How Much Do You Like Your House?
Is your house a perfect 10? If you live in an older home, the answer is probably complicated. You probably love your commute, love your established community, and love the mature trees that shelter your neighborhood. Maybe the layout just doesn’t work, with too-small rooms and a traditional floor plan. Overall you’re probably not a fan of your home’s small size. Or maybe it’s got an out-of-date kitchen the size of the walk-in closet that you don’t have. Whatever the case, most people that live in an older home love their neighborhood and don’t love their house.
So, if that’s your situation, you’ve really only got two options – you can either renovate your existing home or tear it down and build a new home. It’s a hard decision, and it’s one that takes some time to really consider.
While many people believe that they will get all of their money back from a major renovation, this is not usually the case. Most renovations only get 70 to 80 percent of the cost back in a sale. This is primarily because an old house, while fixed up, is still an old house.
Another point to consider, is when you list the home to sell, it will still be listed as a used home “built in 1952”, even though you could have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars renovating all the systems, windows, baths, and the kitchen. It will still compete and be priced with other homes built in the same era. Most people do not renovate their house at one time, which can help with cash flow, but makes it difficult to get top dollar for your home when you sell. Not to mention that you’re still living in a home that doesn’t fit your needs. However, with a tear down the cost may be the same or less than a renovation, not to mention the fact that deconstruction methods make tear downs environmentally friendly. And you’re getting a brand new home that will be priced in line with other new homes in the area. You’re much more likely to get those dollars back.
Know the Real Value
Buying new allows you to know what you are buying and avoid escalating maintenance costs in older, “money-pit” houses. Many resale homes are DIY disasters just waiting to happen. Lots of homeowners think they are capable of doing professional work- but you won’t know till you move it if they really were up to the challenge.
Consider A Few Hidden Costs of Older Homes:
- Outdated wall construction causes homes to “leak air”
- Often dangerous wiring hidden behind walls
- Inefficient HVAC systems
- Asbestos removal around pipes, under floors and within HVAC systems
- Hidden structural damage from decay, termites or improper construction methods
Drawing on over 40 years of experience in new homes and renovations, Stanley Martin can help you evaluate the price of your renovation or addition or remodel and compare it to building a new home on your lot. To discuss your project call us at 703-352-3000.
Serving customers in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Great Falls, McLean, Oakton, Vienna, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Potomac and many other cities in Fairfax County and Montgomery County.