Renovate or Relocate? A Guide to Weighing Up the Pros and Cons

Posted by Rick Clarke on Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 at 11:37am.

There comes a time in almost every homeowner's life when the house you live in can no longer accommodate the life you live. At this point, many homeowners struggle with a decision between two choices: stay, or go? If you're emotionally attached to your home, then renovation may seem like the best option, but what if renovation won't actually give you what you need in the end? And for those who are set on moving, how can you be sure that it's really worth packing up your whole life and adjusting to a new Vancouver neighbourhood? If you're not sure which way to go, this brief guide should help you to properly weigh the pros and cons of this very important decision.

Ask Yourself: What Do You Really Need?

The first question to ask yourself when you're making this decision is, "What do I really need in a home?" You may think that moving to a house with a larger back yard or upgrading to granite countertops in you current home would be nice, but do you really need these things? Making a list of true "must-haves" can help you start to narrow down your options.

 

Imagine Your Home Five Years From Now

If you're having trouble deciding what you really need in a home, try shifting your gaze to the future. Adding that extra bedroom might help you accommodate your growing family right now, but what about in five, ten, or even twenty years? If you think that you'll be running out of room in the near future, then it might be time to think about moving.

 

Why Location, Location, Location Really Matters 

Another simple question to ask yourself is, "Am I living in the right location right now?" In real estate, the old adage of location, location, location really matters. If you're not happy with where you're living right now, then renovation is off the table.

 

Play the Numbers Game

Predicting market trends is hard to do, but sometimes it helps to be aware how the housing market could potentially affect your decision to renovate or relocate. After all, sometimes it simply comes down to a numbers game. Make a spreadsheet of the financials for both options and look at the situation simply from a numbers perspective. For information on market trends, it can be helpful to talk to a local real estate agent. Also be sure to look into opportunities like tax credits on home renovations, as well as any homeowner tax credits you might be able to claim in order to add these into the equation as well.

 

Go With the More Realistic Option

A final question to ask yourself in making this decision is, "How realistic is the prospect of selling my home right now?" Again, talking to a real estate agent at this point in the process can be beneficial. If you'd be better off waiting for five or ten years before you put your house on the market, then renovation could help you turn a profit in the long run.

 

Deciding between renovating and relocating is one of the most difficult decisions that any homeowner can make, and as such it should not be taken lightly. Sometimes it involves finding that delicate balance between what your head says and what your heart wants. And by spending some time visualizing, making lists, and putting down numbers, you'll be one step closer to finding that delicate balance point.

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