Remodel or Move? Feinmann Answers


home for sale signOne of the questions we’re often asked is whether to stay and renovate or to sell and move. Although we’re nothing like the show Love It or List It, we want to help you make the right choice for you and your family based on our almost 30 years in the design/build business. There are a variety of factors that go into this decision, some financial, some emotional. Ask yourself:

  1. Do we love our neighborhood enough to stay?
  2. Will our home become the most expensive house on the block and is that worth it to us?
  3. Are we ready to take the plunge into a home makeover project and all that it entails?
  4. Are we in a position to move to another house and take on those challenges (Financial and otherwise)?
  5. What is our timeline?

Looking at these questions, let’s delve deeper.


Of course there is the emotional attachment to your friends and neighbors if you love where you live. Often this discussion goes beyond the house you live in to bigger issues like the schools, home values, and safety issues. Maybe you didn’t have school-age children when you bought your home but now you do and you like the school district. That’s a consideration. Another question you might ask is how long do we plan to stay if we do renovate?

Home value

If comparable houses in your neighborhood have been renovated, you can get a sense of how your home value might change. Typically kitchens and bathrooms offer the highest return on investment. However, we recommend that you don’t base your decision solely on that. When you invest in your home and transform it to the exact way you want to live in it, there’s a benefit beyond dollars and cents.

Undertaking a renovation project

In addition to the financial aspect of the renovation, you have some other considerations and decisions to make. If you’re planning a renovation, will you temporarily move out? Many of our clients stay in their homes during a kitchen/bath renovation or more extensive remodel as we set up safe spaces and temporary kitchens. We use the latest equipment to keep our clients’ space clean during construction.

temporary kitchen

How will a renovation impact your family, job or free time? There will be meetings and there will be inconveniences along the way. There are many decisions to be made and you want to work with a trustworthy, professional team to achieve the best outcome for your project.

Would you rather move?

Moving means getting your home prepped for sale and getting it sold. It also means searching for another home and then the expense of purchase and moving. In Massachusetts, the typical household cost to move the contents of a 3,000 square feet home starts at about $6,000. Realtor fees for selling and buying are about 4-5% of the price of the house. Again there are emotional as well as financial decisions to be made.


Depending on the housing market and pricing your home well to sell, you could end up having a very short window to find another house. We’ve heard of houses selling in a day. On the other hand, it can take six months or more to sell a house and find another. Can a renovation be done in six months or less? It’s possible.

A typical renovation with a design/build firm like ours involves planning and design development which can take about three months. Depending on the location and obtaining permits, you can be ready to start the construction phase once you’ve done all of your planning and design work. Does that sound like a better option than moving?

We’re advocates of the Pros and Cons list exercise. When making your decision weigh the pros and cons of remodeling versus moving. If remodeling wins, you know where to find us