Sell Or Fix Up?

Weigh all the costs on both routes

Should I stay or should I go? It's a question staring many homeowners in the face. Here is how to tell if there is more value for you in fixing up, or moving on.

First, estimate your costs to buy a new home. Add up the Realtor and home selling costs, including packing, moving and the new loan financing. Don't forget to factor in hidden items.

And be aware the buyer may ask you to replace the carpet before you sell. Or, what if you have to replace appliances? Make your best effort to include everything it will cost in time and money to sell your home and buy a new place. Be aware that it adds up quickly. Then, estimate what you may get for your house and how much cash you will be left with to put down on a new home.

If you like your neighbors and your neighborhood, consider remodeling to make yourself happy with staying put. You can get exactly the home you want and you won't risk any seller’s remorse. Estimate the cost of making the most crucial renovations needed for you to stay. Decide what you would like to do and go price shopping at your home improvement store. Call contractors and get estimates. This is especially important if you need to add extra square footage.

Look at what it would cost to move, then what it would cost to remodel. Then add in the emotional, non-tangible factors such as friends, schools and neighbors. When all is said and done, you may find you get more equity by staying in your home and remodeling.