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Should I Stay or Should I Go: Renovate or Move - Quicken Loans Zing BlogYou’re looking for a change in your house. Maybe you’d like to redo the kitchen and the bathrooms. The question then becomes whether it’s better to sell the house and look for a new one or save it through a remodel.

We’ve got to let you know: Should you stay or should you go?

Here’s the bad news: Every situation is different. It becomes a math problem. The good news is there’s no algebra involved, so we’ve got that going for us.

Let’s take a look at whether it makes sense to renovate or go out and look for a new home.

Determine the Scope

The first and perhaps most important step is to determine the scope of what you want to do with your project.

To get started, make a list of rooms you’d like to make over and what you’d like to do in each room. You may also number these to set your priorities. Then you can start pricing out what you want to do.

Although each situation is different, you may be able to get a rough idea of how much you’ll pay to redo any given room by taking a look at what others have paid.

As with any project, there’s a range depending on how far you would want to take a remodel. A new toilet and a tile backsplash in the bathroom will be cheaper than a bathroom with a heated tile floor and programmable shower system.

Other things that might drive up the cost include structural changes like moving a wall or rewiring. You should also factor in the physical cost of materials.

One thing that you should definitely keep in mind is that certain rooms just cost more to renovate than others. According to HomeAdvisor, some of the more expensive rooms to renovate include the master bathroom, kitchen, master bedroom and basement. This is because these remodels often require both electrical and plumbing work along with any structural changes you want in your new layout.

After that, you can start adding things up.

Other Reasons to Remodel

Maybe you really like where you live. The neighbors are great, the school district is good, there’s a 7-Eleven across the street for when you want that Friday night Slurpee. There could really be any number of reasons for wanting to stay put.

There’s a certain satisfaction in being able to build something with your bare hands as well. This isn’t the case for everyone. I know my home renovation capabilities are zero and help would be necessary. Still, if you’re handy and have the time, there’s something to be said for enjoying the fruits of your own labor.


Where’s the Tipping Point?

Once you’ve determined what you want to do and how much it might cost you, you can decide whether it makes more sense to remodel or move. There are a number of factors you can use to make your decision.

Do the Math

Math is a beautiful thing. I’m not good at much of it, but I can handle a budget. Once you know how much it’s going to cost, you can determine whether it will be cost-effective to remodel or if you should start looking for a new home.

The tipping point will be different for every person, but taking a look at the market around you might help. If it’s going to cost you as much or more to do a remodel as it would to get a different house, you may want to move.


It’s a pain to live in a house that’s being remodeled. Depending on how long it takes, you could be without whole areas of your house for quite a long time. It can be woefully inconvenient. There’s also additional cost associated if you decide to live in an apartment or hotel until the work is completed. If you’re going to do a big remodel, you want to make sure you’re fully committed to it.

On the other hand, it’s important to consider that property values are on an uptick. You may be able to spend less on the remodel and get what you want rather than spending more money on a new or existing house. To get a feel for whether this applies in your case, look at property values in your neighborhood as well as values in the areas where you might be looking to move.

Have you faced the decision to remodel or sell before? What factored into your decision to go one way or the other? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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