“Add On or Buy Another Home”



“Add On or Buy Another Home”


I am asked this question all of the time and there is NO perfectly right answer. Most folks ask the question because of the best way to get the money to do the addition, but the question is much deeper.


So often when this question comes up, the people really don’t want to move. They like the location and neighbors, etc.


The big issue is that by the time you spend the money for the addition; this may be the most expense home in the neighborhood and if the home needs to be sold in the future a sale becomes extremely difficult. It never fails. Folks will always say we are never going to move.


I never like being the most expensive home in any neighborhood but if it’s the right place for them and their family and there are no future plans to move, then I advise them to move forward with the addition.


Now, let’s address the financing. This can be a challenge. If folks have lots of equity in the existing home, there may be no issues. But if there is little or no equity, the mortgage part will be a challenge.


When there is plenty of equity a refinance of the existing mortgage or adding a home equity line may do the trick. When there is little equity and refinancing includes the cost of the renovations, the property needs to appraise for an amount sufficient enough to pay off the existing debt, plus the cost of the addition, which is often a problem as there may not be comparable sales to accomplish the right value.


If the numbers just don’t work as far as the appraisal goes, there really is no option. The sale of the existing home would be required and then the purchase of a different home that fits the family needs.


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Joe Petrowsky, NMLS #6869

Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS #2709

110 Main St.

Manchester, Ct. 06042

Office: 860 647-7701 x116

Fax: 860 647-8940

Cell: 860 836-9294

Email: joe@righttracfg.com



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Joe Petrowsky does not guarantee nor is in any way responsible for the accuracy of the information provided herein, and provides said information without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied.

Equal Housing Statement: We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing becuase of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

Comment balloon 29 commentsJoe Petrowsky • September 03 2015 05:32AM


Adding on could be the easiest and cheapest solution especially if you have the room and love your area.

Posted by Vern Eaton, Realtor 651-674-7449 over 3 years ago

Joe, you just never know.I showed a home to some buyers and they brought in a contractor

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty, Martha Hilton, Broker) over 3 years ago

Great information...thanks for sharing and make it a great day!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) over 3 years ago

Joe Petrowsky Sometimes the right answer is just to wait awhile and try again. Most values go up over time.

Bill Roberts

Posted by Bill Roberts, "Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner (Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate) over 3 years ago

Good morning, Joe -- as is so true in most things in real estate and in life -- my favorite(and truthful) answer is "it depends".   Your approach to asking the right questions can assist either current or wannabe homeowners in making the best possible decision.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 over 3 years ago

Joe Petrowsky,  That is very good advice, I am actually considering adding a screened porch to my house which I think will be a safe investment in my subdivision.

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) over 3 years ago

We do hear this question often. There are lots of things to consider. I have a handout prepared and have used it in class settings with a builder.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 3 years ago


Excellent discussion on the subject, you cover all points well, and at the end of the day, I would answer the way Michael Jacobs did, "It depends!".  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) over 3 years ago

Adding on to an existing home here in Arizona is almost impossible anymore. Our lot sizes don't really give you any room to expand. I also tell my clients it's rarely a good thing to be the most expensive home in the neighborhood. 

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com (Zion Realty) over 3 years ago

Hi Joe - what to do will talke serious consideration.  You have given lots of food for thought.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) over 3 years ago

Yes, the numbers have to work Joe. But, speaking with a Consultant such as you, will give the client all their options.

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) over 3 years ago

What a good "problem" (?) to have...bring it on

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 3 years ago

Hi Joe,

This is a great problem to have!  I agree with Michael Jacobs it really depends.

Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Samsel & Associates) over 3 years ago

Joe, I see this a lot too...it does depend upon equity and location...being the most expensive home in the neighborhood is a zero win unless you have great, unmatchable views!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 3 years ago

Joe, you are right it is a tough question, and there is NO one size fits all answer.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 3 years ago

The financing part is where you come in! Each client has particular needs that I know you are the right man for the job! 

Posted by The Julie Morales Team, Real Estate Questions? Call (832) 367-3412 (RE/MAX Cinco Ranch) over 3 years ago

You have the knowledge and expertise to give your clients the information they need. You now what questions to ask to help guide them to deciding what they need to do. Nice work, Joe. 

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) over 3 years ago

If you add another bedroom or another bathroom, for example, you are adding value. But it's good to check the prices in the neighborhood. On the other hand, I've seen so many "add ons" and they give the house a strange flow which is noticed when it gets sold later on.

Posted by Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®, Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea over 3 years ago

I think it also depends on the home and how easy it is to add on, the cost analysis.

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) over 3 years ago

It would depend on so many issues and the nature of the addition.  It's always a  tough call.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 3 years ago


That's a challenging question . . . . The answer is in the long term goals of the homeowner . . . . their budget . . . . and their motivation.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 3 years ago

Hello Joe Petrowsky 

Another excellent post with important points to consider.  Adding on doesn't always add value, but if it meets the homeowners needs that can be a secondary consideration.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 3 years ago

Joe Petrowsky apart from financial considerations, the add-on has impact on aesthetics, too! Some homes just don't look like home after the add-ons.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) over 3 years ago

Hi Joe.  Over pricing your home for the neighborhood is a bad idea.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) over 3 years ago

Home owners need to be very careful when considering home additions. The cost of over improvements may not be recovered when they sell.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 3 years ago

Joe, you are really giving homeowners good options to consider.  Of course, as a Realtor, I always hope that the best advice is to move!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 3 years ago

Hi Joe Petrowsky ,  I have seen several situations where the answer is different, depending on the person and the life around them.

Posted by Larry Johnston, Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN (Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC) over 3 years ago

I hope home owners thinking about adding on will read this post. 

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 3 years ago

I love it when I get this question because I realize that the homeowner is ready to do something now. Good post Joe.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 3 years ago