Renovate vs. Relocate

It is a hidden gem of the recession—many contractors are slower on work and some materials’ prices have dropped, especially for contractors, making home renovation more attractive. If you are at a crossroad of “renovate or relocate,” consider several factors that point to staying in your home and improving it to meet your needs. Your home likely has a lower value right now than in past years, and if you put it up for sale today you may have to settle for a much lower price than you want (or need). Instead, take advantage of the situation and put money into home improvement to get more enjoyment now. As a bonus, when you do sell, your upgrades will help to boost your home’s selling price.

Many people have not been financially able to act on the opportunities for renovating today and this works in your favor. With fewer people remodeling, permits that can sometimes take weeks to acquire are moving more quickly through local government.

Contractors are more likely to focus on your job rather than jumping between multiple projects. You and your home can receive greater focus, and many contractors are aggressively pursuing projects and offering great deals for services and jobs that will increase in price as the economy improves.

Many suppliers have also lowered their prices, allowing for upgrades on materials that you might not normally be able to afford. Remodeling your kitchen? Splurge on marble or granite at lower prices and purchase new energy efficient appliances that are on sale and will save additional money in energy bills.

If you take advantage of renovating your home right now and eventually make the decision to move, smart improvements like kitchen upgrades, bath additions and window replacement will improve your home’s resale value. And if you are renovating with an eye to a future sale of your home, remember not to overbuild. Having the most expensive house on the block is usually not a good sales proposition. And keep it neutral if eventual resale is the goal. Your favorite team colors, or this season’s deep purples, are best used in area rugs and accent furnishings, not on floors and wall tiles.