If you’re stuck deciding whether to sell or stay, you’re not alone. Many people find themselves reluctant to give up the home they’ve loved and appreciated for so many years, even if it no longer meets their needs. For this reason, homeowners may opt to renovate, in an attempt to get their current property to better suit their lifestyle. 

But are renovations really worth the cost and effort? Here are a few things to consider:

Renovation vs. Down Payment Costs 

According to the experts, most Canadians plan to spend at least $10,211 to renovate their homes. Of those choosing to renovate, nearly 40% go over budget, with average costs ranging anywhere from $10 to $60 per square foot (i.e. a 1,600 square foot home x $10/square foot = $16,000).

On the other hand, based on Edmonton’s current home prices ($360,000), the down payment on an entirely new property would cost approximately $18,000 ($360,000 x 5% (minimum) = $18,000).

In short, depending on the renovations (which often cost more than anticipated), it may be more affordable to purchase an entirely new home, rather than update your current one.

Renovation Time and Effort 

Costs aside, renovations typically require a significant investment of time. Depending on the project, the average renovation can take anywhere from a couple of weeks (3+ weeks to finish your basement) to a few months (i.e. 6 to 16 weeks for a home addition) – not including setbacks due to unforeseen problems, material and labour shortages, etc.

Keep in mind that even if you opt to hire a contractor, home renovations will demand patience, especially for larger projects. As a busy homeowner who may be balancing work, children and other day to day activities, moving may be a better (lower stress) option.

More Room or More Square Footage? 

Whether you’re planning on growing your family, seeking more storage, or yearning for a home office, if your current discomfort stems from a lack of rooms, renovating may be the answer. That is, if your square footage allows. If this is the case, simply reconfiguring to add the additional space you need (i.e. making two smaller rooms out of a larger one) may be a more affordable alternative to moving.

However, if incorporating that extra space requires a physical addition to your home, moving will likely be a more cost-effective alternative.

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Is it JUST the Home? 

Is it more than just your home that has you re-thinking your living situation? Are you faced with a lengthy commute to work, unfriendly neighbours, cramped lot, or lack of essential amenities (aka schools, transit, shopping, etc.)? Maybe you’re concerned about where your current community is headed in terms of development or crime rates. If you answered “yes” to any of the above, selling might be your only option.

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Get a Free Home Evaluation

Even if you’re on the fence about selling, we recommend getting a free home evaluation from an expert Edmonton REALTOR®. During this process, a qualified agent can help you discover what your home is actually worth in the current market. This is helpful information to have ahead of time as it can help you gauge if selling your home is the right decision without pressure or obligation.

Are you thinking about selling your home? Find out what your property is truly worth with the help of our FREE Market Evaluation! We also invite you to take advantage of our many free seller’s reports, Edmonton real estate guides and other resources.

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Posted by Terry Paranych on


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