Should I move or extend my house?
This is a common conundrum; whether to sell up and move home or build an extension to increase the size of your property. The decision depends on how much more space you need, what sort of budget you have to spend and how much equity you own in your home. With a typical extension costing from at least £1,500 per m2 it is worth taking the time to weigh up the pros and cons of each option.
How much does it cost to move house?
Moving home is about more than the cost; it is about the inconvenience, stress, trying to find a buyer for your house and the volatility of the housing market. There are also other concerns with moving home such as:
- Finding an area you would like to live in
- Needing to move schools or places of work
- Leaving behind a community that you enjoy being part of
- Commute times and distances between friends and family
The costs of moving home include:
- Estate agents fees to sell your home
- Solicitors costs
- Search fees
- Stamp duty
- Removal costs
- Survey charges
- Decorating / renovation costs
On average, it costs £8,000 - £10,000 to move home, not including the cost of the property.
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How much is Stamp Duty if I decide to move home?
If an extension is not right for you, then relocating may be the best option. However, you need to consider all the costs involved.
First-time buyers can claim zero stamp duty when purchasing a home costing between £125,000 and £250,000, but if you are relocating this probably does not apply.
For homeowners, stamp duty costs 5% on properties valued between £250,000 - £925,000 so is a sizable cost to bear in mind.
How much does it cost to build an extension?
When deciding whether to extend your home, you need to think about the costs, the benefits, and what the return on your investment will look like.
If your reason for extending is primarily to improve the market value of your property it could be worth commissioning a surveyor or valuer to help you understand what your home is currently worth, and what it might be worth with the extension you have in mind.
An element of uncertainty is the housing market. If you were to extend your home by around 28m2 it would cost somewhere around £50,000-£60,000 depending on the size, materials and location of your extension.
If this were to increase the value of your home by £50,000, the cost of the extension might break even or even cost £10,000 more than the increase in value. However, when considered against the costs of moving home, it may be the most cost-effective option.
What type of extension adds the most value to a home?
A lot of the valuation factors will depend on what area you live in. Built-up urban areas with restricted street parking or expensive permits will increase significantly in value with the relatively low cost of adding a garage extension.
Loft conversions that create one additional bedroom and a bathroom can add around 20% of value to the property. Creating an additional bedroom without an ensuite will add around 10%.
Choosing to add a downstairs WC will add around 5% to the value of your home, or a simple extension like a conservatory or sunroom will add around 10% to the saleable value.
In London, homeowners will often see a high return on a relatively small investment. For example, if you were to add an extension costing around £50,000 in central London, affording an extra bedroom and bathroom and perhaps an extended living space, you would see an uplift in value of over £200,000.
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Frequently asked questions
How to choose an extension to protect the long-term value of my home?
Creating an extension may be an option to avoid needing to move and incur all the other stresses of selling your property. However, if you invest in a conversion and are interested in the saleability and value of your property, it is worth thinking about what sort of extensions are more valuable long-term.
One of the main issues with extensions is being unbalanced. This means either having lots of bedrooms with very little living space or having a large ground floor with only one or two bedrooms.
Creating a balanced property with enough living areas and bathrooms to match with the number of bedrooms is the best option.
Another factor is the local area, and what sort of housing is available. If your property can easily accommodate extra space to offer an enviable layout when compared to other homes on your street it may be much more saleable.
How long does it take for an extension to increase the value of my home?
Most extensions will take some time to appreciate, and of course, the housing market will impact the saleable price of your property.
Whilst you can have your home revalued immediately after your extension is complete, the increase in value will accumulate over time.
If you are investing in an extension it should be considered a long-term investment, adding more value to your property over the years proportionately against increases in market value.
What other factors should I consider when deciding whether to move or extend?
Erecting an extension means not needing to move home, and saving on the costs of relocation. However, there are disruptions that you should be aware of before making a decision.
Planning permission is one factor; if your extension is relatively small to the size of your property and does not impact adjoining walls, you may be able to build under Permitted Development (PD) and avoid the planning process.
If you live in a Conservation Area or a Listed Building you will need planning permission and the process can take several months.
The other consideration is how long the building work will take, and how you will manage to live around the disruption and noise involved. If you need a fast solution, then be aware that an extension takes around three to six months to build, so won't provide an immediate resolution to your space challenges.
If you decide on an extensive conversion, it can sometimes be preferable to live off-site whilst the most disruptive works take place.
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