Whether you have a growing family or you keep acquiring new pets, there will probably come a point in your life when you wish your home was a bit bigger. Most of us start off with a small property, usually because we can’t afford anything else. But over time, what was perfect for a singleton or couple soon starts to feel cramped.
It is at this point that we usually start looking enviously at property websites or scanning the property pages of the local press, wondering if we can afford to upgrade to a bigger home. So is it better to move to a larger property, or should you extend the existing one instead?
Sometimes the decision is taken out of your hands. If you live in a flat with no outdoor space, for example, there simply won’t be room to build an extension and moving to a larger property is probably the only viable solution. But if you have a large garden or spacious attic, there will be room to extend.
Reasons to Move
The costs associated with building a new extension can be considerable, especially if you are planning a technically difficult basement extension. It may also be uneconomical to extend a property in a less than desirable area, the reason being that you won’t recover the cost of the money spent when you come to sell. You may also decide to move because you want a property that is completely different to the one you currently have, or you fancy a change of scenery.
Reasons to Extend
In some areas where property prices are sky-high and homes are very much in demand it is definitely worth extending if you have the space to do so. As long as you don’t spend more than the property is likely to be worth once the extension has been completed, the increase in value will pay for the cost of renovation. The cost of building an extension is also likely to be cheaper than moving to a larger property in the same area. However, planning permission may be required for larger extensions and don’t underestimate the disruption caused when your home is temporarily turned into a building site.
Whether you decide to move or extend, finance is likely to be a major consideration, unless you are lucky enough to have oodles of cash to pay the bills. For most people, re-mortgaging is the only affordable way to finance a large home extension or move to a new property. So before you start planning your iceberg basement conversion or property upgrade, talk to your current lender to see if they are willing to finance the project. If you are planning an extension and you have a large amount of equity in your home, another alternative is to look at secure loans from
The bottom line is that it is not a straightforward black and white decision. If you are not sure which avenue is best for you, sit down and make a list of the pros and cons before you decide.