After the downturn in the economy following the banking crisis of 2008, the boom in house prices and the likelihood of securing a quick sale stagnated. This led to many homeowners turning their attention away from moving house to seeing how they could change and improve their existing home. Ten years later, this shift of focus has become something of a trend, and developing your home has become a far more popular choice for many people. However, with the economy moving up a gear and the real estate market once more becoming buoyant, you now have an equal choice as to whether you move or remodel, rather than being affected by economic conditions.
Freedom to choose
As a way of dealing with disappointment, humans tend to revise their views on a situation to make it seem more appealing than they previously thought. In terms of moving house, many people who would have preferred to move ended up staying put and working with the property they were in. It’s not uncommon for people in this situation to claim they are happy with the way things turned out, and in many cases, this is no doubt true. But with things changing for the better in real estate, you have the privilege of being able to make your decision based entirely on what you truly want. Each option has its pros and cons, so it can be a difficult decision to make.
Pros and cons of moving
If you move, you can choose to go anywhere you want, to any part of the country or even overseas. You can look for a house that fulfills all your requirements in terms of room numbers and sizes, views, neighborhood, plot size and facilities. It can be an exciting time, a fresh start full of possibilities and opportunities. On the other hand, it can be hard to find exactly what you want in exactly the right location, and you may have to compromise. You could find yourself in the position of having to buy a property that needs renovating or extending to achieve the home you want for the price you can afford. Moving itself can be very stressful and expensive, and there are the added complications of new jobs, new schools, leaving friends and relatives and your familiar surroundings for an uncertain future.
Pros and cons of remodeling
If you stay in your home, you will be in familiar and comfortable surroundings, jobs and schools don’t need to change, and there isn’t the stress, upheaval and enormous workload that comes with a move. If you’ve already put a lot of time and money into your home, maybe created a beautiful backyard and put your stamp on the property, it can be a wrench to face the prospect of leaving it behind. If what you want is more space, then remodeling can be a cost-effective solution. Say you have a young family and would like to extend your living space, you could do a kitchen remodeling project to make the kitchen larger where everyone can gather. Or if you want to work from home, you could have a studio or home office put up outside. Loft conversions are great for providing extra bedroom space, and always feel special. All this can’t be achieved without a degree of work and expenditure, and depending how straightforward your planning process, building works and financial management are, it can be pretty stressful too.
So how do you decide?
Without the economic pressures swaying your decision, it’s basically a case of what you want and how you feel:
- If you want more than it is possible to get out of your existing home, then you will have to consider moving. For example, if you want more land and there is none near you that you could purchase, this is a situation that can’t be addressed without relocating.
- If it would be more economical to move than to remodel, or vice versa, this can help you choose what to do. There are very few of us for whom money isn’t a consideration, and if one option is significantly more expensive than the other, this could be the decisive factor.
- Your feelings about your home will play a big part in your decision. If you have good reasons for wanting to get away, and feel that even if the house was remodeled to accommodate your wishes you would still not be happy, then moving is the right choice. On the other hand, if you feel a great attachment to your home and are considering a move for purely practical reasons, it’s worth exploring the possibility of remodeling so you can compare the alternatives before making a decision.
- If you have a family, then their wishes will also be part of the decision-making process. Don’t make any assumptions about what your children will think of moving; talk to them and find out for sure how they feel. If you explain the choices that need to be made, you can take their feelings and thoughts into consideration when making your decision.
If you still can’t decide…
Like a lot of choices in life, sometimes you simply can’t make up your mind what to do for the best. You find yourself going back and forth and unable to make a definitive decision. In this case, one way to break the cycle is to get out and view some properties and see how you feel when faced with a more concrete experience, rather than thinking about it all hypothetically. Have a look at an area that interests you, for example, the Broward County real estate market in Florida, and arrange to view some houses that look like they could fit the bill. When you visit, you will be able to gauge your reactions – do you feel excited and optimistic? Or when you look at what is available and think about what a move will entail do you feel weary and despondent? You need to be happy with where you live, so if in doubt go with your instincts.
This is a good time to be thinking about where and how you want to live, and having the freedom to choose what you wish to do is a great position to be in.