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3 Reasons Why You Should Consider Renovating Instead of Moving

Written by
Published on
June 16, 2014

We love our homes. We put great effort into choosing the right one and personalizing it so that it becomes truly ours. That’s why when that home no longer fulfills our needs and we have to choose between renovating or relocating, we’re probably facing one of life’s the most challenging decisions. No matter which alternative we decide to go for, we know we’ll be facing expenses, stress, and commitment of time. So, how do we know it’s better to renovate than find a new abode? Here are 3 reasons that might make you rethink looking at other homes and plan for improvements instead: 1. Costs of moving vs. costs of renovating Moving costs can often be as unpredictable as renovating costs. Although it may seem easier to pack-move-unpack than to turn your house upside down during an upgrade, truth is, there are also major additional expenses involved in purchasing a new home. Agency fees, moving costs, deposits, financing charges, and other unexpected commissions and bills can result in you shelling out between CAD$30,000 and CAD$50,000, money which will remain just an expense, not an investment. On the other hand, a more serious upgrade of your current home may cost you on average between CAD$40,000 and CAD$80,000 (especially if you want to add that extra bedroom), but many times you can get that money back dollar for dollar if you really decide you want to sell several years down the road. When planning the renovation budget, it’s very important to check if the upgrade would bring your house up to or slightly above your neighbourhood’s average price. If that’s the case, it’s a great idea to make the desired changes and take your existing home to the next level of comfort. In Ottawa, an average of 5.9% of homes are in need of major repair, according to the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study. Some great neighbourhoods where it’s worth remodelling and bumping up your home’s value might be Glen Cairn/Hazeldean, Alta Vista, Island Park, and several others. Take, for example, these two 4-bedroom homes for sale in Alta Vista, Ottawa. The first has been recently renovated, with a new kitchen, new hardwood floors, updated bathroom, finished basement, a new roof, and deck. The second one still needs some heavy-duty improvements like a new roof and windows. The difference in selling price is CAD$130,000! A. Remodelled 4-bds home at 2181 Urbandale Dr, Ottawa, Ontario Asking price: CAD$399,900

  • New stylish kitchen with stainless appliances
  • Beautiful hardwood floors
  • Upgraded bathrooms
  • Finished basement
  • New roof
  • New cedar deck

B. Investment 4-bds home at 1717 Heron RD., Ottawa, Ontario Asking Price: CAD$269,900 It may need:

  • New roof
  • New floors instead of carpet
  • New windows
  • Landscaping
  • New kitchen

2. Remodel and keep the great location You love the neighbourhood, the schools, the proximity to work, and you befriended the neighbouring families, but your own family has outgrown your home. What do you do then? Do you choose to remodel your existing home and keep the location, or do you forget about the location and find a bigger home for sale? Experts argue that the location usually appreciates more than the house structure, so if your neighbourhood ranks well and you really like the location, then improving the existing property will pay off in the long run. 3. Every house requires some extra work In the end, no house is prefect. You can never fully know a home’s failings and potentials until you’ve lived in it for some time. Chances are you may have to improve a new home as well, which will add to the initial purchasing cost, not to mention that a bigger home usually has a more costly upkeep. In addition, architects advise that if your house has some intangible quality to it, like age or design or something else that makes it special — or simply “good bones”– then expanding or remodelling your existing home is a wiser option.

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