It’s rare to find a house you love that meets your needs over the course of your entire life. Changes to your family, finances, tastes, or obligations can affect how you feel about where you live. How do you know when it’s time to say it’s over to your home? These are some major signs:
- There’s just no more room. Expecting a new baby, in addition to the ones you already have? A two-bedroom home could begin to feel cramped and overly full. Is your family tripping over each other’s Zoom calls because there are no more rooms with doors on them to give you a modicum of privacy? Or maybe your kitchen is just too dang tiny. If your family is growing or shrinking, the closets are spilling out into the halls, and you can’t sort your work from your kids’ homework, it’s time for a change.
- Everything needs updating. If you realize your major kitchen appliances are all about to hit their expiration dates, or your roof needs work and all your windows and doors need replacing, it can be hard to stay in love with your home. Unless you’re willing to shell out the money for a remodel — and deal with the messy inconvenience of a construction project — you might be better off finding a new home base.
- You need better school options. Your neighborhood school isn’t always the best fit for your child. While some states offer school choice, many do not, and you could find that trying to squeeze your budget for tuition and planning your new commute may become overwhelming or frustrating tasks.
- You need a lifestyle change. Can you walk to a coffeeshop or grocer? Do you want to be closer to family? Is there a lake, river, or ocean nearby? The pandemic has shifted a lot of people’s perspective on how well their homes are satisfying social and emotional needs, and a location change is often the catalyst to make different (and healthier) choices.
Weighing Out Your Options
Luckily, you’ve got choices when you realize you’ve fallen out of love with your home. You could remodel to better meet your needs and rekindle your home romance. You could grow your relationship with a new addition. Or you could do a full-on breakup and move to a new home. Here’s how to determine which option is right for you.
Do the numbers.
Which option is most cost-effective? You need to look beyond the costs of a new mortgage or the price of renovations and upgrades. Will an addition help you and increase your resale value? Could new top-of-the-line appliances price your home right out of its market?
Gauge the market.
Is it a good time to sell? We are more than happy to review the latest market news with you. We can also help you start the pre-qualification process* and go over your personal financial details to narrow down your financing options. Suppose you decide to do some work on your relationship with your home. In that case, you may want to check out the local construction market to get a sense of how busy contractors are, average prices for different types of renovations, and costs of lumber and other materials. Special financing options may exist for homeowners looking to upgrade or add on.
Consider timing and convenience.
None of these choices are quick, instant fixes. Any major changes to your living situation are going to cause some upheaval in your life, whether that’s moving to a new house or remodeling your existing one. If you’re leaning toward moving, be sure to consider the length of time it takes to find, buy, and move into a new home, along with moving costs, tax implications, and additional living expenses. If remodeling seems like an easier solution, consider whether you can handle having minimal access to parts of your home while it’s under construction, and potential delays that may happen with your construction project. Do your research and weigh your options carefully to decide which choice — renovating or relocating — will give you the most benefits while causing the least stress.
Note that any changes you make to your dwelling will likely impact your cost of living, utilities, and even your tax base — but not necessarily negatively.**
No matter which path you choose to reconcile what you need from your home vs. what you’re getting from it, you have resources and choices to help you make the best decision for you and your unique living situation. Please consider our lending team as one of the resources you can turn to for help and guidance as you make your choice.
To learn more, talk to a knowledgeable lender near you!
*This is not a commitment to lend. Not all borrowers will qualify.
**We are not a tax advisory firm. The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and may not reflect current tax year rules and regulations. Consult your tax advisor or the IRS for current tax year rules, restrictions, and regulations.