We’re so lucky that we’ve got a lovely 2 bedroom new-build with a garden and a double drive near the beach in our number 1 location. But there comes a time in every homeowner’s life when they look around their house and think “how did I ever think this place would be big enough?”. I always knew this day would come but buying a house on my own at 23 came with its limitations, and I wasn’t in a position to be overly choosy.
It’s surprisingly spacious considering our budget and plenty of space for us and our pets. We use our spare bedroom as an office that also has a sofa bed and a 5ft built in wardrobes, that doubles perfectly as a guest bedroom for when people come to stay. But as we get to the *scary* stage in our life where we’re thinking about having a family, we’ve been thinking a little bit more about space and looking at our options.
Below are a few things you need to think about when you’ve decided it’s time to pack up and move on.
Could you extend?
This may seem like a silly question, but you’d be amazed at how many people don’t even consider extending their homes before seeking out a solicitor for legal tips when selling property. Aside from the actual cost of a larger home, there is the added cost of removals and the stress of being slave to an onward chain.
Obviously, if you live in a flat then you won’t be able to extend the property, but if you live in a house with a sizeable back garden, you may benefit enormously from an extension. Not only is a two-storey extension cheap than the cost of buying and moving to a similar sized house, but it also adds more value to your home than the initial outlay, meaning that you have effectively made a profit almost immediately.
We’ve considered re-configuring our garden to create space for a small outdoor office, to free up our spare bedroom. This is cost effective and it’s much easier than getting builders in. Do some research into planning permission and quotes for the construction to see if this could be the most cost-effective option for you.
The chances are that if you are selling up due to a growing family, your current property is the largest that you could comfortably afford at the time. However, both you and your partner have since had raises and promotions at work, and the bank knows that you can be relied on to make your payments consistently.
Therefore, you will be able to borrow a bit more and set yourself up with a property big enough to see you through the foreseeable future. Consider whether your family is likely to grow further in the next few years. Will you be buying a dog? Do you like to have friends and family round for dinner parties and barbecues?
If you have young children, they likely don’t need much room for clothes and toys. However, as they get older they will require a significantly larger amount of room, and you should factor that into your considerations when choosing a new property.
This is another aspect that some people may not spend as much time thinking about as they should. If you have children in school, you are likely to want to stay fairly close to your current location. However, if they have not reached school age yet, or you haven’t yet started a family, you have a huge amount of freedom to relocate and put yourself in a better financial position.
You could consider moving to an area that has a slightly less prestigious address to save yourself a bit of money on the larger home. Or you could relocate to an entirely different part of the country that has the potential to offer a larger property for less than the cost of your current home, putting you in a hugely beneficial position. We’ve considered this as we’d love to live in the country but leaving family and friends behind in Cornwall would be really tough. Take some time to think carefully about what will benefit you most in the long run.
Hopefully, this has given you some food for thought on some of the options available to you when you need to search out a bigger home. Always remember to be patient and take your time, the perfect house could fall into your lap tomorrow.