Should You Move Or Turn Your Current Home Into Your Dream Home?


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No matter what kind of home you live in, it's probably safe to assume that you want it to be as close to your taste as possible, which is often more difficult than it sounds. If you find yourself in a home that doesn't float your boat, but rather slowly sinks it, you might fall into one of the following categories- moving to a property which meets your needs or improving the one you're already in. Lets have a quick look at both, to help you discover which side you might be on.

Bigger Space?

Lets review some common situations which can lead to some tough decision making, as there are many factors that can lead you down the road of contemplating a reno or an outright change of address. One of the most common reasons to move is that the home is no longer a suitable size for those living there. This can be a result of a growing family, whether it be the birth of a child, grown kids moving back home, cohabitation with elderly parents or other variables. If you find that you don’t have enough bedrooms, you might be faced with a tough decision.

If this is this case, it might seem as though moving is your only option. However, this isn't necessarily true. Building an addition might be a viable option for your situation, which comes with the distinct advantage of being able to customize any finishings to suit your personal taste. An addition could be the answer you've been looking for, which would add square footage, offer a change of scenery with the new layout and give you a pass on the hassle of moving and everything that comes along with it (new school, neighbourhood, neighbours, change of address for mail, bills, utilities, friends and family members, etc).

Of course, a growing family is only one example of why you might feel the need to change your situation. Another itch you might want to scratch is the desire for change. That doesn’t have to mean moving from your current home. Making changes, whether structural, aesthetic, interior or exterior, might be all you need as the path to living in the home of your dreams. Choosing to invest in the space you're already in, is a very realistic option to dodge the extreme measure of ripping up your roots for a change of scenery.

Weighing The Cost

For many people, it all boils down to the potential your current home holds and how much it would cost to make it the way your heart envisions it could be, versus the cost of relocating and all of the extra dollars that come with a move. Realtor fees, mortgage fees (and potential penalties should you attempt anything other than a port), and all of the extras that come with a new abode (perhaps appliances, window coverings, paint, lights, or anything else you'd need to make your new space "your own"). To figure out whether it’s worth investing the money into the home you already have, you really should evaluate the level of happiness you could foresee at your current location.

If there are many things on the checklist that are a positive, which would be difficult to find elsewhere, this probably tips the hat in favour of considering a renovation. These items could include lot size, location, proximity to a great school, commuting distance to work, a wonderful, safe neighbourhood, great friends close by, friendships your kids might have forged with kids on the street, etc.

These are things that might not be so easily replaced with a move. But, for example, if you love swimming and you want a pool- need a pool- MUST have a pool!!! find any fulfillment and happiness in your life and you live on a 30' x 90' lot, chances are, the only pool you're getting is of the Mr. Turtle variety. That definitely warrants consideration of a move.

If you just want to rid your eyes of the glorious 80's theme rampant throughout your abode, but you really like your deck, garden, square footage, neighbour to the right and the five minutes it takes you to hop on the highway, a design consultation, not a "for sale" sign, is likely better suited for your future.

Bang For Your Buck

The kitchen is the main area that people are interested in when viewing homes. Even if you've decided to stay, it's always great advice to put money into your kitchen and this is a room that should be on the top of the list when renovating your space. Bathrooms are also high on the list of not only making a huge impact aesthetically, but also for your return on investment in terms of adding value to your home.

A little ingenuity can go a long way when it comes to trying to find space that previously didn't exist, especially if you have restrictions with set-backs and by-laws regarding how high or wide you can build. Knocking out an unused linen closet can really open up an adjacent bathroom layout. Adding a wall in a large room can give you the extra bedroom or office space you needed. Older homes often have pitched roofs which can offer very exciting potential for turning out an extraordinary loft space. A grungy, unfinished basement can be turned around into a magazine worthy area, renewing your love and long term commitment for your home.

The "Market"

Another key piece of the puzzle that could play a large factor in your decision is how hot the market is in your area. If houses are being sold in days with bidding wars, it would be a great time to unload your property. But don't forget, you need to buy back into the market, as well. Could potentially backfire, especially if you're looking to re-locate in a similar area. You need to seek the advice of a professional to ensure you're not making any hasty decisions that might cost you down the road.

Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now?

When it comes to deciding whether to stay or to go, you must really weigh your options, the pro's and cons, make a checklist and most importantly, listen to your gut. If you're very attached to your space but need to re-work it to accommodate a need, do some research, speak to some experienced professionals and make an informed decision. If you have the financial means to help make your dream home out of your current spot, go for it! If your space is never, ever going to get you to the level of happiness and satisfaction that you know you deserve and want, it might be time to start surfing the real estate listings in search of your new "There's no place like home"!