Should You Remodel, Add-On, Build or Buy a New House?

Feb 1, 2018 2 min read

Maybe you’ve outgrown your current space or are looking for a more ergonomic layout to fit lifestyle changes. Should you remodel or move? Maybe building a new home is the right route? Here are the pros and cons of each available option.


A remodel of just one or two rooms can revamp an outdated floorplan or improve on the use of space. If you’re coveting a larger kitchen, for example, maybe you can expand your current one into your rarely used formal dining room. Or maybe you can refinish the basement or convert your garage or porch into a living space. No matter your vision, you could run into needed updates that must take priority over your bigger plans. And not all ideas for a remodel can be executed. Some walls or beams have to remain intact for structural purposes, and any bathroom expansions or additions should integrate with your existing plumbing columns to keep costs low. With any remodel, consider whether the changes will increase the value of your home.


Building on to a current house is a great way to add additional rooms, expand an existing space or even create a sunroom. You’ll have to comply with all building codes for your community, however. Also, take into consideration whether an addition will fit the aesthetic of your home and build equity. Factor in all costs associated with expanding a foundation and integrating your home’s current support structures, roofing, wiring and HVAC. Do your research. The price tag on an addition can quickly skyrocket and make it less economical than buying a different place. An addition is a life change you’ll want to tell your Farm Bureau agent about for purposes of updating your coverage.


When you’re looking for a change, shopping for a new-to-you home allows you to scour your target community for the right size, layout and number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Unfortunately, you may not find the exact style you’re looking for and you may end up facing the same conundrum about whether to remodel. (Watch for these money-pit red flags.) Take into consideration your community’s current housing market, as well. If prices are soaring, you might want to stay put rather than taking on additional debt. If you’re considering selling in a community with a high demand and moving to one with lower housing prices, then a new purchase might be the best option.


Building is a great choice if you want a completely customized space, but it’s not without its challenges. Building takes more time than doing a simple remodel, putting on an addition or even just moving to a new home. Building also involves an immense amount of decision-making. If you’re prepared to go over every detail from decorative trim to cabinet pulls, then building is for you. Keep in mind that all those details can quickly tally up as unexpected costs. But maybe having a place that truly fits your needs and style is worth it.


Whether you buy, build or remodel, be sure to keep your Farm Bureau agent in the loop. They will be able to do a SuperCheck on your insurance, and make sure you have the right level of coverage for your home.

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.