What happens when your home is outdated and/or doesn’t meet the needs of your family anymore? What if you don’t want to buy a new home and move to a new location? Then, you face the choice between a major home remodel and a custom built home on the existing site. This is never a simple decision, and there are at least four core points that the homeowner must consider.

1. Footprint, Features and Condition of the Current Home

A home remodel may make a great deal of sense if you’re more satisfied with your current residence than not. If you can work within the existing footprint and don’t want to change many or any core features, then remodeling is often a more attractive option than tearing it all down and building anew. However, if you dislike many of the current features, want to do more than the existing footprint allows or are dealing with significant repairs and restorations, then a new home is the more enticing path.

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2. Zoning Laws and Homeowner Association Regulations

You also need to determine what you are legally allowed to do. An HOA contract can even limit what you are allowed to do during a remodel. Zoning laws generally won’t but certainly will if the plan involves an addition or more extensive new construction. The challenges you could face when it comes to a custom built home include getting approval from immediate neighbors as well as going before a zoning board to get the official approval that lets you legally proceed.

3. Initial Cost, Mortgage and Return on Investment

Remodeling isn’t necessarily cheaper than new construction especially when discussing major renovation projects. You also have to be careful not to over-invest in a home remodel. It’s possible to spend more than you can ever recoup, and that isn’t wise even if you never intend to sell. You have to factor in what mortgage you can afford and how an existing mortgage may limit you. You may also want to factor in ROI. Consider that a remodeled home still has all its years of existence affecting its value.

4. Time Frame and Other Practical Challenges

Can you live with the time frame that comes with a custom built home? You have to live somewhere else during that time, which adds to your costs. It’s generally recommended that you live somewhere else during a remodel as well, but that may be a matter of weeks whereas the new construction is a matter of months. All of these practical challenges should be solved in advance, or else, they will have a tendency to increase your costs unexpectedly and push out deadlines.