The decision to expand the living space in your home depends on a lot of factors.   When you add an addition, you get an extra room, but you still have the same size property; same size kitchen bathroom, the same sized bedrooms and closets.  If you are happy with all of the above and the addition won’t cut down on enjoying the backyard then you are one step closer to moving in that direction. 

Now you look into the cost of making that improvement.  What will the house be worth in the next year if you needed to sell with the new addition?  Would you be able to get your current mortgage paid and recoup the money for the addition?  What will be your full investment in that home?  You are basically buying your house back after the completion of the addition.

The best thing a homeowner can do when thinking about an addition is to go out and see homes available for sale.  It’s also important to ride by homes that just sold within the last 6 months.  Can you get the additional space you want plus larger bedrooms and baths without going through construction?  Can you find a bigger home in a similar or more attractive neighborhood for the money credited to you from the sale of your current home and the money you would have spent with the addition?  Do you really want to take the money out of your savings, or will you be better off taking advantage of the low interest rates for a first mortgage loan on a new home?  You may end up with a larger home for the same cost as your current one.   I’ve seen it happen time and time again. 

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Find a highly rated contractor and get a true price.  Add in the window treatments, landscaping cost.  Add the cost of eating out during the building phase. 

I sold a two-bedroom ranch style home in a beautiful neighborhood to a young man.  The property size was 75’ x 100’ (smaller than most lots in the neighborhood).  It had a septic in the back yard which meant that the only addition for this home would be adding a second story. 

He was getting married and was planning to start a family.   So, I gave him my opinion.  Yes, he will have two more bedrooms and another bath but the existing areas of kitchen, dining and living room would be small for a growing family. The real key in this case was that the lot size could not support a three- or four-bedroom septic.  He had never considered that factor.  He was able to sell the 1400 square foot ranch and buy a 2400 square foot home on a 125 x 125 lot in the same neighborhood with four bedrooms plus the extra bath and a family room.

Yes, realtors are opinionated.  That’s a good thing when it can help a buyer or seller understand options in the market. 

Another factor is your neighborhood. Lots of people love their neighborhood and that is the key factor for them to add an addition rather than sell; that’s a good thing too.