To Extend, or to Move, That is the Question
For many households, there comes a time when your home becomes a bit too small. Perhaps growing children started inviting their friends over and the noise they are producing is somehow making certain rooms appear not as large as they once did. Or perhaps you are planning on starting a home business. Both changes lead to the same question: should you move to a bigger place or extend the existing one to make it sufficiently large for the new circumstances? Here are pros and cons of each option.
Your location and the specific demands of your type of home can make a huge difference to the financial implications of moving versus extending. In high-value areas it can often be worthwhile digging under your house to add a basement, yet, in other parts it simply won't be worth it. In reality, if it is possible to extend, it is usually sensible to do so from the financial standpoint. The expense of purchasing a new house would in this case far outweigh the one of building.
Nevertheless, the final outcome of expanding has to be a well-balanced, rational home. A five-bedroom family house that has no parking or garden, or a home with vast living space downstairs and small bedrooms upstairs, could turn out to be problematic should you need to sell it at some point. Even if you intend to stay there for a long time, you will probably want to avoid spending loads of money on costly building work which makes it harder to sell.
The cost of extending is determined by the kind of structure you want to build, how big it is going to be, as well as the complexity of certain matters such as drainage. This aside, you can expect to spend additional 10% on fees for extension architects, structural engineers, planning permission and building regulations checks.
The cost of building an extension is undoubtedly substantial, and going through all the building work can often be wearing. As a result, many people think that buying is a better option, claiming that it is rarely a smart decision to extend. Unless you are talking about a property that is a really good fit for expanding (as a house in a posh neighborhood, for instance) and you are positively sure that you and your family are going to live there for a long time, it usually makes more sense to move.
This is not to say that moving isn't going to involve significant expenses, especially considering all of the fees for real estate agents and solicitors. The cost of moving from, say, $125,000 property to a $250,000 one is going to be about £10,000, especially when you think about all of the extra decoration cost you'll be incurring when moving to a bigger home.
Comparing the costs of extending and moving is far from an easy task. In order to get a clearer picture, you can ask for estimates on construction work and add this to the current value of your home and then see what kind of a property you can purchase for a similar budget. You can also talk to real estate agents and other professionals to get an idea of the kind of extension would appeal to potential buyers in your area.
Image courtesy of Wendy on flickr
About Lillian Connors
Lillian Connors is a blogger and home improvement enthusiast keen on doing different DIY projects around her house and passionately writing about them.