Should I stay or should I go?

One of the most common dilemmas we see when called out to give an appraisal of a home is whether the owner is better off keeping their current home or moving to a new one.

We operate in a market dominated by family houses and often what seemed like a big house when the owner traded up from a flat or a cottage, soon starts to feel more of a squeeze as perhaps their children grow older and acquire more paraphernalia than they ever thought possible, the family further expands or working patterns change and they look for a sanctuary to work from home occasionally.

The decision then is a weigh up between the costs of extending vs. moving and the hassle of builders knocking the house around for months against the rigmarole of moving home. There are usually a few questions we would pose to get to the bottom of this conundrum.

Are you 100% happy with the location of your current home? Extending and refurbishing a home is of course costly and inconvenient, but if you’re happy where you are and intend to be there for a number of years then it will seem a worthwhile investment and a short term inconvenience over the years.

Things to consider are:

  • Is the location suitable for the schooling you have in mind?
  • Is there a niggle in the back of your mind that the road is too busy or noisy?
  • Is there a danger you’ll exceed the comfortable ceiling value in the road by “over gilding the lily”?
  • Is the plot big enough to keep a good balance of house and garden?
  • Does the property have the scope to add the accommodation you need?

If you can cross these off the list then it may be that staying put and extending are right for you. Once you’ve got a handle on what the costs and timescales of extending might be, we’d always be more than happy to advise on whether we think the project stacks up financially against the likely finished value or the property.

Depending on the scale of the project you may also need to factor in the cost of rented accommodation for a period. “Short lets” under 6 months are hard to come by, but again we’d be quite happy to assist in finding you somewhere to let whilst the work is underway.

If the above questions leave you with further doubts then it may well be that moving home is the right course of action. Of course moving is not entirely without cost or inconvenience either, but, if the costs of extending don’t stack up or the location or potential of the current home aren’t right then the answer becomes obvious.

We would strongly advise in the first instance getting your current home valued, and ensure that value is supported by recent evidence of similar sales, so you’re basing your plans on a realistic figure. Once you’ve got a handle on the likely value, speak to our mortgage partners at Carbon Finance for accurate guidance on what you can afford to borrow and what your associated costs will be, then speak to us about what your property options might be locally and we’ll happily give you all the information you need to make the final decision.

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