Do you sell your home in order to upgrade — or remodel your current space to add value and meet your needs?
The real estate market in the Lake Travis area is starting off with a bang this spring and the coming soon listings are starting to pop up all over Lake Travis area neighborhoods. There’s a strong demand from buyers in the area. In fact, 110 people are moving to Austin each day according to Austin Demographer Ryan Robinson. And that factors in the few people that are actually leaving Austin!
With all the activity and the median price of homes in Lake Travis reaching a high that we haven’t seen since 2006, you might be thinking about selling your home. But moving is hard work! Not only that, the inventory of homes in Lake Travis has been extremely low and trying to find another home that suits your needs might not exist.
Have you seen the HGTV show Love It or List It?
It’s an entertaining and educational show based in Canada. A Realtor and designer work with homeowners who are trying to decide if they should remodel their current home and stay put or find another home that has everything they want within their budget and make a move. The Realtor and designer compete for the homeowners’ final decision to stay or go.
The crew goes to work remodeling the home. While this is happening the homeowners are out looking at potential resale homes. When all the work is done, the homeowners get to decide if they want to stay put after the remodel because they love it, or list it with the added value from the remodel and purchase a home located by the Realtor. It’s always fun (and difficult) to guess which way it will go.
It seems like this would be a great option if you were trying to decide between staying put and remodeling or moving. Unfortunately, the Love It or List It show isn’t coming to the Lake Travis area any time soon.
But that’s okay. Here are 5 questions you can ask to find out if it’s worth remodeling your current space to love it — or list it and search for an upgrade:
1. Is there something that bothers you about your current home? Everything seemed perfect when you moved in, but now you notice things that don’t flow well with your lifestyle. Maybe it’s something about the floorplan, the amount of light, or the size.
It’s time to analyze your home and decide if this is something that can be changed or decide if only moving will fix it.
2. How is your home sited? Take a look at the land your house sits on. There can be many things to consider when siting a home in the Texas Hill Country. An experienced homebuyer and Realtor in the Lake Travis area will know what to look for. Here are some that top the list again and again.
- Homes with outdoor patios facing west
- Steep backyards
- Steep driveways (going up or down)
- The view
Do you have a wonderful patio, but only in the morning because the evening sun on a hot summer night makes it unbearable to sit outside? Or what about a driveway that is so steep you can’t get out of your car without the door automatically closing on your ankle. And if you have small children learning to ride a bike or enjoy playing outside, a steep driveway leading to a busy street can create all kinds of new challenges and safety concerns.
Views of the Hill Country and lots on greenbelts are in high demand, but you might have to sacrifice a level yard to get it.
There are certain things you can change with landscaping. Moving dirt around and adding retaining walls can create level areas, but the cost could be a budget buster. You can’t change your view, but a yard with trees planted for peace and privacy can do wonders compared to a treeless yard.
Selling might be the only option if you need to change something that can’t be changed with how your home is sited.
3. Would you move within the same neighborhood? Are you attached to everything about your neighborhood, including your neighbors, the schools your children attend, how easy your commute is, and memories of raising your children? All these things can be tough to let go.
Unless you can find another home close by that will suit your needs, it might be easier to fix up what you have.
4. How much will it cost compared to moving? Bids from contractors can come in all over the place. Be sure and talk with at least three different contractors or more if necessary. Don’t just call someone that you found in the phone book. Get the names of contractors from friends or neighbors that have had work done. A good contractor will listen and might have a vision for your home that you haven’t thought of.
Get a good estimate of how much it would cost to fix things up the way you would like to make it worth staying. Work with your financial planner and be sure to factor in your time frame and family needs.
5. What homes are available? Get together with your Realtor and look and homes. See what homes are available in your budget and factor in the cost of moving. And just like the Love It or List It show, you might be really surprised (or discouraged) with the homes you find in your price range.
If new homes are available in your area, be sure and consider the cost of going new. While a new home might have the floorplan and space that you’re looking for, a lot of people forget to factor in items the builder left out. Windows coverings, additional landscaping, custom cabinetry in that empty niche — it all adds up quickly. The builder beige paint might work for a while, but you might like adding a splash of color.
Make your decision carefully based on all the facts. And then decide …
Will you Love It or List It?
Check out the Lake Travis Real Estate section for more information on historic landmarks, area neighborhoods, buying and selling tips, and local market conditions.