On the popular HGTV show, “Love It or List It,” a real estate agent tries to convince a couple to sell their home by tempting them with new options, while an interior designer tries to convince them to stay by renovating their current home. By the end of the house, the couple makes the choice to love their home or list it, and viewers cheer or jeer accordingly.
While real life is rarely as dramatic as it appears on television (and thank goodness for that!) this particular show is based on a common conundrum. Is it better to sell your home, or stay in it? How do you know when it’s time to sell your house and move, or double down and improve? Well, you can start by answering the following questions.
Have you outgrown your home?
If you purchased a starter home five years ago and plan to expand your family (or have already started) you’re probably in a pickle. After all, a home designed for a couple will have a hard time housing a family of four or five. If you really love your home, you might consider adding an extension, though this can be expensive and difficult. It can also strip your beloved home of some of its original charm, as extensions alter the look and feel of the house, and will likely cut into your outdoor space. Since the comfort of your family is your first priority, a new home might be your best option.
Are you living in an empty nest?
At some point, your kids will fly the coop and you’ll be left with a home full of beautiful memories and a lot of empty space. At this point, many empty nesters are faced with a decision. Should they continue living in a large home, or downsize? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t easy and depends on the individual. If you enjoy hosting large gatherings at the holidays, need space for out-of-town guests, or are worried your college-aged kids could come back (it happens) it might be worth holding on to that big house for a few more years. On other hand, you might want to purchase a smaller home or a condo to save money for retirement and your own adventures. Weigh the pros and cons carefully, and do what’s best for your situation.
Do you dream of greener pastures?
In life, we make many compromises. Where to live is often one of them. Many things dictate where we buy a house, including job opportunities, school districts and cost of living. If you’ve spent your whole life dreaming of a home by the beach, living abroad or building a cabin in mountains, it’s not too late to make those dreams come true.
Speaking of location, do you like where you live?
Sometimes we focus too much on our house and forget to notice all the little things that make where we live so wonderful. Maybe your house is located in a great school district or near a beautiful park. Is your commute a breeze, do you have a great yard, do you really like your neighbors? By looking beyond your four walls you may find plenty of reasons to stay. If, on the other hand, you love your house but everything outside your front door drives you crazy, it might be time to hit the sell button. There’s only so much a dream home can do. At some point, we all have to wake up.
Still unsure about what you should do?
While we can’t solve your problem over the course of a one-hour television show, Network Real Estate can help you make important decisions that will affect your life for years to come. Contact one of our talented real estate agents today and have a heart-to-heart about your needs, hopes, and dreams. Together, we’ll figure out what’s best for your family’s future, no commercial breaks required.
Neal Johnson is a CMCA, CRB, CNE and GRI-certified, licensed real estate broker at Network Real Estate, which has exclusively served a high volume of property sales and purchases in the greater Wilmington area for more than 30 years. With offices at College Road, Historic Downtown and Pleasure Island, Network’s brokers are widespread and well-versed in this marketplace, making Network a preferred real estate company for first-home buyers and beyond.
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