Case Study October 5, 2019 MOVE or IMPROVE? Do you think it’s time to IMPROVE your home? People and families change over time. Certain needs and wants evolve. As children grow, often both they and the parents feel a need for separate spaces to watch TV, game or just hang out. That might mean a need for a great room addition or a finished basement. Families also enjoy entertaining friends which often creates a desire for a bigger, nicer kitchen and possibly an inviting outdoor living space. Families expand with additional children or other family members joining them. This might require bedroom additions, a master suite addition or an in-law suite. Projects like these are tens of thousands of dollars. Larger projects or multiple projects often well exceed one hundred thousand dollars. Now you must enter the following considerations: Do we have the cash? Should we liquidate some of our assets? Should we seek a renovation loan? Will we be over improving our home and pricing ourselves out of the neighborhood? How long do we plan on staying here? Faced with these questions, one should also consider whether to MOVE instead. That would mean doing all the minor repairs that the house needs and many cosmetic updates so that it will show well when listed for sale. De-cluttering and staging are almost always a suggestion of professional realtors. While readying to sell your home, you will be seeking for possible homes to purchase that have the size and features that your family needs and desires. The fiscal math is not as simple as sell for “x” and then buy for “y.” Here are other expenses that may need to be factored into your financial equation: Real estate fees Lawyer fees Closing costs Professional services such as a home inspector and title insurance Moving expenses The possible need for new/more furniture and decorating After that, there are some other unknown variables: What are the neighbors like? Friends for the kids? Traffic? Parking? When you’re not sure which to do, you should consult with professionals. MOVE or IMPROVE in NJ is compromised of realtors and project designers that work together with families faced with these same options. The process is similar to the HGTV show “Love It or List It” only tailored to the real world where the decision needs to be made up front and not at the end of a major renovation at the end of an episode.