Outgrowing your home? You don’t have to move

Family circumstances change over time particularly as the children grow, adding their share to the accumulating possessions that take up space, as well as perhaps needing somewhere private to entertain friends or to study.

Or it may be that an elderly relative can no longer live independently and you are considering having them live with you.

When a simple declutter is no longer enough to create more space you might assume there is no option other than to move.

But is that really true?  Could you instead extend your existing home?

What to consider when comparing a house move with extension

In both cases there will be some disruption and it may continue for some time.  The typical house purchase and move, without any hiccups, chains and other complications takes five months from offer to completion.

However, the disruption continues after the move, from the time spent in notifying all sorts of authorities of an address change, to the unpacking and the often necessary calling in of various trades to sort out issues that might be revealed once the house is empty.

Costs are another factor. Solicitors’ fees, mortgage brokers’ fees, agents’ fees, stamp duty, removals companies, paying off the final bills on the former property because of the time lag in transferring utilities, council tax and the like.  It can all mount up and can be anything between £10,000 and £20,000.

Then there is the location, the schools, amenities, the social networks and facilities that may be lost.

The advantages of staying put and extending

While there is no denying that there will be disruption if you decide to stay put and extend an existing home, the money invested will add value to your property.

Costs will include advice and design fees to architect, planning consent and builders’ fees.  Comparing the cost of extending to moving by adding the cost of the proposed works to the existing property value and the cost of buying the space ready built will help. Generally staying put and extending will work out cheaper as well as adding value to the property.

Finding an experienced and well-known local builder, who can act as project manager and steer you through the whole process is crucial and a good investment.  Their advice will be invaluable and ensure there are no costly errors.

Another critical factor in favour of staying put and extending is that you retain control. Moreover, you will end up with exactly what you want, where you want it, which is rarely the case when buying another home, leading to additional costs in having work redone in the new home to suit your needs and taste.

On balance, we at Footings Direct would advise that if your house has the potential for extension, whether by adding a conservatory, converting an attic or a basement you will get a better deal, that is exactly to your requirements.  You can remain in a location you know well and like, your children will be able to stay at the same school and maintain their networks…..

….and while there will be some disruption, it will not be the disruption that can come when home moves are delayed where there is a long chain of buyers and sellers.