Improve or move?

Think it’s time to move home? Well perhaps you should think again. A few years ago it may have been easier to climb the property ladder but the process has now become a whole lot more expensive. With stamp duty, estate agent payments and solicitor fees you will end up spending thousands of pounds before you even move in, and then you’ll have a larger mortgage too.

Research from the Halifax shows the average cost of moving home as follows:

  • House valuation: £300-£600
  • Conveyance: £400-£600
  • Estate agent fees: 1-2% of property value
  • Stamp duty: 1% on homes from £125,000-£250,000, 3% on homes from £250,000-£500,000, 4% on homes over £500,000

With the average house price in the UK at £196,893, that’s stamp duty of nearly £2,000 plus a further £4,000 in estate agent fees.
As house prices continue to rise you won’t be getting a significant amount more by making the switch.

Jeremy Leaf, an estate agent and spokesman for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), says: “Moving up the ladder is very difficult. Often, people are looking to make two ‘jumps’ – a bigger home in a better area – which makes it doubly difficult.

“They’re increasingly thinking, is it worth the effort? The leap between a three-bed and a four-bed house is particularly hard. Four-bed houses are popular, relatively rare and usually considerably larger and in better areas.

And you’re competing with people who are settled in the area, with good friends, schools, jobs, who are prepared to pay the extra.”

It’s these reasons that have pushed homeowners into changing their outlook. Essentially you’ll move home to get extra space, so instead of doing this why not make the most of your existing property.
There are various ways of doing this. First off you could consider an extension, but whether it’s a conservatory or brick construction you’ll have to go through the process of planning permission and wait for approval, which involves the council speaking to neighbours and asking for any concerns to be raised.

So what should you be thinking about instead? Garage and loft conversions are excellent ways to make the most of wasted space in your home and turn it into a bright and modern room. Not only will you save money by not moving, but the basic infrastructure is already in place, keeping conversion costs down.

An extra bedroom appears to be the most popular conversion option and adding a bedroom ensuite will increase the value of your home by as much as 20%. Other options include a bathroom and garages can be used to extend the kitchen/diner too.


Facts & Figures You’ll Love To Share

  • A garage conversion will add thousands of pounds to your home’s value and bring much needed space to the property.
  • Unless the exterior is altered, on most occasions you won’t need planning permission to convert your garage.
  • Garage conversions are a cheaper alternative to moving home which could set you back thousands of pounds in fees and charges.
  • A garage conversion can be used for whatever your home needs, including an extra bedroom or bathroom, or an extension to the kitchen.

Evy Coe

Evy works for Quotatis as a Content Marketing Executive. She loves to write about interior design and help homeowners with their DIY projects.