In our recent article What is happening to house prices in 2022? we looked at how house prices are likely to change this year, and how this might affect you if you are considering buying a new home in the near future.
But if you already own a home, another thing to consider is whether you would be better to move or to stay where you are and improve. It’s a big decision to make, and there are pros and cons to each.
So in this article we take a look at:
Three advantages and disadvantages of moving home
Three advantages and disadvantages of improving your home
Five ways to add value to your home
Moving home is a huge decision, but sometimes it can be the right one. Here are some of the factors to weigh up to help you decide:
You can choose a home and location that meet the specific needs of you and your family. In terms of the home itself, perhaps you need something bigger or smaller, a different layout, more or less outdoor space, or more parking. As for location, you may need to be closer to work or family, or perhaps just want to move to a particular town or street that you really like.
Moving home is a great opportunity to reorganise your finances. For example, if you can release some of the equity from your current home, it could enable you either to repay debts, make a major purchase, or fund some kind of lifestyle change.
If you are buying a more expensive home, this could be a good long term investment for you and your family, assuming the property market continues to grow.
Whilst moving home can help reorganise your finances, it is also an expensive process. As well as the cost of the property you are buying, you will need to pay stamp duty on any property worth more than £125,000. Then there are estate agents fees, removal fees, and also anything you need to spend on getting your home ready to put on the market. So you need to be prepared for these additional costs of moving. You will need to pay some of them before you actually move and sort out your money. So if there is a bit of a financial gap, remember that Minty offers low apr loans which could help.
Moving home can also be very stressful. So you need to consider what else is going on in your life at the moment and whether you have the headspace to move house. For example, if you have a new baby, illness in the family, or any other major stresses going on, it may be better to wait until things are a little more settled before throwing your energy into moving home.
You often need to put other plans on hold to help you move home. So if there is an important event coming up, such as a family wedding, or you already have travel plans sometime in the next few months, it can be really complicated to work around moving home as well. Otherwise you may find that everything ends up being the same date.
If you are happy in the home, area and community then you don’t need to leave it. You can make improvements to your home to make it more suitable for the current needs of you and your family.
You don’t have the hassle of moving. We’ve just explored how moving home can be stressful and can also take over your life for quite some time. But if you stay in your home you can save yourself a lot of these issues.
By improving your home you not only make it a better place for you and your family to live but – depending on the changes you make – you can also add value to your home. We look at this in more detail later in this article.
Major home improvements can be expensive. Not so much as moving perhaps, but you need to think carefully about the overall cost before starting work on your home. Make sure that you are in a position to finish what you have started.
Improving your home can also be disruptive, particularly if you are doing something like replacing a kitchen or bathroom. It will be well worth it in the end, but you need to be prepared for disruption, dust and dirt if you are doing major work in the home.
There may be some things that you can’t change. Depending on the age, type, and structure of your home, there may be some things that you are just stuck with. So when planning work on your home you need to be realistic about what is and is not possible.
If you do decide to improve your home, what are the best things to do to improve it? Ideally you want to do things that will not only improve the living space for you and your family, but also add value to your home so that if you do decide to sell in future, you will get your money back again.
The trick here is where possible to work within the space that you already have rather than adding on costly extensions. You would be surprised at how you can transform the space you have to make it not only look much better but be more practical for the needs of your family.
Here are five changes to consider that will improve your home and hopefully add to its value.
What is the first thing you notice as you approach your home? If everything looks a bit grubby, dated or messy it will not create the first impression you want. And, whether you realise it or not, this can bring your mood down even before you get through the door.
The good news is that with a bit of time and effort you can quickly improve the kerb appeal of your home. Simple measures like clearing the area outside the front of your home, cleaning your front door and windows, touching up paintwork, and adding hanging baskets, window boxes or plant pots can transform how good your home looks when you approach it.
Still on the topic of outside space, make the most of every inch! Off street parking makes life so much more convenient and, according to Direct Line, could add as much as 13% to the value of your home. So if you don’t already have it, check with your local council to see if you can create an outside parking space.
Also make the most of your garden if you have one. Make sure it is clear of rubbish and clutter, and patios, fences and decking are clean and in good order. Small enhancements such as garden lighting, a seating area, and a BBQ or fire pit add interest to the garden and give you more outdoor living space.
The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the role of the kitchen as the heart of the home. Many families now use it not just for storing and preparing food, but also for eating, entertaining, home working and maybe even exercising.
So it makes sense to do as much as you can to improve your kitchen. Even if you are not in a position to fund a complete kitchen refurbishment, some cosmetic changes – such as repainting, new cabinet doors, work surfaces, splashbacks or flooring can make a huge difference.
A completely new kitchen could add up to 10% to the value of your home, but even small kitchen improvements will help.
A completely new bathroom could add 4-5% to the value of your home. But small changes can also make a big difference to how your bathroom looks and feels. These include:
Painting the walls.
Replacing your bath, basin or toilet, leaving it in the same place to use existing plumbing.
Adding or updating a vanity unit.
Changing bathroom accessories such as mirror, cabinet, towel rail or blind.
Replacing the flooring.
In our recent article Is it time to make your pledge to the planet? we looked at ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Most of these were things that you can do on a day to day basis to reduce your carbon footprint.
But there are also many things that you can consider adding to your home to make it more energy efficient, and hence more attractive to future buyers.
Programmable timers for heating and hot water;
Loft and wall insulation;
Electric car charging point.
Definitely something to consider for many reasons.
We hope that the information in this article helps you in your decision about whether to move or improve in 2022.