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Not happy with your home? You have two options: you can move to a new property or try to improve your existing home. Below is a guide that may help you to make the choice of whether to relocate or renovate.
Do you like your current location?
You can improve a home you don’t like, but you can’t improve the area. If you don’t like where your current home is based, then moving may be the best option.
Perhaps you don’t get on with your neighbours? Perhaps the area feels unsafe as a result of a high crime rate or risk of a natural disaster? Perhaps the area lacks basic amenities or is simply ugly and depressing? These are all good reasons to consider relocating.
Of course, if you love the location, then moving might not be the best option. Even if you otherwise don’t like your home, you may be able to make enough improvements to make it comfortable so that you don’t have to leave the location. Completely rebuilding a home is possible (although very expensive) – if you’ve found the perfect location, this could be an option.
Is renovating your home actually feasible?
Before choosing to renovate, it’s worth considering whether the improvements that you want are actually feasible.
If your current home is too small and doesn’t have enough bedrooms, building an extension or converting your loft may be an option. But do you have permission to do this? Extensions generally always require planning permission. It’s also worth notifying neighbours if you think it may affect them – an extension that casts shade onto their garden or threatens to infringe on their privacy may cause them to protest. Even conversions may not be feasible if the structure of the building doesn’t allow it or if there are preserved wildlife such as bats in your attic.
Consider how you would renovate your home and then research into feasibility. If you’re able to get permission, then it could be worth renovating. If your plans are rejected, then you may want to consider relocating.
Which option can you reasonably afford most?
Both renovating and moving home can be expensive. If you’ve only got a tight budget to work with, consider weighing up the costs to see which is more practical.
When relocating, you may have to consider upfront costs such as a rental deposit or mortgage deposit. There may be agency fees or legal fees to factor in too. You may also want to hire removalists to help you move your stuff. Add up all of these costs to see if they are within budget. You can find a guide to some of the unexpected costs of moving home here.
There can be numerous costs involved when renovating too. This includes the cost of initial quotes and design, the cost of materials, the cost of labour and the higher energy bills as a result of whichever tools may be used. Most people take out a loan to do this – you should weigh up whether the extra debt is necessary.
Of course, both relocating and renovating could be investments. Moving could allow you to pay cheaper rent/mortgage rates while renovating could improve your home’s energy efficiency and add value for when you want to sell (this could be a good reason to both renovate and relocate).
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