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Should I stay or should I go?

Posted by Rona Fischman December 5, 2007 01:34 PM

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Around Thanksgiving, two different clients of mine called me for advice. Their problem was the same, more or less: “My kitchen doesn’t work for me. I hate the idea of re-doing it and I hate the idea of moving.”

If Thanksgiving made you hate your kitchen, here are the things you should think about to figure out what is best for you:

1. What is the approximate cost of the new kitchen?
2. What is the cost of trading up or of renting short-term?
3. Which hassle is worse: selling this house and moving to a new home, moving to an apartment for the construction period, or living in the house without a kitchen? How expensive is each of these options, in time and money?

1. To figure out what a kitchen costs, go somewhere that sells cabinets and counters. Ask how much the number of cabinets and length of counter you want would cost, installed. Then add appliances and flooring. Then add 25% for buffer.

2. I give my clients a CMA on their current home and talk them through evaluating real estate costs.

3. To know your response to the hassle, you may need a therapist!

But if you know yourself, imagine each scenario: Imagine selling, buying and packing. Imagine packing, leaving, and coming back. Imagine living in a house where you are cooking in the dining room and washing the dishes in the bathroom for 3-4-6-10 months. Imagine communicating with contractors, either in your new kitchen or your next house.
Which is best for you? Can you afford to do what is best for you?

My first household of clients decided to stay put and re-do their kitchen. The other is still figuring it out.

What would you do? What have you done?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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