June 18, 2018

Expanding Vs. Moving

It is not unusual for a homeowner to feel cramped in their home. Many of us settle into a place we deem our forever home, only to find that in the coming years our families change and grow unexpectedly, things accumulate, and we feel cluttered and overwhelmed. The inevitable question arises — do we start looking for a bigger space, or expand the one we currently have? This question comes with an onslaught of concerns, such as the current real estate market, our finances, the spaces that are available, and meeting our specific needs. Sifting through the pros and cons list leaves us struggling to determine whether it is worth expanding our current space or finding a new one altogether.

HGTV has us all believing that we can take on this project ourselves. Shows like Fixer Upper and Love It or List It make it seem easy to:  A. decide whether or not our home is worth staying in, and B. find a new or better place with ease. What these HGTV and other home network shows do not show us is the dirt, dust, and stress that comes with these renovations. Home expansion is no easy undertaking; it requires getting permits and scheduling inspections, all of which are not nearly as sexy as they seem on TV and can be a real hindrance to your timeline and sanity. However, if you find yourself priced out of your current area, then you may want to consider the option of expanding.

Pros include:

    • Knowing the area

    • Increasing the value of your existing home

    • Not having to deal with the stress of moving

The important thing to consider is weather or not can you live in your home while the renovation is happening. Do you have another housing option during construction, such as a vacation home?

What about moving? If taking on a home expansion project seems too daunting or stressful for you, consider the other options you may have.

Begin by making a wishlist of all the items you want to see in your new home. If you feel stuck here, it may be helpful to first make a list of the problems you have in your current home, so that you can tackle the most important issues. Items can include a larger space for entertaining, a yard, more bedrooms, or simply more storage areas. Make sure you know what you are willing to do or not do, and how much you are willing to give up.

Next is to start brainstorming where you want to move. Whether it be down the street or to an entirely different area, you’ll want to know not only about the homes but also the neighborhood itself. What are the amenities you seek in a neighborhood and what type of lifestyle are you looking for? Do you prefer a quiet suburban neighborhood to settle down in, or a bustling metropolitan area with new things to explore? Working with a realtor can help you understand your wants and needs, and match you with the proper home and neighborhood best suited to your lifestyle.

Once all of these considerations have been reviewed, you should start planning your budget to get an understanding of where you can afford to move. Can you stay in your existing area, or are you priced out? Does it make more sense financially to take on an expansion project, or start fresh with a new home? If starting fresh seems like the best choice for you, a realtor can exponentially increase your success while decreasing your stress in the oncoming home search.

As a resident of Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood since 2004, Kristie Bergey carries both extensive knowledge and passion for the area and the exciting changes happening throughout the city. Her appreciation for the city’s history, attention to detail, and open embrace of the city’s diversity make Kristie a master at finding the perfect lifestyle fit for any homebuyer. She understands the nuances of each neighborhood’s culture, arts, and food scene and can match any buyer’s needs. Throughout her career as a business owner, Kristie has understood the importance of excellent customer service. Her background in event planning allows her to recognize that exceeding the customer’s expectations requires insight, open communication, and building a trusting relationship. Kristie knows how to listen to her client’s openly expressed needs, as well as pick up on their internal desires, which makes her talent as a real estate agent all the more valuable. When it comes to the purchase or sale of your home, Kristie Bergey is the go-to gal.