How to determine if you should remodel or move

If you’re wondering if you should remodel or move, there are probably a few important things about your house that you dislike. Keep in mind that there’s no ideal home. You can try to change dislikes with a remodel if it makes financial sense.

On the other hand, others want to avoid the hassle of renovation and instead use their savings as a down payment on a new beautiful home.

All in all, everything depends on your home’s possibilities and limitations, your budget and priorities, as well as the real estate market. When you want to determine if you should remodel your current property or move, consider the following and make an informed decision.

What is more cost-effective for you?

There will be many costs no matter which decision you make. For some homeowners, moving will be cheaper, and for others, a renovation will be the more affordable option. To find out what works best for you, calculate all possible expenses for both options. Make a comparison before you decide whether you should remodel or move.

Selling your home and buying a new one

The majority of sellers are focused on the profit they will get when they sell a home, and sometimes they overlook the common expenses related to it, such as:

  • Real estate agent commissions
  • Moving costs
  • Some repairs – To sell the home faster and for a higher price, plus potential repairs in your new home.
  • Cost of a new home – the down payment, monthly mortgage payment, taxes, etc.
  • Upsizing costs for utilities and maintenance

Remodeling your current home

To figure out how much your remodeling will cost, you need to get an estimate from a contractor for each step of the process, such as:

City permits and architectural plans

They are usually needed for making structural changes and adding square footage. Depending on where you live, you may need more or fewer permits. Also, there may be some restrictions and limitations. The contractor you hire should know which permits are required based on the remodeling work that you want.


The cost of your renovation largely depends on the materials that you choose for the project. For example, natural stone tiles and countertops, custom cabinetry, and solid wood furniture can dramatically increase the price of kitchen remodeling.

To save money, you should avoid the most expensive materials. Instead, choose an alternative, such as laminate flooring and countertops, and builder-grade cabinets.

Labor costs

Home remodeling is rarely a DIY project, so you need to hire various professionals or a general contractor. Keep in mind that labor costs can add up quickly, so it’s better to be prepared for everything in advance.

Financing costs for your remodel

If you’re not paying for home remodeling in cash, then calculate how much you’ll pay in interest.

Additional expenses and hidden costs

You may need a hotel room while your home is under major work (if your friends and family don’t live anywhere nearby, or simply for better comfort).

You may also rent a storage unit to free up the space for renovation. While your kitchen is unusable, you’ll need to have a budget for dining out. Keep in mind that some hidden costs may show up as well for unexpected issues along the way.

Research the local real estate market

The local real estate market has a significant influence when it comes to determining if you should remodel or move. If your home is in generally good condition and in a favorable location, it can sell much faster than a home that needs much fixing.

On the other hand, if you’re home has some severe damage, such as animal damage on the property, you must deal with those issues first.

Research the market thoroughly and speak with an experienced local real estate agent to get an expert opinion on what your home would sell for. Consider the neighborhood you’re moving to as well.

Factor in your emotional attachments

Moving may be very stressful for you and your family if you’ve put down deep roots in your current community. Consider these main factors:

Distance to work

If you have a long commute time now and plan to lower it with a relocation, which may be an excellent solution to save a lot of time each day. On the other hand, if the situation is reversed, can you get used to a much longer commute time?

Proximity to family and friends

If you have family and lots of friends nearby, will you be able to visit them as often as you’d like once you move to another home in a different neighborhood?


Do you live in a district with great options for education? Do your kids have friends and activities nearby? If they are too small, and you plan on moving to a much better and more kid-friendly environment with better schools, then a relocation won’t be such a big issue.

You may also need to keep in mind, that at some point, your kids will need a room of their own. So, when relocating, keep in mind the number of rooms you need in your new house.

Neighbors and a sense of community

If you have a good relationship with your neighbors, will you miss that and the sense of community? When it comes to your favorite restaurants, coffee shops, grocery shops, boutiques, parks, and nearby activities, that’s probably a little easier to say goodbye to. You’ll have other favorites in a new area.

However, when it comes to great healthcare, make sure that your new neighborhood can also cover that.

Flexibility with your timeline

Nobody knows how long it will take to get a good offer and sell a home. And, when you need to match that timing with buying another home that meets your needs, it gets even more complicated. On the other hand, revamping your house also takes time, but you usually know what to expect and when.

However, you need to keep your patience and flexibility. Your contractor may tell you the remodeling will take 2 months, but that timeline could easily be extended. There are always some changes, issues, or delays that can pop up.

Be realistic about a renovation

remodel or move

A remodel can solve many things you don’t like about your home, but it cannot solve everything. There are some things that a renovation simply won’t fix, and those reasons may be the trigger to move, such as:

Home type

If you’re living in a condo, but what you really need is a family home with a yard and a garage, that’s not something a renovation can fix.

Square footage

Even if your lot is big enough and you gain the necessary city permits, adding square footage to your current home can be really expensive. As you can see, if you need a much bigger home, moving is probably more affordable. Once you’ve made a final decision on when and where you’ll relocate, make sure to hire a professional moving company.

You’ll save time and avoid too much stress. If there are any doubts about how much it would cost and what services are available, you can contact, and they can give you expert advice and offer the best solution based on your particular needs.

Final thoughts

Depending on how flexible you are with your budget and timing and your priorities and needs, consider all of this before making a final decision on whether you should remodel or move. Whatever you decide, we wish you good luck!

Infographic provided by Air Mechanical


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