Q: How Do You Decide whether to Add on to an Existing Home or Purchase a New One?

A: There are a few things to consider, including cost, individual needs, and what will add value down the road. Also important: your emotional attachment to the existing home. Often, it is more cost effective to put on an addition than it is to build or buy a new home.

Key points to consider are:

·How much living space are you looking to add, i.e. how many extra rooms, square feet? You’ll want to know the current market value of similar homes that have that many rooms and square footage. You’ll want to take into account similar features and upgrades. The difference between your current home and the proposed expanded home is the market value difference that helps determine your budget. However, what you may change aesthetically does not necessarily add value later, but does increase your quality of living while you live in your home.

·Can you finance the home improvement with your own cash or will you need a loan? Research different types of home improvement loans and interest rates.

•How much equity is in the property? A fair amount will make it that much easier to get a loan for home improvements.

•Is it feasible to expand the current space for an addition? Consult with your township engineers to determine your best options for expansion and where.

•What is permissible under local zoning and building laws? Again, consult with local township engineers and zoning inspectors. You will need to know if your town or city will allow such improvements and what permits are required.

•If adding onto your home is not an option, are there affordable properties for sale that would satisfy your changing housing needs? Working with a licensed realtor will help you find a more suitable home to meet your needs. We have the most up-to-date information on current listings, the market and neighborhoods.

•Explore your options. Make sure your decision is one you can live with – either under the same roof or under a different one.

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