Love it or list it? How many of us have asked that very question about our home? I know we have many times over the years. We went through a spell just a couple of years ago, when we really felt the push to move. We even went so far as to list our house with an agent to sell. In the end though, the real estate stars didn’t align and we stayed were we were. Although disappointed at first, we have come to realize that it was all for the best. Recently we have made the purposeful decision to stay where we are, no more talks of moving. We have decided that instead of moving, to strike off on a journey of renovation. Today I wanted to share with you 15 reasons to renovate your home instead of moving.
1. Invest in yourself.
As homeowners we chip away at our mortgages and slowly build equity over time. Why not make improvements to your current investment instead of paying into someone else’s pocket? Add value to your existing home by making a few changes that will pay off down the road. Smart renovation money is spent in kitchens and bathroom, start there.
2. Increase your comfort or enjoyment.
Although there are lots of reasons to renovate your home, your own comfort and enjoyment shouldn’t be easily dismissed. Balance the resale benefits of your proposed improvements with the satisfaction they will bring you and your family. You may decide like us, that your comfort and enjoyment are more important than which improvements will give the best return on your investment when you eventually sell. Keep in mind you will always need to sell at some point, even if it’s in the distant future, so keep your reno plans in the realm of reasonable.
3. Improve your home’s function.
Do you need more space or a change in traffic flow? Do you need to improve your organization or storage? Maybe your layout is okay, but your plumbing or electrical needs attention. Keeping your home in good repair is an important part of home ownership. Making improvements to how well your home works is a great reason to renovate and will help to prolong the life of your home.
4. Go green.
Paying too much for utilities? Maybe you want to decrease your environmental impact. Replacing windows, improving insulation or installing solar panels are all examples of improvements that can decrease your energy costs. You can also go green by choosing environmentally responsible products while planning your renovation. There are carpets made from recycled fibres, low VOC paint products and eco-friendly flooring options. Energy efficient homes are ultimately more attractive to savvy home buyers and more marketable when the day to sell does finally come.
5. Add living space.
Do you feel like your house is too small or that your family is outgrowing it? Adding to your living space is another great reason to renovate. Consider where in your home there may be potential extra square footage that you could make usable. Do you have an unfinished basement or an unused storage closet? You could also make improvements to your outdoor living area to add more usable space.
6. Update your style.
Our tastes change over time, it’s inevitable. Updating your home’s style can be based on necessity in an older home or simply on a new trend. If your home’s interior has become stale, it may be reason enough to renovate. You could consider a minor face-lift like painting walls or updating your lighting. Or a major renovation like us, and replace your whole kitchen. Regardless of your renovation plans, stick to classic, timeless styles to avoid needing to renovate every couple of years.
7. Make it your own.
Planning a renovation allows you to personalize your space. Whether with colours or with a new layout, a renovation will help to tailor your home to your needs and tastes. When buying a home, we buy it as is. Even most home builders limit the degree to which you can modify your new build. Planning a renovation allows you to flex your creative muscle and make your space your own. For us, we desperately need to improve our back mudroom entry. When five people come pouring through the door, there is just not enough space.
8. There’s no such thing as perfect.
Most of us love the idea of home improvement and fawn over interior decorating ideas. But all of those TV shows and home magazines tend to lead us to believe that home perfection is possible. In my experience, clients that strive for perfection are usually disappointed. Your needs or preferences are very likely to change in the 12 months it usually takes to build a new home. Instead of aiming for perfection, just do the best you can with what you have. Don’t wait, choose what you like right now and incorporate that into your space. Choose classic design elements that are timeless and will hold up for years to come. Besides, the very reason you may be considering a renovation is that your tastes have changed since you first moved in.
9. Shorter time frame.
Before starting any renovation it is important to do your homework. Make a plan, source your materials and set aside the time to complete it. If you do your prep work, a renovation doesn’t have to last for months on end. A well planned renovation, even an extensive one, should be completed in a couple of months. Hire qualified professionals to help with the heavy lifting and keep your schedule on track. Most new builds can take up to a year and require a much longer period of monitoring and attention.
10. New homes are a lot of work.
If you think that moving out of your old home and into a new one will let you avoid a lot of work, you’d be wrong. New homes are a lot of work! There are window coverings to hang, fences and decks to build and landscaping to finish. It takes homeowners on average 2 years to complete their “job list” from a new build. Along with those jobs come additional costs. Making improvements to your existing home can cost you less time and money if planned right.
11. Avoid the stress of buying a new home.
If it’s been a while, you might forget that looking for a new home can be both stressful and time consuming. Prepping your existing home for sale and juggling the listing appointments can be stressful. Searching for a new home and dealing with real estate agents can be stressful. Packing, sorting and moving all of your belongings can be stressful. Instead, maybe upgrading your bathrooms, remodeling your kitchen or removing that wall that’s been bugging you might be a better solution.
12. Changing mortgage rules.
The Canadian government has made a few changes in the last few years which affect what people are able to borrow when buying a house. These changes might impact what you can afford and limit the type of house that you are able to buy. Investing in your current home might be a sensible alternative.
13. Be fiscally responsible.
Selling your home to buy a new one often comes with a higher price tag. This can mean higher payments or longer mortgage terms. Choosing to remain in your current home and refreshing it with a remodel will help you keep your long term financial goals on track. Keep your reno budget modest to get the most our of your dollar.
14. Avoid new development inconveniences.
If you’ve never lived in a brand new neighbourhood, you may not be familiar with the headaches that can come along with it. You are often plagued by months or years of construction traffic, noise and debris. Staying in a more established area will keep these frustrations out of the mix.
15. Some things a new house can’t give you.
A lot of us have an emotional attachment that develops for our homes and neighbourhoods that you just can’t replicate in a new home. Children’s friends, great neighbours and keeping the same school district are strong motivators when choosing where to live. No matter how beautiful the next house might be, some things you just can’t take with you.
Are you planning a renovation? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear about it