THE REASONS why homeowners ask this question are too numerous to mention , which is why so many people start quizzing themselves over the whole move-or-improve conundrum . From simply needing more space ( or downsizing ) to wanting a more modern home ( or getting an inherited home off your hands ) and everything in between , the “ renovate or sell as-is ” dilemma is something many people face every year .
So , what ’ s the deal ? Is there a straightforward , one-size-fits-all formula that will solve the dilemma once and for all ? Unfortunately no , but there are a few things you can ask yourself to get a better idea of whether “ do up ” or “ sell up ” suits you best .
Before we list the things you need to consider , let ’ s quickly run through the pros and cons of both “ moving ” and “ improving ”:
MOVING HOUSES PROS & CONS
FIRST , LET ’ S DISCUSS SELLING YOUR HOME :
• A fresh start - Moving to a new home can often feel like a new beginning . Not only will your home be new to you but your immediate surroundings and the people you meet will be too .
• The choice is yours - Provided you ’ re not under pressure to move immediately , you can take your time and look for the right property in the right area with the right amenities nearby or far away , depending on your preference .
• No contractor chaos - This is a big one and probably the main reason why people choose to sell as-is rather than renovate . Having builders in your home while you ’ re still living there is no fun and a major inconvenience .
• Feel the relief - This is something that we hear pretty often as members of the real estate industry . Many people decide to sell as-is to have that weight off their shoulders and move on faster without the hassles .
• Your work may not be over - Not everyone who moves will be lucky enough to find a property that they can simply put their belongings in and be done with it . In fact , for some , the work begins once they move in . This isn ’ t always the case , as it depends on your situation , but it can happen .
• Moving to a new home can be costly - It ’ s an unfortunate truth : selling a home and moving into a new home isn ’ t cheap , unless you sell as-is of
course . Once all the various fees have been paid and the negotiations are complete , the final amount can easily run higher than you originally expected .
• Leaving can be tough - Even if you ’ re moving just a few streets away , sometimes leaving a place you ’ ve lived in for many years can be an extremely emotional process . Close proximity to the familiar like stores , neighbors , friends , family , and schools can all make it hard to leave .
HOME IMPROVEMENT PROS & CONS
ON THE FLIPSIDE , LET ’ S DISCUSS RENOVATING YOUR HOME :
• Renovating could ( potentially ) cost less than buying a new home - Don ’ t get us wrong , making major changes to your property is by no means cheap , but when it comes to simple side-by-side comparisons , doing slight modifications on your current home will likely be less costly than buying a new one .
• Home value maximization - If there are things that can be improved , doing so will add value to your property . This will give you the best return on investment , in terms of capital growth , should there be an uplift in the market .
• You already know the area - Provided you ’ re happy where you are ( and we ’ re going to assume you must be if you ’ re considering renovating instead of moving ), staying put can be a huge tick on the pro-renovation side of your move-or-improve balance sheet .
• You can really make your home your own - While we always advise sellers not to go too crazy with personalized customizations or “ trends ”, deciding to improve your current property does allow you to really put your individualized preferences on your home .
• The process is far from fun - While it may be exciting to plan and dream of what you can do with your current property , in reality , the actual work involved in doing so can be extremely stressful . Many choose to move out entirely while the renovation is being completed , but that ’ s not always possible or practical .
• The new can make the old look really old - If you ’ re planning on adding an extension to the property , or even remodeling your kitchen or bathroom , it ’ s worth bearing in mind that the addition of a brand new part of your
home can potentially make the rest look tired or worn out . This can often lead to feeling more work needs to be done and more expense further down the road .
• Projected costs are very rarely final costs - For whatever reason , renovation estimates are habitually wide of the mark . . . at times they are not even in the same ballpark ! Be prepared to go over budget .
QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE MAKING YOUR FINAL DECISION
Now that we ’ ve had a look through the pros and cons of both moving and improving , you might already have an idea of which way you ’ re leaning towards . To make sure your final decision is sound , ask yourself the following questions :
Do I really want to move ?
• This may sound silly but knowing whether or not you ’ re really ready to move is vital and should be a main component of your final decision . If you ’ re in any way unsure , staying put , even if it ’ s just for now , is likely the right decision .
• Conversely , if you are absolutely certain that you want out , selling your home is your only real option . No matter how grand the renovation , if you ’ re already unhappy where you are , this is unlikely to change with the addition of a shiny new renovation .
What is my budget telling me ?
• Regardless of whether you decide to move or improve , unless you sell as-is , you ’ re going to need money .
Do you have the funds in place to follow through with your decision ?
• Moving to a new home will involve a lot of “ dead money ,” such as fees and charges , but renovation work will require a huge outlay as well . While it ’ s certainly true that improving your home is an investment rather than a cost , you will only reap the reward from it if and when you sell .
How important is your current location ?
• This is something we touched upon in the pros and cons , but it ’ s worth reiterating . If you love your current location but need more space , for example , then a renovation may well be the way to go . Of course , this depends on your individual situation .
Is your property actually suitable for renovation ?
• This is a surprising question for
some , but not all properties are able to be renovated in the ways their owners want them to be . Some may have already pushed the boundaries so will be unlikely to gain planning permission , while others will lose character and charm once changes have been made , often causing the homeowner to fall out of love with the home altogether .
Knowing just what can and can ’ t be done should be considered before making a final decision . Talk to a contractor or an architect to get professional advice .
Can you do both ?
• Yes , it ’ s an option and it ’ s one that is gaining in popularity . Many homeowners are now making major home improvements with the sole intention of selling up and moving on to their next chapter .
If you ’ re willing to go through the hassle of renovating and have the time to do so , improving your home with a mind to sell could up the value and desirability of your property considerably . Choosing this route will increase the interest level from prospective buyers once the work has been completed and could help you raise enough funds to put yourself in a better position to move at a later date . It ’ s definitely worth considering if you are in a position to do so .
So , to move or improve will depend on a number of different factors , as you can see . A large part of your decision will be financial , but don ’ t overlook the emotional aspect either . You likely have many memories in this home and feel very attached to it . Everyone involved will be affected by the route you decide to take , so you should go through all the pros and cons together to see if you can find common ground to base your final decision upon .
A SIMPLE , STRESS-FREE OPTION : HOMESTEAD ROAD
At Homestead Road , we buy homes in any condition , as-is , so you don ’ t have to even think about updates and all the cleaning , repairs , and decluttering . In addition , there are no showings or open houses . Quite simply , we know selling a home can be a lot of work , time , and money , and we are simply here to help homeowners move forward , faster , so they can get on with their lives . We use a streamlined and transparent process where you ' ll be working personally with one of our home sales advisors who live in and know your local community . Best of all , we put your needs first and work on your timeline .