The decision to sell or to add-on, now that's a fun subject!
Here's my personal opinion, which is gathered from what I take notice of in my line of work as a real estate agent:
Adding on to a home presents a future problem of foundation issues.
If you were to also go in and do foundation work to completely secure your entire home, including the new add-on, then you could rest knowing that your entire footprint is on solid ground.
However, that requires the cost of "foundation repair", an expense that goes 100% unnoticed when a buyer walks into your home.
It's preventative of future shifting, which causes interior cracking and damages to sheetrock, etc.
Bigger problems with foundation shifting is plumbing/water main breaks.
In my experience, 90% of foundation issues I see are because of an add-on.
It's real simple. You change the footprint of the home, adding weight and changing the soil fluctuation in areas that once got water to expand and contrast with the rest of the home as it has been doing for the past 50 years (probably 50 years if you're near Bluebonnet and Lamar).
Spending the extra $5k-$15K on a foundation job secures the home, but again is an expense that goes unnoticed because there isn't any visual value added to the home.
However, when a foundation shifts (which is common with add-ons because most don't know about this) then it goes highly noticed by buyers because your house is cracking, your doors are closing on their own, and the home feels like a fun house at a carnival where your equilibrium is off as you walk room to room!
Ok, that was a bit dramatic, but very possible in the bigger foundation issues that arise.
Central Austin soil is more prone to this too.
My personal opinion... Sell and buy another.
I live in 78704. Feel free to contact me to chat more about this subject.
Here are the houses for sale in 78704 as well.
The way things are selling in 04 now I'd be unconcerned with current laundry location such as it is; though if you do a thoughtful addition you could integrate a laundry room into the expansion.
The restrictions you write of relate to non-permeable coverage of the lot, so the square footage of the house may not exceed 45-50% or the lot square footage; this may compel you to add a master on s second story addition depending on how big your lot is.
Take a look at the city's Residential and Compatibility Standards here: http://www.austintexas.gov/department/residential-design-com
Realtor/Austin Team Leader
Ready Real Estate
Your instincts are correct in what buyers will be looking for, and expect. They will also not be willing to pay more to get features that they expect to already be in the home. That being said, yes you will be able to sell at a higher price if you complete the renovations than you will for the current condition of the home, but you will most likely not be able to get back all that you put in.
The links below show an estimated return on value of some common renovations.
Another factor to the numbers listed on the above links is how your neighborhood will compare with your new renovations. Ultimately, you can still only get the price that your neighborhood market will allow for.
I also imagine that if you do these renovations, you will want to stay in the home because it will then have all of things that you have been wanting. So then you will need to determine the best course of action as far as your finances are concerned. I work with a great guy who works for United Lending. He can talk to you about renovation loans, which typically require 20% down, or your other options with selling and purchasing another home.
Give me a call at 512-578-8525 and I can get the information for you on the restrictions.
Keller Williams Realty
Your question is a good one. 78704 is a very popular area for home buyers. The question to remodel or not should depend on if you plan to stay in thta home. Rarely do you get all of your money back on a remodel done only to sell. If you stay then it makes sense to do the remodel to suit your needs. If your concerned about only being able add 50% of the square footage, is that adding 50% to the homes"footprint"? If so you could simply go up and add a second story. Another factor to consider is the size of your lot. If its large enough to hold two condos or a duplex a developer may buy it and tear down the current home to build two larger units. In that instance you should not spend money to update the existing home.
If you are considering selling, please click on my photo to the right and review my credentials and client testimonials and contact me if you'd like some further assistance. I'd be happy to help and will steer you in the right direction! Joe Jarusinsky, Keller Williams Realty, 512-261-4415
Good luck and I am happy to help.
It sounds like you guys are in the exploratory stage of things. Depending on how much renovation you are considering it could be cost preventative to remodel and sell. If you know that you want to stay where you are than the overall cost to renovate has a different impact as it falls into the quality of life and lifestyle category.
I would suggest you sit down with a professional to see what your current value would be to sell and determine if that option is worthwhile.
In terms of renovation and building restrictions- you may want to talk with the city. Your ability to add on to your home is related more to the 40% of impervious cover on your lot size not your home size.
If I can be of more assistance to you, please let me know.
I believe your information about amount you can add on is incorrect. If you really want to stay where you are, and I must admit your location is a wonderful one, I would recommend you pay for an initial consultation with an architect. He would know "McMansion" rules about how much you can add on. It is a pretty complicated ordnance. Size of your lot, whether on a corner or interior, and many other factors come into play. One saving grace is 78704 can handle differences in size of house without losing value at time of resale. A more consistant neighborhood would carry the risk of over improving for the area.
I live in the Clarksville area in an older house. I have also been a Realtor here in Austin for over 30 years, so I have a good bit of experience on close-in houses. Call me if you wish and I will come look at your house to help you think it through.
Susan Kramer, broker, ABR, CRS
Turnquist Partners 477-1948 (H) 328-3939 (O) 709-9402 (c)
Here's a chart on the building permit process.
This is a tough situation and while you provided what seems like a lot there is no way to answer you intelligently here. If you are looking for a professional full time Realtor to work with you through the whole process I"d be glad to dig in and help.