the Decision

lyviaNovember 23, 2012

I hear that only beloved houses should be remodeled, since it costs more than added resale in most cases. Maybe this can be mitigated by sticking to remodels that fix flaws.

I'd rather move, and spend money on my dream house, but I can't seem to find it. I'm afraid I will be stuck here, squeezed into a too small house.

There's an old bathroom and an old kitchen that have to be updated anyway, so the decision is not whether to, but rather how much to remodel. I would love to move the upper stair, and add a back door for light, and a big master closet, and an alcove to the tiny bedroom. Plus lots of people build over the garages, but that doesn't fix the flaws.

I suppose it's all a risk. I can gamble that my ideas and taste will make some money, or at least if I get stuck here, it will be in a house I like.

How did you decide whether to remodel or move?

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HandyMac

How long have you looked for your dream house? How far from where you are now can you relocate? Is your budget in line with the dream? If the budget is $XX,XXX and your dream house is $XXX,XXX, you will never find the dream house.

If your budget is $XX,XXX and the closest thing to the dream would need $X,XXX in renovations, is that a possibility?

Renovating is time consuming and you often have to move out. Six months to 18 months can easily happen in a partial renovation like you mentioned.

If you can pay for what you want to do to the existing house, it makes you happy, you can stand the time it takes, and you care less about recouping the renovation costs, by all means renovate.

If all those costs/time are too much and you have to sell at market or whatever you owe---renovation is not a good idea.

Very few people ever find exactly what they dream of in a home. There are almost always small things that have to be accepted.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 8:48PM
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EngineerChic

Beloved homes or "ick houses on beloved lots" are good candidates for extensive remodeling in some instances (you can afford it, you aren't going to need to sell and move, etc).

But, you mention 2 very expensive rooms are aged (kitchen and bath) AND say the house is too small. Based on this info I would say to keep saving money and keep looking to move.

Changing wall locations and improving the flow of existing space is usually cheaper than adding square footage. When you look at homes that are in the price range you can afford, what is missing?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 10:35PM
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lyvia

I'm actually looking for a lot first, and home second, because I am going to grow a lot of my own food, plus have horses. So five to ten acres, no HOA, at least partially cleared, and fairly level. And I am a little fussy about electrical lines; many lots around here have huge electrical lines running through them. Then there is commuting distance.

We found two great places last year, but both had issues with fuel oil leaks. One had many dead trees, the other had a smell in the house. They were both old enough to have asbestos and lead, too. We made an offer on the latter, as it was actually below our budget, but it was not accepted.

We learned a lot from looking about what our money could buy, and how prices drop going south of us. I don't think we are price-unrealistic as much as looking for an unusual property (many have HOAs). Maybe in 2013. Happy New Year!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 7:27PM
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