For homeowners desiring more space in their homes, one question is asked:‘Should I extend my home or purchase a bigger one?’ This question is so multifaceted with answers for different people all over the country. For some, the investment in your existing home offers immediate and long-lasting benefits. For others, it can be simpler to put your home on the market and upgrade to a more spacious property.
There are plenty of factors to consider when debating whether an extension is worth it. Within this article, we’ll offer some insights and arguments for both sides of the debate. Just like many of the surveys and conveyancing services we provide here at My Conveyancing Specialist, our goal is to create a simple and straightforward moving process. Making the decision whether or not to move is a stressful decision. Take a step back, consider all the arguments and make a considered decision that you can be proud of.
To sell or extend: that is the question.
If you’re stuck in this decision process, you might find some comfort in hearing what other Brits have to say about the debate. According to TSB bank, 41% of homeowners would rather build an extension than move house. In addition to this, 35% of this group suggested they would remortgage their property to afford the extension. In order to release equity from your property, you would need to instruct a remortgaging solicitor to handle the case for you.
For some homeowners, the cost is the biggest barrier to making this decision. Purchasing a home offers a larger long-term cost but this could be covered by the sale of your existing property. Alternatively, an extension is the cheaper option and could be funded through re-mortgaging, but some may struggle with the up-front cost. Debates such as these will be the key factors slowing down your decision-making process. Keep reading to discover both sides of the arguments you might face during the journey to extend or sell your property.
Reasons to extend your property
For many homeowners, the draw of extending your home is because you need some extra space. Many families and individuals across the country already love their homes. However, the addition of a bigger kitchen or an extra bedroom wouldn’t go a miss.
An extension is a valuable option for adding extra square footage to your property. You wouldn’t need to invest in a whole new house just for the extra space and it would bring an exciting new element to your home.
Done properly, a good-quality extension can add huge value to your property. When it eventually comes to selling, you could benefit from an increased asking price by several thousand pounds.
Just like you are currently drawn by the idea of extra space within your home, buyers will recognise your extension as an added bonus when viewing the property. Paying that up-front cost seems a little easier knowing that you’ll receive a return on your investment, should you decide to sell in the future.
We touched on this point earlier in the article. If you’re looking at investing in more space within your home, extensions are certainly the cheaper option. Whilst there are a few costs associated with the project, they are far lower than purchasing a brand new home and selling your existing one. Check out the breakdown of costs below.
Building an extension
|Extension per square meter
|Property survey fees
|Starting at £400
|(Between 3-10% of extension cost) £2700 to £4000
|Building regulation checks
|Around 10% of extension cost
Total Cost: £40,000 (on average)
Buying and Selling property
|At least 5-25% of the property value
|£600-800 to cover the sale and purchase
|Estate agent fees
|(Selling) 1-3% of sale price + 20% VAT
|£250,000-400,000 (depending on size and location)
Total Cost: £9000 + price of property
There are bound to be huge variations in the total and actual costs of each of these purchases. However, we have offered a clear insight to direct your expectations when selling or extending your property. Before making any firm decisions, seriously consider which, if either, of these options you can afford.
Reasons to sell your home
Whilst this point might start some debates, we think that selling your home could provide a less disruptive atmosphere. If you decide to invest in an extension, parts of your home, walls and floors will need to be ripped out to allow for the construction of your extension. This could mean that you have workmen in and out of the house, draughts blowing through the gaps in your home and a supply of dust and rubble to clean up.
Our justification for suggesting that selling your home is less disruptive is that the moving process only really occurs in one day. Of course, there is plenty of preparation involved. For some, this is nothing compared to months of building work within your own home.
Time taken to sell your home: Around 6 months (from listing the property to completion of purchase)
Time taken to build an extension: 7-15 months (depending on size and scope of the project)
Find a property that suits your needs
For many homeowners, the desire to change your home to suit your lifestyle needs might not always be achievable. Sometimes the extent of your expectations won’t fit within the confines of your property. Whether it be due to the space you have available, the cost to create such an extension, or even being denied planning permission. Putting your hopes into designing a space that works for you can be shattering when you realise it’s just not possible.
Instead, venture outside your comfort zone and find a property that already offers everything you want. With an active and vibrant property market, you are bound to discover a home that ticks the majority of your boxes. Be selective with your priorities and remember why you wanted to move home in the first place. This is key to choosing the right property for your next home.
Additional things you might need to consider
How much space is required?
During this process, you might debate the question, is an extension worth it? This can be answered by assessing the space in your home and the additional space that is available on your property. If you have plenty of land to extend your home into, it could be a wise investment that enhances your existing space.
Alternatively, if you only have a small proportion of land that an extension would absorb, you might be damaging the value of your property. Future buyers may recognise the lack of outdoor space and instead see that the property is fairly crammed. This could influence their decision to purchase your property and make it more difficult to sell at a higher price.
What are your needs?
If something is missing from your home that you think could easily be implemented with an extension, go for it. Creating a larger social space, expanding your kitchen or adding an extra bedroom are all possible with the rear, side and dormer extensions.
However, if the views for your property are complex, you may face difficulties fulfilling your expectations. If you’re looking to change the layout of your property or completely transform a small home, you might want to consider purchasing a property that meets these desires whilst offering future flexibility.
Do you need planning permission?
For the majority of extension plans, an application for planning permission is required. Completing any work without the required permission could lead to being served an enforcement notice which would require you to undo any works. Under certain local planning authorities, permission may not be required for some porches or conservatories under a certain size, however, it is vital to check permitted developments with the local council.
Depending on the scope of your project, your application could be granted, allowing you to perform the extension. Alternatively, if your application breaches any number of social or safety precautions, your planning permission request could be rejected. This may occur if the proposed extension causes a loss of light or privacy to neighbouring properties. If the extension is out of character with the property or leads to overdevelopment, it may be rejected. The planning authorities are also stringent on the effects of the ecosystem and nature conservation. You should look out for these whilst making your application.
Is an extension worth it?
In conclusion, there clearly are pros and cons for both sides of the argument. Whilst extending your home means you won’t have to uproot your life and move it to a larger property, it does mean construction works could disrupt your lifestyle. However, you may also find that the investment outweighs the concerns for investment and the time spent building.
In these situations, it is important to consider your motivations behind each of the choices. What are your financial statuses, how much do you love your home, why do you need more space, will an extension satisfy your craving or would you rather have a fresh canvas?
We cant make your mind up for you but hopefully, this article has provided some food for thought to help you make your decision