Should I Spend $35,000 to Renovate My House or Move? : The Saturday Weekend Review #146

The Saturday Weekend Review logo- renovateHOME OWNERSHIP ISSUES


How much does it cost to renovate a house?

Well, to renovate anything to do with your house can cost as little or as much as you’re prepared to spend.

With everything on the market these days there are high-end products and for those who don’t wish to spend too much money you can be frugal and spend less on lower-budget fixes.

With each of the above your choices can make or break the sale of your home depending on what you choose to renovate and how much money you put into the renovation itself. When I say make or break I mean how much money you’ll get for what you put into the house or for what it’s worth.

A friend of mine who is single bought a 25-year-old starter home a little over 5 years ago in a great area of town. His house is around 2000sq feet with a fully finished basement that needs updating. Other areas of the house he wishes to renovate are both the full-bathrooms and the kitchen. The roof and windows have already been replaced since he purchased the home.

The most common areas of a house to renovate that will return the highest amount of money when you sell are kitchens and bathrooms. On the flip-side a simple coat of good quality paint and a clean house will sell better than a house with a cheap renovation gone wrong that someone is trying to hide.

The other day at the office my friend asked me, “Should I spend $35,000 to renovate my house or move?” I’ve been to his house before so I know a bit about what it looks like inside and out. I’ve also helped him out with some upgrades that he’s already added to the home.

If he were to move into a similar home in another area of town I believe he would pay just as much if not more and the renovations may or may not be completed. This means he would have to spend money on top of what he is paying for his new home to complete renovations again.

If I were him I would ask myself if I wanted to live in the current house long-term and if I renovate could I sell the house down the road for a decent return. Ultimately talking to a Realtor would be his best bet as they are the professionals here, not me as all I can share is my opinion.

I’m not a big fan of renovated houses as I like to make sure the work is done right. Even if I was in his shoes and sold my house I’d want a house that hasn’t been touched. Some of the DIY renovations I’ve seen in my years while going to open houses are enough to scare me out of buying a renovated house.

I’m also not sure about that price-tag difference for him either just to move a few blocks over where most of the houses he wants are located. Below is how I would approach deciding whether to renovate or sell our house to buy another which is something Mrs. CBB and I have talked about since paying off our mortgage.


Home Improvement Ideas


Using a renovation checklist that you can easily create in excel go around your home and find all the areas that you would like to renovate. Consider those major overall renovations such as the roof, windows, doors, furnace and so on then go room to room and investigate the smaller stuff.

Some people go a step further if they have the space and add to their existing home with a home extension or addition. You might find it’s cheaper to add square footage to your home than to buy a bigger home. Once you have these areas documented you can talk about what you’d like to do to each room by searching online for renovation ideas on sites such as Pinterest or HGTV Canada.


The Cost to Renovate


How much do renovations costs?  I can tell you from experience that even an estimate is only just that. You will always see a varied increase in that estimate once the project is completed. Many things can happen along the way especially if there are problems behind the walls when you start to renovate.

Once you know what you want to renovate in your house you need to estimate the costs. You could either call in a contractor and ask for a free estimate or try to ball-park the costs yourself but that’s not to be taken lightly.

I would then talk to your Realtor who can factor in the estimated costs of your renovations to the market value of your home so you know what you would potentially get for it if you sell. This is also another way you can find out how much you may want to spend on another home provided it has everything you want.


The Cost to Buy and Sell


If you aren’t sure if you want to renovate or sell you should also take into account the costs involved with buying and selling a home. Paying Realtor fees is only one expense in the house selling adventure.

Your new home depending on where you move in the city could cost you much more in city taxes and utilities, not to mention more to renovate. Everyone knows that buying a house that is move-in ready means you will still find something you need to renovate. All these financial numbers will add up in the end so if you can handle the expenses and potential perks or downfalls then the choice is clear.

So if you really want your dream kitchen and a fully renovated home doing your homework will allow you to make the decision whether to renovate or sell. If you find that your dream house is more expensive than what you can renovate your current home for then I would renovate. The choice is ultimately yours.

Would you renovate your current house or just sell it to buy new?


CBB Week At A Glance


Hey everyone,

This week has been particularly all over the place for me as I’ve been in and out of the office and on the road to attend some high-profile organization meetings. The one big perk I suppose is the lavish free food which I don’t mind one bit. My wife tells me to make sure I’m really hungry before I go and although I laugh I really do make sure I’m ready to eat.

I didn’t get much of anything done around the house this week and although my goal for next week is to finish off the front gardens for the Fall I might not have a chance. We are out-of-town one day and I’m also in work every day so I’ll have to try and grab an hour where I can sort some stuff out.

The big job is clearing the garage out so I can park the vehicle inside for the winter. Our son has taken over one side with all of his toys, strollers and the two free toddler bikes that I picked up from Kijiji last week. I’m not a big fan of the early morning frozen vehicle so I keep my garage as tidy as I can.

Other than that I made a couple of new recipes this week with my wife who is eating a low-carb diet similar to the Atkins diet and has done very well. She says it’s amazing how fast your taste for sugar and salt disappears once you stop using them or cut back. This is not new as she has always watched what she eats up until she got pregnant and her diet was all over the place.

Next on her agenda is to get back to the gym and start running 5K every day again with me. The main part was getting her eating patterns back and then tackling the fitness side of it. I work-out and work off my food while I’m out on the field every day but I also have a high metabolism so it’s important to know your body.

I will be sharing some of her recipes on the blog so keep an eye out for them. Don’t expect all the calorie counts and all that jazz because I don’t know them.  What I do know is that it’s good, clean eating in moderation.

Until next week enjoy this edition and have yourselves a great weekend.



Published This Week


Just in case you’ve missed any of my blog posts this week I will share them all below. If you are looking for past Saturday Weekend Review posts scroll down to the bottom of this post where I will list up to 5 previous weeks for you to read.

If you have a question that you would like to ask Mr.CBB fill out the Contact Mr.CBB form on the Home Page and send in your questions. If you want to share a story via a Fan Question only please ensure that there is minimum 500 words and lots of details…we love details!

Right now CBB is posting Tuesday (Grocery Game Challenge) , Thursday (Personal Finance Post), Saturday (Personal Finance and Weekly Wrap-Up and a recipe on Sunday!


Budget Brags


Submit your Deal or Brag:

Saving money while grocery shopping is essential in the CBB family and that’s why we share our grocery shops every week in The Grocery Game Challenge 2015.

What I love the most is when my fans share their amazing shops with me whether it be groceries or other deals they find at a garage sale, online or freebies!!!

If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.(ca) < remove brackets) or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.

Hi Mr. CBB and Fans,

This week I was lucky enough to score this drafting table for FREE as friends  of ours were tossing it. The one photo below on the left is showing the drafting table laying flat where the other has a small tilt just to show that it does tilt.

-Colleen K.

the free drafting table

Thanks Colleen for submitting another brag this week to share with all of us. It’s amazing how easy it is to save money if we have friends who pass stuff along for free.- Mr.CBB


Making A Difference (MAD)


Note: If you are a personal finance blogger (anywhere around the world) and would like your blog to be MAD featured simply drop me an email and I’ll explain the process to you.

boomerandechoThis is my way of giving back to the personal finance community through networking and sharing knowledge with my fans. Today it is my pleasure to share with you Boomer and Echo a well-known Canadian Finance Blog.

Hey CBB readers,

“I’m a 36-year-old married father of two young girls. My wife stays home full-time to look after our kids, so we’re a single-income family dealing with many of the same financial issues facing Canadian families today.

I started Boomer & Echo with my mom back in 2010. We thought it would be interesting and unique to blog as a mother and son duo and look at issues from the perspective of both the boomer and echo-boomer generations.

Since then we’ve written over 1,000 articles on a variety of topics, from frugal living and money saving tips, to investing and working toward financial freedom. I love interviewing readers and having them share retirement stories, or to talk about a consumer issue that they’ve had to deal with.

I also write a column for the Toronto Star where I focus on banking, credit cards and comparing financial products and services.

As our blog grew in popularity we started getting a lot of specific questions from readers about their personal financial situations. So last year we started our own independent fee-only financial planning service to help readers by offering advice without the conflict-of-interest that is rampant in the industry today.

I’ve always been passionate about personal finance and investing and lately I’ve become more of a consumer advocate, encouraging readers to look at the high cost of their mutual funds and switch to low-cost index funds or ETFs.”

Robb Engen
Boomer & Echo


Top Recipe


Spinach-and-Artichoke-Dip-Stuffed-Garlic-BreadFood and grocery shopping is a BIG part of CBB because food is a large part of the budget which people struggle the most with.

If you are someone who would rather buy convenience meals or products consider cooking homemade meals or baking from scratch.

Not only will you save money but you will be proud of what you accomplished and you’ll see that from the smiles on those you feed.

If you don’t already know I have a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I share recipes from other Food Bloggers from around the world.

I also share recipes on the blog once a week on Sundays either made by my in-house home blog cook Nicola Don or myself. This is a fun, interactive blog where we talk about everything that happens in our world.

This week our Top Recipe Pick goes to

This week our Top Recipe Pick goes to Host The Toast for this amazing Spinach and Artichoke Dip Stuffed Garlic Bread.

Check it out.. yum!



Top DIY Project


pine cone wreath craft idea

I don’t know if this will be a new feature but I just wanted to share my friend Karen’s pine cone wreath that she made for the holidays. If you have too many pine cones in your yard or access to some free pine cones then you could easily create this wreath at home for a small cost. Brilliant idea Karen.


Editor’s Pick


Every week I will pick a blog post of the week from around the web that I found interesting and want to share with you and an Editor’s top blog post pick.

Editor’s pick (That’s me Mr.CBB) goes to Joshua Becker over at Becoming Minimalist where he discusses what would happen if we became a minimalist economy. I agree with what he says and it was exactly what I thought once I read this article “Five Lessons From Someone Who Bought Nothing For A Year” this morning. One of the comments was about the economy and let’s be honest here, the money will still be spent it will just be redirected to something else as Joshua points out. Two great reads.. enjoy!

Plus!- November is Financial Literacy Month and my blogger friend Karen over at Makin The Bacon is giving away a copy of Wealthing Like Rabbits by Robert Brown! So, head over and enter the draw if you’re up for a new book for your library.


How people find CBB


Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Keep in mind any spelling errors below are because I share with you the exact way they typed their search engine query to land on my blog.

  • My wife blames me for money problems but she can’t stop spending– No blame shifting, get yourselves a budget and work together before you put a dent in your relationship.
  • How can we make money in Canada? – Going to work for starters!
  • Mr. Goudas net worth– This guy is pretty popular because this isn’t the first time this food giant has had net worth searches on CBB.
  • Anyone willing to “borrow me money” for the month of November?– Likely not but I suppose it’s worth a shot because it’s the web and you never know what surprise dummy might be out there to lend it to you.
  • Sneaky ways to make money in Canada– Sneaky sometimes lands you in jail or with big fines!

That’s all for this week friends but be back here next Saturday to enjoy the next edition in the Saturday Weekend Review Series. Don’t forget to subscribe to my daily blog post by entering your email address on the home page and verifying the subscription email once it is sent to you.


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