Moving vs. Remodeling Your Home

April 17, 2021

It is rare for someone to stay happy with a first home throughout their lifetime. The space that seemed like it would work when they first moved in may not look so appealing when factors like marriage, divorce, aging relatives, or a growing family come into play. 

Suddenly, they have to choose between moving and remodeling their home.

According to one survey, an estimated 82.5% of Calgary residents are satisfied with their neighborhoods (1). 7.1% of the same residents surveyed said that their homes need major repairs, and 5.1% said they wish they had more bedrooms. 

This particular survey includes renters as well as homeowners, but it certainly gives the impression that most people would like to stay where they are. It also tells us that some people are sacrificing space and comfort to do so.

If this sounds like your situation, remodeling may seem like the obvious choice. However, each option comes with its own pros and cons.

Moving

Moving gives you a fresh start. You’ve lived in your home for a while, and you know what is and is not working for you. Why not use that knowledge to make a checklist of must-haves for a new home? The best part is that you can take that list, hand it off to a realtor, and most of the work will be done for you. 

However, you have to pay that realtor. There is also the very real possibility that you could move into a new home and still have to make changes. While moving can solve many problems with relative ease, it is very unlikely that it will prove to be a cure-all.

Pros:

  1. Instant gratification: All of your space and storage problems will be solved the moment you move into your new home. You get to organize the new space the way it works best for you and your family from the start instead of trying to force the existing home to work for you. 
  2. Possible location improvement: There could be additional perks to moving. Perhaps a it wouldn’t just mean more space but also a closer commute and a better neighborhood.

Cons:

  1. Stress factor: According to a 2019 survey, most Canadians find moving more stressful than wedding planning (2). House hunting can be an added and often unnecessary source of pressure and anxiety for those who are working full time and caring for a family. Fixing up and selling your current home can also be a stressful undertaking.
  2. Cost: Many people see the price tag on an addition and decide they might as well just move. However, there are other expenses people forget to consider. When renovating, you know what you are getting and about how much it will cost. When selling, you may be required to pay for unexpected repairs to the home you are trying to sell. Furthermore, you could wind up with a longer commute, higher HOA fees, higher property taxes, and closing costs that aren’t included in the price tag of the home.

Remodeling

More Canadians appear to choose remodeling over moving. This is especially true in Alberta, where 2019 saw the province spend more than any other territory in home renovations (3).

There are plenty of positives to remaining where you are. Once you buy or build a new home, you are committed. However, you can always change your mind and sell your newly remodeled home later on.

Sounds simple enough, but of course remodeling won’t be the right choice for everyone. 

Pros:

  1. No surprises: You already know what you do and don’t like about the space, and you probably have a good idea of how to fix the home so it will work for you.
  2. Same community: If you’re one of many Canadians who like their current neighborhood, you can stay there. You may have already formed attachments with your neighbors. Maybe your children are doing really well in their current school. You don’t have to sacrifice any of that if you choose remodeling.
  3. Increase house value: Any upgrades you make to your home will see a return if you ever decide to sell in the future.

Cons:

  1. Construction Zone: By choosing to remodel, you are choosing to have your personal space invaded for a period of time. If you are adding an addition, you may only be bothered by some noise and a blocked driveway. For a more extensive remodel, you may need to pack your belongings and even relocate temporarily.
  2. Might not solve all your problems: What if you renovate the space and you still can’t see yourself living there long-term? It can leave you feeling like you wasted time, energy, and money.

Sometimes the choice is clear.

If you have a long commute, you don’t love the neighborhood, and your house isn’t working for you, moving is the clear winner.

If you love your community, you are satisfied with your commute, and you can envision your home working “if only it had…” then remodeling is likely the best option.

Still can’t decide?

You have to choose what is best for you and your family. If the deciding factor is the cost, then we recommend the Love it or List It approach. 

Sometimes fixing up and organizing a home in order to sell it can make a family fall in love all over again. Suddenly, they can envision themselves in the space again.

Other times, there is simply nothing that can be done to make a space work. Worst case scenario, you’ve improved your home and can sell it for a higher price.

The nice thing about remodeling is that you don’t have to do it all at once. You can create a plan to make a space work for you a little bit at a time, stretching out the cost and rearranging future plans as needed.

Reborn Renovations in Calgary can help you with all of your remodeling needs. We are able to build a new home from start to finish or renovate a home to better suit your needs. 

Let our design and construction experts help you decide between remodeling your space and moving. Contact us today!

Sources:

  1. https://realtytimes.com/real-industry-news-articles/item/1035661-canadian-housing-trends-2020
  2. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/06/26/1874530/0/en/Canadians-Identify-Moving-as-One-of-Life-s-Most-Stressful-Experiences-for-Third-Year-in-a-Row.html
  3. https://homestars.com/reno-report-2019/
    Featured Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels
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