Love the Neighborhood
A recent study found that 77 percent of adults age 50 and older agree with the statement “What I’d really like to do is remain in my community for as long as possible.” But what if your home isn’t working for you as your needs have changed – kids move out or boomerang back, in-laws need a place to stay, there are mobility issues, you want less (or more) space? If you really want to remain in your neighborhood, it may be time to consider whether to renovate; tear down and build on the same property; build new elsewhere. Here are a few things to consider.
• Length of time you plan to stay. If it’s less than about 7 years, you will want to make sure that whatever changes you make will also be good for resale. “Don’t put in an expensive appliance package in, if you’re going to try to sell your house in a relatively short period of time,” says Butch Sprenger, owner of Destiny Homes, in Wayzata, Minn.
• Your home’s condition. “No sense putting lipstick on a pig,” Sprenger says. “If you’re staying put and it’s time for a new roof or there are foundational cracks – get those things taken care of first. They’ll save you money in the long run.”
• Costs. The Remodeling Cost Vs. Value Survey will give you ballpark figures of renovation costs and what you might get back after selling.
TEAR DOWN AND BUILD OR BUILD NEW:
• “You will get exactly what you want or need in your home,” Sprenger says. But factor in the cost for demolition or land purchase.
• Savings over time. “A new build will be more energy efficient, up to code, have more modern conveniences and less maintenance,” Sprenger says. All of which can save you money on utility and repair bills.
• Home style. If you live in a contemporary neighborhood but have always wanted a Victorian, you may have to build elsewhere. “No one wants to be the guy with the oddball house, and in some cases, HOA’s or other neighborhood groups dictate a home’s look,” Sprenger says. “Work with a professional to determine what will fit in and fit your needs.”