Home & Garden

When to extend versus when to move house

It’s hard to imagine what life will be like in ten years’ time when, as a young couple, you buy your first home together. I knew when I bought my first house with my boyfriend (now husband) that we needed two bedrooms as he had a young son who would be coming on weekends to stay. I didn’t give any thought to what we would do once we had children of our own.

Since that time my step-son is now a strapping mid-teenager and my husband and I have two daughters. We are still in the same tiny house, and I can tell you for certain that it is not easy. It’s hard to weigh up whether we should consider moving or whether we should extend here.

A lot of our life together has been driven by money, or lack of it, although things are getting easier as time goes by. Now, when I think about moving, I consider other factors that I wouldn’t have done when we first bought this house such as paying the mortgage back, the age of my husband and the cost of all the associated fees.

We do have a plan to extend our house if we don’t move, but it still won’t give us more bedroom space as we would need to move the bathroom from downstairs to upstairs. However, it would mean that we have a large-ish kitchen diner, complete with doors to the garden and a beautiful master bedroom. The benefit of this is that we wouldn’t need to leave our amazing countryside location, the mortgage wouldn’t take a giant leap and most importantly, we would actually have a chance of being mortgage-free at some point albeit not for years and years.

If you are trying to work out the pros and cons of extending your home vs moving house then I’d say an affordability calculator and a spreadsheet will be your best friend. You’ll need to factor in an increase in Council Tax, home insurance and utility bills if you upgrade your house. There will also be the associated costs such as solicitors fees, stamp duty and estate agent fees. Make sure to add in the findings from the affordability calculator, including the increased cost of repayments and you’ll have a pretty good picture to analyse the best solution for you, your family and your future.

Everybody’s situation is unique and their hopes and dreams are different too. Have a look at what the benefits are for moving. Would you outgoings change considerably? Would it put a lot of strain on your finances? Or would the extra space benefit you greatly. Perhaps this would outweigh the struggles you may have with living in your current home. We aren’t fully sure what we would do as we are waiting until our girls get to secondary school and we can then make that call. But at least using an affordability calculator now will give us some idea of what might work. That way we can start budgeting and saving and will hopefully eventually be able to make the best decision for us and our family.

I hope you found this advice useful? If you have been contemplating whether to stay where you and extend your current home or to move somewhere new, just make sure that you take your time with the decision and know that both options could potentially work well. Remember the phrase ‘fail to prepare. prepare to fail’….

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