Is it better to renovate than to move?

Financially, it may make more sense to move than to remodel. You will incur costs no matter what path you decide to take, and what makes sense to you may not make sense to another homeowner. For some homeowners, moving is cheaper. For others, it makes more financial sense to renovate the house they already have.

To find the most economical option for you, be sure to consider all possible expenses to make an accurate side-by-side comparison. Should you renovate or move? It depends.


a kitchen, bathroom, or other room in the house definitely outweighs the hassle of moving, but moving can give you everything you need in a home, including more space, brand new bathrooms and kitchens, and more. Before you make your decision, think about how your current home works for your current stage of life and where you would like to be five to ten years from now.

You want a home that can grow and change with you or you want to be ready to move. How do you decide whether to move or renew, then? Consider all the relevant factors, from your practical needs and personal preferences to your financial situation and emotional attachments, and discover the pros and cons of both options, so you can make the right choice for you and your family. According to data from Sweeten, renovating an entire apartment takes about four months, and could take longer if permits and approvals are difficult to obtain. Now that you know what to consider when deciding whether to renovate or move, it's time to learn the pros and cons of both options and make your choice.

One thing to keep in mind: If you ask a contractor for a quote for renovation or remodeling work, expect to pay them for their time. But if the fault is within the four walls of your house, it can be fixed within your renovation budget and will allow you to live in your house longer, then that's when you should consider a renovation. Your contractor may tell you that the renovation will last eight weeks, but you could end up extending it if changes, problems, or delays occur. The deciding factor here is what kind of renovation your home needs to make it more comfortable for your home.

You will need to remove everything from the room or area being renovated, but you won't need to move out of the house. Be sure to work with experienced and reliable contractors and plan for the inevitable inconveniences associated with a renovation project. If you're emotionally attached to your current home (and your location meets your needs), moving home isn't a good idea. You should try to renovate your home to solve any problems you have with your living space.

If what you dream of is a front-line, luxury or custom home, you might think twice before renovating your existing home, because there is a financial risk of improving too much in your area. But should you stay and expand your family environment or fly to a different nest? Should you renovate or move? The materials you choose for your renovation project can dramatically increase the cost of renovation. Considering convenience is no small thing, especially if you want a new kitchen and you'll have to spend months without access to an oven to be able to renovate your current kitchen. But if you have the means and your renovation is a long-term strategy that can make your home “more functional, more livable, or more family-friendly for the next five to 10 years, do it,” Pendleton says.

When it comes to home remodeling, the annoyance factor depends entirely on the scale of the project: the more adjustments you want to make to your home, the more expensive, the more difficult and stressful the renovation process will be.

Virgil Espree
Virgil Espree

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