To improve, or to move? That is the question.
Should I sell my house, or should I extend?
The last two years have revealed what our homes truly mean to us. But they have also revealed the flaws and highlighted what we have felt we’re missing from our lodgings. Lockdowns, working from home, homeschooling, I mean, it’s no wonder!
Zoopla called the recent surge in home movers a ‘once in a lifetime re-evaluation of what people want from their housing’, but truthfully, we all go through this process (just perhaps not all at the same time).
The open-plan kitchen-diner that used to be an entertainers paradise doesn’t quite have the same vibe when you’re more likely to trip over a piece of lego than a champagne cork. Perhaps you want to strangle Mrs Hinch because you haven’t got space for anything, let alone neatly lined and labelled Tupperware!
Either way, time passes; families grow; circumstances change. The perfect home you once lived in somehow no longer has room for your lives. Of course, you’re not alone; more space tops most people’s lists when they start questioning their quarters – but how do you know if you should build an extension or move house to get it?
We mean adding extensions or loft conversions, which always seems appealing. The home that you first fell in love with, just with a cherry on top, right?
However, they say you can’t have your cake and eat it. So if you think a conversion or an extension comes without compromise, you may want to think again.
Firstly, where are you finding the space? Ok, not so much of a problem with a loft conversion (except where to put the pesky stairs). “Buy land – they’re not making any more of it,” said Mark Twain, and ain’t that the truth. Here is compromise numero uno. You’re going to give up your garden or decimate the driveway to create the space you need inside.
Next up on the trade-off list is time. Large home improvement projects like double-storey extensions or multiple extensions can take a long time – and that means builders are in and out of your home for months. And your neighbours might get a little ticked off. The council typically takes eight weeks to consider planning permission applications and longer for more complex builds. So then, for a relatively simple, three-metre, single rear extension, construction time should be around three to four months. It may be more like six months for a more significant or double height rear extension.
But, regardless of the size of the project, it can be challenging to secure a reputable builder quickly.
Cost concessions; the architect, structural engineer, building regulations and planning permission. That’s before Bob, the builder, has put a foot in the footings!
Ask yourself some questions?
- Why do you need more space? (Think long-term, not just here and now)
- Will an extension add value?
- Can you afford an extension?
- Can you afford to move?
Let’s get down to brass tacks. The home you bought was the home you needed when you bought it. However, you’ve wanted to make changes because now, despite how wonderful your home is, it no longer fits your families’ needs.
Making the most of what you can do with what you’ve got will cost you time and money. So, why not look for a home that has what you’re looking for. A home that is waiting for a new family to make memories with. A fresh start and a new beginning.
But, if you’re choosing between maximizing your current space or selling up, you’ll want to look at what’s possible if you do decide to move. That means looking at your budget and the location you’d consider moving to. For example, if you want to stay in the same neighbourhood, you’ll likely have a good sense of how much a bigger home would cost — but if you’re looking further afield, you’ll need to do some research.
As we’re currently helping people move within just nine weeks from under offer to moving day (compared to the national average of 16 weeks!), it can happen much sooner too.
If you have read this far, you’re probably curious, like many, to see how the recent rise in property prices has affected the equity in your home.
So you can click the link below to have an online property valuation delivered straight into your inbox or arrange for one of our local Estate Agents to visit you in person;