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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.

  • soumak ghosh
    soumak ghosh
    00:00 14 Nov 19
    They were representing the seller and I was the buyer. Very limited communication from the agents. Waited days for a response for any email/text. Would eventually get a response after multiple follow ups. Almost cost us the deal.
    Sarah Donaldson
    Sarah Donaldson
    18:44 18 Jul 19
    Darcie was such a joy to work with. She felt like family during the sale of our house and the search for our new home. We may have found our forever home, but if we ever need a Realtor in future, Darcie from Real Estate Gals will be our first call.
    Brian Heagler
    Brian Heagler
    16:55 02 Jun 19
    I have worked with Johnine and her team for 19 years and have always received personal, knowledgeable and professional service and attention! There is never and pressure and they will guide you away from a property when appropriate, which is always appreciated when a market is hot and the tendency is to move quickly. I trust them and have never been let down!
    Anne Slater
    Anne Slater
    18:03 25 May 19
    Johnine Larsen is fabulous! She listened and came up with ways we could get what we wanted in a house and stay within our limited budget. When we found the house we wanted, she moved super fast to get the house inspected and implemented creative ideas to make our offer appealing. And out of 13 offers, we were selected and got our house. I recommend her to anyone buying a home.
    Amy Burdick
    Amy Burdick
    19:13 24 May 19
    Real Estate Gals made sure we found our perfect house! Then, when we were up against other bidders, Johnine worked tirelessly to ensure we were tops! Her extensive real estate experience combined with exceptional character and integrity provided peace of mind throughout the process. She also made sure we received the right value as a seller and got the transaction done quickly and efficiently. Simply stated: there is nobody better to help you find your dream home.
    Bill Hollman
    Bill Hollman
    22:21 19 May 19
    I'd give Real Estate Gals 6 stars if I could. We have used them multiple times, both in selling and buying homes in Seattle and the surrounding area. I can't say enough about the professionalism, knowledge, and patience they bring to the task of buying a new home, or selling your current residence. And they know the Seattle area so well, they'll offer valuable insights into the pros and cons of any location you may be to considering. Look no further, call Johnine at Real Estate Gals. You will be glad you did!
    Beth Guerra
    Beth Guerra
    01:14 18 May 19
    Johnine was a breath of fresh air in the real estate market. She listened intently to our wishes and goals, and was tireless in her search for our perfect house. She is well versed in both Seattle and the surrounding areas. She made sure all the details were taken care of after the inspection, and made the closing process seamless. She even gifted us with a housewarming present. Nearly 7 years later, we still receive holiday cards and well wishes. I highly recommend Real Estate Gals and will look no further in the future.
    Aidan Key
    Aidan Key
    15:44 17 May 19
    Johnine and the Real Estate Gals brilliantly took us through the home buying process two different times. Their willingness to educate (I was new), hear our home hopes, and support us through the process are a few of the reasons that I highly recommend this team. Speaking of a team, I love their collaborative business model - it meant that we--the home buyers--always had a returned phone call and an ability to look at a house on OUR schedule. Truly felt like they place the customer first!
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