Home Improvement or House Move?

This week we have a guest post from someone who’s seen both sides of the home improvement and house move coin.

As we approach the end of the year, thoughts will inevitably turn to 2018 and what that has in store for us. For many of us, that may include the conundrum of whether to move to a new property, or to invest in home improvements.

Whichever path one goes down, there’s a significant time and financial commitment involved. Very often, at the point where we decide more space is required, we instantly think about moving to a new property. And this is accompanied by the allure of something new, or a fresh adventure.

More space

Yet, most of us very much enjoy our homes, our neighbours and our surroundings. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people say, “if only we had a little more living space”. If not that, “if only the children had a bigger garden”.

I once invested in a house move for a little more living space and a bigger garden. I was subsequently dismayed to find that the children did no more in the new one than in the old. It seemed only five minutes later they’d outgrown the idea of playing at home. The park, with their friends, had more space and more appeal. So, there I was, left with a bigger garden to maintain!

In hindsight, I wish I’d investigated home improvement, rather than rushing to move, with the stress, cost and considerably larger mortgage that followed. An extension to the property was both feasible and affordable, yet never fully investigated because of the allure of more outside space.

I should have taken the time to sit with someone to talk me through potential designs, opportunities and potential challenges. If I’d understood the possibilities and had someone to help to bring the ideas and designs to life, I think I’d have opted to stay.

In moving, I went to an entirely new area for more space inside and out. And yet, I lost touch with friends and neighbours, whilst my work commute became something of nightmarish proportions.

For me, the grass wasn’t greener on the other side, there was just more of it!

My advice?

My advice for someone unsure whether to move or improve? Speak to a reputable builder. You need to fully understand options, costs, timeframes. Will you need to move out during the works or is it possible for the area to be isolated while works are completed? All these things have a bearing on the personal impact as well as financial.

As I write this article, I’m sitting in a temporary home, whilst my house is being renovated to my own design. We’ll be moving back in at some point in January. It’s been quite a journey seeing the house peeled back to brickwork, walls removed, new areas added and rooms taking on new life.

Has it been plain sailing? No, and few projects of this size ever are. Would I do it again? Definitely!