Is it worth the money to remodel, or should you put the house on the market?
First time home buyers have a lot to consider when making the decision to rent or buy a home: interest rates are at all-time lows, there's still plenty of housing stock and prices are at or near their lowest in years. Still, deciding whether to buy a home or rent an apartment can be a complicated decision. How do you know what's right for you? Potential buyers should ask themselves several key questions before making this important decision.
To begin gauging your situation, take a look at your location. Do you love your neighborhood? Are you near great schools or already involved in a tight knit community? If you love your location, you may want to consider remodeling instead of selling your home. You don’t want to risk moving to a place you aren’t as crazy about. Adding an extra room for a home office, guest room or that baby on the way may be all you need to make your existing home a better fit. However, even if you love your neighborhood, taking a look at your finances will allow you to make a more confident decision.
Calculate the cost of repairs and home improvements that it would take to get your home in top shape for selling. Get a professional inspection to give you a better idea of what needs to be done, consider making green updates like an energy-efficient roof or windows, and check out if you are applicable for any tax breaks. If you would be spending nearly as much making improvements for selling as you would on your dream renovation (hello, new kitchen) then perhaps staying put is best.
If you are on the fence financially about moving or renovating, don’t forget to factor in closing costs, which can be anywhere between 7 and 10 percent of your home’s sale price. This can come from real estate commissions, property taxes, mortgage penalties and more. Also factor in the current housing market — if you’re considering moving to a place where the cost of living is much lower, then that might make selling more appealing.
Also, be sure to do your research to make sure you can afford a new mortgage on a new property. Make sure you can secure a mortgage that works with your financial situation before selling your house.
After you compare figures and crunch numbers, take a look at your goals. Are you happy with your job or do you think you might want to look for a new position in the next five years? If so, it might be best to hold off. Already have kids? How old are they? If they are in their teens, staying in your home may be smart, as you can downsize if necessary once they are out of the house. Are they young? Maybe a new location is a good idea, before they get comfortable in their school and social setting. Look at your lifestyle goals for the next 10 years before making a final decision on remodeling versus moving, and know that we're here to help you reach ALL of your goals!!