Should You Move, or Remodel? See What 5 Sweeten Renovators Did

by Kelley Rowland

What can homeowners do when they need more space at home—but don’t want to leave?

Many homeowners find themselves in a tough spot when their home’s space, design, or location stops working for them. Many wind up asking themselves: should I move, or remodel?  A Zillow study found that when given a choice between spending a fixed budget on a down payment or using the same amount to remodel, 76 percent would opt to renovate.

These homeowners all considered moving, but ultimately made the choice to reimagine their homes with Sweeten’s help. Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and up to $50,000 in renovation financial protection— for free.

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When you can’t go bigger, get creative

Surging prices in her Fort Greene co-op building made upgrading from a studio to a true one-bedroom out of the question for Mollie. She had to decide to either move elsewhere to get more space or remodel her cozy studio. Luckily, Mollie realized the market value of her apartment (and that she could borrow against her equity)! She came to Sweeten, was matched with a general contractor, and reconfigured the 500-square-foot apartment to suit her playful style.

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Baby on the way? Make your square footage go further

A two-bedroom apartment was perfect for Rachel and Marco—until they decided to expand their family. Fortunately, their duplex had enough square footage for them to get creative with! This made it possible to remodel and rethink how it was used, instead of moving. They turned the top floor into a combined kitchen and living area, while they divided the rest of the space into an office, closet, and bedrooms.

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Give a well-loved home some TLC upgrades

After a year-long search for a new apartment, Kim and Igor decided their sons’ schools, proximity to work, and an overall adoration for their lifestyle in Carroll Gardens were reason enough to stay in their apartment. They worked with a Sweeten general contractor to overhaul their dark kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom. The result? Open and modern spaces fit for the family of four.

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Combine two apartments into one home, sweet home

A desire for more room led to multiple (unsuccessful) apartment searches for Zoe and Arvid. Her dream of renovating and combining apartments finally put the hunt to an end. After contacting neighbors and finding one who was looking to move, their plan was underway. The additional square footage allowed for a third bedroom, a much larger kitchen, and an expanded living area.

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Getting “upstate” light and space—with a city zip code

Courtney and Jim’s Clinton Hill Co-op apartment lacked storage and light, which sent them on a search for a second home upstate. When they made an offer on the second property, reality hit: they needed to make their main residence work for them before taking on a new place. The couple decided to remodel, opening up the kitchen the rest of the living areas and reconfiguring storage closets to suit the family of four’s storage needs.

Not sure if you should renovate or move? Sweeten partnered with the real estate marketplace StreetEasy to uncover the true cost difference in both time and money between renovating and moving in NYC. Read more here to help you decide.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.

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