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Your Financial Life

Should You Renovate or Move?

3 minute read time


If you're considering whether to renovate or move, it's crucial to understand the key considerations. Assessing these factors carefully will help you determine which option best enhances your living situation and financial health.

Deciding whether to renovate your existing home or to move to a new one is a tough decision that homeowners face. This choice involves not only financial considerations but also emotional factors and future planning. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of both renovating and moving, helping you weigh the practicalities and personal implications of each. Whether you're outgrowing your current space, seeking a change of scenery or simply looking to update your living environment, understanding the benefits and challenges of each path can guide you to make the best decision for your lifestyle and budget.

Renovate or Move: The Three Factors to Consider

Whatever your project or plans, the decision to renovate or move is ultimately up to you, your lifestyle, family and personal goals. However, there are several factors — financially and emotionally — that may impact your decision.

Location, location, location

It may seem cliché but the old real estate adage about location is solid. If you're fond of your neighborhood, are situated on a great lot, have family and friends nearby and access to a school district that is best for you and your family, it might be wise to stay put and remodel your home to meet your current preferences and needs. You already have a clear understanding of what aspects of your home function well and which don't, which can greatly benefit your renovation planning.

On the other hand, if you're set on moving to a more desirable location, purchasing a new home and immediately starting renovations is a viable option. These improvements can be conveniently included in your mortgage through a Purchase and Renovate loan, streamlining the financing process.


Before deciding to list your home for sale, it's important to evaluate current housing inventories and overall market conditions. Finding a new house to fit both your needs and budget can be a lengthy and challenging process. This raises the question: Is this the right moment to sell your existing home and either buy or build a new one?

Moreover, the timing should also consider personal and family circumstances. Are current or anticipated life events influencing your decision? Consider whether you're prepared for the implications of moving, such as switching school districts, altering your daily commute and adapting to other significant changes that come with relocating. These factors are crucial in determining whether now is the opportune time for you and your family to make a move.

Emotional Attachment

If your current home holds a special place in your heart or if it's been your family's haven for many years, the sentimental value may encourage you to stay put. Undertaking a remodel or renovation allows you to preserve those cherished memories while simultaneously making updates and improvements to align with your current lifestyle and preferences. This approach ensures your home not only continues to reflect your personal history but also meets your evolving needs and desires.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Both renovating and moving come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages and the best choice depends on various personal factors. Here are some to keep in mind as you make your decision:

Renovating Pros Renovating Cons
Increased property value Time-consuming
Improved functionality and efficiency Permits and regulations
Enhanced aesthetics Cost
Adaptation to lifestyle changes Disruption to daily life
Correcting safety issues Unexpected complications


Moving Pros Moving Cons
Better housing Cost
Improved lifestyle Stress
Affordable cost of living Adjusting to a new environment
Access to better amenities Real estate complications
Reducing clutter Risk of damage to items


Understanding these potential upsides and downsides can help in preparing for and managing the expectations that come with a big life change like this and potentially make the transition smoother and less stressful.

The Benefits of Renovating Whether You’re Staying or Moving

Renovating your home offers numerous advantages, whether you plan to stay put or sell in the future. Undertaking home improvements can significantly increase the market value of your home, making it more attractive to future and potential buyers down the line. By updating kitchens, bathrooms or even adding an extension, you can see a substantial return on investment, especially in a competitive real estate market.

However, it’s important to avoid over-improvement. Over-improving your home might not always lead to a proportionate increase in its value, especially if the upgrades exceed the standard in your neighborhood. To strike the right balance, you should consult with a real estate agent, appraiser, relationship banker or mortgage loan officer. They can offer valuable insights and guidance, ensuring your investment is worth the time and money.

It's important to consider the potential resale value of any renovation. Compared to other home improvement projects, kitchen remodels, bathroom upgrades and additional square footage are generally some of the best projects for recouping your investment.


Vice President, Mortgage Production Manager, Johnson Financial Group

The Verdict

Should you renovate or move? The short answer: It depends. Ultimately, the decision should be made after careful consideration of your financial capabilities, the potential return on investment and how well your current home can be adapted to fit your evolving needs. Both paths offer significant benefits, and the right choice will depend on which option aligns best with your personal and financial circumstances.

No matter if you're ready to tackle a home renovation or looking for a new home, start talking with our team of mortgage loan officers and bankers, to explore the best options for you.

Loans are subject to credit and property approval, bank underwriting guidelines, and may not be available in all states. Other loan programs and pricing may be available. Certain conditions, terms, and restrictions may apply based on the loan program selected. The term of the loan may vary based upon program chosen. Property insurance is required; if the collateral is determined to be in an area having special flood hazards, flood insurance will be required.