Thursday, June 19, 2008

Real Estate Dilemma

This is going to be the most boring post ever because it's just me thinking out loud about what we should do about our housing situation.

We have a nice house that we've lived in for about eight years. It has served us well but has a few problems--some of which we were just about to fix with a major remodeling. This was going to involve the kitchen, laundry room, mud room, adding an extra bedroon and redoing the master bedroom and bath. The architect has drawn up the plans and we have gone through the headache of zoning meetings so we could get approval for going slightly over the property setback so we are really close to moving ahaed with things.

So here's the dilemma--recently, a couple of my friends mentioned that it might be a better idea to just buy a new house. For some reason, this had never crossed my mind! So we looked at some houses over the weekend and found one that we really like. It's crazy expensive, so the only way it would work would be a really lowball offer--but you never know!

So the pros of doing the remodeling:
-I would have my dream kitchen (with a fireplace!)
-a nice laundry room with a dumbwaiter (this was my brilliant idea although the architect thinks I'm crazy!)
-mud room (much needed)
-nice new master bedroom and bath
-additional bedroom and new bath

The cons are:
-the hassle of remodeling (we'd have to move out and rent a place for a long time)
-unknown cost
-I hate making decisions about tiles, lighting, etc., etc.
-the old part of the house will look bad by comparison.
-our house will never have high ceilings or a grand staircase, etc.

The pros of the new house:
-it's a beautiful house with large rooms, high ceiling, gorgeous staircase, etc.
-it's a much "better" house than our current so would probably be a better investment
-I like it more!

Cons of new house:
-crazy expensive
-the kitchen would ultimately have to be redone but not right away.
-it doesn't have a family room, but has a "library" (smallish) that could act as a family room until we added one.
-it needs work--like a fence, a/c, paint, etc.
-the basement is unfinished.

So there are my ramblings--if anyone has a brillaint insight into this, I'd love to hear it! Thank you!


noble pig said...

Moving sounds easier sort of but it's that low-ball offer that could harm the whole deal. If the house is not going to foreclosure or the people are not desperate to move they will be insulted by a low ball offer and may not even be willing to bargain.

Your remodel actually sounds better and you will get what you want. Why is it an unknown cost, you should be able to get at close estimate at cost per square foot?

That's it. I say remodel. I think.

leezee52 said...

Believe me MOVE! You don't want to go through a remodel unless you can move out. We did it and It's a nightmare...never again!

Jennifer said...

OMG--two totally different answers!! The cost of the remodel is unknown b/c no one will tell me!! We are at the point where we have the plans and the architect is working on the "construction drawings." He seems to have no clue how much it will be (which is weird, I know)and we are waiting to get bids from contractors. What I have heard, though, is that the price can change drastically from what you are bid--that worries me a little. Also, the completion date could change a lot from what I hear.

I would hate to insult someone w/ our lowball--I know the realtor well and I was going to tell her to tell the owner that we love the house, etc. and this is what we can afford--I guess that could still be insulted though...

Thanks to both of you for your ideas!!