for you?
Begin by considering how you feel about your current
home's location. Does it meet your needs? Can you picture
yourself continuing to live there for many more years?
Once you have decided you want to stay in the area, look
for homes in your neighbourhood that are larger or have
already been renovated. Would any of these suit the
lifestyle you now want? If so, what are they worth and how
do they compare to your home's current value. Your best
help in this area will come from a local REALTOR.
Once you have a rough idea of what it will cost to
purchase the kind of home you want and what your current
house is worth, you will have an idea of what it will cost
you to move. Don't forget to include real estate, legal
and other fees for selling and buying, as well as moving
expenses, when you are comparing the costs of renovating
You may find there is no significant difference between
the cost of renovating and the cost of selling and buyer a
larger, already remodeled home in the same neighbourhood.
Renovating has a lot of advantages. You avoid the stress
and inconvenience of moving, especially if it's to a
different neighbourhood. You get to remodel your home the
way you want it, not the way someone else has chosen. You
get to choose the materials and colours that suit you. And
you have the advantage of renovating as much or as little
as you want.
Remodeling has its share of disadvantages as well. You
have to chose the right contractor. If you make a bad
choice, the result could turn a dream into a nightmare.
Ask friends, colleagues and relatives to recommend names.
Knock on the door of a renovation project you like and ask
about the contractor. Get at least three to submit
Once a renovation is underway, be prepared for some
inconveniences. If the project is extensive, you may have
to move out of your home for several weeks until much of
the major work is completed. Also be prepared for extra
costs. If you decide you would rather have hardwood
flooring instead of the vinyl you were originally quoted
on, be prepared to pay more money.
The total renovation cost is a big factor in deciding
whether to go ahead or sell and buy elsewhere. Renovation
prices vary considerably, so do your homework. In making
your decision, be sure to consider the kind of renovation
you require. A second-storey addition, for instance, will
cost less per square foot than a rear addition which
requires a foundation. Renovations to the actual house can
also be quite costly per square foot; that's because you
have to consider the cost of taking the house apart,
disposing of materials and installing new parts and
Despite the inconveniences, renovation can be a worthwhile
project, especially if it gives you the house you want at
the price you can afford.