I recently had the opportunity to interview Dan Fritschen, founder of RemodelorMove.com and author of Remodel or Move? Make the Right Decision. In the time of a tentative housing market, Fritschen offers some great advice to homeowners regarding the big decision between selling a home or sticking around and remodeling.
In fact, Fritschen mentions that choosing the right alternative can save you up to $50,000 or more. That’s a lot of money. Fritschen says,
“Moving can cost 10 to 15% of a home’s value – remodeling done right can increase the value of a home, equaling or even exceeding the cost to remodel. But remodeling that just changes a floor plan or the style of a kitchen that is in good condition can have no affect on the home’s value – so making a wrong decision can cost a homeowner tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
He adds that numerous other factors affect the decision, too. For instance, property tax can be a big influence, depending on which state a homeowner lives.
“Property taxes for remodels and moving have a major impact as well as the value of the homes versus the cost to remodel. Many states and regions (like California) limit increases in property taxes; so that is often a big incentive to remodel vs. move to keep property taxes lower.”
Unfortunately, remodeling can sometimes amount to a whole lot of wasted money. According to Fritschen, when someone remodels for the sole purpose of increasing the value of their home but the home value does not increase, that remodeling investment is a waste.
“BUT, if a homeowner wants to remodel because of lifestyle issues and understands that the remodel will not increase the value of the home, then that is not a waste of money – at least in my opinion.”
All critical considerations to keep in mind! To break it down further, here’s a letter to you from Fritschen:
A few years back, I was talking to my brother-in-law about his decision to sell his home and move the family into a new one. The house they were in seemed pretty good to me. The location was great. The schools were good. The neighborhood was nice. Sure, the house needed a little work, but that was about it.
So I asked him, “Why don’t you just remodel the home you’re in right now?” “It’s simple, Dan,” he replied. “Remodeling is so expensive and exhausting. But moving is free!”
With 30 years of real estate and house remodeling experience under my belt, I knew this was not the case. On the contrary, moving is anything but free — it can cost upwards of 10% of the sale of your home to move into a new one.
The Right Decision for You
Sometimes it makes more sense, both financially and emotionally, to stay and remodel your home. And just as many times, it makes more sense to move. What might surprise you, though, is that making the right remodel or move decision can save you up to $50,000 or more!
But how can you know which choice is right for you? I couldn’t find a single unbiased resource available to help with the decision. There were real estate agents and private contractors willing to offer their advice, but it was often pretty self-serving.
So I set out to change this and founded RemodelOrMove.com — your one-stop trusted resource for making the right remodel or move decision for you and your family.
Unbiased Advice You Won’t Find Anywhere Else
The “centerpiece” of this site is the Remodel-or-Move Calculator. It asks you questions relating to the financial and emotional aspects of the change you’re considering, provides an estimate of the project costs of each option, and makes a recommendation for you.
We’ve also included a wealth of articles that explore the pros and cons of each choice and provide information on everything from finding a good contractor (if you choose to remodel) to creating “curb appeal” (if you choose to sell).
Finally, we recommend some books to help you explore this issue further. One is actually my own, Remodel or Move? Make the Right Decision. It has received incredible media coverage, as has the website, so I hope you will check it out. One final point: there is no “hidden agenda” to push you towards one decision or another. The goal of this site is simply to empower you to make a fully educated choice — one that you’ll be happy with for years to come.
When I speak at trade shows and conventions, I am always delighted to see so many people benefit from my work in this area. I hope you find great value in it, too.
–Look out for a Part 2 of my interview with Fritschen, when I ask him for 5 reasons to move and 5 reasons to remodel!