Deciding to renovate a home is an important financial decision.  Many factors come into play.  How much can we afford to spend? What is our goal of the project? Will we price ourselves out of the market for our neighborhood? Should we move instead of invest?  “Before deciding to remodel or move, consider your emotional feelings. Evanston, Illinois-based Morgante Wilson Architects estimates that 30 percent of those in this quandary ultimately move. The overwhelming 70 percent keep the same address and alter their domiciles to address changing lifestyle and family needs.” (, Jeffrey Steele)

I am often brought in at the beginning of this process and will hear many of these questions as we determine the true cost of a renovation project.  Recently I was asked to quote the interior design of a project that had been drawn up by an architect for a family.  As often happens, the architect, created a plan that was beautifully done, and once quoted exceeded the budget the family had allocated. The couple was frustrated and concerned that the investment necessary to realize their dreams was beyond their comfort zone.  They immediately began discussing the possibility of moving instead. But as they discussed their options they determined that even in a newly purchased house there would be things they would want to change to make it their own.  So with realtor fees, moving expenses, and possibly renovation of a new acquired home, this may not make sense for them.

When making a decision that is right for your family there are three important questions to consider.

How long o you plan to remain in your home? The longer you plan to live in your home, the higher the likelihood that you will get your investment out of your home.
How extensive does the renovation need to be? Many times we are able to reduce renovation costs by working within existing spaces. We often help homeowners “envision” the space differently with drawings and 3D renderings. By avoiding costly additions and exterior work homeowners can save money and afford to remodel their existing homes.
Can you find another home that gives you everything you want and need? When remodeling a home, homeowners have a great opportunity to give the home their own personal touch.  The finishes and design will reflect the homeowner’s taste and style and a redesign of the spaces create the perfect functionality for their family.  It is the only way to get an existing home exactly the way a homeowner wants it without building a new home.
Only you can decide if renovating or moving is better for you and your family. Make sure to get the advice of professionals and take stock of what is most important to you.