To Sell Or Not To Sell

Dated: 01/05/2018

Views: 518

"To sell or not to sell."  That is the question my husband and I asked ourselves before making the ultimate decision to sell two and a half years ago. We absolutely loved our home in Tappan and adored our neighbors. We lived in our Sterling Avenue home for 13 years, but after 3 kids (and finally a grandchild) our 1700 Sq Ft Colonial grew awfully small. 

We began serious discussions about an extension after about year 7 of living in our house.  We inherited architect drawings from the previous owner when we purchased in 2002.  At that point, I could really visualize our renovations.  The beautiful open kitchen and spacious new family room were just the additions we needed, but after previewing homes for sale with my clients and seeing what we could get for the money, the extension seemed like the less likely option.  The bedrooms in our 75+ year old colonial would still be lacking with limited closet space, not to mention we would lose some of the outside area with the new footprint once the addition was complete.  The lot was only .22 acre and we love outdoor space and privacy.  Moving was the right decision for our family.  (Moved from Tappan to West Nyack)

"Its hard to move when you buy your first house and make it your family home.  You can take the memories with you but the fear of regret over what you left is real."  "We feel like we hit the jackpot when we moved to our neighborhood... Looking at other houses, we see things we have done to our place that we would have to do again.  No thanks.", Gaffney had to say about her family's decision to stay put.

When debating whether or not to extend or move, there are a few things that need to be considered...

Will the addition relatively increase the value of the home?  If the house is worth $400k without the renovations and the addition will cost approximately $250k, will the house's new value out price the neighborhood?  If the neighborhood is filled with 1700 Sq Ft bilevel homes, you wouldn't want to go with an addition that would make it a 3300 Sq Ft colonial, especially if you are hoping to recoup should you choose to sell later.  When banks appraise properties as part of the lending process for potential buyers, they go by the recent sales in the surrounding neighborhood to come up with their valuations.  This could leave your renovation coming up on the short end of the stick.

For "X" amount, would you be able to purchase a new home comparable to what your house will be after renovations or something better?  If spending the same amount of money gives you more than you will get spending the money on your existing home, it may be time to start packing!  

Before committing either way you should consult with a local licensed architect. You may be able to get some ideas and basic numbers through one or two meetings, but may ultimately end up investing in drawings and getting estimates from local contractors before making the ultimate decision.  I've had clients who were 99% set on staying put have floor plans drawn and after getting realistic estimates based on what they were hoping to do, opt for putting a For Sale sign in their yards.  

"We met with an architect and gave her a deposit.  We were ready to add on but then it seemed like one road block after another and such a long process to add on.  Luckily our (new) house came on the market at just the right time that it made our decision simple.", Kim Sullivan said about her family's decision to move.  When asked if they were happy with their decision, Kim's response, "Yes very happy!  We love, love, love our house!"  (Moved but stayed in the same Pearl River neighborhood.)

The Morgan family on their decision to move last year: "We were working with a prefab company.  They had things pretty much in a can.  We spoke with the town on what we needed or the limits on how big the house could be height wise with all the good stuff.  We were given an estimate and then when we said we wanted to proceed, the contractor's estimate basically doubled from $125k to $250k+.  At that point there was no reason to stay in the house with all the time and expense of renovations.  Purchasing a new home became our final decision.  (Moved but stayed in the same New City neighborhood)  

Unless you are part of the fortunate few who have the money saved for such renovation, you will most likely have to apply for a home equity line of credit or renovation loan refinancing. Aside from the contractors' expense, not excluding any necessary permits or variances, you will want to take into consideration how much you are really paying for the project, which will include the interest on the new loan.  And if you are doing considerable renovations, which increase the square footage of your home's living space, keep in mind that your property will be reassessed, which will also increase your existing taxes.

Lauren G. on her family's decision to not to move:  "So ultimately we decided to stay because moving is such a hassle!  The idea of buying and selling was just too much with two kids. "We knew we needed more room.  We were lucky because we had this space that was easily transformable.  So we had a few estimates, were able to work out the finances, and everything just worked out.  We are very happy with our decision to stay.  We love this house, and really didn't want to leave.  We just needed extra space for the kids."  (Lives in Cornwall)

If you are at the point of to "move or not to move" aside from contacting an architect, you will want to have a licensed real estate professional give you an assessment of your home and the current valuations in the neighborhood.  For a free comparative market analysis for your home in Rockland, Orange and Westchester Counties in New York and Bergen County in New Jersey, call R2M Realty, Inc.  We would love to help!  

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Kenyatta Arietta

Whether you are looking to buy, sell, rent or just have that real estate question you need answered, call Kenyatta first! She can help! As a licensed real estate broker, Kenyatta has consulted w....

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