Empty Nesters: Best to Remodel or Time to Sell?

By
Real Estate Agent with YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited® MA# 9517963

This is a decision that many families in the Boston area are facing. They love the house, the kids are gone and now they have kids, seems like the only time the house is filled is during the holiday parties.  The love of one's home of many years is also a strong inducement to stay.  Your neighbors, your neighborhood, your friends, your routines are all thrown up in the air when the decision to move is made.  Remodeling is a different form of torture.  Living with the planning and spending and waiting around for things to happen and then have things happening too fast and all at once. Ah, the joys of homeownership, or not.  For me, I would have it no other way.Empty Nesters: Best to Remodel or Time to Sell? | Simplifying The Market

Your children have finally moved out and you and your spouse now live alone in a four-bedroom colonial (or a similar type of house). You have two choices to make:

  1. Remodel your house to fit your current lifestyle and needs
  2. Sell your house and purchase the perfect home

Based on the record of dollars spent on remodeling and renovations, it appears that many homeowners are deciding on number one. But, is that the best long-term solution?

If you currently live in a 3-4-bedroom home, you probably bought it at a time when your children were the major consideration in determining family housing needs. Along with a large home, you more than likely also considered school district, the size of the property and the makeup of other families living in the neighborhood (example: you wanted a block with other kids your children could play with and a backyard large enough to accommodate that).

Remodeling your home to meet your current needs might mean combining two bedrooms to make one beautiful master suite and changing another bedroom into the massive walk-in closet you always wanted. However, if you live in a neighborhood that historically attracts young families, you may be dramatically undermining the value of your house by cutting down the number of bedrooms and making it less desirable to the typical family moving onto your block.

And, according to a recent study, you will recoup only 64.4% of a remodeling project’s investment dollars if you sell in the future.

Your home is probably at its highest value as it stands right now. Instead of remodeling your house, it may make better financial sense to sell your current home and purchase a home that was built specifically to meet your current lifestyle and desires.

In many cases, this well-designed home will give you exactly what you want in less square footage (read less real estate taxes!) than your current home.

Bottom Line

If you are living in a house that no longer fits your needs, at least consider checking out other homes in your area that would meet your lifestyle needs before taking on the cost and hassle of remodeling your current house.  I hope this post has been helpful.  You don't need to be our client to get your questions answered professionally, call 617-774-8292 for your real estate answers.

Posted by

Larry Lawfer, Realtor®YourStories Realty, It's all about you,

Larry Lawfer

Partner

Realtor®, Director of Marketing

YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®

837 Beacon St

Newton, MA 02459

larry@yourstoriesrealty.com, 617-774-8292

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Tags:
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Rainmaker
1,763,499
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Great advice!  I am not a fan of the concept of aging in place.  Many seniors find themselves in empty houses surrounded by neighbors who do not share the same interests. I am more focused on theater at the Kennedy Center and the symphony than the elementary school Christmas play - LOL - and the yard is a huge chore for many and the exterior maintenance is expensive - and those seniors are frequently lonely!  I think life in a downtown soft urban environment where there are other active empty nesters and lots of activity makes a lot of sense! 

Sep 03, 2017 05:58 AM #1
Rainmaker
3,449,589
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Larry. So many decisions! Easy for us. We sold, relocated and downsized so we could live in downtown Chicago and be close to our son. At first, I thought we were nuts, but now I wonder what took us so long! Enjoy your day!

Sep 03, 2017 06:00 AM #2
Rainer
226,791
Ben DeHaven
Haven Realty & Investments - Winter Haven, FL
Proudly serving Winter Haven & Lakeland, Florida

Its a personal decision, but I think the wise choice is moving and downsizing. 

Sep 03, 2017 06:05 AM #3
Rainmaker
3,272,831
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great post!I shared this info from Keeping Current Matters too elsewhere

Sep 03, 2017 07:03 AM #4
Rainmaker
573,212
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

It's sad, in a way, to see so few families remaining in the same spot for decades. I'm starting to see the Boomers sell off their homes that have been lived in for 40+ years and wonder if we'll ever see that again. Current generations seem more likely to sell and move to a home more suitable to their lifestyle.

Sep 03, 2017 07:05 AM #5
Rainmaker
2,058,701
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Larry - we love our house but would not stay and remodel.  Resale considerations should be for younger families.

Sep 03, 2017 11:52 AM #6
Rainmaker
2,921,158
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Larry Lawfer This is very good report about empty nesters to remodel or sale.

Sep 03, 2017 11:59 AM #7
Ambassador
640,237
Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited® - Newton, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

Lise Howe I find many people with the same thoughts as you.  I also find that they are not sure what to do because they have been in place for so long. It is daunting starting over and not all are comfortable with that.  That is where we come in, right?

@Wayne Martin, I know that if our only son moves then my wife would certainly be interested in following.  Moms love their kids, and so do Dads.

Sep 05, 2017 04:52 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,763,499
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Larry Lawfer - with those beautiful homes in Newton, it is hard to make a decision to move- it really is a charming town - I miss it! but the option of a great condo right in Boston would be a wonderful alternative! 

Sep 05, 2017 04:54 AM #9
Ambassador
640,237
Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited® - Newton, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

Ben DeHaven Certainly it is a personal decisions as are all real estate decisions.  We are here to help

Kristin Johnston - REALTOR® If you noticed, I wrote an entire blog about the subject and added on the KCM at the end. Thanks for noticing.  It is about our local voice, not some national voice that is important.

Sep 05, 2017 04:54 AM #10
Ambassador
640,237
Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited® - Newton, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

Nathan Gesner When our families all lived in the same neighborhoods life was like that. The family house went from one member to another. Not so much tese days and we can be prepared to help this process along. Thanks for your comment

Grant Schneider I would like to remodel and either give it to our son, or use it as an investment as I build more real estate.  To each of us our own.

 

 

 

Sep 05, 2017 04:57 AM #11
Ambassador
640,237
Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited® - Newton, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

John Pusa Thanks for stopping by.

Sep 05, 2017 04:58 AM #12
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Larry Lawfer

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Storyteller Marketing changes the game, call here now.
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