Should I improve my home or move?
If you need more space or are unhappy with the way your home looks, this can be solved without packing up everything and moving somewhere new. Improving your home can be a good investment option too as it means that when you eventually are confident about selling you could up the price. For example, an extension that costs £30,000 to £50,000 could increase your selling price from £75,000 to £100,000.
Home improvements such as extensions and replacing or changing the position of walls can not only add to the amount of living space you will have but also change the layout of your property so that it will seem as though you’re living somewhere completely new. Remember that moving can come with a lot of hidden costs including stamp duty tax, estate agents fees and conveyancing fees. Ultimately, you could be better off forking out for a complete refurbishment rather than for a completely different house.
How will it affect my finances?
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s vital that you can afford to move house before you fully commit to doing so. If you’re already a homeowner, you’ll know how much of a huge financial commitment it is and how important it is to consider your assets, income and outgoings before you work out if you can afford to upgrade.
Online tools such as a budget calculator can help you work out if you can afford a higher mortgage by taking you through everything your household may spend throughout the year. Once you’ve committed to moving, remember the importance of negotiation. Choose an estate agent that will push for a lower deposit, lower purchase price and who will be direct with the seller if things in your new home need fixing or replacing.
What is the market value of my home?
Working out the market value of the home you’re currently living in can give you more control over your property taxes, insurance and ultimately, the eventual sale of your home. You can hire a professional such as Flambard Williams to estimate the market value of your home or do it yourself. For this, you’ll have to consider things such as external characteristics, internal characteristics, location and supply and demand. Use a sales comparison approach to estimate your home’s market value by researching the price that other similar properties in your area have been sold for.
Shall I stay in the same area or move further afield?
There are a number of major factors that could contribute to the decision of moving house, and one of the main ones is location. Many people tend to move to a different area for a job or to be closer to family and friends but if neither of these things applies to you, consider your exact reasoning for wanting to move somewhere new.
If you’re unhappy with the area you currently reside in, is this because of a problem in a relationship or your current career? If the answer is ‘yes’ then perhaps instead of moving you could change your situation in a different way. If not, then moving further afield comes with its own advantages and disadvantages and can affect your emotions even more than if you were to move a few streets away.
Do I need more space?
Consider whether or not you want to upgrade for more space or downgrade to a smaller property. Downsizing has become an increasingly popular move with elderly couples whose families have flown the nest and may need somewhere more suited to their age or ill health. The advantage of downsizing is that you will be able to use a larger portion of the money from your initial home in a more flexible way.
When you’re looking to buy a new home, think about things in the long-run. Realistically, how much space will you need in a few years time? If you’re planning on growing your family, you may want to consider a number of extra bedrooms but on the other hand, buying too large a house will mean that you’ll be spending more on electric, maintenance and taxes.
Am I emotionally ready?
The process of moving house is often in the top 3 when it comes to lists regarding the most stressful events in our life and has been known to cause more anxiety and depression than events such as long-term relationship breakdowns and starting a new job. As well as anxiety, some of the feelings that can run through our minds when moving home include loss, fear, regret and sadness, none of which are particularly pleasant.
A lot of people struggle when it comes to coping with change, and moving house can often be a huge transition from a place that is familiar to one that is completely unknown. Most people like routine and order and when they uproot to a new home this is disrupted.
There’s no doubt that moving home will be an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish but you should always remember that if you’re moving for the right reasons, it can be a hugely beneficial event and will open a lot of doors for you in the long-run.