If you’re thinking about a change of scenery when it comes to your living space, you may consider renovating your existing property or buying a new house. Both options allow you to live in a fresh, exciting space, but they also come with certain considerations and costs. 


When deciding between renovating your existing house or buying a new one in South Florida, it is important to explore each option thoroughly. Consider how renovating versus buying may impact your finances and future plans. Learn everything you need to know about buying versus renovating so that you can make the best choice for your situation. 


Consider the Costs

Renovating and buying a new home requires a significant financial investment. While the average home renovation project costs around $13,000, a full-scale renovation can cost closer to $15,000 to $200,000, depending on your home and the project’s scope. 


Buying a home in South Florida is no less expensive. The median sale price in the tri-county area is around $435,000 for a single-family home and $235,000 for a condominium unit. 


Although renovating may seem like the less expensive option, it is not always the case. Renovations often run into unforeseen complications that drive up the cost. The long-term value of a renovation also hinges on the quality of the renovation work. If your contractor does shoddy work, you may end up spending more money to fix the problem than you would have after buying a new property. 


You likely need to have the money upfront to fund the work to renovate your home. This is not the case with purchasing a property. While you need enough money upfront to cover downpayment and closing costs, you can buy a home with a mortgage loan and make smaller monthly payments over several years. 


Finally, despite the higher median cost of buying a new home, you can work with an experienced local realtor to help you find the right property at a lower price. If you can purchase a new home for close to the same price as your potential renovation expenses, it may be a better choice to buy rather than renovate. 



Time Commitment

When choosing between renovating your existing home versus buying a new property, it is essential to consider the time commitment each requires. This will help you decide which option fits in with your lifestyle and goals. 


Purchasing a new home takes about 50 days on average. Most sellers are eager to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. As long as your finances are in order and there are no surprises on the home inspection or at closing, the entire process is complete within one to two months. This means that you can move into your new space in just a matter of weeks. 


Renovations, on the other hand, can take much longer. A full-scale kitchen remodel can take between three to five months. Adding space, such as a garage or features like a fireplace, can take up to six months, and major renovation projects can take between six months to one year.  


Consider also that you may experience interruption to your daily life for much of the renovation time. You’ll likely deal with loud construction machinery, constant questions regarding design and materials, and contractors coming in and out of your house. You may have to live in another location until bigger projects are complete. 


Future Plans

Your future plans play a large part in helping you decide whether to renovate or buy. If your current home is where you plan to stay for the long term, renovation may be the best option. For instance, if your home is in an ideal location or part of your family legacy, renovating it to add updated features or repairing deteriorating elements is a good investment. 


If you don’t plan to stay in your current home for decades to come, purchasing a new property is likely the better option. By buying new, you avoid the hassle of planning and designing a renovation project, finding and hiring contractors, and living with the chaos that a renovation can bring to your life. Purchasing a new home is a good option if your future plans include:


  • Moving to a modern, luxury home

  • Downsizing your family

  • Growing your family

  • Moving to a new city or county

  • Growing equity on a newer property 


Long-Term Benefits

The long-term benefits you gain from renovating versus buying new should factor into your final decision. When choosing which financial investment is the better option, you’ll want to look at the return on investment (ROI) you can gain from the venture. 


A nationwide survey from 2019 reports a wide range of renovation projects and their average ROI. According to this list, your expected ROI on various renovations are as follow: 


  • Mid-range kitchen renovation - 80.5% 

  • Bathroom addition - 58.1%

  • Mid-range bathroom renovation - 67.2%

  • Upscale kitchen remodel - 59.7%


These numbers show that you can only expect to recoup between 58% and 81% of the costs you put into these renovations. So, while renovating your home may be worthwhile in situations where you want to stay in the property for the long haul, renovating to earn a higher ROI is not the best choice. 


Alternatively, buying a new home in the current market can result in a significant payoff down the road. Home values in Florida skyrocketed 19.5% in 2021 and are expected to see continued growth of 11% in 2022


Investing in a new property is a sound financial decision if you plan to sell your home. You gain equity over time, and when you go to sell, you will likely receive much more than you paid for the property. 


Consider Your Finances and Long-Term Plans to Make the Right Decision

Choosing to renovate your current home or buy a new one is a major decision. Both options give you a sense of newness in your living space, but they also require a significant investment. In many cases, buying a new home is preferable to renovating because it yields better long-term benefits. 

If you are ready to find your new home, work with South Florida realtor Bryan Gold. Bryan has over seven years of experience in the South Florida real estate market. He enjoys helping people find their ideal home in the area. Contact Bryan at (954) 464-3459 or bryan.gold@compass.com to start searching for your perfect home today.