A question we hear a lot: ‘should I extend my house, or move?’ Many of us are looking for more space; the impact of the pandemic and more of us working from home has only exacerbated this. So, to extend or move, that is the question! Let’s help you weigh things up.
Should I move house or extend?
There are many reasons why you might need more space. Your family may be growing, or you feel you need a home office. Perhaps things are just feeling a little small.
There are some questions you need to ask yourself when deciding whether to extend or move:
- 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?
The answer to whether you should move or extend will depend on the answers to these questions, and your individual circumstances. It’s a personal decision, and one that needs careful consideration.
Extend or move, which is better?
Let’s examine the pros and cons of each to help you decide which option is right for you.
Pros of extending your home
Let’s start with team extend – what are the positives?
Possibly one of the most important is that an extension can add buckets of value to your property. Most of the time, more square footage boosts value. This can be particularly useful when you come to sell, as it can attract more buyers and increase how much your home is worth. Many choose to renovate before they sell to add more space and appeal to more buyers.
Of course, how much value an extension can add depends on many things, including property type and location.
It also depends on the type of extension you get. For example, a loft conversion can boost value by around 20%, while for a standard single-storey extension, you can expect to add around 5-8% to the value of your house. An extension value calculator can give you a better idea of how much value you can add to your property.
Improved quality of life
Properties are more than just empty shells, they’re our homes. Investing in them, and creating more space, can boost your happiness while living there.
For many of us, our homes are now spaces where we both live and work. This can create the need for more spaces, e.g. for a home office.
The importance of future-proofing your property should not be underestimated. Moving home is one of the most stressful things we can ever do in our lifetime, so not something many of us want to do too often.
You need to ensure your property meets your needs both now and in the future. Extending can help you do so. For example, are you looking to raise a family here?
Cons of extending your home
Of course, it’s not all good news, there are some inevitable downsides.
The cost of an extension varies, depending on property size, location, and more. However, it can get expensive. Single-storey extensions can cost anywhere from £25,000 – £120,000, while a loft conversion can be up to £60,000.
You’ll need to pay architect fees, planning permission and building regulation checks – to name just a few costs.
While there are ways to cut renovation costs, such as careful planning, cutting corners or doing things on the cheap isn’t usually recommended for the best results. You need to ensure you can afford it; many homeowners choose to remortgage to pay for it. The cost of your renovation will depend on property size, project type, and more.
Alternatively, you could take out a homeowner loan. Give it some thought to see what’s the best decision for you.
Even with the best professionals, no extension is guaranteed to be smooth-sailing. There can be unexpected delays, it can take longer, or cost more than expected.
Plus, getting your head around the ins & outs isn’t always easy, such as the differences between permitted development and planning permission.
You may not need planning permission, but you should always check! You don’t want to have to take down the extension you’ve built, and spend money for nothing.
Do you have a good relationship with your neighbours? Extensions have caused rows and upset between neighbours in the past; planning disputes are common. While it might all be fine, it’s something to consider.
Pros of moving home
Let’s put the shoe on the other foot now, why move home?
Extending can only get you so far, realistically. If you need lots more space, it might be better to move to a new property completely. Also, if you live in a certain time of property (e.g. a listed building or one with restrictive covenants), your options might be limited when it comes to adding space, so the best option might be to move.
Or, are you looking for more outside space, such as a garden? This has now become a key criterion for those moving home and something an extension won’t help with.
If you love the area you’re in, extending might be a good option. However, what if you don’t? What if you’re a commuter looking to be closer to the capital? There are many great cities to live in the UK, perhaps it’s time for a fresh start. Or, what if you’re looking to get out of the city completely and enjoy rural living?
Before you move, it’s a good idea to get a feel for the area. After all, you can change many things about a property, but not its location. A property report can provide you with all the information you need at your fingertips. This includes everything from local schools, to crime rates, to nearby planning applications. Get yours below.
Moving house can bring with it new opportunities, for example for your career. It could also bring about better education options for your children. You may also be looking to be closer to friends or family. Moving home is just about new bricks and mortar, it’s about a lifestyle.
Cons of moving home
Moving home is a big decision, and not one that should be made lightly. While wanting more space is a common reason for wanting to move, it might not be enough on its own. Let’s take a look at the downsides.
The cost of moving home adds up! There are solicitor and estate agent fees to deal with, plus the cost of removals (to name just a few). You need to ensure you can afford to move.
Establish your budget, looking at the current value of your property. Consider your future selling prospects too. Many would-be sellers choose to renovate their properties first in order to increase their value. So, it could be worth holding off and investing in your home first.
Moving home is said to be one of the most stressful things we’ll ever do in our lifetime. So, you need to carefully consider if it’s the right time. Look at your personal circumstances, including family and career, before deciding.
Get ahead by being prepared
In the words of our founder, Phil Spencer: ‘failing to plan is planning to fail.’ Whichever option you choose, extend or move, you need to be prepared.
If the extension option feels right for you, ensure you have the best professionals on your side. We can connect you with a local architect who can get the job done. Get a quote below.
Last Updated: August 22nd, 2023