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Improve or Move? The Choice is Yours

  • 5 years ago

It’s quite possible to suddenly look around your home and feel that it’s too small, stale, boring or too big. What was once your cosy nest is feeling tired and cramped, or empty and echoey, so you start to think about moving. Should you stay and improve your space instead, though?

The advantages of improving

You can personalise the place more and probably add some value. By renovating or remodelling your home, you can really make it yours, or bring it up to date so that when you do decide to sell, you’ll get a better price for it.

Do bear in mind, though, that your home will have a ceiling price, dictated by the area, that even the most amazing improvements won’t break through. You should make the improvements for yourself as much as for profit.

The disadvantages

No matter what improvements you make, your home will still be in the same locale, so if it’s the area you’re unhappy with, that won’t change much.

Renovations are really messy and stressful, too. They’re also messy and stressful for a few months. If you’re having your kitchen ripped out and remodelled, you may be eating ramen for weeks!

The advantages of moving

You get an amazing new home without piles of rubble or doing the washing up in the bath. You could also have a bigger (or smaller) space to match the stage of life you’re at, a better layout, bigger garden or better amenities like schools.

The disadvantages

You might have to move and still do some work

You may be moving into a doer-upper, or somewhere that has an “interesting” range of interiors that really do need some new paint. In this scenario, you have the stress of moving and then the stress and effort of decorating or remodelling.

Moving can also be very expensive, usually over £10,000 at least. The money you spend on a move doesn’t add to the eventual value of your new home – stamp duty, solicitor’s fees, the removal people – all this money vanishes into the ether as soon as you’ve parted with it.

So, what to do?

If you’re genuinely on the horns of a dilemma, then it’s a good idea to find out what a move is likely to cost and where you could move to so you know what you’re spending and what you’ll get.

Similarly, you should find out what improvements you can make, both in terms of cost and in practicability. Talk to builders and architects, as well as your planning office, to see what’s possible and how it can improve your life and your eventual selling price.

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