If you’ve found yourself in a situation where your current home no longer meets your needs, you may be faced with a tough decision: should you invest in developing or improving your existing property, or would it be better to sell up and find a larger home that better suits your needs? Determining the best course of action involves considering two key factors: the financial implications and the potential stress and strain involved in each option. In this article, we will explore these considerations and provide a step-by-step guide to help you make an informed decision.
Financial Perspective: Improving vs. Moving
From a financial perspective, it’s crucial to evaluate whether the investment you make in your current home will yield an increase in value that will justify the cost of improvements. On the other hand, you must also assess whether purchasing a new property will be more cost-effective than undertaking renovations.
To begin, define the amount of space you require or the specific upgrades and refurbishments you envision for your home. Perhaps you need more room for a home office or you are having another child? Once you have a clear idea, it’s important to assess the potential value of your property after the improvements are completed. Consider the local property market and identify any limitations imposed by the area in terms of property size and price. If your home is significantly smaller and less valuable compared to neighbouring properties, expanding it with a double-storey or loft extension or additional bedrooms might be a worthwhile investment.
However, it’s essential to determine the precise costs involved in making the desired improvements. Will you need planning permission and adhere to building regulations? Remember to factor in the time it takes to obtain permissions and the additional expenses for plans and documentation. Despite challenges in finding reliable tradespeople, it’s important to source accurate costings and ensure the contractor you hire performs the work to required standards, providing the necessary safety certificates for any changes made.
Moreover, consider whether the proposed changes will genuinely add value to your property. If your neighbours’ homes are similar in size, style, and price, there might be a limit to how much someone will pay to live in your immediate area, regardless of the number of rooms or high-quality finishes you add. Conversely, if larger properties are scarce and demand is high, additional bedrooms might significantly increase your property’s value.
To navigate these financial considerations, seek local property market knowledge and consult with an estate agent. They can provide insights into average property values and price ceilings in different residential areas. A knowledgeable agent can help you evaluate the ease of selling your current home and finding a new one that meets your future needs. They can also provide estimates of your property’s potential value based on recent sales of similar-sized properties.
Stress and Upheaval: Living through Improvements vs. Moving
Aside from the financial considerations, the decision to improve or move also depends on your willingness to endure the potential upheaval and hassle associated with each option. Reflect on whether you can comfortably continue living in your home while renovations are taking place (particularly if you work from home) and if this is something you truly desire. Alternatively, consider whether relocating to a new home with the desired space would be a preferable option.
Undertaking substantial improvements can disrupt your daily life, requiring patience and adaptability. Depending on the scope of the work, there may be noise, dust, and limited access to certain areas of your property. However, if you choose to sell your current home and purchase something that better suits your needs, you will cut out the stress and inconvenience of renovation works – although selling up can be stressful too. In theory, you can move into your new space and immediately enjoy the benefits, particularly if you opt for a new build property that offers energy efficiency advantages and potentially lower running costs.
Steps to Decide: Move or Improve
To help you make an informed decision, consider the following steps:
- Assess your home and compile a comprehensive list of the changes that you need in order to continue living there comfortably. Determine whether minor adjustments or significant additions are necessary and whether planning permission is required.
- Calculate the costs associated with the improvements you desire and compare them to the costs of moving. Online calculators and articles can provide guidance, and consulting with a mortgage broker can provide insights into potential financing options if you plan to remortgage
- Research the cost of properties in your desired area that would fulfil your need for additional space. Explore whether you can find a suitable property in a location you prefer. If new builds are available, consider the added benefit of energy efficiency, which may reduce your running costs even with a larger home.
- Writer a list of pros and cons of your current home – will you miss the neighbours? The location? Is it nearer to work, school or the shops? Then do the same for your ideal property if you were to move home, bearing in mind that you may not be able to buy the exact home that you want
If you decide to sell you may find that your home needs some improvements anyway, in order to improve the value so you may want to take this into consideration when making your decision, too.
By following these steps and carefully weighing the financial implications and personal considerations, you can make an informed decision about whether to move or improve your current home. Remember to seek professional advice, where possible from a local estate agent and mortgage broker to gain a comprehensive understanding of the market and available options.
Ready to make your move – or if you’ve decided to stay and renovate, perhaps you need some storage? Give us a call on 01308 423939 for a detailed quote. We can help you pack, store and move your stuff and we do international shipping too! We’ve got some really useful free moving resources on our website to help you plan ahead and make sure that your move goes well. If you’re looking for storage, check out our special storage offer and get your first month of storage free!
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