Move or Remodel?

August 14th, 2017 by Copper Ridge Staff

The Grand Rapids Real Estate market has been a seller’s market through much of this year, and inventory remains low with less than 1.5 months inventory. That means that families who might normally consider “trading up” for more space or more luxuriously appointed homes are faced with a widening price gap. While they may earn more on the sale of their current home, they’ll also pay more on a new home.

When debating whether to move or remodel, the first consideration is your rationale for moving. If it’s related to a commute or a desire to live in a different neighborhood, then moving makes sense. But if your motivation has more to do with space or amenities, you might be a candidate for a remodel. The deciding factors will be cost of home improvements versus prospective return-on-investment and/or the cost of otherwise obtaining the additional space and amenities.

According to an article by the Home Builder’s Association of Greater Grand Rapids,  it is typically unwise to remodel to the point of making improvements that exceed the other homes in the neighborhood.

“You will want to obtain an appraisal of your home. Then, look for homes nearby that have recently sold with improvements similar to the ones you want to make. To determine whether remodeling will be worth doing, consider how much your improvements will cost and compare that with the price your home will likely bring….If you have a viable neighborhood and if you are bringing your home up to or slightly above neighborhood standards, from the financial side, you almost can’t go wrong by renovating.”

The HBA recommends including all moving costs in your assessment, such as:

  • Moving costs
  • Real Estate commissions
  • Pre-Sale improvements
  • Financing charges
  • Sale Price of homes with the kind of amenities you desire

Now compare these costs with your estimate for a home makeover, and decide which is right for you.

Talk to us for home remodeling options that will elevate your space, in place.


Analyze all the factors to get the total cost of moving, including real estate commissions, improvements you will need to make to the home prior to selling, financing charges, moving costs, utility deposits etc. If it will be cheaper to remodel than to buy a house with the features you want, then you might want to remodel. Choose your project wisely. For example, if you just don’t like the colors or style of your kitchen, but it is only 10 years old, it might not be worth it to remodel. But if the kitchen is from the 1970s, then it probably would be worth it.