Figuring out if you should extend or move home is a tough thing to do. Largely, it comes down to your personal and financial situations, but generally, they are both more than viable options. The biggest deciding factors are usually in payment situations, practicality, and value for money.
Each of these three things is a huge influence on your decision for the most part, especially if you are on the fence between extensions or moving home. Neither of them are particularly easy things to do, but with the right advice, they are both still very possible.
One of the first places that people tend to look in the extension vs moving argument is with payment. Neither of these processes is cheap to carry out. Very few things related to the property are, after all. It’s a huge process requiring hours of work no matter which way you look at it. Sometimes though, the space is simply worth more than anything.
Generally speaking, the options you have in the mix here come from savings, mortgaging potential, other loans or credit, and equity. Any one of these can be significant enough to sway your decision, but a combination of them is also common to see.
One of the most common ways to pay for an extension or a house move for that matter is with mortgaging. By revaluing your property with a mortgage provider, you can sell the equity that you have built up in your property for cash, and then use this cash for the extension or the move that you want.
Generally speaking, house extensions will be the more expensive of these options, but they do also offer instant equity upon their completion since they of course increase your property value. You may be able to use the equity you have already to move into a larger house instead, however, but that depends on the value of your new property in many cases.
Another method of paying for an extension or for moving costs comes from any savings that you have managed to accumulate. This is of course situationally specific, but if you do have the savings available, it can be an incredible way to save money and get a great return on your investment, for multiple reasons. That goes for both moving or extending.
Extending will generally require you to use more of your savings, but again like mortgaging, it will usually offer you an instead return through increased equity when your property is next valued or sold. Alternatively, you can use your savings to pay for the legal fees, stamp duty or removal costs when moving, which is likely cheaper, but of course, then this money is simply spent. Your new property could be worth more or have a better appreciation, but that’s all dependent on where you choose to move.
An alternative to both savings and mortgaging is getting credit for your extension or for your house move. Bank loans are a prime example of this since you can get access to instant funds for your build or for your move. The only drawbacks may be a higher rate of interest, or perhaps difficulty gaining the loan in the first place.
The next gigantic factor in the move or extend debate is usually the practicality for you in your situation with ether option. Both are generally high effort tasks after all. Moving is actually said to be one of the most stressful experiences of a person’s life according to many studies, with building work also having the potential to be a hassle if it’s not managed well. There’s even more to it than just stress, too.
Looking at the practicality of moving home, rather than extending, there are some unique factors. Firstly, you have the market to consider. After all, you want to move somewhere that meets your criteria after all for both location and a property you love. You certainly don’t want a housing shortage. You also need to get the right price for your property, find a buyer in the first place. There’s a lot of room for issues.
Extending your property instead of moving can also have its stresses too, but it can be more practical just as easily. With extending, once you have the money, you can stay in the house you love and make it even better. You know the area, you save on the wasted fees, and you increase your property value. More so, you also create a layout that you love, because it’s all tailored to you and your needs. The only downside is that you have to go through the build process which can take a few months, but with the right project management and good timing, that’s rarely much of an issue for more than a few weeks.
Finally, there is also the value and cost factor to consider when you’re looking at extending or moving home. Making the most of your money is always important after all, and that goes much further than working out how you can finance your project as we explored above.
The biggest money losses from moving home come from the fees that come along with it. Stamp duty for example in the UK is usually a few thousand pounds depending on the value of your property. When you’re spending £275,000 on a home, for example, £1250 on stamp duty is steep. Estate agents when you sell your home can cost 1-2% of your property value too, which can be a few thousand pounds. You then also have your solicitors’ fees to account for £1000+ depending on which services your specific situation needs. Removal companies then add to this again at roughly the same costs… The list goes on.
The value of extensions is much a different ball game in comparison to the value of moving in most ways, however. You do have the fees involved, of course. You can get architectural drawings, planning applications, building regulations, builders, contractors, decorating… It all adds up. The difference however is that it’s all being done to your property, and it’s all adding value. You are increasing what your home is worth to sell, which will increase over time. That can dramatically reduce the long-term costs and increase your quality of life at the same time.
All in all, if you’re still not sure if you should extend or move home, the answer usually lies with how you feel about where you live and what you can afford to do the easiest. Extending gives you the freedom to transform the home you love into something better without turning life upside down for a few months. Moving offers you new opportunities and a new home, but it does come with a lot of stress too. Ultimately, it’s all down to you and your situation.