If your current home no longer meets your needs and you feel you need a change, you have three basic options: move, remodel or build. You can move to a new home, remodel your current home, or build a new custom home in your neighborhood or in a new location.

There are a great many factors to consider, so we would like to offer you some guidelines to help you make the right decision for you and your family.

1. Choose to move your family into a custom built or remodeled home when…

  • You are moving toward being an empty-nester so your home no longer fits your needs and downsizing would match your lifestyle. Selling your home and using some of the money to build a smaller one-level home or one with a first floor master suite is a great way to downsize while creating a retirement fund so you can age-in-place on your own terms.
  • Your lifestyle has outgrown your current home. Building a new custom home will ensure that your home will match the way you live. You can build in the same neighborhood or one better suited to your changing needs. In some cases, you may choose to buy an older home and tear it down to make way for your custom home.
  • You need to relocate for work, to be closer to family or special services, or some other reason.
  • There are community or homeowner association restrictions that prevent you from making the changes you would like to your current home.
  • The area no longer has the services you want/need.

2. Choose to remodel your current home when…

  • You like your neighborhood but your home doesn’t quite fit your current lifestyle.
  • The cost of living where you are now is more affordable than other locations where you would move.
  • You and your family are connected to your current community (house of worship, schools, doctors, family, friends, organizations, etc.).
  • Your home has special memories for you and your family.
  • You have enough property to build an addition or outdoor living space that will reinvigorate your lifestyle.
  • You would like to age-in-place in your current home. Adding a first floor master bedroom and/or handicap-accessible features are great ways to remain in your home and save the cost and emotional strain of having to move to an assisted living facility.
  • The cost of buying a new home and selling your current one (including the cost of the real estate commissions, closing costs, and of moving and relocating) is more than the cost of home remodeling.
  • You think the hassle of moving is too much.
  • There is a likelihood that, because of the price or age of homes in the neighborhoods where you might plan to move, a home would need to be fixed up, customized, or remodeled before you were able to move in.
  • The market is such that you won’t get a good price for your current home or your home might be on the market for a long time before being sold.

3. Choose to build a custom home

…in the same location or neighborhood:

  • You have most of the reasons to choose to remodel, but
    • Your current home is not suitable to remodel into what you need and want.
    • You can get a vacant lot or a tear-down home in your neighborhood.
    • You have equity in the location you are living and tearing down your home and rebuilding on your current lot will bring your home up to the level of the neighborhood.

…in a new location:

  • You need to or would like to relocate but you can’t find an existing home that is suitable “as is” or that can be remodeled, and
    • You can find a vacant lot you like or
    • You can find a home that is suitable to tear-down home on a lot you like

Consider All the Costs

While the cost to move depends on many things (the sale price of your home, how far you move, the amount of household items you move, as some examples), there are also real estate broker and legal fees, closing costs, moving company charges, moving-in costs, etc. which could easily add $30,000 – $60,000 or more to the price tag of the moving option, in addition to the cost of the new home. These “other moving costs” are often overlooked when someone compares the price of a new home with the cost of remodeling.

The decision to move, remodel or build is a big one for you and your family to make. We hope that we’ve helped you consider all the options when you’re deciding.