Is it better to Move home or Extend your House?

Does your growing family need room for new arrivals?  Perhaps your expanding home business needs a new office or maybe you need an annexe for an elderly family member. Before you sling your house on the market and hunt to find a more suitable house, consider the following.

#1 What are your reasons for moving?

The age-old question, how will I make the most money out of my property? If you live in a small apartment or flat, the decision for you will be more obvious, you will need to upscale your house. Similarly, if you have additional reasons for moving i.e. if you need to move closer to a school catchment area, or closer to work/family it may be obvious that now is the right time.

When making such an important decision you need to be objective. If you opt for an extension, it will help add value to your home as well as creating additional living-space. It can come with a hefty price tag but may be a better long-term solution to your space issues. 

#2 Will an extension work on your property?

If you are looking to add value to your property you must ensure that it is balanced and rational. An extension which makes your 3-bed house into a 4-bed house will only increase in value if you don’t sacrifice your garden or off-road parking to erect it. Similarly, if you have a disproportioned build e.g. if the downstairs accommodation is spacious and the bedrooms upstairs are tiny in comparison it could be problematic to sell in the future. 

If you can’t add value to your current home with a well-proportioned extension, then perhaps the better option is to move. You could look for a more spacious property, or perhaps be open to refurbishing and extending a different property which has more potential.

#3 Long term cost evaluation

If you can extend, in the correct way, it will add value to your property, which may be more noticeable if you plan to stay there for a long period of time. In reality if you are building an extension to add value and then move immediately, this may not always result in a financial benefit. It would depend on the style, location and size of your extension. In some cases extensions in the short term have a neutral impact on the cost of your property, due to the initial of the cost of the build. When you extend or move house there is always a risk that you won’t make your money back, so always do your research. 

#4 Can you cope with the stress of the build?

Finances aside, extending your home can be a lengthy and drawn out process. It can put a strain on family life, pets, personal relationships and your ability to put in 100% at work. 

If you opt for an extension, you will have planning, workmen, noise and mess to contend with throughout the building upgrade. If you opt for moving to a new house, it can be stressful, but usually the process for selling your house will be shorter than building an extension, but you have the risk of not being in the ideal area, new neighbours, upheaval and uncertainty.

#5 What are the benefits of extending your property?

If you decide an extension is the way to go, you can revel in the fact that you don’t have to pack up your belongings into boxes and keep your fingers crossed that nothing gets damaged along the way. You won’t have to tidy up every five minutes for prospective buyers who will likely be traipsing in and out of your house. There is no immediate need to declutter (unless you want to of course) and finally you’ll have a great sense of achievement once it’s complete! 

#6 Is it easy to get permission for an extension?

Refurbishments and extensions of properties is a growing trend in the UK, thanks to some recent changes in planning. Planning Laws have been revised, to assist with the Governments goal to solve the housing shortage in the UK. 

Homeowners now have the right to build rear single storey extensions on their properties. This change means that the number of people in the UK considering an extension in the next 3 years has gone up considerably. You should check how this affects your property and your local area as there can be some exceptions or stipulations.