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Right-Sizing Your Home

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Make your home fit your lifestyle. - Laura Diss, Q Boutique Specialty Realty, Inc.

Your home should be the perfect blend of attributes: a functional use of space, aesthetically pleasing, and well-located. Major life events such as getting married or divorced, your children coming and going, and job changes can place different demands on your home. Let’s talk about the most common situations when trying to right-size your home. You can renovate your current home, buy something else, or build for a perfect fit.

Renovating for Use versus Resale

If you love your house but just need more space, it might make sense to make some renovations. Are there rooms in your house you don’t use? Can you turn the formal living room into a private bedroom? Can you reconfigure some walls to make it your perfect space? Can you add on? 

Compare how much homes in your neighborhood are selling for and be sure to look at the home prices in original condition, versus updated, versus new. Once you determine the cost to renovate and the potential resale value, you will see if the project makes sense financially. Check with the county zoning office and review your homeowners’ association (HOA) restrictions to make sure your project is possible. For example, if no one in your neighborhood has a guesthouse, they’re probably not allowed. 

If you’ve decided to sell, consider doing a refresh before selling. You will want to update your home so it will appeal to the majority of future homebuyers. Get inspiration from local model homes in different price ranges. 

For an instant facelift, repaint everything. For interior walls, try a warm gray color like Benjamin Moore Metropolitan. Repaint baseboards, doors/trim, and ceilings crisp white, and consider new carpet if more than 10 years old. It’s also a good idea to replace brass or gold lights/faucets/handles with chrome or brushed nickel.  

Established Neighborhoods versus New Construction

If it’s time for grandma to move in, consider selling both homes and buying something together. Combining incomes provides more purchasing power and less risk for lenders. Combining the sale of both of your homes may allow you to buy your next home in cash or put more down to achieve extra low monthly payments. Speak with your attorney and tax professional to make sure you are making the best decisions possible. 

If you are looking for more space, or extra amenities like a pool, consider buying a resale home. Lake Mary, Longwood, and Sanford resale homes will typically have larger lots, private pools and screened patios, mature landscaping, prime locations, and established neighborhoods. Certain areas of Seminole County are zoned for accessory dwelling units (guesthouses) and stipulate the allowable size and location. Check with the county and your HOA before you start building your next she-shed!
If you decide you like new construction, many builders are offering more options for families living together. Many families find great support living together and sharing in the household duties. Extended family households can divide up cooking, cleaning, and caregiving, which can save you time and money. Brand-new energy-efficient homes typically come with a builder warranty, are tech-friendly, and sometimes come with appliances or closing cost contributions. 

Whether you decide to renovate your current home, buy something new, or build a custom fit, an experienced Realtor will be able to help define your transition plan and pricing strategy when the time is right. 

Laura Diss is a Florida licensed real-estate broker and owner of Q Boutique Specialty Realty, Inc. She can be reached at or

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