Remodeling Your House vs. Building or Moving: What Choice is Right for You?

Perhaps you’re a first time homeowner who has fallen a bit behind on the mortgage. Or maybe your last child just went off to college, and now that you and your spouse have become “empty nesters,” you need a quick and objective guide to help you determine whether to remodel your house, build a new home, or simply move.

Below is a quick list of pros and cons for each strategy.



  • The least intrusive of our three options: involves the least amount of paperwork and expense
  • If you enjoy your current community and neighborhood, remodeling allows you to revitalize your living space without disrupting your life
  • Resources abound to help you remodel on a limited budget
  • If you enjoy construction projects, remodeling can be a wonderful way to spend time
  • Enjoy maximal control over what your home will look like and when the job will finish
  • Generally, it’s far easier to budget for a remodeling project
  • You can remodel at your own pace


  • If you have to move for work or because you want a break from your current climate, obviously remodeling is not an option
  • To remodel cost effectively, you may need outside resources and vendors you can trust
  • It’s hard to make conservative projections for how long the remodeling will take and how much it will cost — as a result, the project can drag on longer than intended unless you hire a very organized contractor.

Building a new homePros

  • You can oversee every aspect of construction and design
  • All new components, parts, and materials – generally, this means that you will get more long-term durability
  • You can work with your builders, vendors, and designers to engineer in special features, like handicap ramps, special appliances, et cetera.


  • Building a new home can be expensive and can take a lot longer than moving or remodeling.
  • You may run into the “paradox of choice” problem — too many choices about how to build and reengineer the house can be anxiety-causing
  • If you need to move soon, this option could be infeasible
  • You may have to troubleshoot problems with the new home for months or even years down the line, as you discover that certain features or design elements prove impractical or aesthetically unappealing



  • Under the right circumstances, moving can be a cheap and fast option.
  • Given the recently depressed national real estate market, you may be able to find excellent deals (e.g. great prices on foreclosed properties)
  • Moving gives you an opportunity to analyze your family’s general financial picture and make positive changes to your portfolio and rearrange your debts in a resourceful way


  • Depending on your parameters, the process can eat up a lot of time and money
  • You may need to pay an agent a commission for assistance
  • Even after you move in, you may still need to do significant remodeling and redesigning – more unexpected costs
  • During the transition period, you may have to pay insurance on both your current and future properties
  • Moving can be problematic if you’ve established strong bonds in your home town

What to do if you want to build a new home or need help remodeling your current Bay Area home?

If remodeling or rebuilding your home makes the most sense to you, connect today with the Bay Area general contractors at B.A. Morrison. For more than two decades, our general contracting team and specialists have delivered spectacular service for families and homeowners throughout the Bay Area. Our team has years of experience with home improvement projects, home remodeling, new home construction and HVAC. Connect with our general contractor team at (510) 538-9817, or explore more of our resources online at
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