When your home doesn’t feel quite right, you have many options. It can be fun to daydream about making a change, but it can be a challenge to decide how to make such a huge investment of time, money, and hassle. The three main choices are changes or additions to the existing structure, razing the house and starting over, or selling and looking for a new place. Because of some unique challenges to home construction in Arlington, Virginia, deciding which way to go takes some careful thought. Ask yourself these questions to help you decide.

1. How long do you plan to live in your home?

Some of us want a forever home that we leave “feet first,” others are planning on scaling up or down by changing houses as life, children, and mobility evolve, and some intrepid folks are in the flipping business. If you are a lifer, you probably want to do a remodel that keeps the bones of your beloved home. Short-term owners should be careful about over-investing in a rebuild or remodel on the house that ends up exceeding the increased value of the property. Mid-term owners may want to do a major home construction project like a complete rebuild to create a customized home that can accommodate life changes. 

2. Is the value of the home important to you?

Short-term investors or buyers who could only afford a small home to start real estate ownership need to be thoughtful about any major changes they make. New construction has a higher appraisal value than renovation. A home addition in Arlington might appraise at far less than a rebuild because there are more comps available for new construction. While the resale value is likely to be less impacted, obtaining financing for a major remodel might prove difficult because of the appraisal. Long-term owners have less to worry about since appreciation over time will even out the cost of the home construction project.

3. What is your budget?

Your imagination, fueled by TV shows that are never entirely accurate about the actual cost of a home construction project, can be a little more ambitious than your wallet. For example, what seems like a small home addition may involve enough changes to the land that stormwater management comes into play. An interior room rearrangement may require a structural engineer. On the other hand, with skyrocketing home values in Arlington, it may not be possible to afford a relocation, and a smart remodel may be the best way to go. Run the numbers for each scenario carefully to make sure that you are getting the changes you need at an amount you can afford to spend.

4. Are you on a schedule?

I was recently approached by a couple who were expecting a new baby, and they wanted to do a huge remodel before the child was born. I told them what I tell all my customers: any home construction project will take longer than you expect.

Currently, the permitting process in Arlington, the supply chain problems worldwide, and the usual issues that come up in a remodeling project, like discovering unexpected issues during demolition, add up to a long road to completion. I encouraged that couple to consider a relocation instead of a project that might not be finished in time for the birth. 

I also tell my clients that fast is not the right approach in home construction. Rushed decisions lead to mistakes, compressed schedules increase the expense, and the chances of a less than satisfying outcome increase. From walking other homes to get an idea of what you want, in-depth conversations with your contractor, and planning for patience, every step of a rebuild or a remodel takes time. 

As a contractor, I take pride in projects that make my clients completely happy with their homes. We carefully consider all of their options to make sure they are making the best decision for their situation. We take the time to come up with a design and specifications that lead to an efficient project, and a superior product.

For a consultation to decide what option is best for you and your situation, contact us today.