The Finance Blogger


Remodel or Buy a New House – Pre Retirement

This is the position, I find myself in at the moment. We have been in our home for 24 years and are just about to retire and we are trying to decide to remodel or buy a new house. We have maintained our home in perfect condition, added a new roof when needed, upgraded the windows when needed and replaced the furnace when it broke. But the real question is! Should we renovate and bring it up the standard that new home buyers are looking for and should we do this pre-retirement or post retirement?

Remodel or Buy a New House

New home buyers are looking for hardwood floors ( we have hardwood in most rooms but not all), they are looking forRemodel or Buy a New House granite counter tops ( we still have the old traditional counter tops), they are looking for totally landscaped, which we have and they are looking for the bathrooms to be modernized. Our bathrooms are still in the 1980’s but they do have tile, just the wrong colors for today’s buyers.

So What Should a Guy to Who is About to Retire?

Should we move to something more modern, should we stay and renovate slowly or should we just leave things the way they are? From a non emotional perspective, people tell us that we will not get the money out of the house that we put into it renovating. That is if we sell it right away. On the other hand if we stay in the house and enjoy the renovations that is an entirely different matter. At least we will get the benefit of the work and the money that we put into the upgrade of our home.

When Should This Work be Done

There is nothing worse than going into retirement and in debt because you spend thirty or forty thousand dollars upgrading your home. A bathroom upgrade can cost $25,000 these days and a kitchen can cost easily $35,000 so unless you have the ready cash and it will not affect your retirement plans, think carefully about whether you want to spend this money or not.

The estimates we provided above can vary a great deal. Do it your self enthusiasts can save a great deal of work, while other people who contract everything out and purchase top of the line materials can spend much more than the numbers quoted. We really believe that you should live within your means and not go into debt as you enter retirement, hence our advice is to think very carefully before you spend all this money on the upgrades that you may be planning.

What are the costs Associated with Moving?

The cost to move can be expensive. A neighbor downsized and moved to a new home that had all of the upgrades that everyone seems to be looking for. By the time he was done paying for legal fees, real estate fees, moving costs, decorating costs and new furniture, he was a $100k in the hole! Would have been better staying were they are. Of course he would never admit this, since he is a very proud person, but the reality is that it cost him much more to move than it would have to upgrade his existing home.

He also had a lot of problems with the builder and he has to put up with new sod, new fences around his yard and neighbors that do not share the same values as he does when it comes to taking care of his home and yard. For my money I would much rather stay right were we are. We love the house and the neighbor hood so why would we move?

When you assess all of the costs of moving, even if you downsize, there are a lot of expenses associated with moving. Evaluate all of these costs and decide if it is worth it to move or whether you should you just upgrade your home and stay where you are. For my money, I plan to stay right where we are and not move. I would rather spend the money to upgrade our home vs. moving.

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2 Responses to “Remodel or Buy a New House – Pre Retirement”

  1. based on my friend, I am staying right were i am and not moving. why put up with all of the problems of a new home, new construction etc and it costs more money too. I would rather spend the money on my current home and upgrade it.

  2. We are not down sizing either, going to stay where we are, will have to carry me out feet first, lol

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