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To Buy or to Renovate Your Miami Home

To Buy or to Renovate Your Miami Home
By: Serge Kay

If you are living in South Florida, your home may have been battered by hurricanes and hot sun, and it may not have the same features and amenities that so many new homes and condominiums in the South Florida market offer nowadays.

Are you looking at a pool, spa or tennis court? Are you looking for more privacy? Are you interested in moving into a Miami community of people of a similar age, with or without children?

Depending on when you purchased your home and how much equity you have, you have two main options to consider:
1. You can take out a home equity loan and plan renovations to your existing home to improve the space or add amenities that you want.
2. You can sell your home and sink your existing equity into a new Miami home or Miami condo.

If you decide you want to move forward with remodeling your home, don't try and take any shortcuts. First assess the improvements you want to make and then take the time to do your research. Go to various home improvement stores and look at fixtures, photos, carpeting, lighting - and start to make your selections, or at the very least identify the overall features, look and feel of the renovations you want to make. Assess and overall budget. When you are planning, remember that improvements to the kitchen and bathrooms will make the largest difference in adding value to your home's value.

Next, get referrals for licensed, experienced contractors only from friends, family members, co-workers, etc. who have first hand positive experiences. In lieu of that kind of referral, ask for references when you are in the hiring process.

While you are going through the process of finding a reputable contractor, you should be looking around for a reputable lender for your home equity loan and you should get the lowest interest rate possible.

You may decide that no matter the renovation, your current home no longer fits your needs. For instance, while remodeling your home may make it substantially more livable, are the changes you really want unobtainable without purchasing a new home? Perhaps you want a different neighborhood altogether or you are ready to live in a Miami condominium instead of in a single family home?
If that is the case, then you should consider selling your home and purchasing one that meets your needs. You'll have a wide variety of Miami homes from which to choose, including single family, existing and new construction Miami condos. Be careful of the home you choose and price you pay - you don't want to end up regretting your decision and investing your hard earned equity in something that won't appreciate substantially. However, Miami real estate values are expected to rise about 17% in 2005, while stock market returns are historically around 8 or 10%.

Miami real estate is a smart investment, so whether you purchase a new home, or improve the home you have, you are definitely in the right market!

About the author:
Serge Kay is a renowned Miami Real Estate agent having been awarded the Chairman Circle Diamond 2004, and the Presidents Award's for Top Preconstruction Condos Sales. To learn more about the Miami Real Estate Market, visit: http://www.sergekay.com/

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