It’s a question many a homeowner has asked him or herself at one point or another: should I remodel or relocate? When you come to that fork in the road, knowing the right questions to address — not only with your trusted financial and real estate experts, but with yourself — is a big part of helping you make the decision that’s right for you. Here are a few to get you started.
Can you make it work?
If you would like to stay in your home, are there things you can do to make it livable, by your standards? If you’ve ever watched HGTV’s Love It or list It, you know that the answer is yes —theoretically. Renovations can be costly, but there is financial assistance available, such as a home equity loan (HELOC) or line of credit.* For a detailed overview of home equity loans vs. HELOCs, read this. In short, a home equity loan — also referred to as a second mortgage — allows a borrower a lump sum of money up front, which he or she must pay back over a fixed term at a locked interest rate. A HELOC is more like a credit card; it provides the borrower with access to a sum of money that he or she can draw from, as needed, for a predetermined time frame.
Is now the right time?
Timing, as they say, is everything. Before you decide whether to move, do your homework (no pun intended). For example, when the time comes, talk to a real estate professional to find out if the town you live is considered a buyer’s or seller’s market. Likewise, identify where you’d like to relocate to (assuming it’s in a different market) and verify the same. Many variables dictate market conditions, but it really comes down to supply and demand. Generally speaking, the real estate market fluctuates throughout the year; there are usually more homes for sale from June through August than any other time of year, making it more of a buyer’s market. The state of the local economy also plays a role; in other words, a town or city with more job availability and growing industries will often be deemed a seller’s market. Alternatively, areas with less robust, or struggling economies would fall into the category of a buyer’s market.
More room or more rooms?
One common reason homeowners are motivated to move is the need for more space. But more space doesn’t always require more rooms. It’s possible that your current home has the potential to be modified to a layout with more usable space, or even an additional room. If not, it may be time to sell.
What are your deal breakers?
Knowing what you don’t want is as important as knowing what you do want. As a homeowner, you’ve probably already figured this out, even if subconsciously. When considering where you want to live, identify your non-negotiables up front. Bad neighbors, low-rated school districts, or a long commute might be on that list. If you can check off too many of these items now, you might want to start looking around. However, you may find more of these red flags in other homes on the market, making your current home not look so bad after all.
Is refinancing an option?
Refinancing at a lower rate may free up funds that will allow you to make game-changing improvements to your home. If the reason you’re considering moving is because you’re having trouble affording you current home, refinancing under more desirable terms could also put you in a more comfortable financial position, allowing you to stay put.
Whether you are buying a new home or refinancing, all mortgages are not created equally and selecting the option that’s right for you is as important as anything else on your checklist. Just as you’ll want to work with a real estate agent who knows the neighborhoods in which you are buying and selling, so should you choose a lender with a finger on the pulse of the local economy. Community banks like NVE are staffed by local, accessible personnel, paving the way to a smooth and hassle-free process from start to finish. Because we know — from 130 years of experience — that there is no one-size-fits-all product, NVE offers a full range of flexible mortgage options at competitive rates. From 7-year, to 15-year, to 25-year mortgages and many more, we’ll help you find what makes the most sense for you. Get the details here!
Visit the NVE website to learn more about our latest promotions, loan options and rates. You can also stop in at any of our convenient neighborhood branches in Bergen County, or call 1-866-NVE BANK (683-2265) to connect with your local branch manager.
*Subject to meeting lender’s qualifications