“Some people look for a beautiful place, others make a place beautiful.” –Hazrat Inayat Khan

This quote reminds me of a question we’re frequently asked. (As the Kinks put it, “Should I stay or should I go.”) Almost everyone, at some point, wonders if they should look for a new home, or try to improve the home they are in. Here is some of the advice we give people who are wondering if they should remodel or sell.

Future Plans – How long do you plan to stay in the home? If you’re planning to stay three or more years (10 years for a major remodel), go ahead and remodel and enjoy your improvements. (Usually people stay in their homes longer than they estimate anyway.) But if you’re moving sooner, make sure you maintain the property and make improvement necessary to sell.

Why did you purchase the home in the first place? – Did you purchase your home because you love the location? Because it’s near good schools? Because it’s close to friends? Some attributes, like location or great neighbors, can’t always be replicated, making staying and remodeling the best choice, while other attributes can be replicated. If multiple homes on the market meet your needs, or if you’re not attached for one of the prior reasons, maybe it’s time to sell.

What are your goals for the remodel? – Make a list of goals you would like to accomplish with a remodel. By focusing on your goals, instead of the project, you (and we) will be able to better determine if a remodel is right for you.

Is the home in good condition? ­- Sometimes a home is so outdated, run down, or damaged that a remodel isn’t even possible or feasible until things like the roof, wiring or foundation are improved. It may not make sense to invest in a kitchen remodel, for example, if the home is in desperate need of new windows and siding, or to finish the basement if the home frequently has water in the basement.

How much are you willing to invest in the home? There is no right answer to this question, but you absolutely positively must know your number. Without a budget, we can’t provide you with useful information about what can be done to achieve your goals. For realistic costs for remodeling projects in our area, visit

What kind of improvements are you considering? The evaluation process is entirely different when you’re deciding if you should install new flooring vs doing a two story addition. Go back to your goals for the remodel and your budget.

What do you want to deal with? The hassle and expense of having a remodel done where you’re living or the hassle and expense of buying/selling and moving? Some people love to move, others don’t. Some people deal well with having a portion of their homes a construction zone, while others don’t. Which transition is better for you?

When you’re ready to discuss whether you should stay or go, contact the remodeling experts at Red House Remodeling. To learn more about the remodeling process, sign up for one of our Kitchen and Bath Remodeling seminars.

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