We are debating updating our current house vs selling & buying a new place with those updates + more space

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  • #84754 Reply

      Hello community, hoping to get some outside thoughts and perspectives. My wife and I are debating updating our current house (central air, new furnace, exterior paint, kitchen bump out) vs selling & buying a new place with those updates + more space. She really doesn’t like our current place. I’m struggling to get comfortable leaving the 2.5% mortgage rate we have. How would you approach this decision?

      Addendum: Our current location and neighborhood are great. We really don’t want to move more than a few blocks from where we are at. I think it’s really coming down to finding which path of spending $ will achieve the “happiness.” I’m resolved to spending some money but with the most efficacy.

      #84755 Reply

        It’s probably more cost effective to stay and update, you keep the low mortgage rate, save on all the transaction fees of selling and buying. But if your wife hates the house, can you find out why, and is it something that can be fixed?

        Happy wife, happy life..

        #84756 Reply

          I can’t imagine leaving that rate. I’d leave my wife first.

          #84757 Reply

            I was in a similar boat. Didn’t like “our house” but it was hard finding another place in our budget in the same school district. We ended up doing a bunch of renovations and got the house just perfect. Turns out, it wasn’t the house. It was the neighborhood that I didn’t like.

            We ended up selling it and moving anyway, after all that work.

            So, my advise is simply to make sure that it’s truly the house that is the problem and not other things you can’t fix, like the neighborhood or school district or noise, etc.

            Don’t miss: Will this affect our house purchase?

            #84758 Reply

              We didn’t like our last house or location. Talked about upgrades to make it more livable(including a pool) and decided it was best to move on. And I guess when I say we, I mean me — I didn’t like the house or location. We found a much better place for us and are super happy with our choice. It’s a better fit for us and we don’t have to go through the headache of living in construction.

              I would approach by asking her if she realistically thinks she could be happy after all those upgrades. And ask her to really think about the answer. If the answer is no, look for something else. Being happy in our home is huge for us. Especially for me since I stay home and homeschool.

              #84759 Reply

                Depending on your area and how you will fund this making the updates may be cheaper than buying a different home. Home equity loans have lower interest rates.

                #84760 Reply

                  The only advice I have here is don’t update the current house to end up selling it anyway.

                  #84761 Reply

                    Play the game of looking at potential options she likes more while making improvements on your current home. The right answer for you both will become much clearer as you take care of what you have and explore what you might want instead.

                    Explore these too: I am saving to buy a house in Greater Denver. I am very discouraged with how expensive this market is

                    #84762 Reply

                      Quite honestly you’d probably have to do some of those things just to sell.

                      Do those things and see if she enjoys her home more.

                      If not, do the numbers. Include her in that process. Then see if she’s still wanting to move.

                      #84763 Reply

                        I just upgraded my kitchen. No way am I leaving my low interest mortgage for a while. Love my new kitchen though so I’m happy to stay for now.

                        #84764 Reply

                          If she doesn’t like the house and doesn’t see living there for several years I’d sell and move. When interest rates come back down you can always refinance.

                          #84765 Reply

                            Definitely stay and update if you’re happy with the area. You’ll pay higher property taxes if you buy a house in this market. I’ve debated selling our larger home to downsize to a smaller one but with the current market even if you sold like for like you’d still be looking at increased property taxes.

                            Don’t forget to take a look at: I do plan to sell my current condo & want to buy a new house – I’d welcome any and all thoughts

                            #84766 Reply

                              Do the numbers, 30 year fixed look to be about 6.6%, that’s a Very nice jump from 2.5%. Furnace, and AC if you have the ductwork in place pushing 12K+/- the kitchen bump, and upgrade if you don’t go crazy maybe 25K. Keep your first, look at a second, or a HELOC so you are only paying a high rate on the new money, and the kitchen bump will enhance the value of the home.

                              #84767 Reply

                                Would she love the house after those updates are done? Is the house in a great location?

                                I just finished remodeling our forever house. We changed the windows, the flooring, kitchen, bathrooms, landscaping, plumbing, lighting, paint, new and more modern fireplace, added a bedroom to an existing loft area, a generator, etc. It took us 2.5 years and we spent $382k. It is a lot, financially and stress wise. But it’s in an incredible neighborhood where everyone else keeps the homes updated. We increased the value by over $900,000. None of that matters since we are staying.

                                It’s important to do the math so that you are not spending more than the house is worth and for the location.

                                I wanted to add a cosmetic improvement to our last house of $20k but I knew that if one day I sold the house, we would have never recovered that money due to the location. So we sold.

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