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Is there any point in making the house 'the best on the street'?

(12 Posts)
AntoinetteCosway Mon 24-Mar-14 17:48:54

House is a small three bedroomed middle terrace in a fairly poor area in a nice city. This area in a bigger city would probably be considered nice-it's not particularly rough but the houses are small and about half the street are still council owned which is fairly unusual for this city.

We will not be able to afford to move for years-well over a decade I expect, and by that point we'll have two pre-teens falling over each other. We could extend into the garden and into the attic which would be a lot cheaper than moving into a four bedroom house or one with another downstairs room, let alone both.

A very small number of the houses on the street have loft conversions but none have extended into the garden. All the houses were originally two bedroom with a downstairs bathroom and most still are; some like ours have split up rooms so there are three bedrooms and an upstairs bathroom.

Financially speaking would it be a waste of money to add so much extra floor space? I am thinking that even if we could hypothetically add value to the house, would it really rise that much above the rest of the street? I don't think it would, so if we spent £50k (a made up figure but I imagine it would be at least that to do both) the house would never be worth £50k more than the house next door. To give you an idea, houses on this street are worth between £120k-£135k in general at the moment. (Looking at Zoopla and Rightmove, might be less than that.)

Sorry this is an essay. DH thinks we should save and invest in this house. I think we should save and add it to a deposit on a larger house, or one that has more potential for extensions. Who's right?!

CocktailQueen Mon 24-Mar-14 17:53:07

I'd ask the advice of a local estate agent. You don't want to spend a fortune on renovations and not get back what you put in, and there is a maximum value for a house on each street, no matter how much you spend on it. So in your road, houses will never be worth 500k, for example.

AntoinetteCosway Mon 24-Mar-14 17:57:04

That's my thought. I just don't think any house on this road could ever be worth more than about £20k more than the rest, even if it were the most incredibly designed tardis!

EthelDorothySusan Mon 24-Mar-14 21:23:43

You could get a surveyor around to get an opinion.

GillTheGiraffe Mon 24-Mar-14 21:33:23

Every area has a 'ceiling' price for every type of house, so even if you gold-plated the taps, you'd be unlikley to exceed the ceiling price.

The sensible thing to do to continue your way up the property ladder would be to move rather than spending a lot on your current house that you may not be able tp recoup.

However, looking at it alternatively, if you stay put you will save stamp duty, removal costs, conveyancing fees, possible mortage arrangement fees and a substantial sum on getting your new house the way you want it i.e. curtains, carpets etc. Those costs need to be offset against the cost of extending your current house.

Plus, �50K may seem a lot now, but you will have 20? years use of the additional accommodation, so there has to be some value placed on that. �50K in 20 years time may be worth peanuts. I also think you'll get you improvements for a lot less than �50K. I've totally renovated my own house for half of that. On that basis you'd still have �25K for a loft extension. Plus, there's also the chance that your area does become more desirable.

It really depnds on whether you want to keep climbing the propety ladder or are quite happy to remain on, more or less, your current rung.

AntoinetteCosway Mon 24-Mar-14 21:40:09

We don't really mind about making money out of property but we'd like not to pour it in with no return, if that makes sense. Ultimately we like our house and view it as a home rather than an investment (although cynically, all houses are I suppose to an extent) but it just won't be big enough in a few years.

Hm. Lots of food for thought here, thank you.

Moknicker Mon 24-Mar-14 21:43:27

We were in a similar situation in 2011 and we extended our house - loft and side extension and the cost of our house plus extensions would certainly have made our house the most expensive on our street (although not in our area). Fast forward to 2014 and that house is worth more than our wildest dreams. Im really glad we did not incur stamp duty and selling and buying costs and just did the house up. So financially, if you are planning on staying put then it makes sense to invest in this house.

Emotionally it is a different point. Will you feel trapped in this house if you do extend it? Will you feel financially trapped if you do move? In our case, we loved our house were very happy to stay in the extended version long term.

MyNameIsKenAdams Mon 24-Mar-14 21:49:49

Why not save the amount and when the time comes to spending it (eother as a deposit or an extension), look around and see what you could afford elsewhere.

if there is nothing that you like elsewhere, stay put and extend. But you mught just find your next family home.

MillyMollyMama Mon 24-Mar-14 22:58:53

I think the cost of the extension will be greater than the extra value it puts on the house. People do not necessarily want the Rolls Royce house in the Ford Focus street. I would save the money and buy a bigger house elsewhere when you can.

Monkeymummy1 Tue 25-Mar-14 09:38:44

We had the same problem. Extend and stay put in the medium term or move. We had plans drawn up and got planning permission to extend out back and into the loft and I was worried that we'd never get that back on sale down the road. I eventually realised that I was trying to make the house something that it was not, and that even with all that extension it still would not be our ideal family home. So I knew if we extended, we had to have an eye on the profit, because we'd still eventually want to move. The figures just didn't stack up so we decided to save save save and are now in the process of moving. I'd stay put and save to move, but I know that can be frustrating when you are in a house that is too small for your family.

I have to say though, we changed our mind about what to do several times before we got to this point (hence going to the expense of planning and architect fees etc.) But it was only when I saw the plans on paper that I realised the extension was not going to work for us.

AntoinetteCosway Tue 25-Mar-14 10:18:04

This really resonates:

'I eventually realised that I was trying to make the house something that it was not, and that even with all that extension it still would not be our ideal family home. So I knew if we extended, we had to have an eye on the profit, because we'd still eventually want to move.'

Ultimately, even if we extend up and out, I think the house will still be too small. Unless we use up half the garden! 4 beds instead of 3 would be great but they'd all still be small.

I'm going to show this thread to DH-some really useful posts, thank you.

Lottie4 Tue 25-Mar-14 11:04:21

Extensions and improvements aren't cheap either, against the cost of moving. How much money have you got to invest in extensions & improvements? Could this sum get you near what you want now? If you didn't move, would you be happy living in your present house if you spent all your money on doing it up and then couldn't move for a long time? I'm sure you've asked yourselves these questions, but do have a good think.

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