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Should you extend your home or move house?

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As your needs change over time, you may find you wish you had more space or a different type of space at home. We take a look at whether it might work best to extend your existing accommodation or whether moving house would be a better option.

If you have started working from home, you have a business that is expanding or you have babies or growing children, there will often come a time when your living space is no longer right for your needs. If you have outside space with the potential to extend or a loft space with high enough roof height, you could consider doing the work to create more living area.


The benefits of extending

Extending is almost always a cheaper option than moving home, unless you would be taking on a huge project such as digging out a floor below ground level, which is usually only done in London. The costs of moving include Stamp Duty, which can often be substantial, estate agents’ fees, mortgage arrangement fees, legal fees, searches, a survey fee, removals and Land Registry fees. Plus, you may want to carry out minor work once you are in your new home, such as decorating and putting in new curtains or flooring. Added together, this will be a sizeable sum.

An extension will add value to your property, although it will not necessarily cover the amount you spend, depending on your plans. It is also important to consider your property overall and make sure that the rest of it is in proportion. For example, if you are adding an extra bedroom or two, you might want to ensure that you have the other things that a family will be looking for, such as a garden and off-street parking.

If you will be making a big, impressive downstairs area, buyers might also expect good sized bedrooms upstairs. If your bedrooms won’t live up to this expectation, then moving might be a better option.

You will need to make sure that the works you are considering are likely to be approved by your local planning department. You can check what is allowed without consent and what restrictions there are on the government website. You will generally need to obtain building regulations approval after the works are complete. When you do come to sell your property, your buyer will ask to see this.

If you are particularly attached to your neighbourhood, or your children are settled at a good school, extending is often the preferred option, especially in areas where it is hard to buy a property.


The benefits of moving

Moving means that you won’t need to deal with sourcing builders and living through the mess of having an extension or loft conversion carried out. It also gives you the opportunity to move to a new area.

You can choose a property that is already suitable for your needs. Whilst you will have the expense of selling and buying, it can be an easier option – particularly for busy individuals, those who are working at home, or families with young children. It also means you can look for other features that you might like that you couldn’t achieve by altering your existing home, such as a larger garden or a different aspect.

In deciding which is the best option, you could price up the cost of an extension or loft conversion and have a look at the amount the work is likely to add to the value of your home. You can also estimate the amount it would cost to move home.


Contact us

If you would like to speak to one of our expert property lawyers about moving house or extending your property, ring us on 01252 733770 or email us at