5 Homeowners Who Renovated—Instead of Relocating

A need for space, but a desire to stay put

When your home no longer works for your family, be it a space, design, financial, or location issue, it begs the question: Should I stay or should I go? A recent study from Zillow found that when given a choice between spending a fixed budget on a down payment or using the same amount to remodel, 76 percent would opt to renovate. These homeowners all considered moving, but ultimately made the choice to reimagine their homes with Sweeten’s help.

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Surging prices in her Fort Greene co-op building made upgrading from a studio to a true one-bedroom out of the question for Mollie. She had to decide to either move elsewhere to get more space or remodel her cozy studio. Realizing the market value of her apartment (and that she could borrow against her equity) she came to Sweeten, was matched with a general contractor, and reconfigured the 500-square-foot apartment to suit her playful style.

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A two-bedroom apartment was perfect for Rachel and Marco—until they decided to expand their family. Fortunately, their duplex had enough square footage, making it possible to remodel and rethink how it was used, instead of moving. They set out to turn the top floor into a combined kitchen and living area, while the rest of the space was divided into an office, closet, and bedrooms.

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After a year-long search for a new apartment, Kim and Igor decided their sons’ schools, proximity to work, and an overall adoration for their lifestyle in Carroll Gardens were reason enough to stay in their apartment. They worked with a Sweeten general contractor to overhaul their dark kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom. The result? Open and modern spaces fit for the family of four.

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A desire for more room led to multiple (unsuccessful) apartment searches for Zoe and Arvid. Her dream of renovating and combining apartments finally put the hunt to an end. After contacting neighbors and finding one who was looking to move, their plan was underway. The additional square footage allowed for a third bedroom, a much larger kitchen, and an expanded living area.

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Courtney and Jim’s Clinton Hill Co-op apartment lacked storage and light, which sent them on a search for a second home upstate. When they made an offer on the second property, reality hit: they needed to make their main residence work for them before taking on a new place. The couple decided to remodel, opening up the kitchen the rest of the living areas and reconfiguring storage closets to suit the family of four’s storage needs.

Are you considering remodeling your home instead of moving? Read our planning guide to get started.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.