Is it Time to Renovate or Move?

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If you are a homeowner and your living situation isn't working, it's time to decide if you should renovate or move. Here are some things to keep in mind as you consider which is better for your situation.

What Changes are You Looking for?

Write down a list of all the reasons you might renovate or move. What isn't working for you in the house you currently have? Some things your list might include are:

  • Needing more bedrooms for a new baby or elderly parent
  • Needing space for a pet
  • Work from home space needs to be upgraded
  • Lack of entertainment space
  • Outdated appliances
  • Too little storage
  • Location that doesn't suit your lifestyle anymore

Costs of Moving vs Renovating

One of the most significant factors to consider as you decide if you should renovate or move is the costs of each option. Both come with associated expenses and different ways to fund them. Moving will include a variety of expenses, including:

  • Down payment and closing costs
  • Agent fees on the sale of your current home
  • Moving expenses such as movers, moving truck, and eating out
  • Appliances, window covering, and other furnishings in the new home

On the other hand, consider getting quotes from professionals who would help with your renovation, as well as making a list of DIY projects that might make your home more livable. Compare the expenses of each scenario, as well as the expected ROI of renovating your home versus buying a new one, to figure out which is the better financial move for you.

Real Estate Market

Find out if now is a good time to sell, and what you could expect to get for your home, by talking with a qualified real estate agent. If now is a good time to sell, consider whether now is also a good time to buy. If you were to move, what kind of property would you be looking for? Is that type of property in high demand right now in your area? These are questions best addressed by talking with a real estate agent and pursuing pre-approval with a lender to find out what your options are and what the optimal timeline is for selling your home.


Consider factors that should influence the timing of a move or renovation, beyond the real estate market. Are you in the middle of any major transitions that require your focus, like a new job or adding a child to the family? Do you have kids in school who would be switching school districts if you move? Whether you renovate or move, a significant transition period will take place in your life. Take your time as you consider how these changes might best fit in with the timeline of your family this year.


Remember that the location of your home is the hardest thing to change. As you decide if your should renovate or move, think about the location of your current home and how well it works for your life, taking into account things like:

  • School districts
  • Commutes to work, extracurriculars, and medical appointments
  • Proximity to church, clubs, and gyms
  • Neighborhood amenities
  • Proximity to family and friends
  • Neighbors

Stress of a Renovation

If you are leaning toward renovating, talk to people who have renovated their homes before to get an idea of the challenges of living through a renovation. Decide if you want to try to live in your home while it is renovated or if you'll look for a rental or hotel for portions of the process. Consider which renovations you might be able to complete yourself, based on your DIY skills and the time you can make available in your schedule. There is no simple answer as you consider whether to renovate or move. For help weighing your options and to learn more about the market in your area, contact us today!

Thinking of moving? Give us a call! Even in this crazy real estate market, having an agent that knows the market and the area can help you price your home for the perfect sale - FAST! We serve the entire Palm Desert real estate market!