Renovate Old House or Buy New One – How to Decide?

Tired of the same old house? If you’ve been living in your house for many years, you may be feeling the urge to switch things up. Maybe your family has grown since you moved into your current home, or maybe you’ve experienced some lifestyle changes that your house doesn’t cater to. If this resonates with you, you may be wondering whether you should renovate or move.

The idea of moving to a new home and a new neighborhood for a fresh start may sound appealing, but regardless of your choice, there is always some degree of old house renovations to consider. 

In this article, we break down the factors to consider when deciding to buy or renovate a house.

Understanding the Current Real Estate Market

Before you buy a new house, it’s important to understand real estate market trends to make sure that it’s a good time to purchase a home. And since market trends fluctuate, we recommend keeping an eye on market health so you know when and how to buy a house in Canada.

According to market trends, the price of homes in the GTA is expected to drop by 3% in 2024, after the market saw a 5.9% drop in sale price in 2023.

The forecast shows that an increase in home sales is expected despite the reduced price of homes, with some reports estimating that home sales will increase by more than 10% in 2024. However, the increase in interest rates over the last couple of years has made it more challenging for buyers to manage costs of borrowing, which is one of the reasons why home sales have decreased.

Factors to Consider Before Renovating

Renovating a house can be exciting. In fact, we have plenty of renovation ideas for old homes for our clients. But the truth is it’s easy to focus on the fun part of the project and forget about other important things.

You’ll need to have a good understanding of your timeline. How much time do you have to complete your renovations? Make sure that the timeline works for you and your family. Also keep in mind that there may be delays encountered during the renovation process, so have some flexibility in your timeline in case this happens.

Your budget is another factor that should be high on your priority. Renovating a house can be expensive, with some types of renovation projects costing more than others. Take some time to think about what your goals are and plan your renovations accordingly. Remodeling an old house on a budget is possible. Just plan well and be realistic about your costs. Leave room in your budget for unexpected expenses. We recommend setting aside 25% of your budget for unexpected surprises.

Knowing which areas of your house to renovate is also important. Some renovations provide a higher ROI than others i.e. bathroom, kitchen, and basement renovations.

Pros and Cons of Renovating

Remodeling an old house is an opportunity to update your home and continue to live in the home you love. If you are considering this option, it’s good to know the pros and cons of an old house renovation and have a renovation checklist to keep you on track. Renovations can be a more affordable way to reinvent your living space, and the beauty of renovations is that you get to keep your address and update your home to increase its value.

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It’s not just new builds that command a high price on the market, renovated old homes also have significant value and that is reflected in the price.

Also, there are tax credits and rebates you may be able to claim for your renovation project. 

One of the cons of renovating your home is that renovations are inconvenient. Sometimes you and your family may be displaced for weeks or even longer if major renovations are being done. If this happens, you will need to find a temporary place to live while the project is ongoing. Even if you can stay in your home, there most likely will be some disruption to your schedule and life.

It’s also important to keep in mind that renovations can be expensive. The costs can creep up during the project. Sometimes this is due to unforeseen challenges, and other times homeowners decide to upgrade their finishes along the way, adding to the cost.

DIY Projects and Cost-Effective Renovations

Sometimes DIY is the way to go. There are simple and affordable ways to improve your home’s aesthetic and increase the value of your home without having to hire a professional. This is good news if you are remodeling an old house on a budget.

DIY renovations can help you save some money, and, with some research and care, you can achieve a beautiful finish. Some of the DIY projects you can do to improve your home include painting, updating lighting, adding cellular blinds, and updating cabinets. 

  1. Painting – A fresh coat of paint does wonders for your walls and entire look of a room.
  2. Lighting – A well-lit room makes everything look better. It’s more inviting and makes the decor and other elements in the room stand out more.
  3. Updating cabinets – No need to install a new set of cabinets, you can simply paint over the ones you have or update the hardware on it for a new look.
  4. Cellular blinds – A room that allows plenty of natural light into the room elevates the look and feel of the space. Cellular blinds accommodate this well.

Sometimes people think that they need to conduct major renovations to have a significant impact on the look of their home, but this is not the case. Small strategic changes can be very effective in updating the look of your home.

The Importance of Repairs and Deep Cleaning

Before putting your house on the market, attend to obvious repairs. This is something simple that you can do to increase your chances of selling your home.

The nicer your home looks, the greater the chance that buyers will be impressed and want to buy your home. Repairs can also be a safety measure to prevent hazards. Some things you can do include:

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  • washing interior and exterior walls
  • remove clutter inside the home
  • deep clean the entire house
  • cleaning your gutters
  • pruning bushes
  • pulling weeds
  • mow your lawn
  • repair/replace damaged or missing pickets and paint (if you have a fence)
  • pressure wash your driveway and sidewalk

Enhancing Curb Appeal Before Selling

The exterior of your house is the first thing people notice about your home. And as the first impression, it’s important to make it appealing to attract buyers.

So while you should pay attention to the interior of your home, don’t forget about exterior renovations. Curb appeal not only impacts what people think about your home, but it also affects the look of the neighborhood. Are there any repairs that need to be done to the exterior walls?

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Is your exterior front door showing its age? Painting your front door can freshen it up and give it a welcoming look.

Make sure any repairs needed on your driveway or walkway are tended to. Not only will this make the yard look nice, but it also serves as a safety measure. Also spend some time focusing on your landscaping so everything looks its best.

Evaluating the Option to Move

To move or not to move? The thought of moving may be exciting, but the reality of a move may be much different. The amount of work that goes into moving is something you should think about when deciding to move or renovate. The first thing to consider is finances.

Moving is costly. People often underestimate how much they will spend moving to a new house. You’ll need to hire a realtor. Some of the costs include paying the movers, having a home inspection, land transfer tax, real estate fees, etc. These costs all add up.

Moving is also emotionally taxing. You’ll have to endure the frustrating process of hunting for the perfect house for your family that is within your budget. You also must consider the possibility of putting a bid on a house and losing it to another buyer.

There’s also the time factor. Even after you find your dream home, you may not be able to move in as quickly as you would like. There are sometimes delays in closing and this can be frustrating and inconvenient.

Making the Decision: Renovate or Move?

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Depending on what your goals and needs are, moving to a new home may be the right option for your family. Think about the costs involved and weigh the pros and cons of each option. Consider the emotional toll that comes with having to move or not get the house you really wanted.

Think about how much time you have on your hands and whether you can deal with the inconvenience remodeling brings.

Also look at market trends to determine whether it’s a good time to buy a new house or stay and renovate.

Buying or Staying, Home Renovations Will Always Have ROI

You can always count on the right renovations being a worthwhile investment. If you choose to stay in your home, remodeling will allow you to enjoy your space more. If you decide to sell it soon after renovations are complete, you’ll increase the chances of your home selling at a good price.

Consulting real estate professionals like Black Pearl Custom Homes can make all the difference in helping you make the right decision for you and your family. Reach out to us today for more insight.