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Do we need to move or improve?

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ShandyAndy_2ShandyAndy_2 Forumite
270 posts
Seventh Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
I have been contemplating moving house for years, 4 of us live here, me and wife and 2 daughters, the house is 2 bed mid terraced, rooms roughly 2 x 12x12 reception rooms, kitchen 14x6, we also have a parking space and garage, when we look at other houses much more expensive than ours they don’t seem any bigger, just laid out differently, especially the new build 3 bed detached, I want to convert the loft into a dormer conversion with small en suite, the loft is big and has good height, we also love our location and don’t want to move more than 1 mile away, I keep having these thoughts going around my head constantly as I now earn more money and we are still in effect living in our first home.

Our mortgage and bills are really low here, anyone else here either improved or moved? And could share their experiences?

I just can’t seem to make a sensible decision!. 


  • ka7eka7e Forumite
    2.6K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic
    My sister and BIL decided to extend into the loft so their 2 daughters could have a room each. They had problems re-inforcing the floor and making it fire retardant and had skylights instead of a full dormer put in, but it suited their needs. They are now having a full dormer put in (booked, but delayed due to shutdown) as the roof needs doing and they will combine the jobs. They also extended the kitchen into the side return, making it square with bi-fold doors into the garden. The house is lovely and will see them through into retirement and beyond, if necessary.
    "Cheap", "Fast", "Right" -- pick two.
  • ShandyAndy_2ShandyAndy_2 Forumite
    270 posts
    Seventh Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Thanks Ka7e that’s the kind of inspiration I’ve been looking for! 

    I would also also like to extend our kitchen at some point.

    Sounds lovely and still affordable!
  • Sian_JosetteSian_Josette Forumite
    8 posts
    Ninth Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Extending your property seems to be the done thing these days. Most people I know who have needed extra rooms, but want to stay in a much loved house have gone for that option. It’s usually cheaper than upsizing, or at least for them it was. And you get to choose exactly what you need. I have watched as neighbours have done this, one after the other, over the last couple of years. It’s interesting to watch the whole process.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
    41.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I still remember from the Which Guide to Buying / Selling / Moving house the obvious statement that the ONE thing you can't change about a house is its location. This is what's putting us off downsizing: we love the location, can't imagine living anywhere else. 
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  • FireflyawayFireflyaway Forumite
    2.7K posts
    Fifth Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    I'd stay and make the improvement. If you like the area and have no issues with neighbours it seems a lot of hassle and expense to move if you don't have to. Making the improvement will add value to the home if you do later sell but maybe you could stay and aim to pay the mortgage off sooner? That would be cool.
  • PiersHudsonPiersHudson Forumite
    16 posts
    10 Posts Photogenic
    I'm for the improvement, because to move it looks easy, but it's not
  • AlwaysPonderingAlwaysPondering Forumite
    71 posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    My wife and I were in a similar situation to you about 18 months ago. Still in our first house, a 2 bed semi, but with us both starting to work more from home and a son, we needed more space. But like you, if we did move didn't want to move too far away.

    We started to have some initial chats with local architects and builders, which gave us both an rough idea of what we'd likely be able to get planning permission for, and also rough ideas as to what it would cost. We were surprised that a couple of local architects were happy to sketch some very rough ideas down for us, and have that initial chat with us for free. We used those to show the builders. We then got a couple of estate agents around to give us a price on our house as it was, and got some rough online mortgage quotes. This way we knew what it would cost to stay and extend, but also what we'd have should we sell and look to move, and what we could afford to move up into.  Like many have said it is likely to be cheaper to stay and improve than move (don't forget stamp duty/estate agent fees/legal costs on moving)

    Obviously these were very rough figures, but at least it showed us broadly whether it made more sense to move or extend for what we wanted. With all of that, we concluded that moving was probably going to be best for us (largely as a result of the initial house layout, any extension would have meant either a rather strange ground floor layout, or having to pretty much remodel most of the back 2/3rds of the house).

    Before we came to a firm conclusion, I was offered another job about 70 miles away so we relocated, which solved the problem anyway.

    Hope this helps. 
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