Should I Remodel My Current House or Buy A New One?

In the journey of homeownership, there often comes a point where we contemplate whether to make improvements to our current house or buy a new one altogether. This decision holds particular weight for those in the downsizing phase of life. But, it's a question that resonates with homeowners of all ages and stages. Whether you're considering a larger house, a newer house, or nearing retirement, it's important to think about whether it makes sense to renovate or buy a new house.

As a trusted realtor in Columbus, Ohio, specializing in upsizing and downsizing, Rita Boswell Group understands the nuances of this decision-making process and is here to guide you through it.

Consider Your Options

Existing housing inventory is quite low. If you are searching for something better than what you own now, you may be thinking there's nothing out there that's better. That's when it might make sense to consider new construction.

One of the key considerations in this debate is the availability of options. In today's market, builders are churning out new inventory quickly, offering more options for prospective buyers. From modern floor plans to high-end finishes, the world is your oyster when it comes to new construction. This abundance of new options can be especially enticing for those looking to downsize into a more manageable space or upgrade to a more modern layout.

Think About Long-Term Goals

Considering your long-term goals is crucial. Where do you see yourself in five, ten, or twenty years? Will your current property still fit your needs? Do you need an additional bedroom and bathroom? What would it take to add that to your current home? Will you have to add on? Is your yard big enough to add to your house?

You'll need a contractor and will need to make sure things are done properly to code. Plus, materials are high dollar right now. So, the expense to build an addition might not make sense financially if you aren't planning to stay in the home for more than a few years. Can you afford a 30k plus remodel of a home you don't plan to stay in?

Think about maintenance costs, energy efficiency, and resale value too. New houses are much more energy efficient. If you need to reduce your property maintenance tasks, it makes sense to purchase a new home in a community that will handle exterior maintenance for you. 

Align your decision with your future plans. Make sure it meets your needs now and in the years to come.

Higher Taxes or Insurance Costs

Believe it or not, a major remodel could increase your homeowner's insurance by making the rebuilding costs and associated risks higher. This could force you to extend coverage limits and increase your premium as a result.

Similarly, an addition or major remodel can increase your property taxes. That's always the downside of big home improvement projects.

Make sure to include added taxes and insurance to your budget after the remodel.

But I Love My Current Home!

What about those who feel a strong attachment to their family home or neighborhood? For many homeowners, the idea of adding on to their current space holds sentimental value. However, it's essential to weigh the emotional attachment against the practicalities of the situation. It's also important to weigh the pros and cons of the improvements you're considering for your property. Will they increase the value and help you build equity, or will they just increase your debt.

Large-scale additions would cost a large amount of money and may require navigating the complexities of securing a loan at less favorable terms. That could make your current home an expensive house.

When It Makes Sense to Improve Instead Of Buy

Perhaps you just do not want to buy a different abode and deal with moving and new neighbors. It might make sense to keep your mortgage payment and improve your home.

Some properties are "primed" for improvements or adding space. For instance, if you need a 5-bedroom house and your current home has an unfinished upstairs, it might make sense to finish that 2nd or 3rd floor to add bedrooms. Finishing a walk-up attic is a great way to add square footage because it doesn't involve changing the roof or the original footprint of the house.

If you have an unfinished basement or a garage you can convert, it might make sense to invest in your current home rather than buy a bigger one. Let's say you only have one bathroom but you desperately need 2+, that unfinished basement could be ideal for adding a bath with a shower and a fitness room, for instance.

Do you simply need more storage space? Perhaps you can add a shed or convert existing dead space into a closet or extra storage. Maybe there are organizational improvements you can implement. That would be the cheapest way to improve your space. 

Maybe an office would be great to have, but you have a dining room you don't use. Homeowners often turn their unused dining room into an office or flex space. This is an economical way to change how the room is used.

Lastly, do you need space and have a patio? It might make sense to enclose the patio to improve your lifestyle.

Date The Rate, Marry The House

Home buyers right now are faced with higher rates, making them feel like they should wait to buy. If you own a house with a nice low rate mortgage, you may be thinking it's better to wait and expand or improve your current home. It's important to remember, though, that if your living space is too small or won't serve you well as you age, the improvements will likely require a loan at an even higher rate than moving to a new home.

However, builders often sweeten the deal with enticing incentives such as rate buy-downs and free refinancing when interest rates take a dip. These perks can make buying new construction more appealing, particularly when compared to the prospect of taking out a loan at a higher rate for a substantial home addition. 

There's a saying in real estate, "date the rate; marry the house." This is because rates are variable. The rate can be refinanced, but it's much harder to change the house, especially with inventory so low. When you find the right new home that fits your changing needs, it makes sense to go ahead and buy.

Additionally, once rates do fall, competition among home buyers will heat back up. This will increase bidding wars and home prices.

Need Expert Guidance?

In light of these considerations, prospective buyers must have a clear understanding of their priorities and options. As you weigh the decision to add on or buy new, consider enlisting the expertise of a seasoned real estate professional. If you're in Columbus, Rita Boswell has a deep understanding of the local market and a commitment to putting your needs first. Our team can help you navigate this pivotal decision with confidence.

It's also worth noting the importance of having your own buyer's agent when exploring new construction options. While builders often have sales agents on-site, these individuals represent the builder's interests, not yours. Having a dedicated buyer's agent ensures that you have someone in your corner advocating for your best interests every step of the way.

If you're ready to explore new construction homes for sale in Central Ohio or delve deeper into the option of adding on versus buying new, don't hesitate to reach out to the Rita Boswell Group. With a wealth of experience and a commitment to personalized service, we're here to help you find the perfect home or builder to suit your needs. Contact us today to start your journey toward homeownership in Columbus, Ohio, with confidence and peace of mind.

Post a Comment