To move or remodel, that is the question

There are times when remodeling your home is the best option, and there are other times where moving is the best option to getting your dream home. The decision can be a difficult one so it’s important to consider all the factors.

6 things to consider when deciding to move or remodel


The first thing you will want to consider is your budget. The money you are willing and able to spend can be a big deciding factor on whether you choose to purchase a new home or remodel your existing home. Remodeling typically requires cash, or a home equity or renovation loan, requiring a higher down payment.

However, with the recent rise in home values, you likely have some equity in your home now. If you don’t have cash up front, then it might make more sense to consider moving, just make sure to research and evaluate all your financing options before making your decision.


Next, you will want to decide if gaining more space is a priority. If your children are getting older and the home feels cramped, you may need some additional space that a remodel would provide. If you have kids and/or grandkids coming back home for holidays, maybe it’s time to convert a bonus room or unfinished basement into additional living and sleeping spaces.

Alternately, if your property allows, you may consider an addition to gain more square footage. If your family is young and growing, moving to a larger home would provide more space without having to worry about the construction process.


One aspect of this decision that many homeowners often forget to consider is the timeline. A kitchen remodel can mean going without access to important appliances for a couple of months, while a move can mean living out of boxes or in a temporary home for a time. If you are considering a remodel, make sure you are well prepared for the construction and temporary inconvenience. If you are able, move to an area in your home away from where the work will be conducted.

If you are looking to move, consider all of the inconveniences this will cause as well, i.e. showing your home, home shopping, packing, and moving. You will have to decide which option is best for your family and situation. 


Another important consideration is your return on investment. If you are remodeling for resale, find out how much a remodel can increase your home’s value, considering curb appeal, square footage or updates that will help you sell your home for more. Know that you will not likely get back 100 percent, but the return on the investment is not always monetary.

If you are not planning to move anytime soon, it is just as important to consider whether the investment will make your home more enjoyable and comfortable for you to live in, as well. Just make sure you are not putting so much money into your home that you are pricing your home out of your neighborhood for the future. If that is the case, moving may be the better option.

Real Estate Market

When considering whether to move or remodel, be sure to do research on the real estate market in both the area where you are selling and where you are looking to move. This will help you see what to prepare for, i.e. whether you might need to stay somewhere temporarily before you find the perfect home or if you can afford two house payments if you find your dream home before your current home sells. If you think it will be difficult to either sell your current home or find the right new home, then remodeling would be a better option. 

Emotional attachment

Finally, you will want to consider the relationship you have built with your neighbors, how much your location means to you and how much sentimental value your home holds. Studies estimate that 70 percent of homeowners considering a remodel or move in the same area ultimately decide to stay and update their home. Are you willing to give up your property, neighborhood or view?  If not, remodeling is the best option so that the house you already own can become your dream home.

Everyone’s situation is different when it comes to whether you should move or remodel. Carefully consider all your options and what fits your family best. It’s also a great idea to get the opinions of a trusted design/build contractor or real estate agent in your area to help with the decision.

This article originally appeared in Lakeside News in February 2023.