Q: How Do You Decide Whether to Add on to an Existing Home or Purchase a
New One?

A: There are a few things to consider, including cost,
individual needs, and what will add value down the road. Also important: your
emotional attachment to the existing home.

As designer and builder Philip
S. Wenz, the author of Adding to a House: Planning, Design & Construction,
notes, an addition is much cheaper than building a new home and can offer a
“new” home without the heartache of moving.

Other considerations:

• Can you finance the home improvement with your own cash or will
you need a loan?
• How much equity is in the property? A fair amount will
make it that much easier to get a loan for home improvements.
• Is it
feasible to expand the current space for an addition?
• What is permissible
under local zoning and building laws? Despite your deep yearning for a new
sunroom or garage, you will need to know if your town or city will allow such
• Are there affordable properties for sale that would satisfy
your changing housing needs?

Explore your options. Make sure
your decision is one you can live with – either under the same roof or under a
different one.