Should We Remodel Our House or Move?

AAA Bank Staff
| August 7, 2023 | 5 Minute Read
Couple carrying in lumber for house remodel. Getty

It’s a question that many homeowners struggle to answer: Should we remodel our house or move?

One day, you’re all in on the idea of remodeling your home and staying put. The next day you realize that moving into an updated home could save you time, money, and stress.

Before we go any further, there’s one thing you need to know—there’s no right or wrong answer to this question. It’s based largely on the condition of your home, the renovation projects you wish to tackle, and your financial circumstances.

But let’s talk about what to consider when you’re wondering if you should remodel your house or move.

Reasons to remodel your home

Let’s start with the most obvious reason to remodel instead of moving: an emotional attachment.

Maybe you love your home. It’s where your children grew up. It’s where you want to grow old. Even so, you don’t enjoy everything about it. Through a remodel, you can update your home to suit your current needs.

Other reasons to remodel your home include the following.

Cost savings

Moving can be expensive, especially when you factor in real estate commissions, closing costs, and moving expenses. Remodeling can be a more cost-effective option.

This is particularly true if you can achieve the desired changes without adding square footage or major structural alterations.

Tip: Consult with a contractor to better understand the cost associated with the project you want to tackle. This can help you make a more informed and confident decision.


If you love the location of your home, but it no longer meets your needs, remodeling may be a better option than moving. You can update the home to fit your current lifestyle without having to give up the location you love.

The real estate industry is always evolving, but one thing will never change: location, location, location. This will always matter.

Avoid the stress (and cost) of moving

Moving can be a stressful experience, especially if you have to sell your home, find a new one, and coordinate the move. Remodeling can be a less stressful option, as you can stay in your current home while the work is being done.

Note: The national average cost of moving is approximately $1,400.


Remodeling allows you to personalize your home to your specific tastes and needs. You can create a space that is uniquely tailored to you and your family, rather than settling for a pre-existing home that may not meet all of your requirements.

For example, when remodeling your kitchen you can choose the cabinets, countertops, flooring, appliances, backsplash, and more.


Remodeling can be a wise investment, as it can increase the value of your home. By updating and modernizing your home, you may be able to recoup the cost of the remodel when it comes time to sell.

To improve the likelihood of this happening, take on projects — such as kitchen and bathroom renovations — that have the greatest return on investment.

Reasons to move to a new home

Despite the many benefits of remodeling your current home, it may not be in your best interest. There are several good reasons to move.

Gain more space

If your current home no longer meets your needs in terms of space, it may be time to move. This could be due to a growing family, an expanding business, or simply a desire for more room to spread out.

Even if you can remodel for more space, such as by converting an unfinished attic or basement, it may not suit your needs in regard to timeline and cost.

A better location

While some people choose to remodel to avoid leaving a location they love, others may choose to move in order to be closer to work, school, or other amenities. Moving can also provide the opportunity to explore new neighborhoods and communities.

As noted above, location will always be a foundational element of buying real estate. You can remodel your home as much as you want, but you can’t change its location.

To save money

While remodeling can be a cost-effective option in some cases, it may not always be the most financially sound decision.

If the cost of the remodel equals or exceeds the cost of purchasing a new home that meets more of your requirements, it may make more sense to move.

Moving can also provide the opportunity to start fresh with a home that is already updated and modernized, saving you the time, expense, and stress of a remodel.

How to finance a renovation project

Should you decide to remodel your current home, the next big question is how you’ll finance the project. There’s no shortage of options.

Cash-out refinance

cash-out refinance loan replaces your current mortgage and gives you cash back at closing. This cash can be used to complete your renovation project.

If you have at least 20% equity in your current home, you may qualify for a cash-out refinance.

Home equity loan or line of credit

Unlike a cash-out refinance, a home equity loan or line of credit allows you to keep your existing mortgage while tapping into your equity.

A home equity loan provides a lump sum of cash. A home equity line of credit works like a credit card, allowing you to draw on your available balance and repay it as you see fit.

Cash from a savings account

For those with enough cash in the bank, it’s often the best approach to paying for a remodeling project. The plus side is that you don’t take on any debt. Not only does this save you from future monthly debt payments, but it also provides an immediate equity boost.

On the flip side, if you use a large portion of your cash savings, you have less of a cushion in the event of an emergency such as a job loss or illness.

AAA Banking is here to help either way

At AAA Banking, we understand how difficult it is to decide between remodeling your home and moving. Regardless of the path you choose, we’re available to assist you with the financial side of your decision.

For example, if you decide to sell your home, we can work with you to secure a conventional purchase loan.

Conversely, if a renovation project is in store, a cash-out refinance could be just what you need.

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