The Federation of Master Builders

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Published date: 03 February 2020


Deciding whether to move or improve can be a difficult decision and it’s important you research both options thoroughly.

Firstly, consider your reasons for wanting to move. Can your current home realistically be adapted to make the changes you require? Do you require more space inside or are you simply fed up of the neighbours? There are several elements that you simply can’t change, such as the size of your garden, making a terraced house detached or the location.

We’ve put together a list of things to consider when making that all important choice.

Staying and Improving:

  • If it’s extra space you require, is there the option to extend your current home or go into the loft?
  • Does the value of the works required exceed the value it will add to your home? For example, if you’re planning a loft extension as well as new bathrooms and a kitchen, then it’s likely the cost of the alterations will exceed the end value. If this is the case, you will need to consider if this will be your forever home or not.
  • Get quotes from local builders, planning and architects. An average loft conversion costs between £40-£60k.
  • Can you cope with people being in and out of your house constantly for potentially several months? Work will often go on for longer than planned, so have this in mind.
  • Can you cope with the mess that you will encounter day to day while the work takes place? Your home will be a temporary building site. Will this be stressful to you, your children and even pets?
  • Will you have to move out and rent somewhere whilst the house is being altered? Consider this upheaval and any further costs incurred.
  • Consider the things you love about your current home. If you like the location, you have valued privacy and great neighbours, then these are all important attributes to think about. Does your need for extra space or to be detached outweigh these other factors? Which do you feel is more important? There is normally always a compromise and you need to decide which aspects you can’t settle on.

Moving on:

  • Moving can be costly too. Factor in your stamp duty, solicitors fees, estate agent fees and removal van costs. Does this come in cheaper than doing up your current home? Are you upping your mortgage costs significantly?
  • Can you deal with the selling and moving process? People in and out of your home viewing, then dealing with solicitors and then packing up to move?
  • Does the new house require any work and will this cause extra upheaval and rising costs?
  • A new house can solve your lack of space issues and may be a clean, blank canvas but also think about if it’s in the right location and if you have privacy and good neighbours.

Do you research and consider carefully what you’re willing to spend in both scenarios. Neither option is an easy task. Take the time to make a balanced decision and ultimately the right decision for you and your family. 

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