HGTV’s “Love it or List It” showcases an all-too-familiar conundrum for homeowners throughout Middle Tennessee and beyond. If you’ve seen the show, you know featured guests ask for help deciding whether to remodel and relist or remodel and stay put in their refreshed home. 

As much as you may feel like this show could feature you and your current predicament, the reality is that very few Americans have enough expendable cash, a team of professionals, and a hotel voucher to cover our time away from home. Still, you have a decision to make: should you stay, or should you go? 

Let’s break down the factors that are most likely to help you determine the answer to this question. 


You Should Stay If:

You Have Poor Credit

Life can throw up hurdles we aren’t prepared to clear, and our credit can suffer as a result. If you attempt to secure a loan and are denied, or are offered a brutal interest rate, you know your credit is in bad shape. When you check your credit score and take a look at the interest rates currently being offered, even to those with stellar credit, it may be clear that this is an unfavorable time for you to move.

Instead, take this time to improve your credit. Pay off high-interest debt and consumer debt as quickly as possible, even if it means temporarily taking on a part-time gig in addition to your main job. Reduce your spending at the same time in order to avoid adding any balance to your credit cards.

Student loans may take more time but by making prompt payments on the principle (not the minimum payment required,) you will show future lenders that you have your finances under control. 

When your credit bounces back, and you have a downpayment saved for a new home, you can prepare to search for a new home.

You Can Afford Renovations

On the other hand, you may have enough liquid capital or built-up home equity to pay for renovations. If you love your current location, the lot, and the bones of your home, nearly everything else can be re-built. 

If the features preventing you from loving your home are your kitchen, your bathroom, flooring, wall texture, landscaping (or lack thereof,) there’s no need to move. Consult your Parks Real Estate Agent for advice on remodeling projects that will be most likely to secure a robust Return on Investment, as well as for recommendations for trusted contractors in your area. 

You Have Strict Parameters for Your Home

Location, home size, and desired neighborhood amenities can all make it difficult for you to find a new property that you can easily afford. When you are priced out of the tier you wish to enter, it can be much more affordable to update your own home to meet your dream criteria.

You’re About to Pay Off Your Mortgage

Are you in this enviable position? Congratulations! Owning your home outright is a huge accomplishment. With this milestone just around the corner, we cannot recommend taking on a new mortgage, or even simply doling out the huge pile of cash it costs to move. 

Downsizing, relocating, or adjusting to a new lifestyle limitation are each great reasons to consider moving; otherwise, we highly recommend staying in your paid-off home.


You Should Go If:

Renovations Aren’t for You

In addition to their immense price tags, renovation projects are a huge hassle. Sawdust, sheetrock, dirt and allergens from the outdoors will fill your space, you won’t be able to cook at home, your children will be disoriented and cranky, and there will always be delays.

This environment isn’t for everyone. If you know you value your routine highly, hate mess, and feel rattled on too little sleep, save up for a new home instead of investing in a series of remodeling projects.

It’s Time to Make Bank

Once you have earned a mountain of equity in your home, you may decide to roll it into a new mortgage on the level of home you’re dreaming about. Still, it’s wise to wait until interest rates are more favorable than the one you have on your current mortgage; otherwise, you’ll wind up worse off than when you started.

You Are Ready to Downsize

The young kids and growing family for whom you purchased this home are all grown up. You may love the memories stored within this beloved family home, but you may have recently decided you simply do not want or need this amount of space. 

Downsizing is often a great reason to sell and move, especially if doing so would give you access to a large sum you could invest in low-risk categories.

Your Neighborhood is Headed Downhill

The clothes make the man, as the saying goes, and likewise, the neighborhood makes the home. When you purchased your home, the neighborhood must have been, or at least seemed, ideal for your needs. 

Today, things may have changed so dramatically that you feel as though the area you fell in love with doesn’t exist anymore. If your neighbors are rude and disruptive, or you have read the crime reports and noticed a consistent rising rate of crime, it may overturn any reasons you had for staying put.

It’s impossible for anyone else to put a price tag on your peace of mind. If moving to a safer, quieter neighborhood will greatly improve your quality of life, it’s time to figure out what you’ve got to do to make that happen.


The Takeaway

We strongly recommend connecting with your Parks Real Estate Agent before you make a decision regarding moving, staying, remodeling, refinancing, or purchasing within a new neighborhood. Our agents are a treasure trove of regional knowledge, home finance savvy, and consistently have their fingers on the pulse of the financial sectors governing the interest rates on offer. 

Contact your agent today, and you can begin a collaborative deep dive into the best options for you. 

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