living room remodel mountain view

Should I Remodel My Home or Buy a New One?

When you and your family find yourself needing more space or simply want an upgrade, you have to decide whether you should remodel your current home or buy a new one. This is a complicated and nerve-wracking decision. Buying a new house is a decision that cannot be made too frequently. However, remodeling is a complicated and costly process too.

Your decision to remodel your home or move will be unique to your circumstances. Some factors might influence your decision. Cost, attachment to your current house or community, potential changes in the family, and stress will all influence your choice.

There is no definitive answer if you should remodel or buy because all situations are individual. Before investing in one of these options, it might be a good idea to spend some time putting down a good pros and cons list for yourself. Read on for some tips that might help you make this complicated decision.


Consider the Cost

Money is the biggest issue when you are dealing with real estate. Prices on new houses have been increasing and this will not stop anytime soon. Aside from mortgage payments or out-of-pocket purchase, you should also consider the cost of living in your current neighborhood and new potential place of residence.

  • What are the taxes?
  • Is there an HOA fee?
  • Will it rise in price in 10 years?

Cost does not only refer to your immediate spending money. Real estate is expensive but a wise decision concerning it will be a good investment into your future. Besides, it is important to consider what is the state of the real estate market now, especially if you are making this decision during or shortly after a major shift in the economy.


What Money Can You Spend?

The primary factor to consider when thinking about remodeling or relocating is the cost of thereof. Several scenarios can apply to you.

  • The budget is too low
  • You have extra savings
  • Temporary financial difficulties or successes

If your budget is too low but you are still thinking about changing living arrangements, buying a new house can be a better solution. Relocating to a different neighborhood or even a different county can decrease your everyday spending significantly, and if you own a house now, changing a more expensive property for a more affordable option can be a way out of a dire financial situation.

Remodeling, on the other hand, can cost you a lot more than changing residence. Selling and buying can release some extra funds but remodeling will only carry expenses with no financial benefit. So if your financial situation is troubling, moving to a new place can be a solution.

If your financial situation is sound, then remodeling can be a good decision. Houses require maintenance and if your last renovation was more than ten years ago, then remodeling can be a good decision. However, you can also consider getting a new house too if your current residence is in a location that does not suit you well enough.

Finally, your financial situation might be temporary, and you expect that your income will go either up or down in the next few months. In any of these situations, buying a new house can be a good decision because of investment value.


Potential Investment

Unless you live in a historic mansion, a newer property is usually a better investment than an older one. Newer houses are usually better built, especially in terms of wiring, electric grid, plumbing, and modern technology. With these amenities, it will rise in price and in ten years you will have saved a significant amount of money just by living in a better place. Your current house might not rise in price that much though.

Does your current residence need a major remodeling? It will require a lot of free funds and might be more expensive than buying a new house but, in the longer run, a well-renovated house can rise in value, so in the same way, you are saving funds, when buying a new house, remodeling an older one can make it more expensive to sell later.

So when deciding if you should move or remodel, the rise in investment value should be one of the points on your pros and cons list. Will you be able to spend money to make an older house just as good as the newer one? Go for remodeling. If not, consider moving.


How Is the Market?

The 21st century has brought forth many changes, including major changes to the real estate market.

Prices on larger living arrangements have gone up since March 2020, when the pandemic hit the world and people had to stay on lockdowns, and depending on when you are reading this text, they might have slid down or stayed the same.

When choosing if you want to buy or remodel, consider changes in the market.

mountain view home remodeled

Living Arrangements

Do you have a new member of your family? Or maybe you have just created a family? All of that can signal that it is time to choose a larger place for yourself and your loved ones. Children require a lot of space, so your good old one-bedroom might not do well for starting a family. Ideally, your child needs their own room, and if you do not have it – consider changing that.

However, even if your child was born several years ago and does have their own room, changing residence can also be a change in a school district.

  • Does the school in your district have a bad reputation?
  • Do you really want your child to go to one particular school in a nearby neighborhood?
  • Are you more familiar with teachers in another school?
  • Does your child already go to school and does not like it there?

If yes, then moving is your choice.

However, even if you do not have children yet, your partner that has moved in with you might have a different opinion about your good-looking man cave. Is it convenient for both of you to commute to your workplace? Or does any of you continue to work from home after COVID? Do both of you keep on telecommuting? All of that can be signal that you need to move to a different house.

A different scenario – a wedding has just happened. Congratulations! Starting a new family might require a new house. Are you planning on having a child soon? Then remodeling the old place does not make much sense.

Finally, a sad scenario – your family shrank, and now you either live alone or your child has moved to a college dorm. Having too much space around can become a problem and even daunting. Living alone in a huge house is not pleasant, so again, consider moving.


Emotional Attachment

A house is the place of residence but it is also the place where you spend most of your time. There is a reason why you are thinking about remodeling instead of just changing the place you live. You are emotionally attached to this house.

It might be your old childhood home, where you spent these happy worry-free early years. Or maybe there is this special place, where you like to stay in the late evening with a cup of something or headphones. These sentimental feelings are what makes you a unique person and discarding them will hurt your mental health. So if you are feeling emotionally attached to where you live, it is normal.

In fact, even if you do not feel like this applies to you, if you have lived in one place for years, there is a high chance that you do, in fact, will want to stay, and moving to a new place will damage your mental health even if you discard this feeling. So be careful and approach this thought with an open mind.


Attachment to Community

Did you get lucky with neighbors at your current residence? It is hard to imagine but some neighbors are actually good friends! Or maybe you really like that couple that throws a party every Halloween? Moving to a new place is always hard on your mental health. Losing people with whom you often spent time is a part of this trouble.

Some communities are more alive and interesting than others.

  • Some communities are driven by college students and are more suitable for younger people.
  • In some cases, residents are more mature and a young person might not fit.
  • If your current neighborhood suits very well for young families with kids, then you are probably looking at something similar.

However, even a small detail can make buying a new house harder. A beloved coffee shop, where you pick up your morning cup on your commute, that small dog park, where you get friendly with other dog owners. There is a high chance you are going to miss it. Or vice versa, a new place can open more possibilities for you and your loved ones.

Finally, you might not be the only person in your family who is attached to the community. If your children are old enough, they are closely tied to your neighborhood and other children around them. Moving is a big stress for children too, so your child should have a say in this decision.


Potential for Stress

Speaking of emotional background and stress, both moving to a new house and remodeling are quite stressful endeavors for a person of every age. There is little chance that any of these will go unnoticed for your mental health.

Remodeling will create a literal mess in your life since your house will look like a warzone with the furniture being not in the right places, all these hardware and tools lying around, and parts of rooms being unusable. Besides, remodeling can be hard, especially if you are doing it yourself, of course.

But moving to a new house will be stressful too. Human brains do not like change, especially such a drastic change as a place of residence and everyday environment. Of course, for some people moving can be exciting but if you are not one of these people, then it is worth comparing what will be more stressful: remodeling or moving.



All of the above: cost, family, stress, market – comes down to one big question. Is it a good time to move now? The future is unpredictable and is subject to change very quickly. There are many questions that you need to ask yourself on the timing of this move.

  • Will your family become larger in the next few years?
  • Are you expecting a promotion or a job change?
  • Is your financial situation stable?

In the end, you might decide that you do not want any changes now, because now is not a good time. So instead of having only options: remodeling and moving – there might be a third one: reschedule. It should not be a very long time before you get back to this question again, but sometimes a three or even six months break can be a good idea.



Remodeling or moving – both of these are big decisions that should not be hasty, and ideally, you would want to avoid making that decision every year. When making this decision, try thinking outside of obvious reasoning and take some time. However, if refreshing your living arrangement feels crucial now but you are unsure if the timing is right, it is better to invest in remodeling.

Element Home Remodeling is a Mountain View based home remodeling contractor that specializes in major home remodeling projects. We are known throughout the Bay Area for our customer service and quality work. Check out our reviews online and contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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