To renovate or move

Weighing all the pros and cons will help make the decision easier.

You probably know it if your home isn’t working for you anymore. Your closets might be overflowing, a new neighbourhood might be calling your name or maybe you’re a bathroom short of what you need. It’s easy to know when your home no longer works, but it’s a lot harder to know how to fix it.

If your home needs a change, you have two basic options: Renovate the home you have, or move.


  • When you’re tired of the way things look. Outdated finishes, ugly appliances and damaged flooring can be easily fixed with a renovation.
  • If you can capitalize on unfinished space. Your family may have outgrown your home, but if you have an unfinished basement you could be literally standing on top of your solution. Get more room by finishing unfinished space.
  • When you’re in love with your neighbourhood. It can be tough to recreate that perfect spot somewhere else – with a renovation you don’t have to.


  • When you need to relocate. You can’t renovate to a new city or neighbourhood. If your location isn’t working for you any more, there isn’t much you can do to fix it other than moving.
  • When you need a lot more space. You can add square footage to your home with an addition but it’s a big undertaking and additions have limits, particularly if you’re short on lot of space. If you’re looking for a big bump in square footage – in your home or your lot – a move’s often a good option.
  • If your needs have changed. Stairs can be an enemy for kids as well as aging adults, but it’s not an easy hurdle to renovate away.

Keep costs in mind when you’re balancing the benefits of a move against those of a renovation. Remember closing costs for a new home, and leave room in your renovation plans in case costs go over budget.