Location--quite street, corner lot, nice-sized lot Original white oak floors, recently professionally refinished Original built-ins and chandelier in dining room Original double-hung windows with the lovely wavy glass (but not in the best repair and not in all rooms) Crystal door-knobs Lovely wood-burning fireplace Roomy basement (currently used as storage and junk) Solid, quiet, safe ambiance of an older home
Here are the things which would need fixing/remodeling:
*Electricity (was last upgraded in 1962!)--lots of cloth-covered wire still exists, many rooms need more outlets and/or lights, breaker box is at capacity and needs updating
*Furnace--don't have one. Electic baseboard heat only, no AC (electricity is dirt cheap here so it's not as bad as it sounds, but the heaters are ugly and I'd love AC)
*Basement--needs ceiling. Is only 7 feet high, so it would have to be sheet-rocked, else my 6'5 son won't be able to stand up down there.
*Basement also needs more lighting--it's very dim.
*Main level--kitchen needs to be re-configured (was last done in the Great Remodel Of The 70's). New cabinets, new floor, appliances.
*Garage--Tiny little thing that barely fits my mid-sized sedan. Would love a new 2-car garage with some storage.
*Second floor--repairs needed to bathroom. Currently, only the toilet is usable. Sink leaks and there is a window IN the shower, so we don't use it either of those. Need more outlets in bedroom.
*Kitchen/Utility/Bath/MasterCloset--part or all of these rooms apparently were on a back porch before the Great Remodel. Bathroom needs to be gutted and the whole area re-configured. Right now, I could sit on the pot and wave at people on the front porch if the door was open (I don't do that, but I could). The tub is a regular fiberglass enclosure, but it's "sunken" because of the whacky roofline and you have to step down into it.
This last item will obviously be the most spendy because it would most likely involve tearing out walls and re-shaping the roofline to add a little room and get rid of that pitch. If I were to do this, I would also re-do the upstairs bath which is directly over the downstairs one.
I know I need to get an estimate from a contractor. I bought the home for around $125k four years ago, but I'm sure it's worth more now because of rising housing costs in my town. It would be a lot easier just to sell this house and buy something else but I love the location and really, what's the difference between a $40k loan to remodel or getting a mortgage for $40k more?
Note: I'm not necessarily asking for someone to tell me which route to take; rather, I'd love input on how others have arrived at their decision between remodeling vs selling. What factors did you weigh? What finally tipped the scales for you, whichever way you went?
Lauri in WA