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To Build or Not To Build? That Is the Question

Over the past ten months, most of us have spent more time in our homes than ever before, turning our houses into workplaces and classrooms.

“With all this time spent at home, people are looking around and wondering, does my home fit my needs?” said Andrew Moore, president of Arlington Designer Homes.

Home remodeling and moving rates have increased dramatically over the past year with more and more families trying to decide whether to build a new custom home or remodel their current home. Unfortunately, there’s no right answer for everyone. Each family and each situation is different. That’s why Arlington Designer Homes, a locally-owned custom design-build firm, has developed a step-by-step process to help customers decide whether to remodel or build, taking into account our new reality and the changing costs and timelines caused by the pandemic.

“I always ask my customers, what do you need that you don’t have in your home?” Moore said. “Sometimes the problem is external — people want a larger yard, less traffic or better schools. In that case of course, a move or building a new home makes the most sense. But if the need is internal — new office space, a bigger kitchen, an outdoor living area — remodeling could be the better option.”

After thinking about their needs, Moore said families then need to consider their finances and determine how much they want to invest in their current home.

“If you take the value of your home plus the amount you want to invest, can you just move and get a home that meets your needs now? If so, you might not want to deal with the time needed to remodel or build new,” he said.

Many families won’t be able to find that perfect home for sale, though — market inventory in Northern Virginia is tight, with houses spending an average of only seven days on the market before selling. Available land for new building is also limited.

“If we can help our customers find land within their price point that meets their needs, building new is sometimes an easier process than remodeling — you’re starting with a blank page and creating your own space,” Moore said. “But if the land isn’t available, or if you add the land and building costs and the investment is too high, then remodeling is a better path.”

Arlington Designer Homes is an Arlington-based design, build and remodeling firm. We have been in business for almost 40 years and have completed hundreds of projects. We have built custom new homes and remodeled existing homes. We are a full-service firm that can get you from concept to new (or newly remodeled) home. Our customer centered approach helps us build homes for the way YOU live.

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