This was an article from our old website but still relevant today. Enjoy.
Should I fix my Home or just Sell It?
By: Paul Bianchina
Making the decision to sell your home is always a tough one. There are financial and emotional decisions to make, and any number of factors that can tip the balance one way or the other. The emotional decisions are ones that only you can answer, but as to the financial side of things, there are some common sense questions that may make the decision a little easier.
What Is Your Home’s Condition?
If you are faced with large home improvement repairs such as a new roof, dryrot repairs, or major plumbing or electrical system overhauls, you need to weigh that carefully. If your home has substantially appreciated in value over the years and the needed repairs would create a financial burden for you, it may be wise to consider selling – you’ll have to ask a little less than you would if those repairs weren’t necessary, but you may still make a sizeable profit on the sale.
On the other hand, perhaps the housing market is down, or you haven’t had the house that long and your equity is not substantial. It may be wise to refinance or secure other funding, and make the repairs now before the situation worsens.
Can You Expand?
Quite often, the reason people want to move is because the house is simply too small to meet their current needs. If that’s the case, and if you like the neighborhood and like the house in general, you might want to consider adding on.
Room additions can make a huge difference in the size, layout and livability of any home, provided they are done correctly. Take a good look at your needs, and what you have to do to meet them. Do you have the room to add onto the side or rear of the house? Can you add a second story? Are their city, county or homeowner’s association restrictions that will limit your ability to expend sufficiently?
Remember that as much as you love a house and a neighborhood, and as much as you would like to stay in it, remodeling is not always the answer. No matter how good your contractor is, remodeling will not increase the size of a small lot, it won’t add a wood shop in a neighborhood that doesn’t allow them, and it probably won’t be able to alleviate major flaws in room layout.
Beware Of Overbuilding
Suppose you are considering adding 500 square feet to your 1,000-square-foot home. If your entire neighborhood consists of 1,000-square-foot homes, you may be overbuilding for that neighborhood. For some people, overbuilding is a serious consideration, since part of the reason for the improvement is to make the house more valuable, and to hopefully see a return on your home improvement investment. For others who are primarily interested in creating a home that meets their needs and that have no plans to sell the house in the foreseeable future, overbuilding may be very much a secondary consideration.
Overbuilding is not limited to additions – it can apply to everything from upgraded roofing materials to kitchen remodels to extensive landscaping.
You need to take the neighborhood into consideration, the general housing market, your future plans, and even your relationship with your neighbors.
Get That Homework Done
If the time seems to be drawing near for making the decision to move or improve, do your homework first. Look at what your neighborhood is doing, and what housing prices are. Talk with a trusted real estate agent, and consider an independent market appraisal of your home. Consider paying a general contractor a consultation fee to discuss your home’s general condition, and the cost of potential improvements. And be sure you don’t ignore municipal and homeowner’s association requirements and restrictions as part of your fact-finding.