Renovating vs. Moving: Making the Right Choice for Your Wilmington Home

When it comes to deciding whether to renovate or relocate, the answer isn’t one-size-fits-all. It’s a decision as personal as the very walls of your home, influenced by factors ranging from financial considerations to your vision for your family’s future.

Here at The Gillespie Group, we understand the weight of this choice, which is why we’re sharing insights tailored to every homeowner grappling with this pivotal decision.

In this blog, we each offer our point of view shaped by our experience and expertise. So whether you’re in love with your current neighborhood but craving a kitchen overhaul or dreaming of a fresh start in a new area, we will unravel the intricacies of this decision-making process.

With our collective perspectives, we aim to empower you to make the choice that’s not just right for your home but for your heart.

Danielle Gillespie of The Gillespie Group

Assessing Your Cash Flow for Renovation vs. Relocation


I think this all depends on how much cash you have as a homeowner, whether you love your current neighborhood/location, and if so, how long do you plan on being there. If you absolutely love the location you are in and the size of the home works for you and your family, then renovating could be a great option, especially if you plan on being in the home for 5+ years. However, if you love the location of the house and the size of the home works but do not plan on being there for five years, then consider renovating specific areas that will build equity in the home that would meet market demand to be able to sell quicker and for more money.

Depending on the renovation, it could be anywhere from $25,000-$75,000 for a noteworthy renovation, and if you have that kind of money to invest in your home, then making sure you love the neighborhood/location and footprint of the house is extremely important. Otherwise, if you have that sort of money to use willingly, and considering you may make some additional funds from the sale of your current home, then it may be worthwhile looking into buying a new home that fits your needs better and then can look at homes with the upgrades wanted, in a more desirable location, or with a more desirable layout.

Sara Darby of The Gillespie Group

Unlocking the Door to New Possibilities: The Power of Relocation


As a local realtor and investor here in Wilmington, I have had the opportunity to see and experience the renovation process firsthand. The decision to renovate or move is incredibly personal and relies heavily on you, the client, your unique circumstances, budget, and time constraints. There is no question that the renovation process can seem like a great and appealing option, especially when the goal is to tailor your living space to your exact preferences and needs. Renovating allows you the opportunity to get granular with what you want to change and how. 

On that same note, that level of specificity comes with a cost, and often, the renovation process can become larger in scope and budget than originally planned. Whether it be unforeseen issues that arise during the updating process, last-minute additions or changes, or delays with the necessary material or labor, the process never goes as expected. While the end result can be rewarding, the journey to get there is frequently fraught with challenges and stress.

On the other hand, in my opinion, the choice to move can open up a world of possibilities! For many of my clients, they have discovered that leveraging the equity the have built in their current home, especially here in the local Wilmington market, can significantly expand their options for a new home. This path can allow you to find a home that not only meets but exceeds your expectations without the uncertainties and hidden costs associated with renovations. Moreover, moving can offer a fresh start in a home that better suits your family’s evolving needs, whether that’s more space, a different layout, or a more desirable location!

Ultimately, the decision to renovate or move is deeply personal and should be made after careful consideration of you and your family’s needs, financial situation, and long-term goals and plans.

Alyssa Bleau of The Gillespie Group

Balancing Home Improvements with Long-Term Goals


As someone who is considering this personally, it’s been a tough decision to make. I think it comes down to each person individually, and there are a lot of factors to consider. We absolutely love the location of our home, and we love our current mortgage payment, but the layout/configuration of our home definitely has some improvements that would need to be made for me to want to live in it longer. More specifically, our kitchen, which isn’t a cheap renovation. 

We’re saving to build a home, but with current interest rates for building and the amount of money we’ll need to build the dream home, we’re trying to decide how to renovate and stay put a little bit longer. For us, we know our current home isn’t our forever home, but we’re ok with putting money into it to make it more functional – and making it more functional for future owners.

I think ultimately, it depends on your personal finances, whether renovations will actually solve any problems and/or add value to your home, and whether you like where you live. At the end of the day, you really have to take these things into consideration and weigh the pros and cons.

Brittney Roseberry of The Gillespie Group

The Questions to Ask To Resolve the Renovate vs. Move Debate


If you are trying to decide whether to renovate or move, I think you have to first ask yourself these questions.

  • Do you like the location of this home?
  • Does the size of this home still make sense for you and your family?
  • What specific renovations do you want to do?
  • Do you have the bandwidth to complete the renovations? Time? Ability to schedule contractors?

Do you need to be out of the home while completing the renovations? Depending on the answer to these questions, you should be able to decide whether moving or renovating is your best next step!

Celina Rini of The Gillespie Group

The Pros and Cons

Personally, I think each option comes with its own set of advantages and challenges, making it crucial to weigh them carefully before making a choice that aligns with your lifestyle, budget, and long-term goals.

Renovating offers an opportunity to start fresh in your current home. Whether it’s updating kitchen/bathrooms or completely gutting and updating your whole home, renovations allow homeowners to tailor their living space to their evolving needs and preferences. Renovating can sometimes be more cost-effective than purchasing a new home.

However, renovating can also have its drawbacks. Depending on the scope of the project, renovations can be disruptive and time-consuming. With renovations there’s always the risk of unexpected challenges arising during the process, potentially leading to delays and unforeseen expenses.

On the other hand, moving presents an opportunity for a fresh start and access to a broader range of options. Whether you’re seeking a larger home to accommodate a growing family, downsizing to simplify your lifestyle, or wanting to experience a new part of town. Moving allows you to explore new possibilities and find a home that suits your needs better.

Additionally, moving can offer a sense of excitement! Ultimately, deciding to renovate or move depends on your unique circumstances and priorities.

Whether you choose to renovate your existing home or embark on the adventure of finding a new one in Wilmington, it’s important to approach the decision with careful consideration and a clear understanding of your goals.

The Right Choice for You

As you navigate the possibilities toward making the right choice for your Wilmington home, remember that the choice between renovation and relocation isn’t just about bricks and mortar—it’s about crafting a space that makes you feel at home.

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