Mar. 10 2021

Should I Remodel My Seattle Home Or Move?

by Bennett Bottorff

There comes a time for many families when their home no longer feels as comfortable or functional as it used to. It could be that your family has grown in size, or maybe your children have just grown up. Or your lifestyle has changed enough that the space you currently have is no longer a good fit.

Whatever the reason may be, you have two solutions to the problem: Remodel your Seattle home or find a new one. Both options require a substantial investment of both time and money, and there are pros and cons to each. Ultimately, it depends on several factors related not only to your actual home, but also your entire property and community.

Is it Better to Move or Renovate?

Everyone’s budget, priorities and local real estate market varies at least a little, which means there is no definitive answer as to whether it's better to remodel your current house or move to a new one. Here are a few pros and cons to consider as you seek to settle the debate for you and your family based on your particular circumstances:

Moving to a New Seattle Home: Pros and Cons

Finding a new home in Seattle gives you a chance to start over in a way. You can select a house with the square footage and type of space to make your family more comfortable. It’s also an opportunity to achieve some of your other lifestyle goals. For example, if you want a larger backyard, a shorter commute to work, or to be located in a certain school district, moving to a new home is a viable solution.

However, there are a few downsides to moving as well. First, it tends to be more expensive than remodeling, even if you are able to apply the money you make from the sale of your current home. Keep in mind there are several expenses associated with selling your house, such as real estate agent fees, moving costs and doing touch-ups and minor repairs on your property to get it ready for listing. Homeowners typically spend about $7,000 prepping, which may involve tasks like painting, carpet-cleaning, lawn care and staging, to name a few.

Also, the Seattle market is difficult to get into and there is limited inventory. That means you’re unlikely to find the perfect home to suit your present needs, tastes and preferences unless you do a custom home build, which is a significantly bigger investment than purchasing a new spec home or a resale home. You’ll likely end up where you currently are – with a nice home that fits for family in many ways but still isn’t perfect and may require remodeling in the near future.

If you’re going to move, it may be more cost-effective to find a fixer-upper in the neighborhood or area you want to live and then renovate your new-to-you home so it’s more functional, attractive and fitting for your family. Either way, it’s important to research current housing trends and real estate market conditions in both your current neighborhood and the specific neighborhood you have your eye on before deciding whether it's costlier to remodel or move.

Seattle Home Remodeling: Pros and Cons

Remodeling your home in Seattle is an appealing option because you have control over how much you spend and how much work you want to do to upgrade the space. You can also take on new projects over time in order to spread out the costs. However, each investment you make will continue to increase the lifespan and resale value of your home, while also improving the quality of life for your family while you reside there. Remodeling your kitchen and upgrading your bathrooms, in particular, yield high returns on investment (ROI), as those spaces are frequently used and integral to the flow of your daily life.

Another benefit of remodeling is that it enables you to remain in the community where you’ve set down roots. You don’t have to worry about your work commute changing or having to place your children in a different school. You’ll maintain the same proximity to your favorite shops, restaurants, parks and other public amenities and attractions. If you have good neighbors or several friends nearby, that’s a bonus. Just as importantly, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of packing and moving away from the home into which you’ve invested and where you have made memories for several years.

One downside of remodeling is that you must work with the size and shape of your property, which may limit what you can do, especially on the exterior. For example, if you want to build a room addition or expand your kitchen but you don’t have land for building out, your only option is to build up. However, your home may contain more space than you realize; it’s just about choosing a layout that optimizes its function.

To help you more accurately compare the price of remodeling to the price of buying a new home, calculate not only the cost of labor and materials, but also acquiring permits for the project; debris disposal fees; site preparation and cleanup; and potentially drawing up architectural plans. Collectively, these expenses can make your remodeling cost higher than you expect. With a design-build contractor, however, the renovation process is streamlined as you work with one company for each aspect of the project. Additionally, some Seattle remodelers, such as Innovative Home Renovations, offer a fixed-pricing model so you have a guarantee of the total construction cost, enabling you to prevent scope creep and maximize your investment when remodeling.

Improving the Value and Function of Your Seattle Home

When your family is ready for a housing change, both buying a new home and remodeling both have the potential to be good options. If you want to upgrade your existing house or purchase and renovate a fixer-upper, our team at Innovative Home Renovations can help you do so without the cost spiraling out of control, as if often the case with home improvements. While designing and building your kitchen makeover or bathroom remodel, we can accurately assess the cost of your investment based on a detailed project scope and specific criteria to offer a fixed price, along with quality service and craftsmanship.

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