House Extension - Should You Move or Improve?
This is often a great debate and a ‘one liner’ that can extract all sorts of
emotions and view points from both sides of the fence. Estate Agents will argue that moving is always the best
option and I have seen some of their arithmetic that proves it and I can certainly make the same financial
arguments for staying put and improving or extending a property. - not that we both have a biased opinion of
However, like all things is life we live in the world of ‘grey areas’ often influenced by external situations
never making life as easy and simple as black and white answers.
As a general guide, I do think that everyone should consider what their options are for improving and extending
their home first before going full steam for a house move. I have seen many people in my time extolling the virtues
of their last home when they saw what the new owners had done to their previous property.
I hate to use some of the developer ethics here but even simply obtaining Planning permission on a property can
make it easier to sell, improve the properties price and provide access to a wider market.
I think you have to analyse your motives for moving and quite simply if the current area is not right for you
with regard to schools, sociability, access to local amenities (& the list is endless) then no amount of
extensions or improvements will satisfy the desire to move so you are best off moving.
Many people I visit when I get into their motives for extending actually wanted to move but
either could not obtain the price they thought the property was worth or simply couldn’t find the next upward level
of property that provided the space and location they desired within the price bracket available. These are my
‘frustrated home improvers’ now considering an alternative option of extending. Most never follow through to
implementing the build on site even after all the Council Approvals have been obtained.
Some of these ‘home extension improvers’ are very realistic and do realise that what makes a ‘nice home’ is not
necessarily having the status of an upmarket location or large size of property. Many home owners when forced to
make an audit of their current living arrangements including amenities, neighbours & local area are actually
very pleasantly surprised by what they already enjoy - the grass is not always greener!
These are my ‘nesters’ who normally have a 5 year minimum plan to enjoy the area and add space for the quality
of life aspect rather than simply doing it for the shear habit, process or peer pressure. I like these clients
where the financial gain of extending their home is not their first priority.
So, back to the original question - should you move or improve? Home is where the heart is so move if your heart
is not in your current home - it is as simple as that.