Should I move or extend my new existing home?

For a number of homes, there comes a time when your home becomes somewhat of a squeeze. Growing children are filling the home, toys and noise making the available rooms seem a lot smaller than they used to be; Or simply a burgeoning business means an office at home will be preferable to your kitchen table, only if to keep butter from the paperwork.

So the main question is should you move somewhere bigger, or extend your home to make it large enough for you as well as your growing needs and activities?

In some situations you don’t have a choice, the decision is made for you. If you reside in an apartment without garden, you can do little to find potential space to increase or extending your living space through a conservatory. But if you have a home with outside space or a loft with enough headroom to conduct a loft conversion conducting a home improvement project extending your home’s livable space becomes a real opportunity.

Whether it makes more sense to move or to extend depends upon a variety of factors – the expenses involved, your own future plans, how invested you are in the local area, the area you are in and the sort of house you have.

Keys to your own home


Your location, and the amount of demand for your kind of home, could make a major difference to the financial implications of undertaking a home improvement project versus moving. “In high-value areas like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago for example it could be advantageous digging under the home to include a basement, build a conservatory or convert your loft to livable space. In other areas of the United States however it will not be worthwhile,” says Paulo Nogueira of Just Loft Conversions.

Keith Gorny, director at auction firm Marsh & Parsons, says of property in the administrative centre: “The truth is that if it is possible to extend, it is smart to take action from a financial perspective.” The expense of moving to a new house, he says, would far outweigh the price tag on extending your home.

However, the ultimate result must be a well-balanced, rational one. A four-bedroom family home with no garden or auto parking, or a residence with large livable space downstairs and small sleeping rooms upstairs, could be difficult if you want to sell in the foreseeable future. If you don’t plan to live there for a long period of time, you should avoid spending big money on expensive building work that means it is harder to market at a price which justifies the price of the alterations to your home, at a certain point no matter what you add to the property there is a ceiling at which people would not be willing to pay no matter how many alterations are made.

The expense of an extension is determined by your geographical area, the type of structure you choose to build, how complicated inevitable issues such as drainage, wiring and plumbing are and, of course, what size it will be. Nogueira says you will probably pay between $1,250 and $1,850 per square metre simply for the building works. Additionally, tax is charged at 20% on all construction work.

Moreover, you will probably spend from around 10% of the building cost on fees for architects, structural technicians, building regulations inspections and a planning agreement, should it be required by you. There could be extra costs involved if you want to manage without a kitchen or stay elsewhere as the work is performed.

The government’s Planning Site lays out the guidelines and explains what’s allowed without planning authorization, along with details how to apply if required. The cost for an extension to an existing property usually costs $15,000 – $40,000 ranging wildly from where the house is, how big the convertible space will be and exactly what type of project you want conducted.



“The costs involved with building an expansion are undeniably large” says Brendan Cox of Waterfords who also believes moving is a better option for many individuals.

“It isn’t always sensible to build upon your home,” says Cox. “After I value a residence people often ask me about both options, and I could show them why it is best to go move usually.

“For example a modern three-bedroom detached house in Fleet, priced at around $300,000. In the event that you increase it by around 300 square feet (about 28 square metres), that may run you cost $50,000 to $60,000. And by the end I’d say it might be worth around $350,000, so at best, it’s cost-neutral”.

Of course, there are many significant costs involved with moving too. You will need to pay property organization fees for the sales of your premises, lawyers’ fees and search fees, stamp duty on the house you are buying, removals costs, plus the price tag on decorating perhaps. “The expense of moving from a $125,000 even to a $250,000 house may very well be around $8,000,” says Cox.

Comparing the costs of moving and extending your house is not a fairly easy task. To get a basic idea though, you could require estimates on building work and add that to the present value of your house and see what type of properties you may buy for an identical budget. You might talk with local estate agent to get a concept of the type of improvement, if any, would charm buyers locally.


Finding The Funds to do Home Improvements

If you don’t have the money to pay in advance how genuine either option is could be because of 1 thing: the mortgage brokers.

You will need a considerable amount of equity in your premises before you consider borrowing more. David Hollingworth of a home home loans company says you’ll need at least 15% equity left in your premises after building works to obtain a reasonable selection of competitive re-mortgage products. The one thing that mortgage companies particularly hate is your home going into negative equity because if you default they lose money as they can no longer sell that home to fully recoup their losses.

“The end result is that borrowing is very hard, full-stop,” says Hollingworth. Lenders will apply the same testing and requirements whether you are borrowing to move homes or to extend or improve your current home. It might be much easier to refinance to extend your own property, as buying incurs costs which can impact how big is your deposit is.

Author Bio

Paulo Nogueira is the founder and Director of Just Loft Conversions a loft conversion company and online resource for home improvement tips and techniques. To read more of his works please check out his website at

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