Sheila Rich Interiors: Design Blog

Helpful tips and suggestions on designing your interior.

Renovation vs. Relocation - Five Points to Help You Decide

At some point in our lives, we come to that inevitable crossroads: Do I renovate my home or relocate? Sometimes the choice is easy; other times it can be a real quandary. Here are a few things to consider when making your decision.

1. Do you like your neighborhood? If you have school-age children, are you happy with the school system?  These are two key factors to take into consideration on both ends of your potential move – the area where you now live and the area you’re interested in moving to.

2. Should you invest in upgrading your home before moving? You should - if the upgrades don’t exceed the real estate value of your home. However, if the cost to upgrade pushes your investment beyond your home’s current value – or even beyond the value of homes in your neighborhood - you may be better off selling the house “as is” and moving to a home that already fits your criteria.

Kitchen renovationHint: If you know you’ll be moving in a few years, don’t wait until the last year to upgrade. By upgrading now, you’ll be able to enjoy your investments for a while.

3. What upgrades to your current home should you consider before moving? The two most important areas inside the house that carry the most weight in the real estate market are bathrooms and kitchens. Those are the rooms where upgrades have “payback” value. In fact, it’s estimated that homeowners who renovated their kitchens got back about 92% of their investment. The exterior is also important: new roofs have a high return rate of approximately 80% on the homeowner’s investment.

Hint: If you’re renovating with an eye toward selling, it’s best to use neutral colors so potential buyers won’t be turned off by vivid or unusual color schemes they may not like. This is especially true when it comes to carpeting, countertops, and tiling, which are major investments that can kill a sale if they’re too extreme. Similarly, prospective buyers may not be able to envision their furnishings in a room that’s painted in extreme colors.

4. Do you know where you’ll be moving and what type of home you will best suit your future needs? This is especially important as we enter new stages of life, when living in a home with stairs may not be the best choice for our future years. Likewise, area conveniences are another important consideration.

5. What can you do during a real estate slump if homes aren’t selling well? Unless there are extreme reasons forcing you to move, the best thing is to hunker down and ride out the storm. If you have a two-story house and stairs are an issue, consider adding a master bedroom suite to the main floor. This can be an added incentive when you do sell the house, because young couples with children who have live-in help like the idea of having a master bedroom suite on the ground floor for themselves and a second master bedroom upstairs for the nanny, who can sleep closer to the children.

Once you take all these factors into consideration, you may find yourself better prepared to make that final decision.

Aging In Place – Considerations for Comfortable Living

Planning ahead can make aging in place much easier.

It’s never too early to think about making your home more user-friendly for your future, your aging family members, or guests of various ability levels. Many of these considerations can be put in place during interior updates or renovations, and it can save a lot of headaches and costs later in life or when you have a houseful of multi-generational guests.

There are lots of ways to make your home easier for everyone; here are just a few to get you started:

  • Replace kitchen and bathroom cabinet handles with touch latches. Touch latches not only eliminate protrusions into your rooms (which is especially helpful in smaller spaces), but they also make it easier for those with arthritis or other flexibility impairments to open and close doors.
  • Make sure thresholds are level to prevent tripping accidents and for wheelchair users.
  • Make any necessary rooms and guest items available on the first floor of your home so those who can’t climb stairs can access them.
  • Replace coffee tables with cushioned ottomans in heavily used rooms to eliminate injuries against hard table edges and corners. This is a good consideration for homes with young children and older adults as well.

A little forethought now can prevent lots of remorse later!

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