Angela, Other/Just Looking in Port Washington, NY

Renovate or sell & buy bigger instead in today's market?

Asked by Angela, Port Washington, NY Mon Aug 17, 2009

I'm looking to do about a $150,000 renovation to my Cape house that I bought for $595,000 mid-year 2007 in PW. Is that a good idea or am I better off just selling and buying something bigger and newer at this time?

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Keith Friedman’s answer
If the renovation does not price your home out of the market go right ahead and enjoy adding value and enjoyment to you property for years to come. However, if the renovation brings your value above the areas general market value take that money and buy up. In a down market buying up can add tons of equity value later . As long as your job is stable and you are not worried about the future make the move interest rates are low an so are values its a win win.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 20, 2009
Dear Angela,
Very good question. Personally, I was in a similar situation a few years back. The deciding factor for my family was when we looked and found our dream house, even though we loved where we were, we moved to a better place for us.
With the market the way it is right now, you could possibly upgrade without the hassel of the renovation. If you have young children, beware of living in the middle of renovations, it is not healthy to breath in the plaster dust. I would be happy to send you a list of everything in your price range in Port Washington. It would be good for you to know the inventory, then your decision will be easier. Sincerely, Edie Katz
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 18, 2009
Renovation projects vary as to how much they add to the value of your home. Last I checked, new kitchens are the best investment there is in terms of rate of return. Fireplaces are also great from an investment standpoint. Finishing off a basement can also be a good investment. By contrast, in-ground pools can actually be a negative with many buyers so one cannot assume that a pool will return its value when you sell. There are websites you can check that provide figures for various projects.

You can easily spend $150,000 and add, say, only $75,000 to the value of your home, depending on what you have in mind. You can also over-improve the home--a four bedroom home in a neighborhood with only three bedroom homes, for example, or adding more fancy stuff to it (e.g. wine cellars) than the local market cares about, as Jo-Ellen suggests

On the other hand, right now there are a lot of bargains out there for buyers.

I know agents are always supposed to say stuff like this, so pardon me, but this is what I really think: If it were my money being spent I would not renovate a livable house in Port, I would sell it and move on.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
That decision is yours and yours alone--are you happy where you are, do you have the desired space, where would you like to move and why, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
First question to address: Is your neighborhood an $800,000 neighborhood? If so, and you love the location, and you love your home, AND you can do it with a smooth-flow of rooms, it could work. Most times selling and buying newer, larger, in a like-neighborhood is the wiser move....IF you can sell your home in today's market for break-even or a little less, you MAY be able to find a fantastic home for the extra $150,000.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
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