Increase Your Square Footage By Moving or Renovating

Kimberly Bean
Published on November 14, 2015

Increase Your Square Footage By Moving or Renovating

Starting to feel cramped at home?

When your Southern Maryland house gets too small for your family, you have two choices: Add on to the home you have or move into a bigger one. Both options have pros and cons. Here are some things to consider as you make your decision.

Think About Your Needs

Why do you think your current home is too small? Once you’ve answered that question, figure out what your specific needs are. If your house could meet those needs with a more efficient layout, a renovation might be the best choice for you. Think about bedrooms, bathrooms, the kitchen, and other shared areas. Can you add space by developing the basement or attic? Renovating works best if you love the location of your house and you love your yard. If you’re not that attached to either, moving might be preferable.

If you are renovating, remember that you may be limited to in the improvements you can make. Zoning and building laws can prevent you from making some additions, and they can even restrict the type of work you do inside your home. Once you check your local regulations, you may find that an addition isn’t even an option for you.

If you decide to move, make a list of the things you love about your current home. You want your new home to have some or all of these characteristics, too.

Don’t Stress

No matter which road you choose, you’re likely to feel stress. Being prepared and organized can help you avoid the potential pitfalls of the choice you make. If you move, you’ll need to sell your current home and buy a new one at the same time. Don’t lose focus on selling the old home because you’re so excited about buying the new one. The old house should be appropriately staged and maintained so that it remains appealing to buyers.

Another difficulty you might encounter is ensuring that your sale and closing dates are compatible. If your home sells before the new house is available, you’ll need to find short-term housing, and you may need to put your belongings in storage. This won’t be an issue for you if you’ve planned ahead and talked to friends and family you could stay with and researched a storage facility, just in case.

If you buy a house before your old one sells, you may need to carry two mortgages at the same time. If this is part of your plan, make sure the bank is willing to offer bridge financing before you make any firm decisions. To avoid this, stay on top of your scheduling and stay in good communication with all the parties involved to avoid any confusion.

Choosing to renovate? You’re not off the hook when it comes to obstacles. You won’t likely be shacking up with your relatives, but workers will need scheduled access to your home. You’ll want to be present for all or most of the work to make sure it meets your expectations. And on top of that, the work will cause a fair amount of dust and dirt. You can minimize this by discussing some daily cleanup ideas with your contractor. There’s also the chance that some days, you’ll need to go without power or water as crews work.

Finally, consider unexpected expenses and potential delays. Projects nearly always run over budget and take longer than estimated. The numbers your contractor gives you are just an estimate, so plan accordingly.

Financial Considerations

No matter what you decide to do, you’ll need to spend some money. Before you renovate, figure out how you will pay for the work before you sign a contract. And, remember that any number your contractor gives you is just an estimate; the job is almost guaranteed to cost more. You may not be able to resist expensive fixtures when the time comes, or you might find unexpected areas behind the walls that need repair. Be sure you can afford the cost of the work and have a large contingency fund.

You should also consider the resale value of your newly renovated home. If you are hoping to recoup some of the cost of the renovation, make sure that you are not over-improving the house in comparison with others in the neighborhood or on your street. If your house has significantly more bedrooms or space than others around it, you still won’t be able to sell it for much more than your neighbors’ homes. You have a lot of money invested in your home, so if renovating won’t really add to its resale value, consider moving instead.

If moving is your decision, be sure you can afford the kind of new home you want. Have a realistic idea of what your current home will sell for, and get preapproved by the bank for your new mortgage before putting an offer on a new home. And, remember that the size of the home you can afford will vary depending on the location you choose.

Another moving expense to consider is closing costs. These include commissions paid to real estate agents, transfer taxes, lawyer’s fees (uncommon, but possible), and title insurance.

When you want to increase your living space, both moving and renovating can be good options. Both can be stressful, but knowing exactly what your needs are, planning carefully, and not trying to do more than you can afford can help your upgrade go as smoothly as possible.

Waldorf MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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