As your life changes over time, so do your needs and desires regarding your home and your living spaces. You may wake up one morning to discover that your home–which worked perfectly for you and your family 10 years ago–suddenly no longer fits your lifestyle.
Growing families often recognize a need for a bigger kitchen or bathroom, additional bedrooms and recreation spaces, more storage, more up-to-date appliances, or simply an updated look and style. On the other hand, some people find that as they age, what they really need is to downsize, especially if they have kids that have left the nest. They may also find that certain features become cumbersome later in life, such as multiple stories, and that they are struggling to “age in place.”
Whatever your reasons for wanting a change, money is always a consideration. While both options will cost you, moving will generally cost you more. Also, since houses aren’t often built to your exact specifications, a move may not be enough on its own—in order to achieve the right environment, you may have to renovate your new space once you get there!
At the same time, a renovation, while probably less expensive, will only take you so far. Especially when it comes to growing families, when you may need additional rooms, a renovation could be an incomplete solution. Plus, if you end up moving at some point in the near future, is it worth putting more money into your current property?
Deciding which option is ideal for you may require some tough decision making. As with any challenge, a good first step is to make a list to consider your choices.
OPTION 1: When to Renovate
- You can see yourself living in the current home for the next 10+ years,
- You like your existing neighborhood and the location of your home.
- You like the school your kids attend and would prefer not to uproot them until they are finished.
- All your medical providers are nearby.
- You like many areas of your home and the overall layout.
- You want a bigger, better kitchen with a more functional layout that would have more space for the entire family and their individual activities, AND the space to expand.
- An open concept spaces would improve the quality of time you spend with your family, AND your existing layout can accommodate this change.
- The current style no longer is a good reflection of you and the way you and your family want to live.
OPTION 2: When to Move
- You are considering moving in 1-5 years.
- The current home doesn’t have the ability to accommodate a different layout.
- The current home is too small for your growing family and their needs.
- Your home has two stories and you would prefer a single-story.
- Kids have left for college and you have more space than you need.
- You feel isolated in the kitchen without an option to change the layout in order to improve it.
- You lack the space in key areas and you are locked into the existing layout without options for an addition or an expansion.
- You need more land for your dogs to enjoy or you may want to add a garden to better control the quality of your food source.
- You are too far from all your favorite places, medical providers, schools, etc.
Each family will have their own personal considerations when it comes to changing their living space. Hopefully, the guidelines listed above will help you make the best choice for you and your family.
Melinda Dzinic, CR, CKBR, UDCP