Monday, March 29, 2010

Home DesignShould I Stay or Should I Go?

You bought a charming home on the edge of the historic district and you fell in love with its character and spirit. It was wonderful when it was just the two of you, but now that you have kids your priorities have shifted. Now you worry about the lead based paint, steep stairs, small bedrooms, and tiny bathroom. Should you stay or should you go?

Perhaps your kids are getting older and that bonus room over the garage was fine for elementary age kids, but now that they are maturing and the bonus room is right next to their bedrooms you�re not sure it�s the best place for them to hang out. You want your kids to have a place to bring their friends with some privacy, but not too much. Should you stay or should you go?

Your father passed away three years ago and your mom really could use some extra care, but your guest bedroom is on the upper level of your house and there isn�t enough space for you and your spouse to move to one of the upstairs bedrooms. You don�t want her to go into full-time care. You would like to have a suitable place for her to stay with you and still allow her some independence. Should you stay or should you go?

One of the most common dilemmas faced by a homeowner is deciding whether to stay in their current home and renovate or look for another one. We all pass through a myriad life stages that require our homes to fulfill various needs. More often than not, if we stay in a home long enough, it will require some modifications or up-fitting. If you find yourself wondering if you should stay or if you should go here are some things to consider:

� How long do you plan on staying in this house?
� Do you like the area you live in and the school district?
� Would it be possible for you to move out of your home temporarily if necessary?
� Are selling prices in your area too low right now?
� Would it be possible for you to refinance your home and use the cash to remodel?
� Is your need for more space temporary? For example, do you want to add more bedrooms for your kids who will be away at college in six years?
� Would a new house solve all your problems or would you still need to renovate anyway?
� What would your �dream� home have that your current home doesn�t?

The truth is there is not an easy answer for these questions; however, many homes are not utilized to their potential. The extra space you need may already exist, but your current floor plan is inefficient. You may not need as much new space as you think or it may be easier to add a clean addition instead of renovating the existing space. The options available to you are infinite, but you need to find a professional to help you realistically assess the potential of your home.

On the other hand, if you are thinking about removing more walls than you are keeping, moving may be a better option. Renovations can be stressful, especially if you plan on living in the house while they are being completed. The key is in finding a home or building a custom designed home that will fulfill all your current and future needs. As a professional designer, it is my job to help you resolve your questions and provide you with answers so you will know if you should stay or if you should go.

Email me at kwkerl@aol.com if you have any questions you would like to see addressed in a future posting.

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