• Gail Jacobson

Remodel or Move?

It seems that every decision, no matter how small (should I cook or order in? Is it worth getting dressed today?) or large ( the "once-a decade", or "once-a-life-stage" decisions) - has become a major production over the past year.

One hugely consequential decision that many folks are facing is whether to move or stay. Do we upsize? Do we downsize? Do we stay and explore ways to love and live better where we are planted? It's the ubiquitous "love it or list it" conundrum.

Like many of you, I've been wading through and see-sawing between options. After a few years of ambivalence, I've decided to stay put (for now), feather my nest, and continue to escape Minnesota during the coldest winter months. The future is just too blurry for me to plan more than five years ahead.

If you are in similar circumstances, welcome to the COVID and Post-COVID era - the "age of anxiety" - with its shaky job market, soaring home prices, property bidding wars, exploding material and equipment prices, and booked-out remodelers (lots of whom won't return your calls!). On the "up" side, we (at least the lucky and privileged) have a booming stock market, pent up demand, reserves of unspent discretionary income, and low interest rates. Yes, we are starting to recover, but our "new normal" hasn't yet come fully into view.

I believe that finding our way through the maze will always be about balancing competing needs. If you are "young-ish" and perhaps raising a family; if you bought low, are rooted in your neighborhood, have stable employment or savings and space to expand, then an addition could make perfect sense. Your neighbors are also investing in their homes, which will continue to support increased property values, and a construction loan may be a great long-term solution.

If you are just hanging on and hanging in, and you can only dream about improving your spaces right now, there are always small changes that can lift your spirits. Check out one of my previous blogs about how to add joy with small investments.

If you are nearing or are at retirement, and value freedom and flexibility more than space and possessions, then downsizing, purchasing a second home or an RV, or resuming an interrupted routine of regular travel could fill your cup.

We are always balancing values - weighing tolerances to decide where we want to land. Lots of us have and will tolerate an outdated, disintegrating house in exchange for a smaller paycheck and personal freedom. For others, keeping up with maintenance and improving their property brings bliss.

I love helping people love and live better - whether that's in a spacious home with 20 plus years of history, or a fresh and compact new space. We CAN thrive in the environment of our choice. I encourage you to choose!

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