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You Don’t Need a New House

Posted by Johnine Larsen on February 20, 2019
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Sometimes you need more space. Maybe your kids grew older and want separate rooms, or maybe you need more storage, or maybe you’ve always felt a little cramped.

You don’t always need a new house.

I’ve seen too many people sell their current house and buy a new one just because they want more room. Don’t get me wrong—many times that’s a good decision! But sometimes it’s like buying a new car because your current one doesn’t have Bluetooth capabilities. Sometimes you end up giving more than you get, when there was another, better solution available the whole time.

That sometimes solution is remodeling. You can convert an attic into a gorgeous bedroom, or prove up that unfinished basement. Depending on how big your lot is, you can add more rooms, or an extra floor, or any number of other updates that don’t force you to leave your current house. Take these attic remodels, for instance:

Remodeling your home instead of selling and buying doesn’t put money in my pockets, but I’m not in real estate for that. I care about helping people. Whether it’s making a good investment, finding a home you love, or making any other real estate decision that best fits your life and goals—that’s what I care about.

So, if you need more space, first ask yourself these questions:

Can I afford it?

Your home is one of your biggest investments. Don’t jeopardize your financial situation by buying a bigger house you can’t afford (or a house you can barely afford; leave yourself at least a little breathing room for unexpected life changes). This isn’t just a money question, either. It’s also about time and energy. We make the process of buying and selling as easy as possible, but there’s no way around it: it’s still a time-consuming, stressful experience. If you’re feeling stretched in life already, you might want to wait for things to calm down a bit before you move.

 

How’s the real estate market?

Is buying a new house nowthe best decision? What about five years from now? Can you make do by adding an extra bedroom this year and then moving on yourterms later, when you can get the most from the market? These are complicated questions that demand in-depth research and years of experience. I’m happy to talk about your specific situation and make an honest recommendation.

 

How about neighborhoods?

Let’s say you love your location at the top of Queen Anne, but you could get a bigger house in the suburbs. By remodeling, you don’t have to sacrifice location for size. School districts, neighbors, local business, and community culture all matter. A lot.

 

What about sentimental value?

One of the best parts of my job is seeing people fall in love with their home. The place grows rich with memories, and it becomes another member of the family. If you feel like you’d lose that by moving, but you really need more square footage—don’t move. Expand your current home.

 

Once you can answer these questions, you can decide whether buying a new home or remodeling your existing one is the best path forward. I’d love to help you move, but only if it’s a good decision for you.

I care about my clients’ best interests. If buying or selling isn’t the right decision, I’ll let you know, and I’ll help you get started on a better solution, even if it doesn’t involve me. I have a long list of recommended contractors, and I’m always ready to give advice to anyone who asks. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about money. It’s about building community, one client at a time. It’s about making the world better.