Time to upsize or resize your home?


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The way we use our homes has changed with work and school from home. It may be time to move to a bigger house or remodel.

2020 has brought a whirlwind of changes in the way we live. Working and schooling from home; adult children moving in with parents; parents moving in with adult kids—the way many of us use our homes has drastically changed since March. With more activities taking place at home, often with more people, it may be time to upsize or resize your home. Here are some factors to consider.

Working from home

The Technology Executive Counsel at CNBC reports that many large corporations expect to have more than half of their employees back in their offices in September. This means half will still be working from home. Those that return to the office may only do so part-time.

If you’ll continue to work from home, does your space support your activities? And, if you have a partner or share your home with other working adults, does your space support everyone who now works from home?

When workers were abruptly assigned to work from home because of COVID-19 stay-at-home-orders, creative and makeshift solutions kept people productive. Now that working from home is here to stay, take a moment to make sure everyone’s space supports ergonomics and productivity in the long term.

If you can arrange your home to suit everyone’s work, you’ll save the cost and hassle of moving or remodeling. (Check out these ideas for home offices for two.) However, if some household members are working from a cramped closet or struggle to get the privacy they need, it may be time to upsize.

Schooling from home

How and when K-12 students safely return to school is still being worked out. Many schools are looking at reduced class sizes. To do this, an alternating schedule will be in place where half the kids will learn remotely while the other half attend school. Some kids will be learning online 100% of the time. Plus, most colleges are looking to restart their programs with a combination of in-person and online learning. College students who’ve returned home need a place to study, too.

The change in schooling methods means students need a place to study, connect with teachers online and take breaks.

As with working from home, a lot of ad hoc solutions were put in place so students could learn from home. Take a look at your student’s set-up and see if it’s ergonomic and sustainable for extended schooling at home. If the space hinders their ability to do schoolwork, upsizing or resizing may be in order.

Generational needs

Multigenerational households have been on the rise in recent years. In fact, as many as 41% of homebuyers consider the need of accommodating an elderly parent or adult child, according to a survey by John Burns Real Estate Consulting covered by Fast Company. If you’re part of this group, the best move may be upsizing, especially if it’s a home with a multi-generational floor plan built for three (or more) generations.

Multi-generational home plans may have up to four master suites, in-law suites, private entrances for separate apartments and kitchenettes. A key advantage to multi-generational homes is that family members can pool resources and the extended family can afford more.

Choosing whether to remodel or move

If careful consideration leads you to conclude that your family needs more space, you must next decide whether it’s better to remodel or move. The decision depends, in part, on your financial resources, local zoning and the housing market.

The key advantage of resizing or remodeling is that you get to stay at your current home. No moving hassles, no changes of address and the kids stay at the same school. However, you’ll have to tolerate the noise, dust, disruption and delays that come with any building project.

Depending on the extent of the remodel, it could be cheaper than moving. You may be able to cover the cost with savings or a home equity loan.

Be sure to check with your township or city zoning office to see what kind of modifications are allowed.

Moving to a bigger home has advantages, too. If you relish the idea of decorating, creating new work and study spaces, and having a fresh start, a change of address could be the right decision for you. And, if you have a home custom-built, you can choose options that perfectly fit your family’s needs.

To get answers to your mortgage and home equity loan questions, call us at 800-991-2221. We’re here to help!

Consumers helps more than 1,000 members finance land, first and second homes, and home improvement projects each year. We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit; contact us online or call us at 800-991-2221.

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Consumers home loans

We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit.

Learn more

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