Thursday, February 21, 2013

Clean up or Move

I have been watching Love It or List It on Home & Garden television.  These are stories about households that own a home that is no longer meeting their needs.  The owners typically like the neighborhood and have an emotional attachment to the house.  Home construction trends have changed over 40 years. Most families want modern features such as an open floor plan, lots of storage and en suite bathrooms.

One thing that has not changed is that remodeling is expensive.  Construction always takes longer than expected and always goes over budget.  If you are removing a wall there will be structural issues.  If you are changing electrical or plumbing, there will be even more issues.

When you move there could also be issues and a home inspector may not catch all of them.  However, when you move, you are choosing a place from everything on the market and that is more likely to meet your needs.

After watching about 10 episodes, my feeling is that if families de-clutter, paint, get new fixtures and appliances, and get some new furniture they can very much enjoy their homes.  If you really need additional bedrooms or bathrooms for a growing family it is time to move.

We purchased our home six years ago and finished the basement which was the plan when we moved in.  We could have bought a home with a finished basement, but wanted to stay under a budget until our family needed the extra space.  Being built in 1994, it is a relatively open floor plan compared to homes built before 1980.  We have done some cosmetic home improvements, but nothing extraordinary. 

When I look at modern home features, I do appreciate an open floor plan, but would just as soon have multiple spaces.  We do not do much entertaining and separate rooms allow for some privacy.  I would like to have more closet space upstairs, but a better idea would be to just have fewer clothes.  I could probably get by with half of what I own if I got serious.  I would like a bigger garage, but again, de-cluttering could solve space issues in the garage. 

However, I would like a mud room.  I have never lived anywhere that had this feature.  In my parent’s house, we entered through the garage into a laundry room which served a shoe drop off and coats went onto the backs of chairs in the kitchen.  This is the process we use in our home.  However to have an entry way with a 60 square foot room with a bench, shelving, and coat hooks will be a definite feature in our next home.

Fortunately we have a home we can grow in.  Hopefully we can get the kids moved out and downsize to a nice ranch in 20 years.

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