By Josh Garskof @Money
NEW YORK (Money Magazine)
Allyn Brown didn’t really like the cramped, choppy layout of his 1970s ranch home, but the location was just too good to give up.
The house sits on two mountaintop acres overlooking vineyards and orchards, just minutes from the vibrant downtown of Sherwood, Ore. — fifth on this year’s list of Best Places — and not far from where Brown’s two adult children and four grandchildren live.
“So rather than downsize or move into a retirement community, I decided to stay right here,” says Brown. He hired designer Joel Fraley, of Neil Kelly Company, and ordered up a $140,000 overhaul, which included opening the floor plan, modernizing the kitchen, and installing a wall of windows that offers panoramic views of the lush valley.
“It transformed a funky home into a truly spectacular place to live,” says the 68-year-old attorney.
Happy with where you live but not so hot on your living space? Now might be the perfect time to address your abode’s architectural flaws.
With real estate prices on the rise, it’s safer than it has been in years to invest in your home — especially when measured against the prospect of moving, notes real estate agent John Ranco, past president of the Greater Boston Association of Realtors.
“Remodeling away your house’s shortcomings can cost tens of thousands less than trading up to an already remodeled house, which commands a major premium now,” he says. In addition, you avoid realtor fees, moving costs, and the inevitable expense of making a new place your own, no matter how “turnkey” it is.