It’s a question many of us here in Boise have asked ourselves at one time or another…maybe you are pondering now. Should I stay in my house and renovate it or should I move? Well, there are considerations that have to be weighed before making this decision.

First, consider your current location and neighborhood. Do you love it, and your neighbors? And, if you put money into improvements, will you outprice your house for your neighborhood. Nobody wants to own the most expensive house on the street, because if you have to sell down the road, you likely won’t get back what you put in (as comparable sales may drive down your price).

Also, you will want to consider your finances. A new house means qualifying for a new mortgage. If you recently changed jobs, have incurred substantial debt or anticipate other big ticket purchases coming your way, the timing may not be right for a mortgage application. If you have a decent amount of equity built up in your current house, you may be able to swing a home equity loan to pay for renovations. Keep in mind that a home equity loan will also incur closing costs such as appraisals, title insurance and credit reports. Buying a new home, and selling your current home, also means real estate commissions, seller closing costs and the expenses involved in moving your belongings from one location to another.

Another factor is how long you plan to be in your house. If your answer is at least five to 10 years — making significant changes, such as adding rooms, building a sunroom, or finishing a basement, may provide a worthwhile payback and incentive. If, however, your plan is to move within five years, a major remodeling project may not be the most prudent financial decision.

In addition, if the house was built more than 30 years ago and hasn’t been updated, it may require new wiring or plumbing, a new HVAC system or roof, and better insulation. Tearing into walls can also uncover unseen problems that may need to be fixed and more expense to meet current building codes. It might prove worthwhile to bring in a contractor or architect to estimate costs of any big changes such as new insulation, removing some walls, or adding on.

It may be worthwhile to contact an experienced real estate agent to show you homes in your price range, so that you can see what your money can buy you. You may find a house that is already updated, with the right layout and number of bedrooms, and decide this may be the best option for you.

Making the decision to remodel your current house or move to a new one is not an easy decision. But if you’re asking the question, chances are you’ll be better off making some kind of change. If your house no longer fits your family’s needs, a home renovation might fix the problem, but so could putting your house up for sale and finding another one. No matter what your end game, you should be aware of what updates and improvements will gain you the most returns. Not all improvements are the same.

According to the Remodeling 2017 Cost vs. Value Report (, here is the breakdown of costs and ROI for renovations in the Boise area for midrange and upscale homes:

Midrange Homes for Boise/Mountain Area







Attic Insulation (fiberglass)






Backup Power Generator






Backyard Patio






Basement Remodel






Bathroom Addition






Bathroom Remodel






Deck Addition (composite)






Deck Addition (wood)






Entry Door Replacement (steel)






Family Room Addition






Garage Door Replacement






Major Kitchen Remodel






Manufactured Stone Veneer






Master Suite Addition






Minor Kitchen Remodel






Roofing Replacement






Siding Replacement






Two-Story Addition






Universal Design Bathroom







Upscale Homes for Boise/Mountain Area







Bathroom Addition






Bathroom Remodel






Deck Addition (composite)






Entry Door Replacement (fiberglass)






Garage Door Replacement






Grand Entrance (fiberglass)






Major Kitchen Remodel






Master Suite Addition






Window Replacement (vinyl)






Window Replacement (wood)






© 2017 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling 2017 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at

Keep in mind that if you decide to do a renovation on your house, you will want to find a reputable contractor. Use these tips to understand what you should be looking for:

If you are unhappy with your current house and would like to talk with us about what your options are, give us a call! Templeton Real Estate Group—208.473.2203 or via the web. We offer a free and confidential consultation. And, if you choose to list with us, we offer a complimentary staging service that, combined with our marketing expertise, will sell your house for more. You may not need to spend a lot in improvements to sell…staging may be all you need to make your house shine. We are TOP BOISE REAL ESTATE agents who know Boise real estate.

Come see East Boise and everything that makes it great —Boise River, Boise Greenbelt, and our beautifulBoise Foothills. Whether walking, hiking, jogging, biking, or just appreciating the views, these are Boise gems and treasures of our Valley. And, a large reason why builders like Boise Hunter HomesandBrighton Corporationare developing inHarris Ranch and River Heights with new homes and commercials sites.

Whether you are buying or selling, we will work hard for you and make your experience hassle-free. We want to do such a great job that our clients would never consider hiring anybody else except us if they were in need of real estate services in the future!!

By Bonnie Way Snider

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