Renovate Your Old Home or Build New?
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By: Paul DeLeers

Published:

Paul D.

Renovate Your Old Home or Build New?

Once upon a time, your home was probably everything you needed and wanted it to be. It was the right size. It had the features you wanted. The location was good. All in all, it felt like . . . home. 

Over time, however, perhaps you started to wonder if it was time for a change. Maybe the kids have grown up and you don’t need quite so much space. Perhaps the house is not as energy-efficient as newer homes are. Maybe the kitchen has started to look and feel painfully outdated. 

If you’ve lived in your home for a long time, you may find yourself at a crossroads: is it better to remodel your current dwelling or start fresh by building a new one? There are many factors to consider in this weighty decision. Much of it will come down to: what does your budget look like and how much do you love your current neighborhood?  Let’s take a look at some pros and cons.

Reasons to stay put and renovate your current home:

  • You can’t imagine leaving your current neighborhood. Whether you love the mature trees or the nearby park, you may not want to part with your current address. 
  • Moving can be expensive, not to mention physically demanding if you do it yourself.
  • Depending on the current housing market, selling your house may not be as easy as you’d hope. 
  • You love your current home and have a deep connection to it. All the memories!
  • If property values are rising in your neighborhood, it may be best to double down on your investment and stay put. 

Reasons to build new:

  • You’re ready for a fresh start.
  • Lots are available in your current neighborhood or an area that you really like. 
  • It may be cheaper than remodeling. On a cost-per-square-foot basis, remodeling is often the more expensive project. 
  • Your current home is not a candidate for remodeling. There are many reasons, structurally and otherwise, why your home may not be eligible for a re-do. Needless to say, some tasks are harder than others, and some are almost impossible. For example, ceilings are not easily raised! 
  • Local zoning laws may be at odds with the renovations you have in mind. 
  • You’re not sure about living in a construction zone while renovations are underway. 

You might also wonder about the environmental impact of both options. While building a new home is likely to be as eco-friendly a process as possible, renovating may represent a smaller carbon impact in the short term. While the new “green” home will represent a greater impact initially, eventually it will even out. Renovating and building new can both be done in an eco-friendly way so these are good questions to ask your builder at the onset. 

When it comes to renovating your home or building a new one from the ground up, one way to decide is to make your own list of pros and cons and see how they stack up. Reach out to friends and relatives who have been down the same road - are they happy with the option they chose? Chat with builders who can talk real numbers and options with you. With a little research, you’ll find the path that is best for you and your family.