Many homeowners grapple with the decision at some point in their home ownership years on whether to move or remodel the home they are in. Sometimes, it is just the fatigue that has set in from living in the same place for a long time that starts the deliberation, or perhaps it is functional obsolescence that triggers it.

In any event, in can be a stressful time to try to wrestle with all of the “what if” scenarios that come along with these considerations.  If you put too much money into the existing home, you may not be able to recoup the investment should you decide to sell in the near future. On the other hand, maybe there is an efficient way that makes remodeling your home not a bad idea and allows you to “live larger” or perhaps “live smarter”, all while preserving your equity and maintaining a realistic market value.

According to the National Association of Realtors, there are 3 simple questions you can ask yourself to help you to begin to decide the best course.

  1. What is the current condition of your home?

Take a good look around at the current condition of your home. Visit open houses or new home construction and assess how your home compares with the competition. If your bath and/or kitchen is dated and functionally obsolete, you should consider a remodel, regardless of whether you decide to sell or not.

  1. What is it you need from your home?

If your property is no longer sized properly for your family, or there are areas of the home that no longer serve a purpose, you may consider selling it and moving to something that fits better. However, here again, the cost associated needs to be considered. By talking with a professional home design professional, you could determine whether a remodel is a possible solution to your dilemma.

  1. What is your financial situation?

Whether or not you should consider selling or remodeling your home is largely conditioned on your personal financial situation. The recent economy has dropped home values to very low levels and the equity you once had to leverage in to a new property may be significantly diminished. Also, remodeling can add value to the property but will not exceed market value, so proceed with sound fiscal planning.

The bottom line is that you should be armed with all of the alternatives and costs associated before you can make a decision. A licensed, certified remodeling contractor could help you with much of this. A Realtor® can assist you with market value data for your consideration as well.