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Have You Outgrown Your Home?

homes-020115-1BY LISA SCONTRAS

Outgrowing your home is a pretty common occurrence in today’s ever-changing world. You wake up one morning and realize the home that once was just right is now either too small or too big. Maybe the keiki are getting old enough where they need their own room, Grandma has come to live with you and you need a space for her downstairs, or your children have finished college and decided to move back home.

Whether your closets are overflowing, you’re feeling cramped, you need a yard for the new puppy, your family is growing, or you’re always waiting in line to use your bathroom, the time may come when you no longer fit in your home. What to do? Try shopping for a new home that accommodates your new needs or renovating your existing home to add the features you’re lacking.

“Often a home move is predicated by a major life change,” said Joy P. McLaughlin, Senior Vice President of the Residential Real Estate Division at First Hawaiian Bank. “Not only growing families, but shrinking families as well. Empty nesters don’t need the big house and may want to move into a condo with no yard, for example. Empty nesters downsizing has become more of a phenomena today than ever before. In some cases, these empty nesters are moving in with their children, creating the need for more space at that residence. I believe that goes along with the aging baby boomers.”

McLaughlin said what surprises people most about this passage is that they actually do have choices. The real estate market offers homes in all shapes, sizes and price ranges.

Weighing out the pros and cons of renovating your existing home to add more space or another bedroom and bathroom versus finding a home with a new mortgage requires a personalized analysis. “Start with what is driving you to even consider these changes,” McLaughlin recommended. “Is the family growing or moving back? What are your short-term and long-term plans? How temporary or permanent is this new situation?

“This is a big decision and sometimes it can be overwhelming to even recognize that you have a choice,” she said. “I would recommend focusing on the advantages or disadvantages of both. It is different for each individual or family.”

Next, calculate how much equity you have in your current home.

“It would be a cost-benefit analysis,” said McLaughlin. “Look at how much money, time and effort it would take to renovate versus the cost to buy a new home. Sometimes it boils down to how much they want to work at it or if they have sentimental value to their existing home.

“At First Hawaiian Bank, our bankers will help you weigh your options so that you can make the best choice,” she continued. “We can help you with not only the financing for a new home or renovations, but also life cycle discussions.”

What if you can’t afford either? There is always Plan C: Start saving money to take action at a future date.

“We can discuss the timing and how to get there,” McLaughlin added. “Maybe compromising one’s plans and going smaller or simpler may be an option. The bottom line is, align your wants and needs with the proper resources and timing that works for you. That’s what we can help with.”

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