Relocate Or Renovate

Relocate Or Renovate

If you need a new change of pace in your day-to-day life, then it might be time to consider moving. Although, it might also be the perfect time to consider renovating your home instead. For many people, moving may seem like the more manageable and straightforward choice to make when they need a change to shake up their lives, however, renovating and remodeling your home might be shorter and more cost-effective. Deciding whether to move or renovate your home can be a difficult question to answer, but we’ll go through some tips to help you make the decision that suits your needs.

Ask Yourself Why

The first question to ask yourself when deciding whether to move or remodel is why you’re considering moving in the first place. The answer might be that you want a change of scenery or that the home’s layout isn’t as efficient anymore for you or your family. The answer could also be that the location of your home isn’t suitable for your needs any longer because it’s not large enough or it’s too far of a commute to work or shopping locations. Knowing why you’re thinking about moving is instrumental in determining whether it’s in your best interest to renovate your home instead.

Ask Yourself Why Again

To help determine the right choice, you should also ask yourself why you might want to stay. Homes often have a lot of sentimental value, and sometimes people would rather stay at their current home.  Suppose you find yourself hesitating to jump on the idea of moving to a new home and reminiscing about your existing home. In that case, renovation is something that you should seriously consider.

Consider What You Need

So now that you’ve asked yourself why you feel an urge to move, you should consider what you need. Above, a few examples of wants were listed, but differentiating between a desire and a need should be pretty straightforward with a home. If you have a job that requires you to be on-site at least some of the time, then a home within a reasonable distance from your place of employment is a need. How you define a ‘reasonable distance’ is circumstantial for everybody, so if you’re not sure, then you can look up potential home sales and take a test drive from those addresses to your work. If the reason you’re considering moving is that you need a larger space for your family, then moving might be the right choice. But if another bedroom could meet your need for a larger area, then you might be able to manage by having an addition put on your home instead. Moving requires far more consideration than renovating, as you’re likely to change nearly everything about your current lifestyle.

Weigh The Costs

Moving is an expensive task to undertake, but so is a renovation of your home. Although both options are costly, weighing the costs of all the different aspects of each can help you make the decision. If you still have most of your mortgage to pay back, then moving may be the better option than renovating. To renovate, without owning enough equity in your home, you’ll probably need to take out a personal loan to afford renovations, which typically have much higher rates. However, if you do have leverageable equity in your home’s value, utilizing it to take out loans for a renovation is likely the best option, cost-wise.


In the case of moving, you have to also account for all the associated costs for any assistance in the actual moving process, rental fees for temporary vehicles or storage, and miscellaneous moving supplies. You’ll most likely be making a down payment and paying closing costs on the mortgage, which can add up to quite a bit of money upfront.

There are some ways that you can help make the loans more affordable, such as by wrapping closing costs in with the mortgage, so you don’t have to pay them upfront. Other mortgages, such as USDA loans, can be used without any down payment.

Regardless of what loan you use to move, the housing market is booming, and the prices of properties are only rising, so you’re also likely to need a larger mortgage. If your current home requires a lot of remodelings, such as needing a home addition or multiple rooms redone, moving into a new home that already has everything might be about the same expense as remodeling and it’ll probably be quicker.


If you’ve been living in your current home for a long time, have your mortgage paid off, or have made enough payments to own at least 15% equity in the house, renovating should be heavily considered. Especially if your idea for renovating wouldn’t be more than a few rooms, it’s all but guaranteed to be the more cost-effective option and is easier to budget per room.

When renovating your home, you have the option of being able to take out a home equity loan on the house or a cash-out refinance. Both of which will essentially be the only costs that need to be accounted for, including their associated closing costs, since everything else should be paid for using these loans.

When refinancing for a cash-out option, you can refinance your current mortgage into a new type of mortgage, such as a conventional mortgage, to an FHA loan with a cash-out option. With a home equity loan, you can choose to take out a home equity line of credit instead. The equity line acts like a jumbo credit card requiring you only to pay back whatever you end up spending rather than the entire approved amount.

Final Thoughts

Renovating your house is likely to be the more cost-effective solution and would allow you to keep any sentimental attachment to your home. Still, depending on the extent of your renovations, parts of your home could be inaccessible during the renovation process. They could ultimately take longer than the time spent finding a new home and moving.

Considering what you need and why you want to move should make it significantly easier to decide whether to move or renovate. If you are still struggling, then considering the cost of each should help you make the final decision.

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