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7 Reasons Homeowners Are Choosing Renovation Over Relocation

[Updated: Sep 22, 2020] Dec 10, 2019 by Maurie Backman
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Renovating a home can be a huge hassle. So can packing up and moving. If you're displeased with your current home, you may be trying to decide between sinking money into improvements and buying a new home that already offers your desired amenities.

It's not an easy decision to make, but a new study by Houzz reveals some of the top reasons homeowners choose to renovate rather than relocate. Here are several that could influence your decision.

1. Wanting to stay in the same home

This one's not groundbreaking -- most homeowners who opt for renovating over moving do so because they want to keep the home they're used to. But there's a financial angle to consider here as well as an emotional one. When you buy a new home, you open the door to a world of unknown, potentially costly upkeep and repairs, whereas if you stay in the home you're used to living in, those costs are more predictable. And there's certainly some value there.

2. Wanting to personalize a home

Renovating offers a great opportunity to personalize your home and enjoy features that may be hard to find elsewhere. If you move in an attempt to capture those features, they may not end up being exactly what you want, at which point you're paying for something you don’t fully benefit from.

3. Wanting to stay in the same neighborhood

There's something to be said for getting used to a specific neighborhood, with its amenities, shops, and traffic patterns. Moving means dealing with a host of changes, some of which may be easier to adjust to than others. Furthermore, if you're a family with school-aged kids, moving to a new home could mean leaving your school district and having your young ones start fresh in a new one. That can be extremely disruptive, both socially and academically.

4. Renovating is more affordable

Many homeowners find that paying for home improvements is more affordable than buying a new home. Whether this rings true for you will depend on the specifics of the work at hand, but keep in mind that there's always a cost to moving, as well as closing costs associated with taking out a new mortgage. And if you use a real estate agent to sell your home so you can move to a new one, you'll likely be on the hook for a sizeable fee. As such, it's easy to see how renovating can often be the more cost-effective option.

5. Renovating is a better return on investment

If you're planning to enjoy your home for a number of years, you may not be so concerned with its resale value -- but you should be. You never know when you might have to move unexpectedly, so it also pays to be mindful of return on investment -- and in many cases, renovating an existing home offers better value in that regard.

6. Wanting to be involved in a home project

Some people can't wait to get their hands dirty and dive into home improvement projects. Others, however, would much rather throw money at the problem. If you're in the former camp, then renovating could prove far more enjoyable -- and much less stressful -- than embarking on a full-fledged house hunt.

7. Needing specific features

If you're in need of specific features, a new home may not offer them. For example, if you're after a certain brand of kitchen appliances or want a sauna in your basement, which is hardly common, you may have no choice but to renovate yourself. If you attempt to find those features elsewhere, it could make for a very long, frustrating home search.

Ultimately, cost will likely play a big role in the decision of whether to renovate versus buy new. But if you're struggling with that choice, consider these upsides of renovating, especially if you mostly enjoy living in your home and agree that it has the potential to be upgraded into your ideal living space.

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