Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Stay or Go? `Reno vs. Relocate' Explores Difficult Dilemma Faced by Homeowners: Homeowners Opt to Reno or Move in HGTV Series

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Stay or Go? `Reno vs. Relocate' Explores Difficult Dilemma Faced by Homeowners: Homeowners Opt to Reno or Move in HGTV Series

Article excerpt

TORONTO - The dream of home ownership can go awry as time wears on when a house that once was a perfect fit suddenly falls short of meeting your evolving needs.

Whether coping with increasingly cramped quarters as families expand or simply tiring of dwelling in outdated surroundings, many homeowners grow keen to scratch the itch to shape up their property or ship out.

So should you stay or should you go? Designer Robin Lewis and real estate agent Vanessa Roman seek to help befuddled homeowners find the solution in "Reno vs. Relocate" which premieres with back-to-back episodes Monday at 9 p.m. ET on HGTV.

"The first thing that we do is take an assessment of exactly what it is that they need in the space, how the space functions, but more importantly, how it's not functioning for them," Lewis said in a recent interview.

Homeowners are able to see a graphic simulation of a renovated home from Lewis, while Roman offers a tour of a new home better equipped to meet their needs. After seeing both options, a choice is made to either opt for a makeover or move.

One of the debut episodes features Sarah and Marc with a tiny kitchen and constant congestion on their home's main floor, coupled with limited work space.

After eight years in the home, and now with two kids, Marc is ready for more spacious surroundings closer to his office. Sarah favours going the reno route, preferring to stay closer to friends, school and her work. The couple is willing to shell out $40,000 for a potential renovation or $600,000 for a new home.

In a hot, expensive market, it may not be possible to afford to remain in your current neighbourhood in a bigger property or to move to a better area, said Roman. In that case, renovation becomes your lone option.

However, in markets where housing is more affordable, it's very easy to pick up and move versus staying and undergoing a massive reno, she noted.

"Renovations are fantastic, especially because people these days really are trying to find a home -- not just a shell to live in," said Roman. "They want to stay in the same property because they develop a network of friends in the neighbourhood, their children are going to school, they have amenities that are close by. …

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