Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
scorp_pccorp
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:18 am

Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by scorp_pccorp » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:57 am

Bogleheads,

I would appreciate your advice or thoughts on our situation.

We have lived in our house for just over 4 years now. Even though the house is pretty large (>6000sqft) including unfinished basement, my spouse always thought or felt it was a bit too small on the 1st floor compared to other houses in a similar price range. I kind of agree with her and think the feeling of the small size is due mainly to the floorplan of this floor. We have been getting quotes to add a room over the last year. The total cost of the add-on for a 320sqft room would be around 100-150k (higher price if we go higher end on finishes to match the rest of the house). The current zillow estimate for our house as-is is 725k. The biggest point in favor of our house is the low property tax for a top rated school district (atleast 10-15k/year less than other similar houses in different neighborhoods that feed into the same school district). With the addition, our tax may go up may be another $500-$1000/year.

Her feelings have been exacerbated after visiting some friends' houses recently and now she has started looking at other houses (in the 900k-1mil range) in a surrounding neighborhood and saying that she can get a much bigger and nicer house for a couple thousand more nut per month and wants to buy one of those. This neighborhood also has a higher status symbol as far as those things go compared to ours even though it is the same school district. And that is an important thing for her. The property taxes for these houses are about 12k more than ours. We can definitely afford the higher nut though it could be a little tighter than now.

So we are currently faced with the dilemma. What do you suggest is the best course of action? Add on to current house or buy new house?

some points that we have been thinking about
- there will be transaction costs associated with selling/buying
- kids will need to go to different schools and lose current friends
- add-on costs to current house will not add the same value
Last edited by scorp_pccorp on Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

Goal33
Posts: 653
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:30 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Goal33 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:59 am

Delete the zillow/redfin app off your phones... sounds like the extra room makes no difference to you guys
A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 14380
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Watty » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:02 am

scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:57 am
Even though the house is pretty large (>6000sqft) including unfinished basement, my spouse always thought or felt it was a bit too small....
scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:57 am
What do you suggest is the best course of action?

Family counseling.

That is not meant to be snarky but if 6000 square feet is not big enough then there is something else going on that should be looked into.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 18767
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by dm200 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:03 am

Can the existing space be reconfigured to the desired needs or wants?

User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 3518
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by lthenderson » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:04 am

scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:57 am
my spouse always thought or felt it was a bit too small on the 1st floor compared to other houses in a similar price range. I kind of agree

What do you suggest is the best course of action? Add on to current house or buy new house?
If you are happy living in your current >6000sqft house, I wouldn't worry about what other houses have in the same price range. Adding on for the sake of just being like the neighbors house is just a money sink. One almost never gets the money back in an addition and as you pointed out, it is almost always cheaper to just buy a house with the desired layout. The only reason I would consider adding onto a house is if the location outweighed the cost savings.

Also, it is hard to give advice without knowing how the new addition will be used or incorporated into your current house. If it is just another room, with no specific purpose, again it seems like a giant waste of money. If it will make your house more functional by improving (fill in the blank), then you might make a better case for doing it.

grkmec
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:46 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by grkmec » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:07 am

1) Keeping up with the Jones' is expensive
2) Frictional costs of moving could approach 100k (or more) when you figure all the costs (real estate commissions, change in mortgage rate over life of mortgage, allowance for new curtains, painting, furniture of new house., moving costs).
3) Happy wife, happy life so can't dismiss. What is marginal utility of this new room? What purpose will it serve?

wilked
Posts: 1325
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:50 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by wilked » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:08 am

Unless this is your house
https://cdn.nashvillepost.com/files/bas ... .04_pm.jpg

I would suggest that you re-evaluate. 6000 sq ft house is bigger than probably 90% of this board's houses

Admiral
Posts: 1396
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:35 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Admiral » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:13 am

Watty wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:02 am
scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:57 am
Even though the house is pretty large (>6000sqft) including unfinished basement, my spouse always thought or felt it was a bit too small....
scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:57 am
What do you suggest is the best course of action?

Family counseling.

That is not meant to be snarky but if 6000 square feet is not big enough then there is something else going on that should be looked into.
+1. 6000 square feet. Just...wow. To each his/her own. #Problemsofthe1%

Ron
Posts: 6376
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:46 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Ron » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:13 am

Many years ago, our then current home needed to be updated/expanded due to more than a few reasons.

We had an architect look at what would have to be done in order to fulfill our desires, along with what the expected costs would be to make our home more livable to match our lifestyle.

When looking at the cost of renovations along with the inconvenience of living through an upgrade while we still lived there, we looked at what it would cost to just have a new home built to our specifications.

It was more price effective just to have our current home built. In addition, we moved five miles away which put us in a better school district (even though we were past the age of having kids in school) along with a township that had much lower taxes.

For us, having a home built was certainly the better decision rather than upgrading what we currently owned at the time.

- Ron
Last edited by Ron on Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 18767
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by dm200 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:14 am

Our house is 1,250 sq ft total (2 floors) 3 BR 1 bath.

barnaclebob
Posts: 3040
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:54 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:15 am

Finish the basement. I find it hard to believe that another 320sq ft can make a difference to what is probably 4000 sq ft of finished space. It sounds more like your wife needs something to brag about to her friends, either ongoing issues with the "new addition" or talking about how awesome the new place is.

How is the floor plan inadequate and what would the extra room be needed for?

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 7975
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:20 am

There will always be a friend with a bigger house......

You can't buy your way out of this problem.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

Admiral
Posts: 1396
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:35 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Admiral » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:23 am

dm200 wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:14 am
Our house is 1,250 sq ft total (2 floors) 3 BR 1 bath.
From your avatar, it looks like the second floor is a dormer... :D

scorp_pccorp
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:18 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by scorp_pccorp » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:24 am

OP here.

The new room will be a sunroom. Basically we have a massive deck adjoining our kitchen. We will cut it in half and put a room there in parallel to the kitchen (opens up kitchen and dining area). The new room will definitely make her happy because currently the kitchen/dining area is cramped and not very entertainment friendly.

Also, re. size, the 6000sqft is spread over 3 floors (inc. unfinished basement). So the 1st floor is only around 2000sqft with a very big family room.

jehovasfitness
Posts: 553
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by jehovasfitness » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:27 am

Maybe I missed it but no where did you state the need or intended use of said room.

Seems like a huge waste of $100-150k imo.

That's what $300-500 sq ft? Wow

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 7975
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:28 am

scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:24 am
So the 1st floor is only around 2000sqft with a very big family room.
Only?

This is bigger than my first 3 br house.....including my garage and 3 season porch. This is in no way small.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

scorp_pccorp
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:18 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by scorp_pccorp » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:32 am

Forgot to mention, the 2000sqft 1st floor includes a 650sqft 3-car garage also. So that is why the whole floor seems cramped.

niceguy7376
Posts: 2147
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:59 pm
Location: Metro ATL

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by niceguy7376 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:35 am

scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:24 am
OP here.

The new room will be a sunroom. Basically we have a massive deck adjoining our kitchen. We will cut it in half and put a room there in parallel to the kitchen (opens up kitchen and dining area). The new room will definitely make her happy because currently the kitchen/dining area is cramped and not very entertainment friendly.

Also, re. size, the 6000sqft is spread over 3 floors (inc. unfinished basement). So the 1st floor is only around 2000sqft with a very big family room.
Since you already have the base of the extra room on the ground, will it cost 100K+ to put a roof and insulate 320 sq ft space?

RadAudit
Posts: 3059
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Second star on the right and straight on 'til morning

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by RadAudit » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:37 am

scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:24 am
The new room will definitely make her happy because currently the kitchen/dining area is cramped and not very entertainment friendly.
If a new room will really make her happy, do it. Best of luck.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The Calvary isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

Ron
Posts: 6376
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:46 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Ron » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:38 am

In my neck of the woods (mid-Atlantic) below grade (finished or not), garages, and other normal non-living areas are not included in the house sq ft for tax nor sale purposes.

While your local taxing/sales data may be different, what is the actual sq ft of your house if you remove all the non-climate controlled and below grade areas?

- Ron

scorp_pccorp
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:18 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by scorp_pccorp » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:43 am

I am not sure of the exact terms but due to the down slope incline of the house, the deck is perched on posts from the ground (no foundation there). Essentially there is no built-up area under the deck and it extends past the basement. So for the new room, a new foundation needs to be added in that area to bring it up to the same level as the 1st floor kitchen. I think that is why it costs a lot.

corysold
Posts: 674
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:58 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by corysold » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:43 am

I'd look for other quotes.

$150,000 for a 300 foot sunroom seems astronomical to me.

scorp_pccorp
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:18 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by scorp_pccorp » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:49 am

Ron wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:38 am
In my neck of the woods (mid-Atlantic) below grade (finished or not), garages, and other normal non-living areas are not included in the house sq ft for tax nor sale purposes.

While your local taxing/sales data may be different, what is the actual sq ft of your house if you remove all the non-climate controlled and below grade areas?

- Ron
My county assessor uses 3900sqft for tax calculations.

GeoffD
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:31 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by GeoffD » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:56 am

scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:43 am
I am not sure of the exact terms but due to the down slope incline of the house, the deck is perched on posts from the ground (no foundation there). Essentially there is no built-up area under the deck and it extends past the basement. So for the new room, a new foundation needs to be added in that area to bring it up to the same level as the 1st floor kitchen. I think that is why it costs a lot.
You're going to do all this for occasional entertaining? How about a motorized awning with zip-in clear plastic panels and zip-in screening?

Admiral
Posts: 1396
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:35 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Admiral » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:59 am

Putting aside my opinion that 6000 square feet is an enormous house to begin with:

If you need more space, the way to determine the price is based on per square foot construction pricing IN YOUR AREA. Construction pricing is very regional. Building in rural Mississippi costs less than in Manhattan.

That said: High end construction, on average, should be $175-$200 ftsq. (Nationally, construction is $85-$125ftsq. Again, this is the construction price, not the sale price that the same square footage would demand.)

A 300ftsq room at even an enormous $250/ftsq = $75,000.

I'd rather save the money and learn to survive in 6000ftsq.

Point
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:33 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Point » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:00 am

Our house is 2800 sqft. It’s a luxury of space for us. We don’t compare ourselves to neighbors for houses, lifestyle, or cars. We learned long ago someone will always have more, newer, better, faster, sexier... we don’t go there.

User avatar
FlyAF
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:14 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by FlyAF » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:02 am

Sounds like an expensive wife. :D

scorp_pccorp
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:18 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by scorp_pccorp » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:12 am

Point wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:00 am
Our house is 2800 sqft. It’s a luxury of space for us. We don’t compare ourselves to neighbors for houses, lifestyle, or cars. We learned long ago someone will always have more, newer, better, faster, sexier... we don’t go there.
Yes. I agree completely with you. In fact, that is how we have always been. We came from nothing. She studied to be a doctor (which we took massive private loans for while living like bachelors) and I am an engineer. We saved aggressively by renting single bedroom apartments and a small house (after our kids were born) in order to pay off her student loans in 5 years. We did this while her friends were buying big houses right after graduation. Only after we paid off her loans and kids came to school age did we buy our house in the great school district. We are now comfortable in our financials having saved enough and her own practice is doing very well.

But now that she is seeing her other non-doctor friends buying bigger and nicer houses than her (which I am pretty sure they are doing to outdo her), she is getting these feelings. But she is very reasonable and understanding and listens to me in all matters financial (even though she makes 3 times what I do :) ) so I am sure this will pass too.

PVW
Posts: 471
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:01 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by PVW » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:41 am

scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:57 am
The current zillow estimate for our house as-is is 725k. The biggest point in favor of our house is the low property tax for a top rated school district (atleast 10-15k/year less than other similar houses in different neighborhoods that feed into the same school district). With the addition, our tax may go up may be another $500-$1000/year.
Why is your property tax lower than similar houses? Is it because your house value is lower? Or because the assessment is lower than similar houses? If your assessment is lower, then this addition might bring the assessment inline with similar houses and increase your property taxes more than you anticipate.

Jags4186
Posts: 2544
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Jags4186 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:49 am

How about move from a 6000sqft house to a 2000sqft
house and start a charitable trust with the proceeds? Then your wife can brag to all her friends about the fundraising galas she is orchestrating and how her friends are way too into consumerism and should become more charitable.

Seriously, if you have any reservations about this whatsoever (sounds like you do) I would just tell her this is a hard no for you and your wife should find new friends. This “happy wife happy life” stuff is nonsense IMO. How about “happy husband happy not divorced middle-aged woman whose husband doesn’t cheat on her”? Has a good jingle if I say so myself.

Dottie57
Posts: 4655
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:52 am

Sorry OP. I have no suggestions since I have no idea how 6000 ft home could be small. :)

Do what you can afford.

Dottie57
Posts: 4655
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:52 am

Duplicate
Last edited by Dottie57 on Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
jharkin
Posts: 1873
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:14 am
Location: Boston suburbs

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by jharkin » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:53 am

scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:57 am
Even though the house is pretty large (>6000sqft)
That isnt "pretty large", that's not even a McMansion.... that's a full blown mansion. To put it in perspective, we have 4 people living in 1400sq ft... Its a little too cozy but what you have is basically like each kid having their own separate house to live in compared to most people.

Or to put it perspective another way, the average American house was only around 1600sq ft up through the 80s, and maybe 2000-2200 today.

Are you sure you really need to add more? You sure you cant just rearrange how the current space is used?

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 14380
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Watty » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:57 am

A couple of more things;
scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:57 am
- kids will need to go to different schools and lose current friends
Do not under estimate how hard it is for kids to change schools especially if they are in middle or high school. I did a corporate relocation when my son was in middle school and it took him about two years to adapt to his new school and in a lot of ways he never fully adapted by the time he graduated. It is not only hard socially but there is a risk that a move will also cause them to stumble academically. You might want to talk to their school counselors about this to get their impression on how hard it is for kids to change school.

After having gone through this once your kids are in middle or high school I would be extremely reluctant to have a kid change schools unless they were having problems and getting a fresh start might be an advantage. In my situation the new schools were much better so that worked out well in that way but it was still hard on my son.

It sounds like you would be moving from an affluent area to a wealthy area and that can also cause challenges for your kids. When we were doing the relocation we checked out the potential high schools and in one of the more upscale area there were a number of Mercedes, BMW's, and even a late model Corvette in the student parking lot. Even if you can afford it who in their right mind would give a 17 year old a Corvette? We selected a house with a nice but less affluent high school. It will be anecdotal but be sure to drive through the student parking lot of the high school your kids would be going to get a feel what school might be like. That may not be a high school environment you want your kids to be in since the "rich kids" can have lots of problems.

Since then I have heard stores of things like a parent taking a group of high school students to the Bahamas on their corporate jet for a school break. If you move to the wealthy area you need to be prepared to deal with things like that. Even if your kid is not invited for a trip like that the fact that they were not invited can make them feel bad.
scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:57 am
The total cost of the add-on for a 320sqft room would be around 100-150k (higher price if we go higher end on finishes to match the rest of the house).


Don't even think of doing a lower grade add-on since that could actually detract from the value of your house.

With the work you described they will need to bring in some heavy equipment so your landscaping will likely be trashed and it could take years to recover. Some landscaping work can only be done at certain times of the year so even when the construction is done it could be another six months before some of the landscape work can be done

The landscaping costs may not be included in the costs that the contractor is quoting you so watch out for that.

Do not underestimate how disruptive it will be to live in a construction zone for the better part of a year.

corysold
Posts: 674
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:58 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by corysold » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:21 pm

Just to be fair to the OP, not all square footage is created equal. It sounds like he is including a lot of non-livable space in the 6000.

A well planned out 1800 square foot house can feel bigger than a poorly planned 3200. I've seen big houses where all the square footage was in enormous master closets and master bedroom sitting rooms, wasted space essentially. These same houses had very little actual living space on the first floor.

It's really neither here nor there, only that I can understand how a large home can feel small if the space isn't utilized correctly.

User avatar
vineviz
Posts: 2066
Joined: Tue May 15, 2018 1:55 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by vineviz » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:34 pm

corysold wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:21 pm
Just to be fair to the OP, not all square footage is created equal. It sounds like he is including a lot of non-livable space in the 6000.

A well planned out 1800 square foot house can feel bigger than a poorly planned 3200. I've seen big houses where all the square footage was in enormous master closets and master bedroom sitting rooms, wasted space essentially. These same houses had very little actual living space on the first floor.

It's really neither here nor there, only that I can understand how a large home can feel small if the space isn't utilized correctly.
It's true that many modern houses have rooms that go unused: formal living rooms that get abandoned for the family room, dining rooms that are ignored in favor of the kitchen table, etc.

I suspect that the OP might find with some creativity that repurposing the existing rooms (possibly even taking out some interior walls) might open things up enough to make a difference, and maybe at much less expense than either moving or adding the sunroom.

For $150k, you could basically throw a wedding-sized party at the country-club three or four times a year and STILL come out ahead of building a room for "entertaining".
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch

Lynette
Posts: 1800
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:47 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Lynette » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:36 pm

scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:49 am
Ron wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:38 am
In my neck of the woods (mid-Atlantic) below grade (finished or not), garages, and other normal non-living areas are not included in the house sq ft for tax nor sale purposes.

While your local taxing/sales data may be different, what is the actual sq ft of your house if you remove all the non-climate controlled and below grade areas?

- Ron
My county assessor uses 3900sqft for tax calculations.
Who cleans the house? Do you have a fleet of servants?

T4REngineer
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu May 31, 2018 9:50 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by T4REngineer » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:44 pm

corysold wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:43 am
I'd look for other quotes.

$150,000 for a 300 foot sunroom seems astronomical to me.
I think its long past astronomical, astronomical is still in the solar system , that quote is across the galaxy and then keep going! *If I could
"like" your post I would

OP, you need to get more quotes and IMHO if you like the house, like the area etc. the hassle and costs of moving seems likely to overshadow the cost of a sunroom.

User avatar
DanMahowny
Posts: 533
Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:25 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by DanMahowny » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:51 pm

Watty wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:02 am
Family counseling.

That is not meant to be snarky but if 6000 square feet is not big enough then there is something else going on that should be looked into.
I stopped reading when I arrived at Watty's brilliant post.

Nailed it.
Funding secured

NoVa Lurker
Posts: 652
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:14 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by NoVa Lurker » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:58 pm

OP, I think you would have gotten very different responses if you had said:

We have a 3900 sq ft home (not including unfinished areas/garage). My wife, who is a doctor and makes three times as much as me, wants to add a 320 sq ft sunroom for entertaining. We can easily afford it. Should we do it, or move?

I think many respondents were distracted by you exaggerating the size of your house and focusing on your wife's "keeping up with the joneses" feelings. But truthfully, the options of moving or getting family counseling are very bad, and would likely end up being much more costly (in multiple ways) than adding a room to your home.

gotester2000
Posts: 591
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:59 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by gotester2000 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:06 pm

Watty wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:02 am
scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:57 am
Even though the house is pretty large (>6000sqft) including unfinished basement, my spouse always thought or felt it was a bit too small....
scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:57 am
What do you suggest is the best course of action?

Family counseling.

That is not meant to be snarky but if 6000 square feet is not big enough then there is something else going on that should be looked into.
+1

That something else is Keeping up with the Joneses!

London
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:50 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by London » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:08 pm

Watty wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:02 am
scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:57 am
Even though the house is pretty large (>6000sqft) including unfinished basement, my spouse always thought or felt it was a bit too small....
scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:57 am
What do you suggest is the best course of action?


Family counseling.

That is not meant to be snarky but if 6000 square feet is not big enough then there is something else going on that should be looked into.
My house is much bigger and I have a completely normal family. Sorry to burst the narrative. It's not about dysfunction or keeping up with the Jones. It's just personal preference.

kaudrey
Posts: 961
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:40 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by kaudrey » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:20 pm

I love the idea of a sunroom, but definitely get more quotes. My friends added one for about $50K and it is beautiful (and we are in a HCOL area).

nomadgecko
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:32 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by nomadgecko » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:31 pm

To OP:

This is going to be very unBogleheady of me, but I think you should move to a bigger and more expensive house. It sounds like the cache of house size/neighborhood/etc. is very valuable to your wife. If you can make the financials work enough, why not?

I wonder if you spend a year adding a 300 square foot room that you'll both say "meh, I still don't love this house or neighborhood".

I don't think the "you should be happier in a smaller house" comments are particularly actionable in your case.

Dottie57
Posts: 4655
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:41 pm

London wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:08 pm
Watty wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:02 am
scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:57 am
Even though the house is pretty large (>6000sqft) including unfinished basement, my spouse always thought or felt it was a bit too small....
scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:57 am
What do you suggest is the best course of action?


Family counseling.

That is not meant to be snarky but if 6000 square feet is not big enough then there is something else going on that should be looked into.
My house is much bigger and I have a completely normal family. Sorry to burst the narrative. It's not about dysfunction or keeping up with the Jones. It's just personal preference.
It all depends on the $$ in your accounts.

scorp_pccorp
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:18 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by scorp_pccorp » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:49 pm

kaudrey wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:20 pm
I love the idea of a sunroom, but definitely get more quotes. My friends added one for about $50K and it is beautiful (and we are in a HCOL area).
OP here. Thanks everyone for comments and suggestions. Some are funny and taken in stride :)

Actually we also got quotes for sunrooms (3-seasons/4-seasons) and they were in the 50-75K range as you said. However, we did not like the look of those because they did not mesh with the rest of the house (looked like tack-ons). That is why we started looking for more of a room addition rather than a sunroom so it can be built up (foundation and all) as if it were part of the house. I think that is the reason for the high price quotes. Multiple contractors gave us quotes in the same ballpark so I think they are reasonable in this area (Midwest).

michaeljc70
Posts: 3746
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:53 pm

Sounds like keeping up with the Joneses. Who cares what other houses nearby or friends have? You have an unfinished basement.
Last edited by michaeljc70 on Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

scorp_pccorp
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:18 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by scorp_pccorp » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:54 pm

One issue could be that we have this 2000sqft unfinished basement that is simply never used so it feels like we only have 4000sqft in reality. My wife does not want to climb down and up from the basement so finishing it may be throwing money down the drain.

thatme
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:54 pm

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by thatme » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:04 pm

How many kids? What ages?

I've got ~5200 square feet finished (including the basement; about 3800 square feet above grade), but have five kids and two big dogs. It sometimes feel ridiculously oversized (particularly if I happen to be home alone) but when everyone is doing something in different parts of the house, it feels just right. We came from ~2000 square feet so it was a big adjustment, but we definitely grew into the house pretty quickly.

I agree with everyone else about considering how to repurpose your existing space or possibly doing the addition. I think the moving to a different house/neighborhood just to make the friends jealous or whatever is a recipe for constant dissatisfaction/moving every two years. I wouldn't want that.

scorp_pccorp
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:18 am

Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by scorp_pccorp » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:10 pm

thatme wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:04 pm
How many kids? What ages?

I've got ~5200 square feet finished (including the basement; about 3800 square feet above grade), but have five kids and two big dogs. It sometimes feel ridiculously oversized (particularly if I happen to be home alone) but when everyone is doing something in different parts of the house, it feels just right. We came from ~2000 square feet so it was a big adjustment, but we definitely grew into the house pretty quickly.

I agree with everyone else about considering how to repurpose your existing space or possibly doing the addition. I think the moving to a different house/neighborhood just to make the friends jealous or whatever is a recipe for constant dissatisfaction/moving every two years. I wouldn't want that.
3 kids - 9, 7 and 5. No pets yet but kids keep asking for them so we will probably have a dog or cat in a year or two. We definitely use all 4 bedrooms upstairs because each kid has taken one bedroom and left the master for mom/dad. The only rooms we don't use much are the formal dining and living rooms.

Actually now that the kids are taking music classes at school, they have setup their musical equipment in the living room. So that leaves only the dining room unused for now.

Post Reply