Needs change over time. When you first purchased your home several years ago, it was perfect for the stage of life you were in. But now that certain factors have changed, you’re left feeling cramped. And while most people will tell you to move, have you considered whether it’s possible to add more space to your current home?
Why ‘Just Move’ Isn’t Always the Best Option
When a house starts feeling small, most people pull up Zillow and start looking for a bigger and better place to call home. Sometimes, this is the best option. But in many cases, it’s not. Moving isn’t as easy as idyllic as you make it sound in your head. And it certainly doesn’t solve all of your problems. Moving is:
- Expensive. You might have a lot of equity in your current house, but moving is still expensive. For starters, you have to pay six percent of the sale price in commissions (cha-ching!). Then there’s the moving expenses and the cost of buying a new house. (Plus, any time you buy a new house, there are usually inspections, updates that have to be made, new furniture that must be purchased, etc.)
- Time consuming. A lot of time and energy goes into moving. There’s the process of prepping your house to sell, meeting with lenders, finding another property, packing up, moving in, and the hundreds of smaller steps in between.
- Emotional. Moving can be exciting, but it can also be stressful. And if you have an emotional attachment to your current house, there may even be a feeling of loss. (This is amplified when you have kids who feel attached to the house.)
- Logistical nightmare. On top of the time, money, and emotions, there’s the practical and logistical side of things. Rerouting mail, updating driver’s licenses, switching schools, and other details.
Sometimes moving is the right decision. But if you’re just looking for a little extra room for your family, it might not be worth going through this entire process. You might be better off creating some additional space where you already are.
3 Ways to Create More Space in Your House
Creating more space in your existing home is easier than you might think. Here are a few options that could work for your family:
- Create the Illusion of More Space
Do you actually need more square footage, or are you just feeling cramped? In other words, if everyone already has their own bedroom and there’s a functional space for everything, it’s possible that you’re just feeling like you don’t have enough space. In this case, simply creating the illusion of more space can work.
When it comes to creating the illusion of more space, there are three really good options:
- Paint walls white (or some other light, neutral color)
- Strategically place mirrors on walls
- Integrate more natural light into the home
If you do these three things, even the smallest room will suddenly feel much bigger.
- Reconfigure the Current Layout
If you have a specific need for more space – like a sudden need for a home office, an additional bedroom for the kids, or a bigger laundry room – it’s possible that you can reconfigure and/or remodel to achieve the desired outcome.
Meet with a home remodeling service and have a licensed professional come out to see your home. They can walk you through different options, such as adding/removing walls, reconfiguring a layout, or adding new features (like turning a guest bedroom into a home office with a Murphy bed).
- Add On to the House
Sometimes a remodel won’t do. In these instances, you may actually need to add on to the house. And while this is definitely the most expensive option, it’s also the most impactful. Adding a bedroom, for example, can totally change the function of your home. It may also dramatically increase the future resale value of your home – particularly if you’re making the jump from three bedrooms to four.
Do What’s Best for Your Family
At the end of the day, you have to make a decision regarding what’s best for your family. If moving is the best option, fully commit to making the best move possible. But if staying is an option, there’s a lot to be gained by simply optimizing the house you already have. Consider one of the three options outlined in this article and meet with a contractor or designer to figure out the best path forward.