Remodel or Relocate? Questions to Help You Find Your Answer

You really want a new kitchen and a living room that has not become the playroom. You seem to have too many people and not enough bathrooms, and ultimately, you will need a safer and more accessible home as you age. You are ready to make a change, but you need to decide: remodel or relocate?

There is no one right answer for every situation. Before you look at houses for sale, or draw up plans to remodel or add on, think about the approach that best meets your wants and that can help you determine what is the best plan of action.

Answering these questions can help you decide:

Do you like your neighborhood? Do your friends and your children’s’ friends live there? Is your favorite park or coffee shop nearby? Are the schools the right fit for your family? Or do you wish you lived closer to work, with a park nearby, as well as a neighborhood restaurant and pub?

How does your home compare in value to others in the neighborhood? Will your remodel make your home the most expensive on the street? Is a house that fits your needs more important than resale if you are planning on living there a long time?

How long do you expect a new space to meet your needs? If your children are making your house feel small, consider their age. How much longer do you expect them to live at home? Do you need more square footage now? Or can you wait a couple of years before downsizing?

What is your tolerance for living in a construction zone? Based on your list of needs, how long and disruptive will the remodeling process be? Temporary housing is expensive, but so is moving to a new home. There are costs for closing, fixing up your current house to sell, moving and even making your new home your own.

What’s the market like for the home you want? How likely are you to find a place you can afford, with the features you want and in the neighborhood you prefer?

Weigh these factors and decide whether you want to remodel or relocate.

Start Planning for the Southern Home and Garden Show
The professionals who can help you find your dream home or remodel your current home will be exhibiting at the Southern Home and Garden Show March 1-3 at the Greenville Convention Center.  Make plans to attend now by visiting

Start Preparing Now to Buy a Spring Home

Start Preparing Now to Buy a Spring Home

If you’re looking to buy a new home this spring, it’s not too early to start laying down the groundwork, which takes time. For example, you will need to get your finances in shape, begin applying for a mortgage, settle on a budget and decide where you want to live.

Price range and down payment
Most banks and online real estate sites have affordability and mortgage calculators that can help you settle on a budget.

To determine your down payment, assess what you have in hand, including the equity in your current home, if you have one. Also, include what you can realistically save between now and spring. Don’t forget that there will be closing costs.

Once you have a budget, research where you would like to live. You should consider schools, commute, housing density, amenities and determine which factors are most important to you.

Additionally, you should check online real estate listings, go to open houses and most importantly, visit your preferred neighborhoods at different times of day to assess various factors like traffic.

Credit score
Check your credit report now, and if you need to dispute anything, do that early in the process. Your credit report is available to you for free from each of the three major credit reporting agencies through, the only authorized website for free credit reports, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Listed below are some ways to maintain and improve your score:

  • Pay your bills on time
  • Pay down credit card
  • Avoid applying for new credit cards or closing old ones

Check mortgage rates at various lenders. However, it is important to remember that the ultra-low rate you found online line might come with many headaches when it’s time to close, as you may have to deal with a lender by phone who is 1,000 miles away.

About a month before you plan on buying, choose your lender and get a pre-approval letter from them. With that in hand, you will be able to show a seller that you are a qualified buyer.