Should you trade-in or renovate your mini home?

As our homes get older, or what we need from our home changes due to growing or shrinking families, we can’t help thinking how much better our homes would look if we fixed them up or changed them. Perhaps your kitchen or bathroom is in desperate need of an update, or the bedrooms just aren’t functioning well anymore. As anyone who watches home improvement shows knows, there’s a lot we can do to upgrade the spaces we live in. However, throwing money into an old home isn’t always a sound investment, and can create a lot of financial and emotional stress for homeowners.

This, of course, all depends on what you want to change about your home, and what that will cost you. Your best bet may in fact be to trade in your old mini home for a new one that has all the features you are looking for, and will prove to be a much sounder investment.

If you are trying to decide between renovating or trading-in your home, here are five things to consider:

  1. Will a renovation truly fix what you don’t like about your home?

If your home looks tired, and that is what bugs you about it, then a new coat of paint and a few cosmetic upgrades might be enough for you to fall back in love with it. If it is the size of the bedrooms in your home, or the overall layout, then fixing it might not be possible or worthwhile when you work out what it would cost to fix. If you’re sick of the commute from your home to work, or the size of your lot, then there’s not much you can do to improve that unless you move!

  1. How much will a renovation cost compared to trading my home in for a new mini home?

As tempting as it can be to just get started on renovations, pricing the job out properly could be a real eye-opener as to whether those renos are actually worth doing. Be sure to cost each job out properly, taking into account the materials needed and the associated labour costs of the qualified tradespeople you’ll need to undertake each job. Be aware that renos have a nasty habit of costing more than they were supposed to (and for that reason banks often suggest adding 15-20% on to any estimates before borrowing money to do upgrades).

  1. How long do you think you’ll stay in your home?

If your long term goal is to move to another community or retire to Florida in ten years, then sinking a ton of cash into your old minihome may not be a good idea – even if you feel like it will turn your home into a highly desirable place to live. While your home may end up looking more modern, there’s nothing that you can do to change the age or actual construction standard of the home, so when you go to resell it you won’t get back what you invested in it. Age of a home is the first thing that buyers, lenders, and insurers look at, and no amount of renos can ever change that, no matter how great they look.

  1. Consider whether what you really want can actually be done.

If you’re looking to upgrade something major, such as moving walls in your home, or plumbing/ electrical upgrades, there’s a strong possibility that these things just won’t work in your current space. Because of this, you might be forced to compromise on your plans, and not achieve your desired outcome. This is especially true if your home is older, as mini homes have evolved considerably in the past decade. Newer homes are energy efficient and already come with many upgrades, and because it is so quick and easy to replace your existing mini home with a new one, the process can be done in a matter of days with minimal stress.

  1. Renovations are disruptive.

Unless you plan to live elsewhere when your home is being renovated, you need to consider the mess, noise, and chaos that you’ll be living in for the weeks or months that those renovations will take. This can be hugely stressful for everyone in the family, and make a huge impact on your quality of life.

Considering trading in your mini home for a gorgeous new model? Make an appointment with one of our home consultants to find out how beautiful life could be in a new Kent mini home.


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