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Our lives change. Unfortunately, our homes don’t always get the hint and change with us.  Our families grow and then they shrink (and sometimes grow again).  We develop new hobbies,  start working from home or suddenly realize that “country living is the life for me”.  These changes often mean that our homes no longer meet our needs.
When this happens you must decide what to do with your suddenly obsolete home.  Basically you have two choices: remodel it or sell it.

Remodeling a home to meet your needs is a viable option.

  • The cost of remodeling can often be less than the cost of buying a different house. Depending on your situation, simple changes to a home can be made inexpensively if you are a DIYer.  As an experienced DIYer myself I would take a serious look at this option for simple changes such as turning a bedroom into an office. More complex changes, like adding bedrooms by “building on”, require more careful consideration. The cost of remodeling increased exponentially with a project’s increased complexity. Every home improvement job has unexpected expenses.  The basic office conversion example I used earlier will have unexpected cost. The home addition example will have many times the number of unexpected cost and these additional cost can easily push us into a situation where we now have spent more on a house than is justified by its current market value.
  • Some problems can’t be fixed by changing our current homes to meet our needs. For example, “Country living” can’t be attained on a quarter acre lot no matter how many trees we plant.  When faced with this situation it is usually best to move.

Selling your home to buy one that better meets your needs is an option that many people choose because it easily fixes the problem whether your house is too small, too large or just located in the wrong spot.

  • Selling a home is an exceptionally complex task. I advise home owners all the time to” hire an attorney and sell it yourself”, or use a realtor. They both cost $, but here’s the difference.  If you sell your house yourself you will pay for all the marketing, do all the showings and pay an attorney even if your house doesn’t sell. Realtors, on the other hand, pay for all the marketing, do all the showings and handle the legal stuff, and only get paid when your house sells.
  • The costs of selling your house involves more than attorney vs Realtor. For example, if you price your home too low and sell it for less than its best market value then that cost you money. Another cost of selling your home involves how long it takes to sell.  If you price your home too high and its doesn’t sell at all then you have made months of unnecessary payments on a home that doesn’t meet your needs.  This can be especially costly if your goal is to downsize.

What to do?

  • There is no single best option. What’s best for one person may not be best for someone else. I recommend taking a look at your needs and doing some research. We realtors are a helpful bunch and the right realtor can serve as a valuable resource. The Internet is also a good place to learn more.  Information such as market values and construction cost can be found there too.


Today’s post will hopefully help you see some of the questions and solutions to consider when your house is not meeting your needs. If you have specific questions or just want to point out irritating grammatical errors feel free to contact me at floraqualls@yahoo.com