The coronavirus brought the housing market in the U.S. to a screeching halt in the first half of 2020. The economic damage was so extensive that mortgage rates were driven below 3% for the first time ever.
However, that 3% figure didn’t just apply to mortgage rates. It also represents the total amount of U.S. wealth possessed by the largest demographic of current potential homebuyers: millennials.
Needless to say, many millennials found themselves in a bit of a dilemma. On the one hand, housing had never been cheaper. On the other hand, they had very little cash to work with, especially when it comes to the astronomical quantities needed to purchase a home.
The solution for many was to shop for a bargain. Rather than purchasing a newly built or impeccably maintained home, some millennials settled for older, cheaper houses that left them with one of two options: renovate or reconstruct.
If you’re faced with the tough decision of whether to fix up your dwelling or rebuild it from scratch, here is some food for thought to help you with your decision.
Remember that No Two Situations Are Alike
Right from the get-go, it’s important to point out that no two housing situations are the same. What may have worked for a friend or family member may not be the best option for you. Even within your own experiences, one house that you consider buying may require being torn down while another might simply need a hefty dose of TLC.
Regardless, before you dive into the deeper considerations, always remind yourself that each situation is one-of-a-kind and requires a unique decision.
Consider Your Time
One of the largest investments that you can put into purchasing a home is your time. Building a home from scratch shouldn’t soak up your schedule too much unless you get hyper-ambitious and decide to rebuild the home yourself. Of course, if you’re not as involved, it does mean you’ll likely miss out on any fun off-the-wall remodeling stories. If you’re willing to forgo the fun, though, rebuilding can certainly be a time-saving option.
In comparison, renovating can be a time-exhaustive proposition. Of course, it all comes down to the size and scope of the renovations that you’re planning. If you need to do a bit of painting or put in a new floor, it may not take too long — although even then, the simple act of thoroughly cleaning up from the project can take up significant amounts of time. If you’re going to tackle something bigger, such as redoing all of the electric or adding a second floor, the time commitment can become prohibitive.
Add Up the Costs
While a new home may take up less of your time, it most certainly will take up more of your money.
If you opt to renovate, you can cut the costs down significantly. Even larger projects likely won’t cost anywhere near the price of a complete rebuild. In addition, if there aren’t any dangers or health hazards actively present, you can spread out the costs over a longer period of time while you live in the home.
Investigate Building Materials
Speaking of health hazards, it’s important that you consider your safety when deciding whether or not to renovate. Things like lead paint and mold can be very harmful if they aren’t dealt with properly. Houses built during the 1940s to the 1970s often have asbestos as well. At times the cost of having these substances professionally removed can be enough to tip you in favor of demolition.
Even if you think you’re good to go with a renovation, make sure to check that your construction and cleaning materials have been properly tested and don’t have any regretful substitutions that make them harmful to use.
Can You Build for a Better Future?
Finally, while you may be tempted to go with a renovation, if you can afford the upfront costs, at times a rebuild can be better for both you and the environment over the long-term. By rebuilding, you enable yourself to integrate a variety of different environmentally sustainable methods into your construction efforts.
For instance, you can hire a company that specializes in sustainable construction by using local suppliers, prioritizing efficiency, and generally reducing waste. In addition, once you’ve rebuilt you can make sure to use energy-efficient appliances, LED light bulbs, low consumption water fixtures, and other sustainably-minded decor in your new home.
Deciding Between a Rebuild and a Fixer-Upper
Making the choice between lovingly fixing up or simply starting fresh can be difficult, especially when it comes to a new home. Nevertheless, if you assess each scenario individually and size up the pros and cons, it’s possible to logically come to the best conclusion possible.
In some cases, cost or time will be the deciding factor. At other times it might be the presence of lead paint or a desire to build sustainably that tip the scale. Whatever the reason, if you take your time and think things through, you can make the wisest choice possible and ultimately end up in a home that you are genuinely excited to inhabit for the foreseeable future.
About The Author: Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but lifestyle and home improvement topics are his favorite. When he isn’t writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.
Photo by Thomas uit Apeldoorn from Pexels
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