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Meeting your family's changing needs: relocation or renovation, part 1

When your housing situation needs to change, should you upgrade your home or find a new house?
5/22/2017 5:58:07 PM

When you bought your home, it was exactly what you needed. It was in the right neighborhood, had the right number of bedrooms and was in your price range. But after a few years, your needs changed, and your home didn't change with them.

Perhaps you had a new baby, your in-laws moved in, or you took up a hobby that requires more space. In any case, your housing situation needs to change. So, do you find a new home, pack up and move? Or should you stay put and alter your home to align with your changing lifestyle? In some cases, remodeling rather than relocating might be the better option.

Here are some excellent reasons to keep your current home and upgrade it to meet your new housing needs:

You won't have to enter the real estate market

Selling your home usually means buying a new one. At present, the homebuying competition is fierce. The number of affordable single-family homes is notably low, with each listing attracting swarms of prospective buyers, National Association of Realtors reported. This has encouraged bidding wars, inflated home prices and, inevitably, frustrated and disappointed some shoppers.

By staying in your own home, you won't have to deal with any of this.

You won't have to give up familiarity

Though selling your home, packing up your belongings and buying a new home are the most obvious challenges in relocation, they aren't the only ones. When you move to a new neighborhood, your daily routine may change dramatically. You'll need to learn a new route to work, school, the grocery store and so on.

Beyond familiarity with your neighborhood, you also have a familiarity with your present home that you won't have with a new one. Money Crashers pointed out that simply having this information and not having to re-learn it for a new home can be very beneficial. For example, you know when the roof or HVAC system will need to be replaced, allowing you to plan for that. You know the details of lines or pipes running beneath your backyard, and approximately how much your next utility bill will be. This is all great information that can help you plan finances, schedule maintenance and feel at ease in the home that you know.

You love your neighborhood

In most cases, you can change the size, shape and layout of your house. What you can't change is the quality of the school district you live in, your proximity to the mall or your favorite restaurant, or how nice your neighbors are. If you love your neighborhood, why give it up? Stay, renovate and keep your roots planted in a community you know well and enjoy being a part of.

You can use a renovation loan for affordable upgrades

Making upgrades to your home doesn't have to be ultra-expensive. There are loan programs that allow you to make changes to your home without emptying your bank account or taking on high-interest debt. One example is Fannie Mae's HomeStyle program, which allows homeowners to make structural changes to the home and even allow you to include luxury items in the renovations. Another is the 203(k) Renovation Loan, which allows you to make structural changes if you opt for the full version of the loan, or minor cosmetic repairs when you take out the limited version.

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2015 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.