Making the decision: Remodel or sell?
You look around the house and it seems tired. Suddenly, the floor
plan makes you feel claustrophobic, and the kitchen looks as old-fashioned as
an "Ozzie and Harriet" set. When you flush the toilet and scald your significant
other in the shower, you decide, "That's the last straw! Something's got to change."
Homeowners realize they need a change for many reasons: Some
have growing families, others need a home office and still others have problems
with their home's plumbing and electrical work.
the reason, the homeowner has two options for change summed up in the simple question:
Should I stay or should I go? Remodel or move?
whether to remodel or move is not simple. There are many factors both financial
and emotional to consider, so where do you start?
is everything," says Mark Brick, a Wisconsin remodeling contractor and past president
of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
On the financial end, location determines the value of the property
and whether a remodeling project or a move will be worth the money spent, he says.
Location also helps shape an owner's gut feeling about whether
to stay or go.
"Some people are willing to live in an older
home without the bells and whistles of newer construction because it is in a very
desirable school district," says Mary Ann Appleton-Miller, a real estate agent
with Keystone Group Inc. in Greensboro, N.C. Proximity to work, shopping, play,
daycare and aging parents also may come into play, she adds.
also affects your potential remodeling options, Brick says. "You have to keep
in mind (community) legal restraints that may prevent you from doing a remodeling
job the way you would like to do it."
Still, if owners like
the location and general feeling of the current home, it usually can be turned
into their dream house.
"Can you find another home with the
same features in the area you want to be in?" he asks.
suggests that before making that decision, homeowners should explore the housing
market to determine whether they can get more house for the money or whether they
should stand pat and remodel.
All other factors being equal
though, she says owners should trust their feelings.
know down deep how they feel about their house, their neighborhood and what trade-offs
they are willing to make," Appleton-Miller says. "If you love the neighborhood
and the skeleton of the home, go ahead and remodel. If you are tired of the house
or feel that you won't get your money out of fixing it up, then I would suggest
looking at newer construction or remodeled homes in areas you do like."
and Melanie Peyton of San Jose, Calif., trusted their feelings, deciding six years
ago that they loved their neighborhood so much that they would rather remodel
"We didn't really want to relocate," Kevin says.
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