Buy new or remodel?
By Carin Kirkegaard; photos courtesy of the Kasal family
New neighborhoods continue to grow and develop in the Castle Pines community. The lure of contemporary floor plans and new construction has many longtime homeowners in the original Castle Pines neighborhoods curious and questioning whether to purchase a lot and start a new home construction, or spruce up their current home with a remodel.
The Kasal family – Mike, Mary, Maddie, Ellie and Marvin are 12-year residents in the Castle Pines community who have lived in their current house for seven years. After saving money for a significant remodel to their current home, the Kasals decided to take a look at the model homes featured in The Canyons, the City of Castle Pines newest development. They fell in love with the open floor plans, the functional use of space in the kitchen and especially the concept of a butler’s pantry.
Homeowners should weigh the economic pros and cons when debating a move or a remodel. The supply and demand of homes available to purchase in the Denver metro area is imbalanced. There is a high demand and a lagging supply.
According to Sally Wagner, the principal architectural designer for Vesta Design Studio, a remodel in terms of cost per square foot in this current market is more economic. Wagner, having worked in the Castle Pines community and the greater Denver area provided a rough estimate for what typical areas of remodel cost. Depending upon the size and level of finishes, a master bath remodel can cost between $25,000 and $30,000. A total kitchen remodel replacing cabinets, countertops and new appliances can cost between $60,000 and $75,000. If a homeowner is looking to remove a wall and add living space, they should plan on spending $150 per square foot on average. These upgrades and additions can all add to the value of a home, and a homeowner may recoup these costs when they eventually sell.
A new home construction makes sense when a homeowner is looking to downsize or upsize, move closer to a job or other strong considerations. Wagner points out that there are costs with purchasing a new home that can snowball quickly, including landscaping, finishing a basement, window coverings and real estate fees.
Taking on a major remodel has its drawbacks too. There can be significant stress on a busy household when a family essentially needs to move out of part of their house while construction takes place. Phasing a remodel is a delicate balance of timing contractors and ordering supplies. Wagner encourages patience, as sometimes remodels take longer than anticipated.
The Kasals can attest to this personally. They had planned their remodel for earlier this spring, removing kitchen cabinets in preparation for tearing out walls. Then they found out that in addition to both Mike and Mary working from home, their three kids would all be home doing school online. Rather, than manage all of that with contractors hammering in the background they put the remodel on hold until after school lets out.
When asked what ultimately helped them make the decision to remodel their home rather than purchase a brand new one, Mary said, “We are staying here for the neighborhood. We love our community.”