Should You Remodel or Rebuild Your House?

  • Monica
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If you own a house that “needs a little love” (as you often see in real estate listings), you might be wondering whether to spruce up the existing house or to tear it down and start over. This is a big decision that requires careful consideration. To make the right choice for your budget and needs, start with a few questions, then take a hard look at what you hope to achieve, the condition of your existing house, and local laws that may affect the project.

How Long Will You Stay in Your Home?
If you plan to be in the house for the long-term and then sell it, it is usually wiser to tear down and rebuild, at least from a purely financial perspective.

Physical elements of a home are on a timer. The minute the hammer strikes your house for the last time, that timer starts ticking. Exterior paint might last up to seven years, but more like five years in inclement climates. Dishwashers last less than a decade, central air conditioners last about 10 to 15 years, and three-tab composite shingles are good for about 20 years

On top of that, while some elements’ lifespans are staggered, many others expire at roughly the same time. In terms of cost, replacing a dishwasher is nobody’s idea of fun, but just imagine having to do that in the same calendar year that you replaced your roof, gutters, and central air conditioner.

By rebuilding, you reset the clock in terms of the house’s physical nature: everything from the appliances to the house’s envelope (e.g., roofing, siding, etc.). When it comes time to sell 15 years later, you’re selling a 15-year-old house instead of one that is 40 years old. As a bonus, you had the pleasure of living in a new house during those 15 years. Buyers are intimately attuned to the age of houses—if they aren’t, their real estate agent and house inspector will make them well aware of this fact.

How Much Do You Want to Spend?
If you’re tight on money, remodeling is always the way to go. The issue is scale—your ability to scale your spending up or down (or freeze it), according to your needs and resources. For example, you can start by remodeling a bathroom then move onto other rooms as your budget and time allow.

Alternatively, the tear down and rebuild option is all-or-nothing. After your first big purchase—the demolition—you’re left with a vacant lot, committing you to build the new home. Unless you want to be the owner of a vacant lot, you must keep moving forward. The worst thing is to have a house that is partially complete because structures left exposed to the elements age quickly.รับออกแบบบ้าน

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