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Discussion Starter #1
We live in a really cute, but completely dumb step up house. It was built in 1919 and has 4 tiny bedrooms, 1 bath. The one bath is upstairs so if we are in the basement, we have to run up 2 flights of stairs to get there. My DS has a hard time making it sometimes.<br><br>
Anyway, the other things we don't like about the house are no garage, no central air (the upstairs get very hot in the summer), a small kitchen with few cupboards.<br><br>
The things we LOVE about the house are huge backyard, great neighborhood, decorated the way we want it, 4 bedrooms, perfect square footage for us.<br><br>
So here is the question: Do we stay in the house and spend money on a major remodel to add a main floor bath, a garage, some storage space and a new office? We would also update the kitchen with new cupboards and countertop. Plus put in central air.<br><br>
Or...do we keep it the way it is and sell in a couple of years and try to find a house that has things we want.<br><br>
As far as financially here is how we are sitting:<br>
We own $56,000 on the mortgage. The remodel would be about $45-50,000 for a total of $106,000.<br><br>
If we sold the house, we would be able to sell it for about $90,000 the way it currently is. That would mean we would have $34,000 to put towards a different house. The housing market in our town is stable and we would be looking at spending about $150,000-170,000 for an older home that has been updated and has the things we would want.<br><br>
What would you do in our situation?
 

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Id probably sell just because i cant stand living in total chaos ... well more chaos then usual...<br><br>
you may want to get some 'quotes' to see what the actual cost of remodeling would be... also a good solid home inspection... ive seen the DIY channel... you see a family start renovations, they discover the foundation needs work,the beams are rotted etc... id like to know as much as possible up front.
 

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I got seriously flamed for saying this before, but I still stand by my words... working with a contractor to remodel can be a *nightmare* if you don't find an honest and PROUD one. You need to find one that is old-fashioned about taking pride in their work and cares that the work is done properly and accurately. We did a huge remodel/add-on when my mother moved in with us 2 years ago and unfortunately we dealt with more than a dozen contractors and sub-contractors and every last one of them tried to cheat us and cut corners. It ended up costing us nearly double what we had budgeted for.<br><br>
We had one guy that took us for about $10,000, and we won most of it back in court (small-claims), but then found out that the guy already had over 10 judgments against him... since we were so far down the list, we knew we'd never get our money back. That was the month that the roof he put on mom's addition started leaking and we spent $1000 get the roof redone.<br><br>
The next contractor was going to put a closet in her room, and as he was putting it in, decided it would "look" best if it were flush with the step it was next to. He had the closet half done before it dawned on me (I'm dumb about construction, so it took a while for me catch on) that he wasn't making the closet deep enough to even accommodate a clothes hanger. When I told him about it, he says something like, "Oh, yeah... it's a clothes closet. Never thought about it being deep enough to put a hanger in it. You think I ought to rip it out and make it deeper?" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
The one that put in the bay window for mom was supposed to be the best in the business (according to him). The window and drywall have already cracked because the window is put in incorrectly and causing stress on one side. We'll have to get that replaced and the drywall repaired within the next year or two.<br><br>
I could go on and on. It's just ridiculous... doors not hung properly, duct work not efficient (and had to be redone)... blah, blah, blah. And every person basically wanted a piece of the pie and not have to really do the work... contractors hiring sub-contractors, hiring sub-sub-contractors and then these guys arriving hung over and so dumb that were putting the siding up by driving nails straight through the face of the siding instead of installing it properly with the nail slots.<br><br>
Obviously we had a horrible remodel experience. We're just tired of dealing with these contractors. Ladies... those of you who have husbands in the business, this is *not* a personal attack on your husbands. I'm talking about MY experiences.<br><br>
Sell. 100% my opinion is SELL.
 

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I'd sell and find a house that suits your needs. I can't imagine living in the chaos of a remodel!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As far as the contractor, my father in law is a carpenter and would do all the work for us. My husband is on the verge of becoming an architect (he has 8 tests to take to get licensed) so he would do the design work.<br><br>
I see what you are saying about living in chaos though. It would be a major remodel/addition. I don't know if I could handle the process.
 

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I would remodel. If you have a great neigborhood and a nice yard and after the remodel the house would still be in a resonable price range if you ever did decide to sell, do it!<br><br>
I live in a family of contractors/carpenters plus I work for a General Contracting Company, so I would be confident I could find the best people to do it.<br><br>
It sounds like you already have a good contractor and your dh will be able to do all the planning, so you shouldnt have to worry too much about shoddy carpenters.<br><br>
Good luck! I cant wait until we are ready to do our addition and kitchen remodel!!
 

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What are the rest of the houses like in the neighborhood?<br><br>
With your improvements how will your house compare to them? If you made the improvements and your house would now the best in the area, I wouldn't do it--unless you plan to live there for a very, very long time (and even then I wouldn't probably do it, b/c most people end up moving anyway).<br><br>
If it puts your house on par, or below, the level/size/newness of other homes, AND you can live with the mess and dust, then I'd go for it.<br><br>
Before kids, we gutted our residence, and it was a BIG pita. It took a long time, b/c we paid as we went and we were doing the work. But, we made a nice profit. I think you have to find a cost/benefit scenario that will mentally "carry you" through the trying times. Like, "OK, this is a mess, but it will be worth it in a month, b/c we will have xyz (another bath, more equity, a beautiful light-filled kitchen, etc.).
 

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If the cost of the remodel would leave your home at a comparable price to other homes in your neighborhood, I'd go for it!<br><br>
The mess of an addition isn't nearly as bad as a remodel of an existing room/rooms. There is the noise, etc. to deal with, but if it's family doing the work I'd go ahead with the remodel if it made financial sense.<br><br>
I personally *hate* moving and would take a remodel over a move any day. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hopeelise</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7990452"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">As far as the contractor, my father in law is a carpenter and would do all the work for us. My husband is on the verge of becoming an architect (he has 8 tests to take to get licensed) so he would do the design work.<br><br>
I see what you are saying about living in chaos though. It would be a major remodel/addition. I don't know if I could handle the process.</div>
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In that case, I'd really consider remodeling if you love your location and if remodeling wouldn't push the value of your home way above what the neighborhood can support.<br><br>
Also consider that any estimates of time to completion to be double. Ours were triple and the next door neighbors (the husband is a carpenter and did a DIY job) were double. He worked every moment of his spare hours and was still off on how long it would take (a one-room strip to the studs and refinish) by almost 4 weeks.
 

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If I loved my neighborhood, but not my house, I would remodel. Well, if the numbers made sense in terms of payoff from the remodeling.<br><br>
We're moving because we're in the opposite situation: Love the house, but the neighborhood doesn't work for us anymore.
 

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What's the real estate market like in your area? How long are houses on the market? Are people having to cut prices?<br><br>
I ask because if buyers in your area are getting really picky, and there are other houses basically the same as yours on the market, you may have a hard time selling without the renovations if (say) they all have 2 bathrooms and you only have one.<br><br>
On the other hand--if you can be perceived as a 'deal,' then you might sell pretty quickly. It just depends on your local circumstances.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all your insight.<br><br>
The real estate market is good in our area. Our neighborhood has a large varitey of properties. It is very well kept up (lawns always mowed, houses recently painted, etc). We have a ranch style house on one side and an old house (around the age of ours) on the other side. Across the street we have mostly older homes that are similar to ours. I think we would be priced about average for our neighborhood with the remodel.<br><br>
My only concern is that the bedrooms are very small. I don't know if this would deter future buyers. It would be considered a 5 bedroom house with the remodel. 3 of the rooms are fair size, but 2 are very small. We also have a partially finished basement with a playroom and TV room that could be a bedroom, if someone wanted to use it as a bedroom.<br><br>
The house is a total of 1256 sq. ft on the main and upstairs with the basement it is 1900 approx. It is a great size for us, but with the bigger is better mentality that a lot of people have, potenial buyers might think it is small.<br><br>
I love older homes and if we sell, would probably buy another older home. My husband has the know how to do all the remodeling himself, but not the time or desire so if we bought another home, it would have to be completely remodeled already. Since we have already put tons of time into remodeling this house, I just wonder if it is more worth it to do the addition and continue remodeling this one instead of starting over or paying a ton for a fully remodeled older home.
 

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I haven't read all of the comments, but I'm going to add my 2 cents. We are in a similar situation. My house is an adorable 2/1 built in 1953. Since there are only 3 of us, it still fits us (barely). DH and I are talking about having another baby, so we will be very cramped with the house like it is. I live near Downtown Orlando, and my neighborhood is *great*. If we add onto it, we will make twice as much as we put into it. In our case, it only makes since to add on. If you love your neighborhood, and wouldn't want to live anywhere else in your town, then go for a remodel. To me, it depends on how happy you are with the area that you live in (and if it is an area that is worth investing in).
 

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I'd sell. My parents DIY on every house they ever owned (w moved alot!) and while they did make $$, it was always a mess, and a project going on. Infact, I don't know what they would do if they didn't have a house project going on. They house they live in now they have: added a bath/closet; remodeled other bath and put in the washer dryer in it (combined 2 bathrooms and a closet to do that one), completely ripped out and re-did the kitchen/dining room, put up walls in LR instead of having it open, added a big sun room, and made an office which my mom just informed me they are hoping to remodel this year and chance the door and window around. That doesn't include all of the yard stuff they have done, planting, ripping stuff out, graveling, paving the drive, making a circle drive, making a side walk. Oh, and they have rent houses they are always working on as well.<br><br>
Can you tell I really don't like remodeling? It's almost impossible to find someone to remodel,a nd they cost WAY too much IMO. I'd rather put that $$ toward a newer house that already has what I want. For me, the end figure would be how much "more" would I gain monetarily from renovating where I currently live. Unless it's BIG $$, I'd just say sell and find something else. I would try to look into more energy efficient homes/appliances/insulation,ect. Also on a remodel you just cannot ever know what you will find behind the walls. Mold, mildew, terrmites! A simple job can end up big $$ and way more intense than you origionally planned.<br><br>
Just my .02 <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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