Good homes in New Jersey are hard to come by and often overpriced. This is, in part, due to low inventory in the current housing market. Also, many homes on the market are ‘fixer-uppers’ that need renovations just to be livable. This combination leads to frequent house-flipping when someone purchases homes only to renovate and sell them again at higher prices. Too much flipping creates unnaturally inflated prices across the market. So, right now might not be an ideal time to buy. You may be wondering if building an addition is a better solution.
Whether you are relocating or renovating, keep an eye on the housing market. According to New Jersey Realtors Local Market Update for May 2018, new listings of single-family homes in Somerset County decreased by over 15 percent; whereas, median sale prices increased by 10 percent. Plus, there are big differences in pricing depending on the township. For example, Realtor.com lists the median home price in Bridgewater at $450,000. On the other hand, Warren has a $907,000 median listing price.
To Relocate or Remodel?
Still, there are many reasons to purchase a home in New Jersey. Perhaps your family size is changing, you’ve switched jobs, or you it’s simply time for an upgrade. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to stay or move. Before you sign that mortgage, ask yourself:
- Do you enjoy your current neighborhood?
- Do you love the local schools?
- Do you have a reasonable commute to work?
If you answered ‘yes,’ then maybe moving isn’t the solution, perhaps renovations or additions could meet your needs. Take time to assess what changes need to be made in order for you to stay. List the best attributes of your property and what your dream home would have. For example, do you love your tray ceilings and ensuite bathrooms, but wish you had a home office and screened-in porch?
Pros and Cons
Consider the advantages and disadvantages of relocating vs building an addition. The location of your home can have a huge impact on your overall happiness. You may want to move to a better neighborhood for your family. Or perhaps you want to be closer to work as longer commutes tend to lead to lower life satisfaction. A move might be the thing your family needs. However, selling one home and buying another involves paying an agent which can cost up to 7 percent of the sale. If you find the perfect property in a great location, consider building a custom home so you get exactly what you want. Either way, there is the hassle of moving—sorting through years of accumulated belongings, packing boxes, and then unpacking in your new place.
Building an addition is cheaper and more customizable than buying a home. On a per-square-foot basis, the cost of remodeling tends to be less than the market price of an existing home. Another option is to build a new home. If you have the perfect location in a great school district for the family with a less than a perfect house, consider tearing down the current structure and constructing your dream home. When you work with a design-build team, you can customize your home to be exactly what you want and need. Hiring a good general contractor will make this process as smooth as possible.
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