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Renovate or Sell? 4 Questions to Help You Decide
The ugly carpet, the outdated plumbing, the kitchen that’s way too small — there’s a lot you’d like to change about your house, but how do you know if you’re better off selling or remodeling?
While remodeling can be a great way to make your home more livable and more valuable, it’s not as simple as HGTV makes it look. However, moving is a hurdle in its own right. Between the costs of selling a home and high-priced housing stock, will you be able to afford your dream home if you move?
If you need help deciding whether to remodel your home or move, start by asking yourself these four questions.
Can you afford to remodel?
If there’s one universal truth about remodeling, it’s that it always costs more than you expect. Between the high cost of home renovations and the extra 15-30 percent you need to budget for unforeseen issues, it’s not easy coming up with enough cash to foot the bill.
There is financing for home renovations, including low-interest options like home equity lines of credit. However, these come with the costs of their own. Before financing a home renovation, ensure you can afford the payments and that the project will improve both your quality of life and your home’s value.
Can you afford to move?
Moving isn’t free either. First, there are the costs of selling your home, which can add up to as much as 10 percent of the sale price unless you’re selling it on your own. Then, you have to pay another $2,000-$5,000 for movers and make any necessary updates in your new home.
Whether you can afford to sell also depends on the housing market. Is your home priced competitively with others on the market, or would selling mean a downgrade? Are prices climbing where you live, or are homes lingering on the market and selling for less than asking? Looking at local market data is a great way to get insight into whether selling will be profitable. In the Walnut Creek market, for example, you’ll find that home prices have hovered around $890K for the past month — up almost 10 percent from last year. With homes moving quickly, it may be better to sell.
If you’re considering moving, it’s wise to discuss your options with a knowledgeable and skilled realtor like Yoana Taseva-Georgiev. She can walk you through the home-selling process and provide exception real estate service.
Are you up for the hassle of renovating?
If your home doesn’t need major updates, you may spend less renovating than moving. But money isn’t the only cost of a home renovation. There’s also the inconvenience of having your home torn apart and put back together while you’re living in it. Of course, you could opt to move out during the remodel — but that comes with problems of its own!
Consider how much renovations will disrupt your life and whether you’re up for it before committing to a remodel. While some people consider a hectic few months a small price to pay for their dream home, older people, families with young children, and other homeowners may decide it’s not worth the hassle.
Do you love the area?
You can’t renovate a neighborhood. Even if you’re prepared to remodel, it’s not worthwhile if you’d simply prefer to live elsewhere. To find a neighborhood that’s livable and in your budget, use tools like Walk Score and AreaVibes to compare the cost of living, walkability, crime rates, and other important metrics.
On the other hand, if you have a great location but your home needs work, renovating could pay off. Again, look at local market data to determine the average home price in your neighborhood and which improvements buyers are looking for. Just make sure you don’t over-improve!
There’s no easy answer to the question of whether it’s better to sell or renovate. The best choice depends on your local housing market, personal finances, and willingness to move or remodel. Before you can make the right call for your home, sit down, do the math, and answer the hard questions like these.
To schedule a consultation with realtor Yoana Taseva-Georgiev, call 925.639.2739 today!