Stay put or move out? Your choice de­pends on many fac­tors

The Signal - - Home -

Many home im­prove­ment tele­vi­sion se­ries show­case peo­ple de­cid­ing whether to im­prove upon their cur­rent homes to make them into the houses of their dreams or to put “for sale” signs in their lawns and move on to some­thing new.

The ques­tion of whether to move or stay put de­pends on var­i­ous fac­tors. Such fac­tors may in­clude emo­tional at­tach­ment to a home, the cur­rent eco­nomic cli­mate and the cost of real es­tate. Cur­rent data points to a greater propen­sity for peo­ple to in­vest and im­prove upon their cur­rent prop­er­ties rather than trad­ing up for some­thing new.

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion col­lected by John Burns Real Es­tate Con­sult­ing, the per­cent­age of home­own­ers mov­ing up to their next home is the low­est in 25 years. Many are opt­ing to make starter homes per­ma­nent by ex­pand­ing them and re­pair­ing homes for the long haul.

The National As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors said that, be­tween 1987 and 2008, home buy­ers stayed in their homes an av­er­age of six years be­fore sell­ing. Since 2010, how­ever, NAR says the av­er­age ex­pected length of time peo­ple will stay in their homes be­fore sell­ing is now 15 years.

Part of what’s fu­el­ing this per­ma­nency is that many home buy­ers were able to ac­quire rock-bot­tom mort­gage in­ter­est rates shortly after the 2008 re­ces­sion. As a re­sult, they’re not in­clined to walk away from those rates, even if do­ing so means get­ting more house. Also, a low in­ven­tory of avail­able houses has stymied repeat buy­ing for many peo­ple.

Those fac­tors and oth­ers have led many home­own­ers to in­vest in ren­o­va­tions in­stead. The ex­perts at Bankrate say re­al­is­tic bud­get­ing and com­par­ing ren­o­va­tion project costs against mort­gages and in­ter­ests rates can fur­ther help in­di­vid­u­als de­cide whether to re­main in their cur­rent homes or move out.

Very of­ten, a smarter lay­out and more ef­fi­cient floor plan can make mean­ing­ful dif­fer­ences in spa­ces. Ren­o­va­tions and re­designs can make sense and of­ten are less ex­pen­sive and dis­rup­tive than mov­ing.

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