Renovate or Move?

Posted by Stephanie Moyer on May 25, 2024

Stephanie Moyer

Sixty percent of Americans agree that moving is the most stressful live event - but is living in a construction zone any easier? If you are a homeowner and you find yourself antsy about your current living situation, you have two options: renovate or move. Let's discuss the top four things to consider before you make your final decision. When given extra funds and a choice between renovate or move, 76% of Americans said they would rather upgrade their current home rather than put a down payment on a new one. However, that does not mean renovating is always the smarter option. Several factors impact whether scheduling renovations or buying a new home is the best financial (and emotional decision) for you and your family. 

Four Things To Consider Before You Decide:

1. Cost

Is it cheaper to renovate or move?

For many Americans, cost is a major factor in home improvement decisions. Whether or not it is cheaper to renovate or sell largely depends on your current mortgage situation and your savings account. Renovations come with immediate, out-of-pocket expenses, whereas moving may save you money now, but cost more in the longer term. 

2. Emotional Attachment

What will you miss about your home? How many memories do you cherish from your time in your home?

You and your family may be even more attached to your home than you realize. It may be the place your daughter took her first steps, or the last place you spent time with an ailing grandparent. Consider these emotional implications for you and your family before you decide whether you are ready for the stress of moving. 

3. Real Estate Market

Is it a good time to sell or buy?

Even if it is more cost effective for you to move, rather than renovate, will you be getting the most out of your investment? Do some research about market conditions before you list your home. Don't forget to consider house selling trends. Homes typically sell faster in the spring and summer, and during those times, they are more likely to sell at or above the asking price.

4. Timing

Is the timing right for you and your family?

Not only is moving stressful, it also is not always feasible or rational given other life events. Consider that moving may mean changing school districts, commute routes, and mortgage costs. 

Home Renovation




  • Stay in the same location. This may be important if you have a strong sense of community or allegiance to a specific school district. 

  • Customize your space to your specific needs and preferences. 

  • May add value to your home. 

  • Need to work within the existing structure and layout of your home.

  • Renovations can take weeks or even months to complete. 

  • Can be stressful, overwhelming, and disruptive to daily life. 

Family Moving




  • Choose a space that meets your specific needs and preferences without current layout restraints.

  • Opportunity to declutter and start fresh, which can be very refreshing and energizing.

  • Often less time consuming and disruptive than major renovations, especially if you hire someone to take care of the logistics. 

  • Costs of a new home, including a new mortgage and closing costs. 

  • Disruptive to your routine until you develop a new one, especially if the kids are moving to a new school.

  • Packing and unpacking. 


Before you decide whether to relocate or remodel, it is a good idea to sit down with other household members to discuss all of these considerations. Even if you are the ultimate decision maker, including your loved ones in the process will make the decision easier for everyone. 

Topics: Life Moments, A Happy Home

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