Build An Addition Or Buy A New House?

Regarding space issues, how to decide if a family should add onto their current home or move to a new house.

When a family grows too large for their living space, they can quickly feel the pinch of a house that didn't expand with them. The question often asked is "should we move out or build on?" However, the decision is not a simple one as there are many aspects to consider.

Building an addition:

When considering an addition to your existing home, there are several things to take into account. When asking these questions, remember to enlist the help of an expert in the construction field - the more opinions the better.

There are several reasons a family might add on to their existing home. Those reasons will determine what room(s) they are adding on. Whether it is a bathroom, a bedroom or a sunroom, you should always take into account what the cost will be. Do not assume that by adding on a smaller room you will be saving money. Sometimes a room that is twice the size will cost the same, simply because of what is already being done to put the smaller room into place. Compare the cost of the addition to the length of time you plan to stay in your home to determine the cost effectiveness.

Research different home improvement loans as well as interest rates. How much will this addition cost you a month? Assume, for example, that an addition will cost you $300 extra a month on a new loan. As a family, you must decide if that addition is worth $300 a month or if it is more cost effective for you to buy a bigger home and have a house payment $300 higher than you currently pay. Either way, you're paying essentially the same amount of money, but for different things. It's a personal decision that can be different from one family to the next.

It is generally not a good idea to stay in a home and add on simply because you believe your addition will bring you extra money when you sell. This is not always the case. Although certain additions may enhance the time you spend in your house, it may have little to do with increasing the monetary value of your house.

Also take into consideration the neighborhood you live in and the general appearance of homes around you. Will the additions you are planning on building make your home seem out of place in the neighborhood? This may cause issues when it comes time to resell. If your additions are comparatively too large for the homes you live near, it might be a better idea to move to a new house.



If you live in a much older home and are considering building an addition, determine if there are other repairs that should be done first. For instance, it may not be cost effective to add on another bedroom, sunroom, or family room if you know that in two years, the wiring or roof over the original home space will have to be replaced.

Will your addition logically fit into your existing house plan? There is always a way to make room for an addition. However, whether or not it makes for a nicely flowing floor plan is another story. A third bedroom might be desirable, but is it logical to have to go through the bathroom to enter it? An oddly setup house might not bother the current owners, but if you are looking to resell in the near future, the house plan is something to consider.

Moving to a new house:

The most important thing to take into account when considering a move is the current real estate market. If there are houses in your local area that have been for sale for quite awhile, the odds are not good that you will put yours on the market and suddenly have a buyer. However if the real estate market is good, you stand a better chance of selling your house and being able to buy a new one in a short amount of time.

Another aspect of the real estate market you'll want to check into is the availability of homes. Is there anything out there that you are interested in? It doesn't pay to put your house on the market if you haven't seen anything around you'd want to move to.

Keep in mind the good points of the house you currently live in. Perhaps you have a large yard or a beautifully landscaped patio. Maybe you are located close to the grocery store and post office. Maybe you've grown to be good friends with your neighbors. Perhaps you have a house and yard that is set up nicely for your two large dogs. Whatever the case may be, don't discredit the good aspects of your house while thinking of all the reasons you need to move. If you discover there are more good points than bad points, but you still need more space, perhaps this is a sign pointing towards building an addition.

Is it the right time for you to buy and sell? Selling one home and buying another is very stressful and often times frustrating for a family. Discuss whether this is the right time or not for you to attempt this. If your family has just added a new baby or is dealing with a long term illness, it should be taken into consideration before jumping on the moving van. Building an addition is also stressful, but in a different and sometimes more predictable way.

Will you be moving far enough that it will require changing school districts, jobs, or commuting a long distance? If so, are those changes worth having a new house? If not, it might be worth your while to build an addition.

In some cases, neither an addition or a relocation is necessary. A family must seriously consider how necessary the need for extra space is? Have you simply always wanted to have a family room on the main floor, or are you a family of four living in a two bedroom house and are expecting twins? Some situations are more pressing than others, and the situation often has the biggest effect on the decision.

Some individuals decide that an addition or moving will relieve the stress from a temporary situation. For instance, a mother who is frustrated that her twins share a bedroom and are having naptime problems may look to an addition or moving as the way to solve the naptime issue. Be sure that your building or moving is because you want to build or move, or actually do need the additional space. Building an addition or moving to a new home rarely solves temporary issues, and in fact, may create new problems.

If you feel you need to build an addition or move because you don't have enough space, consider taking a look at your organizational style. Is your house organized in the most efficient way possible, or are you taking up a lot of space with household clutter? If your house is disorganized, messy, or chaotic, it can make your home seem much smaller than it really is.

Should you add on or move? Only you can decide. By discussing the above situations and questions, you can come to the best solution for your family.

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