Should I stay or should I go? Your guide on whether the grass is always greener….
It can be an exciting proposition to sell a current home and move into a larger or different one, but it can also be stressful. Whatever the reasons, there’s lots to consider before either upping sticks or downing tools and hopefully our hints and tips will put you on the right track to a new or existing project.
Deciding whether to renovate or relocate is an issue homeowners will face at numerous times of their life – perhaps your current home was only supposed to be a stop-gap or there’s children on the way and you’re worried about space? Maybe a new venture means you’ll need a home office or you’re bored of your current look & style and simply don’t feel inspired to refresh the home you’ve lived in for so many years?
Look around you – consider the here and now:
Take a look at your neighbourhood and the houses within it. Are the houses very similar, with “cookie-cutter” designs? Are there restrictions by the developer or builder regarding structure design? Since renovating the home will affect the home’s resale value, the type of area you currently live in could affect your decision. The question is, how much? A kitchen is a low-risk renovation because it adds to the resale value, however, a basement may take longer to sell.
Change what’s right under your nose
Sometimes all it takes to change your mind set of a property is some simple redecoration. What about replacing the flooring throughout your home? Perhaps exchanging your tired-looking carpet for beautiful, glossy laminate flooring or laying thick shaggy rugs, or wonderful, warm carpets in bedrooms? For a fraction on the cost of moving you could find yourself making a house a home in no time.
Where others lead you will follow…
Scan papers and online to see what similar properties are on the market for. Consider them as a benchmark for the sale of your home and weigh up the amount you realistically want to spend – there’s no point spending extortionate amounts on a renovation you’re only planning on staying in for the next 5 years if you know there’s no chance of reaping your costs back.
It’s a fact that most families spend a huge percentage of time in the kitchen. If you’re bored of looking at the same old tired cupboards but haven’t a huge budget to play with why not keep the carcasses and simply replace the doors? You can often find great ‘end of line’ styles that are under half the cost!
Budget budget budget
Annoyingly, as with most things, money really does play a huge part in your relocation v’s renovation decision. If you choose to renovate ask yourself “how much am I willing to spend” and if you’re planning to relocate make sure you’ve looked at all the costs involved so you don’t find yourself struggling as the invoices roll in. Stamp duty, estate agent fees, survey’s and solicitor’s fees all add up to a hefty sum; and, because you’re buying and selling, it will be for two transactions. Is this amount greater than the cost of renovation? If so, renovation may be the better choice.
Don’t just shake on it
Utilise expert advice. Whether you decide to stay or leave, make sure you get the very best advice to ensure you make a decision you can live with.
Always seek legal advice before signing a contract for the sale, purchase or extension of a house.
Structural Engineers & Architects
If you’re planning on extending or want to examine the potential for extension on a future property, an initial consultation with an architect is essential. Engineers will give you an idea as to how much your project will cost, building alternatives, a time frame, and even if it will meet council regulations before expensive architectural plans are drawn.
Have some heart – consider everyone…
You may want to make a clinical decision about whether to stay or leave, but allow a little time to consider your current circumstances. What’s the neighbourhood like? Do you get on with your neighbours? Would you miss the close-knit community and how would your children feel about moving to a completely different setting? It’s important to be practical but it’s also important to pay some attention to your social situation. After all, good friends and neighbours are hard to find.
Renting but want to get on the housing ladder?
The government is offering lots of schemes (like this FirstBuy scheme) to help first time buyers or those on lower incomes get on the property ladder.
Find out more about a range of home move services – all in one place.