Do not renovate

Don’t Move, Renovate!

Maybe you’re bored with your house. You’re ready to start anew, and you’ve got the momentum of change and new horizons pumping through your veins. You’ve looked online, you found one or two homes that meet most of your standards, and before you’ve even been given the tour, your belongings are now in multiple cardboard boxes. Well, hold your horses there, brave adventurer. Because there’s an alternative to all this, you might have glossed over: renovation.

Isn’t Renovation More Expensive Than Moving?

The answer to this is relatively simple: only if you’re sloppy about it.

Let’s be honest. If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve never done a whole home renovation before. You might not even know where to begin with something like that. While it’s beyond our scope here to walk you through those first steps, there’s something important to be gleaned here: renovation can often be less expensive in the long run than buying and moving to a new house.

How? Consider this, the price of houses in recent years has gone up significantly. Combine this with the fact that the act of renovation itself only has to do with certain parts of the house rather than building it all from scratch, and you can see where we’re going with this argument.

However! Before you click away and take a sledgehammer to your least favorite wall, the whole less expensive thing assumes two key factors. One: that you’re organized and methodical about it. This means that you know what you’re doing and aren’t building then rebuilding the same wall because you keep getting the measurements wrong, for example. And two, that the housing market in your state is within the average across the country. The market is different in other places, you see, and if you live in states like Mississippi where the average house goes for somewhere around $115,000, this whole argument could just be a bunch of hot air to you. If so, well, just keep hearing us out for a minute.

Isn’t Renovating More Difficult?

Renovating can be difficult, but the question of whether it’s more difficult than buying and moving depends entirely on your approach.

Let’s say that you live somewhere and have a lot of stuff. You know, things you’ve hoarded over the years that you aren’t ready to throw away but also occupies space: it’s in the garage, it’s under the stairs, it’s in a multitude of closets, and it’s in the cupboards. If we could zoom out on this whole project for a bit and think about all the stuff that has to be packaged, put into a truck, driven across miles, and then unloaded into the new house, then organized and put away in its new home, in the new garage, under the new stairs, in the new closets, and the new cupboards.

Not even to mention the hassles of finding houses, touring houses, closing costs, making sure everything works right, etc., is renovation more difficult?

Isn’t Renovating Louder and Messier?

Yes, it is messier. You are tearing down and rebuilding sections of your house, after all. However, this is as much a boon as it is a drawback.

When finding a new house, you’re playing a game of concession. You have an idea in your head about what kind of house you want, and in failing to find something perfect, you concede a few points here and there until you find one that’s kind of, sort of, what you wanted. With a renovation, on the other hand, the points you would’ve given up are now your objectives: how do I get this house to have this?

The trade-off here is paying in messiness for better results.

The Wayward Heart?

But there’s something else to all of this, isn’t there? Maybe you aren’t sick of your current house but still would like something new? Maybe you’ve been as comfortable as a pig in a blanket in your current home, and some part of you hates the idea of leaving? Maybe there isn’t a big reason you don’t like your house? After all, it’s just a few things here and there that irk you or you’ve become bored with. Maybe you liked the idea of moving more before you walked past that wall that used to have a crayon drawing on it, and all the memories flooded back. Suddenly the thought of giving them up was too unbearable?

Sure, it’s not the most logical of reasons, but we don’t function entirely on logic, do we? For example, one of the biggest reasons for renovating instead of moving house is because you’re too attached to the place!

So while renovating may create a big mess and some inconvenience, it can be a sense of pride because you got to create something special. In addition, that renovation is likely going to pay for itself as it adds value to your home, and that is a win-win situation.

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