Monday, February 10, 2014

Before You Move, Consider This!

You have several choices when you realize there’s something about your house is not working for you any longer: 1. Move 2. Do nothing 3. Make changes

Before you do anything, first determine why the house is a problem for you. Perhaps you need a bigger home. Or, maybe you feel you need to downsize. Or, maybe you just hate it and want a change! Regardless of the reasons, many things can be done to make changes to your existing home to better suit your needs.

Before you hang that for-sale sign, consider a few things. If your house suddenly seems too big because your children have grown up and moved away, or too small because you’re adding to your young family, you might be able to redesign the space you have instead of moving to a new one. A small addition and/or redesign of your inside structure and/or extension of your outside can change the entire home without moving. How about adding on a nursery, playroom or mother-in-law suite if you need more room for more people? Or, if you have too much room, you might rethink how you use the ones on the main floor. A little-used formal dining room can become a first-floor bedroom, for example, and an empty child’s room can have new life as a craft room or upstairs laundry room. Base your decision about where to live on lifestyle. Know how you want to live in your house before moving from one to another.

If you are still thinking about moving, though, consider how your home might look to potential buyers. The things you don’t like very likely will turn others off as well. As you fix up your home to ready it for sale, you might also find that the newly renovated space works could work well enough for you that you don’t have to move after all.

Doing nothing is always an option, especially when money is tight. Yet, if you don’t occasionally upgrade and update your home, you can diminish its value. Even if you have no plans to move and sell your home now, your plans might change. Keeping your home in good shape—so it looks nice, operates well and runs efficiently—will make living in it more comfortable and convenient, and can save you the expense and time it will take to do it all at once if you ever decide to put it on the market.

Simple redecorating can solve some of your problems. You can replace the drapes and other window treatments; choose a different paint color and freshen up the walls; and switch dirty, old cabinet handles and drawer pulls with stylish new ones, leaving your room looking updated and cared for.

If your budget can stand it, you can change almost anything in your home to make it suit your lifestyle better. Not enough closets? Knock down a non-load-bearing wall and create a giant, walk-in closet from a spare bedroom. Feel isolated from the family while you’re cooking in your closed-in kitchen and everyone else has congregated in the family room? Open up the space so the family room becomes part of the kitchen and the cook can be part of the group, even while stirring at the stove. Having trouble getting into the shower because it’s part of a bathtub that you never use? Remove the bathtub and fashion a roomy, stand-alone shower in the space.

It costs little, if anything, to bounce some ideas around with an architect, a landscape architect or remodeling contractor who can tell you what’s possible within your budget, offer solutions you hadn’t thought of and help you figure out how to re-create your house’s layout on the inside or out so it feels a lot more like home.

Even a simple change in landscaping boosts your curb appeal and welcome to your home!