To Move or Improve?

This age old real estate dilemma is faced by households all over the world. At the time of hunting for a new house, people are more concerned about the location, cost and design of the house rather than the space requirements they may face in the future.  Growing children, new arrivals and even a need for an office space can leave you feeling cramped in your house. When sharing a bathroom and bedroom are not an option anymore you have to decide whether you want to move to a new property or extend/expand the existing one.

Sometimes this decision is obvious. For example if you live in a flat you will have to move to a new property if you require more space. But when you live in a house that has a garden or an unused loft or garage then you must consider the option of extending your property as well. This is the option that is opted by most of the homeowners today. More and more homeowners are improving their properties rather than moving and there are many factors that are motivating them to do so.

Nowadays the housing market is quite sticky making it quite difficult for upsizers to move up the housing ladder.  In such a case going for extension is the right choice. According to a recent report by a British bank, the number of people moving home has almost decreased to half of what was ten years ago. Difficulty in upsizing and high moving cost are one of the main reasons why people don’t find buying a new house attractive anymore. In most cases, extension is affordable especially when you consider the real estate and stamp duty costs that you have to pay when buying a new house.

Another reason why homeowners are embracing house improvement is that it adds value to their property. Upgrading a two-bedroom to a three bedroom house can significantly boost its worth in the market. On an average it is found that adding a new bedroom can boost the rate by almost 12% while a loft conversion can take that value up to 21%.

Homeowners also get to choose the modification of their properties according to their own preferences. When you buy a new house you have to settle and adjust even if the place is not according to your liking. Staying put and extending your home means that you get to decide the size, material color and other aspects of your design. The entire process of moving can be quite stressful. You have to adjust the financial requirements, take care of the utilities, place your house on the current market and arrange the physical move. Extension on the other hand does not require any of the planning above.

Most homeowners are emotionally and personally attached to their homes. They don’t want to leave, be it for the love of the location, neighborhood, schools or the overall feel.  Extension means that you don’t have to say good-bye to the connection that you have established with this place and the people around it.

Overall, the popularity of extension among homeowners cannot be denied especially considering the state of the real estate market today. So if you are planning to move to a new location first do your math and consult an architect- you may be tempted to change your decision and get greater benefits in staying put.