Should You Renovate or Relocate? Key Questions for Naperville Homeowners

Renovate or Relocate? Key Questions for Naperville Homeowners Debating Whether to Improve or Move

Are you a homeowner in Naperville or the surrounding Chicago suburbs who feels your current house no longer suits your needs? You're not alone.

Many families in our area find themselves debating whether to renovate their existing home or move to a new one. This choice requires weighing factors like your budget, goals, and tolerance for disruption. Here’s guidance on the key questions to ask yourself during this decision process.

Renovate or Relocate?

What Do You Hope to Achieve With a Change?

First, reflect on precisely why you feel your current home falls short. This will shape whether improvements or a new property better address those issues.

When Renovating Could Work

Certain problems, like outdated kitchens and baths, are easily fixable through remodeling. A renovation can dramatically boost your enjoyment of living spaces.

Expanding your home’s footprint could also help if your house feels cramped or lacks desired rooms. Options range from adding bathrooms to finishing a basement or attic. Installing an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) or building an extension are possibilities for accommodating multigenerational families, which are increasingly common in Naperville.

In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a surge of renovations nationally as remote work freed up location. Many Naperville residents likely remodeled to adapt homes to their changing needs.  

However, feasibility and costs of larger renovations depend on factors like permitting, zoning, and layout. An architect or contractor can advise if rebuilding significantly is realistic. We’re happy to connect you with trusted local professionals.

When Relocating May Be Better

Sometimes, even fully rebuilding wouldn’t solve key issues, making moving the singular option. For example, relocating is the only fix for an inconvenient commute or getting closer to family.

Relocating also allows capitalizing on pandemic-era location flexibility if remote work opens up new possibilities. Nearly five million Americans already moved for this reason, with millions more planning to. A local move within Naperville or to another Chicago suburb could get you the larger outdoor space or extra room you crave.

Additionally, certain frustrations like busy streets or distant amenities can’t be resolved through home improvements. In these cases, a different neighborhood may better suit your lifestyle. We can assess if another Naperville or Chicago suburb community could be a better fit.

How Do the Financial Implications Compare?

Both renovating and buying a home carry significant costs. Compare the financial impact of each choice before proceeding.

Remodeling's Price Tag

A major renovation's price varies widely, so get several contractor estimates to gauge potential costs. Account for all expenses, from materials and permits to system upgrades. Also budget extra for inevitable unexpected issues.

Factor in hidden renovation costs like:

  • Temporary housing  
  • Storage for relocated possessions
  • Additional home insurance
  • Dining out because you can't use your kitchen

Some projects boost resale value enough to justify costs, while others may hurt home price. For example, converted garages often turn off buyers, but refinished hardwood floors see excellent returns. We can estimate how planned renovations could impact your home’s future market value.

Relocating's Expenses

A new home’s total price depends on desired features. However, buying a suitable existing property may cost less than major custom renovations.

If considering moving, consult an agent early about your current home’s value and realistic target price range. This helps set expectations before you fall in love with a place exceeding your budget.

Remember to account for all buying and selling costs:

  • Closing fees
  • Moving expenses
  • Realtor commissions
  • Mortgage fees and interest rates

Explore whether current low rates could save you money long-term versus remodeling with potentially higher-interest financing. We can refer you to a knowledgeable lender.

How Much Disruption Can You Handle?

Finally, assess the inconvenience of each option, since both require significant time and hassle.

Remodeling's Headaches

Even with a general contractor, renovations demand tons of decisions, from product selections to color schemes.

Most projects also mandate packing and removing belongings from work zones. Don't expect to skip this step if renovating.

Plus, high contractor demand locally means a long waitlist to begin, then more months of construction. Contemplate whether you can live comfortably amid the work. For instance, being without a kitchen for weeks could be frustrating and costly. Inevitable delays will likely prolong the disruption.

Relocation's Challenges

House hunting and moving itself takes time. Buyers spend 10 weeks touring homes on average. After finding the perfect home, expect a 30-60 day closing, longer with financing.

However, the end-to-end relocation timeline could still be shorter than a major renovation. And you avoid living in a construction zone.

Still, moving brings stress. Preparing your home for sale is work, as are showings. Packing and unpacking also takes effort, especially settling into a new community.

Fortunately, we can significantly simplify your move if that's your choice, helping sell your current home quickly and find a fantastic new one.

Weigh Your Priorities

This major choice provides an opportunity to improve your quality of life. Carefully reflect on your motivations, finances, and tolerance for disruption before deciding between renovating or relocating. We're happy to help analyze your options during a free consultation!

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Whether to Renovate or Relocate in Naperville

The choice between renovating your current Naperville home or moving to a new one is complex. To make the best decision for your situation, here are some of the most important factors to consider:

How Long Do You Plan to Stay?

If you’ll remain in your home over 10 years, remodeling likely offers a better return on investment. You’ll have more time to recoup renovation costs through increased home value before selling.

Conversely, if you may move within 5-7 years, buying a home already offering your must-haves could be smarter financially. You’ll get to enjoy the features you want without waiting months for renovations.

Current Naperville market conditions also matter. Selling in a hot market like we’ve seen locally is best to maximize your sale price, so moving sooner could make financial sense now.

Does Your Home’s Structure Support Renovations?

Some renovations, like adding a second story or bumping out walls, may simply not be possible with your home’s construction. Assessing your home’s structure and layout is key.

For example, some Naperville houses have load-bearing walls that can’t be moved without major structural work. Similarly, low ceilings or a small footprint could rule out adding a second floor.

If your ideal renovations aren’t feasible, moving to a home designed how you’d like may be your best or only option. We can connect you with an architect or contractor to explore what’s possible.

How Disruptive Will the Work Be?

Even minor renovations require packing up rooms. Larger projects can make your home unlivable for months, especially if foundation or plumbing work is needed.

If you’re renovating, research soundproofing solutions to reduce noise issues for surrounding neighbors during construction.

Also make temporary living arrangements if moving out during work. Nearby short-term rentals like Airbnbs could allow your kids to minimize school disruptions.

Do You Qualify for Remodel Financing?

Unlike buying a home, renovations typically can’t be financed with a mortgage. You’ll need cash or a home equity loan or line of credit.

To qualify for remodeling financing, you’ll need sufficient equity built up in your current home. Requirements vary by lender, but you often need at least 15-20% equity.  

Crunch the numbers—if you don’t have enough equity yet, moving to a home you can finance may be a better financial option today.

How Will Resale Value Be Impacted?

Some renovations help resale value, while others can hurt it. Adding square footage, updating kitchens and baths, and finishing basements tend to bring strong ROI.

But niche projects, like turning a garage into a gym, may turn off buyers. And structural changes may be controversial, like removing walls or adding an ADU.

If your planned renovation could negatively impact future sale prices, moving may be smarter financially. We can provide objective insight on how local buyers may view your proposed renovations.

Naperville-Area Reasons to Consider Renovating Instead of Relocating

While relocating is the right move for some Naperville homeowners, remodeling your current house may better suit your needs. Here are some top reasons staying put could make sense:

Should you renovate?

You Already Love Your Neighborhood

If you adore your current Naperville neighborhood or suburb, remodeling allows you to keep everything you appreciate about your location.

Staying put spares you from researching new areas and worrying whether you’ll like a different community as much. It also provides peace of mind from knowing your neighbors and area well.

Your Home Has Strong Bones

Some older Naperville homes are built to higher standards than newly constructed ones. If your house has quality materials, ample space, and a layout you like, it may be worth investing in upgrades like new bathrooms and kitchens to make it your dream home.

Analyze the potential before tearing things down. Simple changes could refresh your home without the hassle and uncertainty of moving.

You Want Everything Customized

Relocating means compromise since it’s unlikely you’ll find a listing perfectly matching your wants. Remodeling instead allows fully customizing your home to your taste.

From paint colors to cabinetry to floor plans, renovating gives you creative control. The end result can perfectly suit your lifestyle rather than requiring adapting to someone else’s preferences.

You Already Have Low Interest Rates

Naperville buyers who locked in historically low mortgage rates in recent years may pay more to finance a new home now as rates rise.

Staying put means keeping your low rate versus starting over with a higher one—which could save major money long-term. Make sure to crunch the numbers with current rates before deciding.

Your Home Offers Flexibility

Some Naperville properties provide more potential for renovations due to layout, lot size, zoning allowances, or other factors. If your home can be more easily expanded or adapted to suit evolving needs, remodeling is likely the smarter path forward.

Assess what types of projects your home can accommodate before deciding, as empty nesters may value different features than growing families. We can help analyze your home’s flexibility.

Reasons to Consider Relocating Instead of Remodeling in Naperville

Sell my Naperville Home

While renovating your existing home is tempting, moving to a new house may better meet your needs. Here are cases when relocating could be the savvier choice:

You’re Tired of Ongoing Maintenance

All homes require regular upkeep and repairs, but properties with deferred maintenance can turn into money pits. If your home has mounting issues, a fresh start may be appealing.

Moving to a newer or recently renovated home transfers responsibility to the seller for addressing problems before closing. This frees up your time and wallet for enjoying your residence instead of constantly repairing it.

You Want Move-In Ready

Taking on a major renovation means months of dust, noise and displacement from normal routines. With a new-construction Naperville home, you can move right in and skip the hassle of remodeling.

New builds also offer the latest trends, like spa-like bathrooms and mega pantries. And you won’t inherit previous owners’ questionable renovation tastes.

Your Home Lacks Desired Features

Certain special features like media rooms or main-floor masters may require fully custom new construction. Similarly, if you need an elevator for accessibility, it’s often impossible to add to an existing home.

Moving to a home designed with your wish list in mind can be easier than attempting major structural renovations. We can show you listings already offering your must-haves.

You Want a Fresh Start

Maybe a move represents a new chapter, like adjusting to kids leaving home or accommodating aging parents. Or perhaps you need more indoor/outdoor continuity after remote work showed the appeal.

A new home tailored to your lifestyle can reenergize you. And showings are a great incentive for decluttering!

You Found Your Dream Property

Sometimes a home hits the Naperville market that perfectly matches your wants—but it requires moving. If you discover a house that has everything on your list in a neighborhood you love, take a close look before dismissing a move.

Opportunities like a short commute, acreage, or custom-built outdoor kitchen don't come along often. Weigh the pros and cons, but don’t let a great match slip away.

Key Tips for Naperville Homeowners Weighing Whether to Improve or Relocate

If you're on the fence between undertaking a major renovation or moving, here are a few tips to help guide your decision:

Seek Contractor Input

Seeking professional guidance is wise for major renovations. A knowledgeable Naperville contractor can assess if your envisioned project is feasible and deliver an accurate cost estimate.

They may propose alternative remodeling solutions you hadn’t considered. Or, they may confirm moving is your best route. Either way, their experienced perspective provides invaluable insight.

Review Local Listings

Browse current Naperville listings to get a sense of what’s available in your target price range and preferred neighborhoods. This can help set realistic expectations before committing to improvements.

Pay attention to homes with features you’d want to add to yours. Their list prices offer clues as to how much those upgrades could cost you in remodeling. Seeing your wish list already done may sway your decision.

Talk to Your Mortgage Lender

Connect with your lender to discuss financing options for renovating or moving. They can explain if a cash-out refinance or HELOC make sense and estimate new mortgage costs if you were to buy.

You want full information on how interest rates, loan costs, and monthly payments could differ in each scenario before finalizing your plans.

Create a 5-Year Budget

Map out projected expenses for both options over the next five years. This long-term financial view can highlight if remodeling or relocating ultimately costs more.

Factor in all potential costs like maintenance and repairs. Peek into the future to ensure you choose the path aligning with your family’s spending comfort level.

Trust Your Instincts

There’s no universal right choice between improving and moving that fits all Naperville homeowners. Carefully weighing the factors is crucial—but also listen to your gut.

How do you envision truly loving where you live? Does picturing your ideal home involve renovations or a new neighborhood? Don’t ignore those instincts when deciding.

Determining whether to renovate your current Naperville home or move to a new one requires balancing many considerations from budgets to goals to quality of life. We hope these tips help simplify your decision-making process! Let us know if you'd like help assessing what's right for your unique needs.

Call award-winning listing agent, Teresa Ryan, at 630-276-7575, or email [email protected] for a complimentary no-obligation consultation today!

Learn about out Home Selling services CLICK HERE

Post a Comment