Selling vs. Remodeling

Here's how to decide if it's better to renovate or move on.

Should you stay or should you go? Keep these pointers in mind when determining if there’s more value in fixing up your existing home or moving on.

First, estimate your costs to buy a new home. Add up the selling and agent costs (packing, moving and loan financing). Don't forget hidden items. For example, the buyer may ask you to replace the carpet before you sell. Or what if you have to replace appliances? Make your best effort to include everything it will cost in time and money to sell your home and buy a new place. Then estimate what you may get for your house and how much cash you will have for a down payment.

If you like your neighbors and your school district, consider remodeling. You can get exactly the home you want, and you won't risk any buyer's remorse. Estimate the cost of making the crucial renovations needed for you to stay. Decide what you would like to do and go price-shopping at a home improvement store. Call contractors and get estimates. This is especially important if you need to add on extra square footage.

Compare what it would cost to move and what it would cost to remodel. Add in X-factors such as friends, schools and neighbors. When all is said and done, you may find you get more equity by staying in your home and remodeling.

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