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Love It, or List It?

Things to consider.

So you've binge-watched the popular home improvement shows on television where homeowners grapple with whether a homeowner should move or improve their existing home. It's a decision that is typically unavoidable as your home ages and as family circumstances change.

While we may not be able to get you on T.V., we can offer some helpful pointers. Whether your family has grown, your home no longer fits your lifestyle, or whatever the case may be, here are some things to consider to arrive at the right decision for you and your family.

The Current Real Estate Market

While it appears to be a seller's market with premium profits right now, don't forget you'll also need to find a new place to live. According to, the current supply of homes on the market is at an all-time low, and mortgage rates are still at record lows. In addition, many millennials are entering their peak homebuying years, and more people are moving into the state. This extreme demand exceeding supply has driven prices like we've never seen. 

Furthermore, FOMO (the fear of missing out) could motivate potential home buyers to enter the market quickly with recent buzz about rising mortgage rates. The Federal Reserve has signaled an end to ultra-low rates, which observers expect to start climbing as soon as March. While rates will still be at historic lows, they will be well above what buyers have grown accustomed to in recent years. Combined, all factors could spark a buying spree during the spring season, further limiting inventory, increasing bidding wars, etc. Clearly, it is a seller's market.

Emotional Ties 

A home is so much more than just a roof, four walls and the stuff inside. It may be the first home you and your spouse owned together or where you watched your children take their first steps. We undeniably develop an emotional attachment to our homes, so this decision shouldn't be taken lightly.

Besides your home, how connected are you to your neighborhood? Do you have a good relationship with your neighbors? Can you rely on them in case of an emergency or watch your home while away? Remember, you can change your home, but you can't change your neighbors or the neighborhood.

The Price Tag

There's no doubt about it – remodeling is expensive. But then again, so is moving. But just how expensive is expensive in these two cases? Let's take a look:

Renovation Costs:

According to Home Advisor, U.S. home renovation costs range between $18,372 – $77,016, with an average of $46,788. However, not all renovations will add value to your home, so carefully research renovations and get multiple quotes and bids before starting. 

Sometimes you just need a fresh start and upgrading your home simply will not cut it. If this is the case, moving to a new home could be exactly what you and your family need! However, several costs go along with selling a home that you need to consider. 

Moving Costs: 

Typically, 15% of a home's sale price will go towards the sale process. Several potential fees go along with selling your home and may include but are not limited to:

  • Agent commission, 6% of the sale price.
  • Home preparations and minor repairs $500-$5,000.
  • Potential Major Repairs, $20,000 - $50,000. Some homes may not need this, but many older homes require significant work to meet housing and safety codes before being sold.
  • Title Insurance, $2,000 - $4,000.

The Cost of Buying:

  • Remodeling expenses for home buyers cost on average $8,000.
  • Closing costs vary between 3%-6% of the mortgage.
  • Home appraisals and title insurance range from $500 - $2,000.
  • Holding two overlapping mortgages can cost around $0 - $3,000, depending on how long the overlap lasts.

The decision to move or improve can be challenging for a family. Talk with experts, like Rio Grande Credit Union, about pre-qualifying for a mortgage to know how much house you can afford, and alert buyers that you are serious should you choose to move. Or use the equity in your home to pay for the renovations you need. Experts can help you tease out the pros and cons and help you decide whether you should put some love into your home and remodel, or list it and move on. 

Schedule some time with an expert at Rio Grande Credit Union, call at 505.262.1401, or visit us online at