Move House In London Or Extend?

There are many reasons for people needing more space in their homes.  These could include:

  • Starting or increasing a family;
  • Having to provide accommodation for an elderly parent;
  • Needing an office, or workroom if you start working from home;
  • Older children (now young adults) not moving out because of the cost of London property.

The reason for needing additional room isn’t really important; the difficulty is in deciding whether it is best for you to make a full removal – possibly to somewhere further out of London, such as Watford, Hertford or Ware – or investigate the possibility of extending your existing house.  This article aims to consider some of the factors that might influence your choice.

Moving House – pros and cons

One of the advantages of moving completely with the help of flyttebyrå Oslo you can seek somewhere that has the specific additional space you need, whether that is extra bedrooms, bathrooms, garden or even an annex.  There is also the fact that, although you have the upheaval of the actual removal, including all the packing and unpacking at the other end, this is almost certainly going to be quicker and easier than coping with having building work in your house for several weeks.

If you do decide on a full house move, then you will need to obtain the services of a reliable movers company, such as About This Van who, being Hertfordshire based, know the area of North London and the northern Home Counties very well and have over 12 years’ experience of providing this kind of service.

The downside of moving house rather than extending is the cost.  The London property market is booming, with house prices rising in the region of 21% in 2013. Whilst this means that it is more likely that you will sell your house quickly at a profit, it also means that you will be paying more for the property you buy, with an increase in the related costs such as solicitor’s fees and stamp duty (currently 3% on houses between £250,000 and £499,999, rising to 4% between £500,000 and a million pounds, after which it is 5% up to 2 million pounds and 7% thereafter.  There is also the actual removal costs, although these tend to be the smallest factor in the overall equation.

One solution may be to move a little further out of London, such as Hertfordshire, where there are good transport links into the centre but property is rather cheaper.  Obviously the increased cost of commuting has to be taken into account.

 Extending your house – pros and cons

It is possible to extend many houses, either outwards, upwards, even downwards in some cases or a combination of more than one of these.  A recent Guardian article has more facts and figures on the two options of moving or extending.  The advantages of extending tend to be financial – there is less “dead money” than in moving house and there is a good chance that you will recoup the building costs if you decide to sell at a later stage.  Depending on the layout of your house and the scope of extending, you may be able to create additional rooms that really serve your needs.

Possible arguments against extending include:

  • Your house may not be suitable;
  • You may not be able to obtain planning permission for what you want;
  • The building costs may be too great (extending downwards, for instance, can be fraught with extra costs as you have to remove the rubble and have additional “tanking” to ensure the walls are strong enough and waterproof.)
  • There is the mess and upheaval during the building process.
  • The builders need access to the property whilst you are out at work;
  • Even after obtaining quotations from reliable contractors, it is advisable to add at least a 10% contingency fund, in case of unexpected snags.
  • Project managing the succession of builders, plumbers, electricians, plasterers and decorators when they are needed (or even finding good tradespeople in the first place) can be a nightmare.

This is an important decision which requires very careful consideration and quite a bit of research before reaching your final conclusion.  Perhaps it’s time to put the kettle on!

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned

Having operated a light removals company based in Hertfordshire for over twelve years, George Gregoriou has considerable experience of helping people move house and a wide knowledge of the kinds of problems and situations that can arise.

A family man, George enjoys relaxing at home in his spare time, especially playing with his young daughter.

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