Buying a Home, Buying a Home, Helpful Tips

New House vs. Home Improvements: Is it better to buy new or renovate your current home?

Sometimes it’s hard not to be tempted by the greener grass of a new home, especially if your home isn’t exactly how you want it to look or function. But the idea of putting your house on the market and leaving your beloved neighborhood behind breaks your heart. You’re at a real estate crossroads — something has to change, but is it better to buy a new house or renovate your current address?

New house benefits

A new house can be the answer to your current home’s woes. Perhaps you need more space for your growing family or less square footage now that the kids have flown the nest. Or, the location of your home isn’t the retreat you’ve dreamed of, and a house in a quieter neighborhood or with incredible views will better fulfill your wish list.

New house negatives

The cost of buying a home goes well beyond the listing price. Realtor and title fees, closing and moving costs and money you’ll have to shell out for repairs and renovations to your current home before you list it on the market can add up quickly, obliterating your budget. If you’re expecting a modest net profit on the sale of your house, the additional cost to relocate may not be worth it.

You should also take the overall real estate market into consideration. Perhaps it’s a buyer’s market, which might impact how long it takes your home to sell. If you buy before you sell, can you realistically balance two mortgages?

Home improvement pros

Whether you’ve been in your house for a year or 20, you’ve made memories and attachments to your current home. If you remodel, you won’t have to leave your emotional connections behind or disrupt your day-to-day routine. A new house might not seem that great after all if it adds significant time to your daily commute or means your kids have to switch schools. A home improvement project you control means the results will be exactly what you want. Yes, you might like the master suite in a new house, but you can love the one you design yourself in your current home.

Home improvement cons

Over-improving your home can backfire if you price yourself out of your neighborhood. Although you might have the best house on the block, buyers down the road may not be willing to pay for the improvements, and you won’t see a return on your investment. Home improvement projects, whether big or small, can disrupt your daily life — you have to ask yourself if you’re willing to live in a construction zone.

Both buying and renovating will cost you time, money and emotional energy. Take a good look around at what you have and be honest about what you need to determine if you should stay or go.

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