Mobile Menu Locations Contact

The Latest from Columbia

Moving On Up: The Options and Challenges Awaiting You

by User Not Found | Dec 17, 2018


It can be tough to make decisions about whether you should move into a bigger place or refinance and remodel the home you already have. To help figure out your options, take a look at the story of Maria and Carl.

Maria and Carl are a married couple with two young kids who commute a manageable distance to their respective jobs. Their active family is bursting at the seams in their two-bedroom, one bath home in the central part of town. They’re ready to live in a bigger place, and have been trying to figure out what they should do. They have a few options they are considering, but they aren’t sure which:

  1. Refinance their home so they can remodel to add another bedroom and bathroom to their current home.
  2. Sell their current home and buy a bigger one in the same neighborhood, increasing their mortgage payment at the same time.
  3. Move to a new, less expensive neighborhood where they can get a bigger house for the same money.

Each option has its pros and cons. Let’s walk through their decision-making process. Carl and Maria bought this house 10 years ago for $172,000. It’s now worth $250,000.

  • To add on an additional bedroom and bathroom will cost an additional $100,000.
  • To move up in the same neighborhood will cost an additional $125,000
  • To move to a larger house in a less expensive neighborhood will cost an additional $50,000, but the kids will have to move to a less desirable school, and both Maria and Carl will have to increase their commutes.

Maria and Carl are concerned about crime and the quality of schools, so they quickly reject the third option. While remodeling might be a less money, they aren’t in love with their current home’s layout, don’t want to lose much of their backyard, and don’t want the disruption of a remodel. That leaves them with option B.


Because a new mortgage will add several hundred dollars a month to their budget, they turn to a local lender for options. An adjustable rate mortgage will help keep their new mortgage payment low, and expected raises mean they can keep up if the rate adjusts upward. Armed with this knowledge, and with their pre-approval letter, they are ready to find a new home that fits them both for today and the future.

When considering your own options, try and lay out all the scenarios alongside costs, pros and cons. This will help narrow down choices to those that are more realistic, and it will arm you with the most likely options to discuss with your home lender.



connect nearby or online

Click to Share Your Location

We'll find a branch near you. You can also visit the locations page or contact us.

Enter a zip code to find the
nearest branch

Connect with CB

Consider This

May we interest you in...

Follow Columbia Bank