You used to love your home. Now, you’re not so sure. So, should you move? Or just improve what you have? Before you decide, there are several key factors you should consider.
What will it cost?
Pricing, of course, depends on the homes or renovations you’re interested in. If you’re upscaling homes, you may have a larger mortgage payment, homeowners insurance premiums and property taxes. On the other hand, if you’re downsizing or moving to a more energy-efficient home, you may reduce some costs.
- Use this calculator to estimate a new mortgage payment.
Buying a home has upfront expenses too, including a down payment, closing costs and moving costs.
Tip: To determine if selling your home might net proceeds to help with these expenses, estimate your home’s potential sale price. Then subtract any mortgage or home equity balances you may have and real estate sales commissions you’ll owe to get a final number.
Home improvement projects can cost a few hundred dollars up to tens of thousands. Some may reduce your energy bills, though, and most will increase your home’s resale value. If your existing mortgage interest rate is lower than current market rates, then taking the home improvement route also provides the ability to retain that lower rate.
Tip: You can estimate the amount of funds potentially available to you with a home equity loan or line of credit. Would it be sufficient for the types of home improvements you’re contemplating?
Why do you want a change?
There are some issues you can remodel away — and some you can’t. For example, if you want a better school district, a shorter commute, a nicer neighborhood, a different size yard or a smaller home, moving is probably the right solution.
On the other hand, if you want to update your home’s look and feel, you can accomplish that with remodeling. Replacing kitchen and bathroom fittings, changing out flooring and window coverings, or simply adding a fresh coat of paint can bring new life to the home you have now.
If you need more space, you may be able to add a room, finish the basement, add a second story or alter your home’s floor plan to get it. If these options won’t work, then a new home may be the answer.
What’s your timeline?
Typically, neither moving nor improving are quick propositions. With current home inventories low and prices still relatively high, it may take time to find a property that fits your needs and your budget. Although, if you’re willing to compromise, you may find more options.
With ongoing supply and labor shortages, you might also face delays with a renovation project. However, you may be able to tackle some home updates yourself — from painting to replacing faucets and sinks, to refinishing cabinets.
How do you feel?
It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers when deciding whether to stay put or move on. But don’t discount the emotional impacts. What does your heart say? If you find the idea of moving exciting, that’s a vote in its favor. But if you have a strong attachment to your current home, that’s a reason for staying. Paying attention to these emotional impacts, along with the other factors, can help ensure you end up happy with whichever path you take.
- If you choose to move, review these steps to prepare for a home purchase.
- If you opt for improvements, get ideas for your home and garden.
Whether you decide to start house hunting or dive into home improvements, we can help you find a financing option to fit your needs. Learn more online about our mortgage and home equity financing solutions. Or call us at 1-844-518-2360.