Should You Extend Your Property or Look for A New Home
It is one of those never-ending debates related to home improvement. For a lot of households, living space has become a scarce resource as families grow larger. A few extra square meters will probably solve everything, but this means that you will either have to extend your property or move to a more spacious place. And this is not an easy decision you can make on the fly, is it?
Both options are time-consuming and come with their respective pros and cons. We will examine each of them below so that you can determine what works best for you:
The Advantages of a Moving Home:
You get a fresh start. A change of scenery is always exciting for the whole family. Also, you will finally get your chance to escape from your loud neighbors, which is something that everybody should strive for if they hope to live a longer and much happier life. Some things you consider before moving into a new home:
- You will settle in a better area. Nobody moves out into a new neighborhood without checking if it’s objectively better than their last, and neither will you. Once you have made up your decision, consider relocating to the part of town that is closest to your workplace, friends, and family to avoid the hassles of public transportation or getting stuck in traffic.
- You will enjoy a larger outdoor space. If you have a dog or plan to host epic BBQ parties, then a backyard is a must. The convenience of having an outdoor space opens up many possibilities and will come in handy if you plan to add extensions in the future.
- You will have better access to local amenities. Moving to a livelier area provides you with access to all kinds of places, such as gyms, shops, bars, and other public venues.
The Disadvantages of a Moving Home:
- Selling or buying a property can be exhausting. From contacting various estate agents and advertising your home both offline and online, to arranging viewings and figuring out all the legal costs in between, moving home is anything other than boring.
- House prices will rarely be in your favor. House prices on the property market are constantly fluctuating, which may mean that your “perfect house” may be just out of your reach. If you don’t plan on leaving the city soon, then you should extend to save money.
- Fees, fees, fees! Unfortunately, the moving costs are not limited to your new mortgage payments and your removals company. You have to pay estate agents a fee once they sell your former home, cover the stamp duty of your new property, and will probably need furniture for your new home. Tenants in this regard have it easier, although they will have to book a professional deep cleaning if they want to leave their property in a pristine condition.
Keen on Extending Your Home? Here Is What You Need to Know…
The decision on whether you should extend will mostly depend on your location, as well as on how popular your current type of home is among property buyers. If, however, the market demand isn’t particularly high and you have some free outdoor space to work with, investing in a home upgrade might be a good idea… if you carefully consider each of the following factors first.
Ensure that the space will be enough.
Measure the square meters of your available space. If you do have enough space to build a garage or whatever it is you’re planning, consider the scale of your project first since bigger extensions can get expensive pretty quickly. You will also need to pay a 20% VAT.
Get permission from your local council.
Before doing anything at all, give your local council a call and ask for a plan of the ground area. While receiving this plan will not necessarily mean that you can immediately start working on your upgrade, you will at least confirm that you are allowed to build something on this site.
Hire an architect.
To really see if your project is going to work out, you will need to hire a professional architect. Usually, most building companies have that box checked as part of their “extension package” deal, but you can also ask your council for recommendations. Once the initial plans are prepared, you will need to submit them to the council in order to obtain planning permission and building regulation approval. Keep in mind that you will have to pay a fee for each permission.
Calculate the price of your extension.
If you have decided to build the extension yourself, calculate the costs of the materials and equipment upfront. Make sure to properly research the pros and cons of alternative solutions. A great example is the misconception of MDF vs solid wood. However, if you are not confident in your construction skills, you can also hire contractors. Although more expensive, this option will guarantee you that you will receive the best bang for your buck and that your modification will meet all building regulations.
There are other potential costs you need to be aware of. Such can be the services of structural engineers and quality surveyors. You should also be ready for your quote to change at any time should any problems arise during the construction work. Last, but not least, you will also need to plan your decorating and outdoor furnishing expenses accordingly once your extension is complete.
Consider the purpose of your upgrade.
A day may come where you will need to sell your home and move out to pursue a new career or raise a family. This is why it is so important to pick an extension that adds actual value to your property. For instance, if you have a house that features three bedrooms, but lacks a parking space or a garden, you may need to focus on these things first before expanding your home in any other way, or you will have a really hard time selling your property to prospective buyers.
The Final Verdict
As you can see from everything written so far, home extension is not necessarily superior to moving out, and vice versa. It all depends on the current circumstances you find yourself in.
For example, sometimes this choice will be already made for you. If you live in a flat that lacks a garden, there is really no point in planning any extension work at all since it will not be feasible.
However, if you have a home, some unoccupied outside space to play with, and don’t mind on staying in the area for just a while longer, then make sure to look give both options your undivided attention in order to make an informed choice you won’t end up regretting later.
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