Love It or List It: Lake Oswego Edition

HGTV’s show, Love It or List It features homeowners who struggle with the functionality of their home, with one partner thinking that all it needs is a renovation and the other who thinks it requires a move.

Enter in the team of Hilary Farr and David Visentin who put their talents to work to convince them to Love It (Farr) or List It (Visentin). A tally through their ninth season (they’re into their 16thth ) showed more homeowners choosing to stay in their homes once Hilary worked her magic.

How do you decide whether to Love It or Leave It if you live in Lake Oswego? Here are some tips to consider in your decision.

1. Start out with the information you need to make an informed choice. That means meeting with an experienced hyper-local Realtor who can tell you what your home is worth both in its current condition and its remodeled condition and what a new home to address the issues where you currently are would cost.

2. Identify your issues. Some of the ones I often run across with my clients include:

•Size: the house is too big or too small. This is one issue that often leads to a decision to sell. Whether the kids have flown the nest, leaving you with more square feet than you need and more bathrooms than you care to clean or the kids have multiplied leaving your house bursting at the seams, matching the size of your home to the phase of your life is often the catalyst for moving.

•Space: maybe those small bedrooms worked when the kids were toddlers but with adolescents on the horizon, they may not provide the space you (and they) need. Or maybe you’ve started working from home and the dining room table just isn’t cutting it. Space issues that require adding on or knocking down walls also often trigger a look at weighing the costs of a renovation with the cost to move.

•Condition: the house needs updating. Is a facelift sufficient or does it require a heavy-duty makeover? And if so, do you have the budget and the time for that? Again, here is where making an informed decision requires some legwork on your part. I recommend making a list of the repairs/renovations you have in mind and then gather estimates from licensed professionals. If you need some referrals, I’d be happy to provide some for everything from refinishing hardwood floors to replacing your deck.

3. Identify what you love about your place. Here’s what I often hear from clients:

•Location. They love their neighborhood, their kids’ school, work commute. Luckily, no matter where you land in Lake Oswego, your child will end up in a good school so that can often be reassuring should other issues point towards moving. Neighborhoods also rank high with each boasting of a long list of attributes. You can read about some of them here and here. But in some cases, the location may be such an anchor that you will want to stay rooted and make that decision work.

•Layout. For some, the layout of your current home works great and it’s just a question of wear and tear that is the issue. Features like open floorplan, master on main, bonus room can be extremely important to how a family functions in a home so they too may present a reason for staying. You might consider asking a Realtor to show you similar homes with those features to get an idea of what your cost of moving would be to retain them while getting an upgrade that you don’t have to manage yourself.

4. Ask yourself: How long you have lived in your house? Have you been there long enough to take advantage of increased property values? You also want to avoid capital gains tax on appreciation so make sure you’ve owned and lived in the property for more than two years in the five-year period before selling.

If you’re trying to decide whether it’s best to remodel or sell your home in Lake Oswego, please give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website. I’d love to sit down with you and help you make an informed decision based on some of the issues I’ve mentioned here. I’ve been a top Realtor in Lake Oswego for over 30 years and I’d love to put that experience and market knowledge to work for you. In addition, I’ve weighed many of these issues myself on a personal level so I can speak to you from my own experience as well. When it comes to making decisions about our homes, it’s not always just about the facts. It’s an emotional decision too and I get that. I’m hoping you’ll trust me to help you weigh all your options and make the decision that best works for you!

About lovelakeoswego

I feel pretty lucky—I live where I work and I love where I live. As a Realtor in Lake Oswego, I get to share that enthusiasm with clients every day. Through this blog, with the help of my freelance writer wife, Genita, I’d like to share that enthusiasm with you. The quality of life you’ll find in Lake Oswego belies its size—there is so much to experience here from a fireworks show over the lake on the 4th of July to the Festival of the Arts--one of the premier arts events in the region. So please check in each week for another reason why I love Lake Oswego and who knows—maybe you’ll fall in love too! If you’re interested in experiencing Lake Oswego personally, please feel free to contact me either on my cell at (503) 939-9801, via email at or check my website by clicking the link in the "Contact me" section in the right-hand column. I would love to show you around.
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