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Renovate or sell and move? : How to make the right decision 


Move or renovate? This is a question many homeowners face at some point. Given the current real estate market, many are hesitant to move. Let’s analyze the pros and cons of each option to help you make the right choice. 

Advantages of renovation 

Personalization and added value 

Renovation allows you to customize your space according to your tastes while increasing the value of your home. You can transform your current house into a place that perfectly suits your needs and desires. A renovated home can also see its value increase, which is a significant advantage if you decide to sell in the future. 

Moving logistics 

Avoid the stress and costs associated with moving. Staying in your current home means you don’t have to pack all your belongings, find a new school for your children, or adapt to a new neighborhood. 

Emotional attachment 

Keep the memories and connections with your current neighborhood. For many homeowners, the house is more than just a building; it’s a place filled with precious memories. 

Types of renovation 

Room renovation 

Renovating a room, such as the kitchen or bathroom, can give your home a new lease on life without requiring a colossal investment. These projects are often easier to manage and can significantly impact your comfort and home value. 

Challenges: Room renovations are less invasive but still require contingency planning for unexpected issues like defective pipes or outdated wiring. 


Adding space to your home with an extension can meet your growing needs without changing addresses. Whether it’s a new bedroom, a family room, or a sunroom, the possibilities are numerous and can truly transform your living space. 

Challenges: Extension requires checking local zoning regulations and ensuring the land can accommodate the addition. It may also require significant structural modifications. 

Adding a basement or floor 

For those lacking land, adding a basement or floor can be an ideal solution. This significantly increases your home’s living area while staying on the same plot. 

Challenges: For adding a floor, it’s crucial to ensure the current foundations can support the extra weight. Structural reinforcements may be necessary. For a basement, drainage and waterproofing issues must be considered to avoid moisture and flooding. 

Complete renovation 

A complete renovation transforms the entire house, from structure to interior finishes. This often includes major updates to electrical, plumbing, and heating systems. 

Challenges: Complete renovations are the most expensive and disruptive, often requiring temporary relocation. They demand detailed planning, multiple permits, and strict project management to avoid budget and time overruns. 

Disadvantages of renovation 

Costs and budget overruns 

Renovations can be expensive, and surprises are frequent. What starts as a small renovation can quickly become a major project with costs exceeding the initial budget. Renovations can easily cost more than new construction. 

Unexpected issues 

Renovations can uncover hidden problems, such as structural, plumbing, or electrical issues, leading to additional costs and extended work duration. 

Time and disruptions 

Work can take time and disrupt your daily life. Dust, noise, and temporary inconvenience (e.g., unusable kitchen/bathroom for weeks) can make daily life difficult during the renovation period. 

Structural limitations 

Some improvements may be limited by the existing house structure. You may not be able to expand a room or add an extra floor without costly and complex modifications. 

Advantages of moving 

New opportunity 

Moving can offer the chance to find a home that better suits your current needs. You can look for a house with more space, modern amenities, or in a better location. 

Long-term cost reduction 

In some cases, moving can reduce your long-term costs. For example, moving to an area with lower property taxes, a lower cost of living, more accessible services, lower property maintenance costs, and better energy efficiency reducing heating/cooling bills, etc. 

Change of environment 

Discovering a new neighborhood, new schools, and different amenities can be exciting and refreshing. It can also offer new social and professional opportunities. 

Disadvantages of moving 

High collateral costs 

Between agency fees, notary fees, and moving costs, the expense can be significant. The cost of buying a new home can also be higher than that of renovations. 


Adapting to a new neighborhood can be challenging, especially for children. Finding new landmarks and integrating into a new community can take time. 

Real estate market uncertainties 

Finding a new home can take time and depend on market conditions. You might not immediately find a house that meets your criteria and budget. With the often difficult current real estate market, moving can be a real challenge. 

Need for future renovations 

Unless you build your house, moving into an existing home implies there will likely be things you dislike that will ultimately require renovations. This means additional costs and future work. 

Factors to consider 

Current house condition 

Evaluate whether the current house has the potential for the desired improvements. Some renovation projects may not be feasible or cost-effective depending on the house’s condition. 

Available budget 

Compare the total cost of renovation with the cost of buying a new home. Be sure to consider hidden costs and possible contingencies in both scenarios. 

Need for change 

Consider whether a simple change of environment can improve your quality of life. Sometimes, a fresh start in a new place can be more beneficial than staying in a house that requires a lot of work. 

Added value assessment 

Before embarking on significant renovations, it might be wise to consult a certified appraiser to assess the potential added value of your home after the work. This will help you understand the investment made and its impact on your property’s value. 


The decision to renovate or move depends on many personal and financial factors. Take the time to evaluate your needs, resources, and priorities before making a choice. Whether you choose to renovate or move, the important thing is to make a decision that will bring you long-term satisfaction. By considering costs, potential surprises, current real estate market conditions, and the need for future renovations, you’ll be better prepared to make the choice that best suits your situation. Consulting a certified appraiser can also help you understand the potential added value of your home after renovation, ensuring a wise investment.