Neighborhood Evaluation – Is It Worth It? Part 1

By November 12, 2014 Remodeling No Comments

As you are thinking about remodeling your home there are many factors to consider.  If you haven’t yet decided whether to stay or move, refer to the previously published article, Relocate or Remodel Just as there are many pluses and minuses involved in deciding whether to stay in your existing home or relocate, there are also many factors to be weighed regarding remodeling your home.

In this article we will focus on taking an evaluation of  your neighborhood and the return on investment of your remodeling project.  If you have already decided to remodel rather than relocate, it is now time to delve further into the neighborhood factors as they relate to your remodeling project.


Remodeled Exterior by Abbott Contracting. Photo courtesy of Abbott Contracting.

Since you have decided to stay in your existing home, you now must determine the extent of your remodeling and how this relates to the neighborhood.  Time is a very important factor.  If you plan to remodel and want to sell in the near future, the value of other houses in your neighborhood will be more important.  In this case you might want to choose remodeling projects that will enhance the resale value of your home. However, if you plan to remodel your home with the intention of being there for the long term, other factors are more important.


Covered Outdoor Patio Remodel by Legal Eagle Contractors. Photo courtesy of Legal Eagle Contractors.

Most of us have probably heard the advice “you don’t want to have the nicest house on the block.”  That could also be extended to having the nicest house in the neighborhood.  But, let’s look at what that means and where it comes from.  First, keep in mind that someone has to have the nicest house on the block.  That being said, we can now further evaluate this “nicest house” advice.  If your house is already worth significantly more money and doesn’t fit the neighborhood, then it would not be a smart financial investment to add more in remodeling,  .Also if your renovation makes your house worth significantly more money and it then doesn’t fit the neighborhood, then it would not be a smart financial investment.

In evaluating the neighborhood, we should determine what direction the neighborhood is going.  Here it would be helpful to have a crystal ball, but lacking the crystal ball, we can look at other things.  Let’s start by examining the history of the neighborhood.  Is it the same, better or worse than a few years ago?  What does it look like now?  Are the other homes well maintained or are they in need of repair?  Next we need to project the future. If you notice that some of your neighbors are doing repairs or getting ready for renovations, that is a good sign.  Also look around at how many houses are for sale or recently sold.  As new people move into the neighborhood, there is a tendency to remodel.  Provided that not all the houses are for sale, new families moving in is another positive sign for the future of your neighborhood.


Remodeled Kitchen by Remodelers of Houston Photo courtesy of Remodelers of Houston.

You can get an idea of what your house and others in the neighborhood are worth or have recently sold for by doing some research on the internet.  For example,  will give you their estimated value of homes, homes for sale, as well as recent home sales.  You can get data to help with the decision making process, especially if you plan to sell in the near future.


LorraineHart Lorraine Hart is the president and senior consultant for Ideal Consulting. Ideal has been providing business consulting, coaching, and training of small businesses in the construction industry since 1992. Lorraine has been writing and managing content for numerous organizations for over 25 years. She is a national member of NARI and contributor to its national blog. She is also a regular contributor to Remodeling Today and the coordinator and editor of the weekly home articles for the Houston Chronicle. On top of all that, Lorraine is also a member of the GHBA, the Remodelers Council, Custom Builders Council, and the Bay Area Builders.

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