Moving can be such a pain in the butt. On the other hand, the excitement of moving into a new home can more than make up for the short-term pain. Remodeling can be costly whether or not you're handy enough to do-it-yourself. Be aware of what you're facing before you take those steps!!
Here are some tips to help you decide:
1 - Neighbourhood / Proximity to Work/Schools
Are you happy with the location of your current home? Do you have a quick commute to work/schools? Do you have kids? and do your kids love their school? Commuting costs are rising and the longer your commute, the more wear & tear on your vehicles. As the cost of gas rises, these issues can take a bigger bite out of your budget than you realize. The shorter your commute, the better! Keep this in mind when making your decision.
2 - Size/Layout/Age of the Home
How comfortable is your home? How old is it? Does it need significant remodeling to suit your needs? Remodeling of older homes can be a nightmare. You never know what you're going to find inside those walls... If you're considering remodeling or updating an older home, most contractors will give you free estimates for the work that needs to be done. Whether you're planning to do it yourself or not, get the estimates so you have a rough idea of what you're facing before making a decision on staying or going.
3 - Worst House On the Block
The best investment is buying the worst house on the block and updating it to the neighbourhood standard. If you are planning to remodel, be sure you don't over improve the home for the neighbourhood unless you plan to keep that home for your lifetime. Investment-wise, the best or biggest house on the block is not a good value for the money. Land appreciates, the house generally doesn't unless you're upgrading it and upgrading the best house on the block is like throwing money away. You're not likely to get back your investment if you have to sell the home later.
4 - Bigger isn't Better
Bigger homes are more expensive to buy, to maintain, to heat or cool and to keep clean. The current trend is downsizing and there's a good reason for that. House prices have risen to ridiculous amounts and the cost of living isn't going down. What you think is your dream home could become a nightmare when you have a huge mortgage payment to make. Be sure you figure out your budget before you take a leap into buying your next home. And if you're already in that "my house is sucking the life out of me" home, you may be much better off moving into something that is easier to afford.
Take the time to make the decision that is right for you and your family before you start searching for that new home. Once you actually see that house that meets all your needs, you will not want to back down and it may not be the best decision for you...