We have been looking for a larger house in our area for quite some time now, and have not found anything suitable. We love our current lot, neighborhood, etc. but our house is small, and we would like more space.
Buying a larger house will be expensive. We estimate that all said and done, it will cost us approximately $120K to buy a larger house (including higher taxes, higher mortgage, closing costs, realtor fees, etc.)
It's possible that for that same price we could renovate our house and build an addition to include a bedroom and a larger kitchen (still have to talk to some builders about this). Renovating would be a major pain (we'd plan to move to an apartment for several months), but in the end we would have almost exactly the house we want.
The major problem for us is that we are very concerned about toxic building materials. We want to use formaldehyde-free wood/MDF for the subfloor and exterior walls, etc. And then of course we'd end up spending more on less toxic kitchen cabinets, countertops, flooring, etc. I'm concerned that we'd have to analyze every item that went into the building of the addition to make sure it wasn't super-toxic. And of course, this would add a HUGE amount to the typical building expenses.
I guess what I'd like is to hear stories from those of you who have renovated with green materials - or decided not to do this and just buy a different house. What were the costs involved?