Profile picture for madaeliz

Is it better to add a second story or sell your home?

In today's economy is adding a second story a better choice than to try to sell this house and buy a bigger one?
  • March 11 2010 - Agawam
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Answers (13)

Profile picture for hardwrkr

One of the main things is to make sure that you do not put so much money into the home that a buyer shopping in your neighborhood would not be able to improve it...Also, you will probably have to pay to live somewhere else during the renovation, which from my understanding can take a minimum of 6-12 mos...

  • August 13 2010
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From a purely financial point of view, you would want to contact a local Realtor, and get some home prices for what you have now, and what you would have after the addition.  One of the biggest caveats is to not overbuild.  If you have the biggest, nicest home in the area, it will be worth less because the others in the neighborhood bring it down.  In other words, you don't want to over-improve.  Find out what the finished home would be worth compared to what it's worth now, and an estimate of the work to be done.  In many cases, a second story can be more than worth it, especially because you're building on an existing foundation, so construction costs are less.
Best of luck
Meg
  • August 12 2010
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I agree with the previous posts the main factor is if you plan to live there if you like the location or the people.

  • July 15 2010
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   The answer to this question could depend on many factors.  Since adding a second floor could be very expensive and time consuming, the only way it would make sense is if the second floor would bring a high equitable return.  Adding square footage adds value, of course, but since it can be expensive, it could very well be a wash, or even a loss (especially when depreciation is a factor).  Unless adding the second level would add more desirability to the property, for example; the property would now be water view.  It is usually better to just sell your property the way it is without spending drastic amounts of money to make it more desirable.  It is, however, very beneficial to instead do little things to the house that don't cost much but could really make a strong positive impression on prospective buyers.  Such as; fresh paint, getting rid of clutter (neat and clean home), re-finish hardwoods or clean carpets, landscaping- curb appeal (don't spend too much here- it could get expensive), decorating, new light fixtures,  to name a few... 

  • July 06 2010
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Hello, I work in architecture as well as real estate and have also worked in construction. If you love where you are and don't plan on selling soon than adding S.F. would be a great investment. Right now materials and especially labor are cheaper than ever before which gives you a better cost per S.F. If you stay where you are for a few years the market will pick up and your investment will increase. Make sure you get a good designer that will pay attention to keeping the construction simple but at the same time be consious and blend it into your original home design so it does not look like an addition. I hope that helps and good luck.

David

  • July 05 2010
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Profile picture for sunnyview

Blue flies salt a thread

Feeding on slimy spam

Contractor eats lunch

  • June 20 2010
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Potential Home Seller:

The answer in my opinion really depends on whether you love your current location.  It is a pain to do a whole house renovation, but if you have your dream location then it may be worth it.  The cost I bet is about the same so I would base it on your desire to stay put.  T
  • March 14 2010
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Profile picture for nwhome.us
Madaeliz,
You've mentioned a couple issues that I'd say severely affect your decision.  Flood Plane!  Variance!  No way.
Any future investment, aside from maintenance, is only going to be for your own benefit and not a future buyers.
The only idea that might make any sense is putting the new floor UNDER your existing home and including any structural upgrades that might bring the home up to current flood resistance standards, if there are any.
Just a thought.
  • March 13 2010
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Hello,

Being a Realtor in Agawam I'd definitely advise you to wait it out if that price range was what the CMA's were giving. Being near the Connecticut River gives a great view but it also has it's cons as well.  Ranches are very popular and it sounds like you've done some work to your home, people LOVE finished basements around here, don't they?
  • March 12 2010
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Profile picture for madaeliz
Thank you everyone for answers they are very helpful. The home we are in now was built in 1956 it's  ranch and we are located in a flood zone. In order to build up we would need an appeal from the town. There is a second floor home next to us and behind us. We have gotten a couple of quotes and they range from $53,000 to $75,000. We love our neighborhood but unsure if we want this to be our last location. We are trying to figure out a way to make more space while we are waiting for the market to improve. If we sold our home now we would lose some money. We have finished our basement and added a bathroom down there for our convenience. The ranch we have is about 1,104 sq ft. and 5rm. 3bd.rm. We have growing kids, and feel that in a couple of years we will outgrow this space. We just want to make a good investment, and weren't sure if we should just wait out the market or try to remodel and would that increase the value of the home making it a bigger sale when the market improved.
  • March 12 2010
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Generally it is more cost effective to sell than it is to build on another story or even finish out an attic space unless it is an easy high ceiling room already. I have personally known people that have opted to add square footage in a second story and without exception they have not recouped their cost and could have bought a larger house much cheaper.
  • March 12 2010
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Profile picture for nwhome.us
If you look at Remodeling Magazine's website you'll find some information on Cost vs Value.  They track this informatin regionally because the answer varies regionally.
Have you had a Realtor track down sales of the homes that have the features that you would have if you add to your home?
I'll agree with Mike that the highest priority is in your attachement to your currnet location.  You'll see in the Cost vs Value reports that remodeling is usually a labor of love.
  • March 12 2010
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Profile picture for real estate mike
that depends on several factors. Do you love your property and location? Are there two stories the size you want in the neighborhood? Have you gotten a contractor or two to give you quotes on costs? It is likely that you should also add piers under your house since it wasnt build for that much weight. best of luck
  • March 11 2010
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