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To move or not to move...WWYD?

(28 Posts)
champagneplanet Sun 17-Jan-16 18:46:43

Been having an argument with ourselves for a while now as to whether we should stay where we are or move on, this is the background...

Currently in our first home, been here 11 years, gutted the house and did it up before we moved in. 3 bed semi, me, DH and DD. Mortgage is very easily manageable, both work full time, could cover it with one wage if anything was to happen. We are happy here, neighbours are great, school is good, very close to both sets of GPs for childcare.

The problem is we can't extend without it becoming ridiculously expensive (we have the shared drain and it would need to be moved to the back of the garden which is built on a slope). If we were to extend I doubt we'd ever get the money back if we ever did sell.

Looking around the houses that are for sale that we would think about living in would mean doubling the mortgage but we would have to compromise on upstairs space (would be happy to do for move downstairs space) but have one shared driveway (at the moment we have a run in at the front for two cars). Moving would mean big compromises for not much more space.

So we're in a bit of a quandary. We talk about extending, then say we're going to move while we can afford it but the crux of the matter is we're happy here. Can anyone offer any insight/experiences?

catbasilio Sun 17-Jan-16 18:59:12

I moved to 3 bed from 2 bed last year. I could have extended to the loft bur that would have been very expensive and disruptive due to low loft height (ceiling had to be lowered). We decided that moved was easier and cheaper. We did not gain much space, in fact it is similar size to the previous one, but the layout works so much better.

Do you really need more space for 3 of you?

FrancisdeSales Sun 17-Jan-16 19:02:18

Why do you need more space OP? The economy is looking dicey and might not be the time for a move when you can cover your mortgage with one wage.

champagneplanet Sun 17-Jan-16 19:14:56

I would love a bit more downstairs space and a utility. I'm also hoping for another DC soon.

Moving to another 3 bed for more downstairs space would be stupid as we'd probably be doubling (or adding at least a third) to the mortgage for not much more benefit. Our third bedroom is currently a lot bigger than those which are on the market.

I think it's a case of we can afford to move and that we never intended to stay here. Its silly really isn't it, I'm answering my own question!

Spickle Sun 17-Jan-16 19:28:04

Perhaps think about a similar size property on which you don't have to take on a much higher mortgage, on a bigger plot which is a doer-upper and has potential to extend in the future as and when finances allow?

We moved to a more expensive area and most houses in our budget were way too expensive and small but finally found one that was exactly what we had been looking BUT needed updating. We are doing it up now having moved there nearly three years ago.

champagneplanet Sun 17-Jan-16 19:43:29

I'm definitely not scared of doing work, been there done that before, could be tricky this time now we have DD.

One option is to go for a new build, (smaller bedrooms) but all we are looking for on paper.

Its such a big decision to make, a couple of people have told me the right one will come along eventually, I feel like there have been a few of them along the way though that we have dithered over and ultimately rejected.

I think we've fallen into a trap of paying a small mortgage!

TheLesserSpottedBee Sun 17-Jan-16 19:53:13

Have you spoken to a builder about the extension to price it up at all?

You may well be surprised at the cost of moving the drain, otherwise you are just guessing.

We couldn't extend our last house as the garden was teeny but it had good sized bedrooms, but downstairs was relatively small (integral garage taking a chunk out)

We moved, but to a cheaper area so got a lot more house for our money than the old area. The compromise was that I now drive Ds2 to primary school and committed myself to having to do that for 6 years.

But the pros massively outweigh any cons. Outstanding secondary school (which is what put us in this area,) high street close by, sports centre, shopping, cinema, transport links for Dh. Yes a bigger mortgage and slightly less disposable income. But still live very comfortably.

Once you have another dependant then your mortgage affordability will be affected and you may not be able to move. Just a thought.

BeachysFlipFlops Sun 17-Jan-16 20:02:14

Why can't you extend over a shared drain? We did, as did all our neighbours in our last terraced house. We each had a access point in the extended space and co-operated if there were any problems.....

expatinscotland Sun 17-Jan-16 20:10:35

'I think we've fallen into a trap of paying a small mortgage!'

It's not a trap, it's a huge boon, especially if you are planning to increase your family. You'll have two lots of childcare or one wage if one of you stays home.

champagneplanet Sun 17-Jan-16 20:41:42

Last time we looking into moving the drain the water board insisted we would need to move the drain at our expense and quoted £1200 just to come and look at it and agree whether it could actually be done.

It would also mean digging out the existing garden, it currently slopes towards the house and we have put steps of decking/grass in it to make it workable. Ours is the only sloped garden as it transpires that our garden was used to dump the rubble when the houses were built in the 50's, so all of that would need to be removed, plus the surrounding neighbours gardens could be affected if we were to flatten ours.

We would be spending £20k on a extension, but would never get our money back if we eventually sold. Moving would mean adding about £60k to the mortgage.

chocaholic73 Sun 17-Jan-16 20:57:16

Don't under estimate the costs involved in moving - estate agents and solicitors' fees, stamp duty, land registry fees, removers and I'm sure I've forgotten more. There's all the stress of having to get your house nice for viewings, trying to find something you like. Upset if things go wrong. Why don't you talk to an architect and see if there's a different way of extending that you haven't thought of. If you're happy in the area and house, with grandparents and friends nearby you might be better staying put.

champagneplanet Sun 17-Jan-16 21:02:02

I agree choc, I think in my heart I want to stay here, I'm a big believer in being happy, and I am so in a lot of ways don't want to tempt fate by moving and then being unhappy with a huge dent in our finances. I'd hate to argue over money.

Thanks for your replies, it's nice to get a different perspective from someone who doesn't know us/our house.

NewLife4Me Sun 17-Jan-16 21:11:15

I think it must be something in the water.
We have just put ours on market, rightmove pics tomorrow.
When the agent showed us the pics we both laughed and said it ticked all our boxes and was what we were looking for.
It's happened so quickly, have first viewing next week and have spent most of weekend touching up paint, hiding things, sending various family members to the tip.
I'm not sure I want to move now, we are the other way and are down sizing, but the ones we like are similar size to this, even going down a bedroom.

RandomMess Sun 17-Jan-16 21:18:58

Living with pleasant neighbours and where you are happy it worth so so so much!!!!

Could you imaging doubling your mortgage and having the neighbours from hell?

Save up in case you do need to move in the future IMHO.

BeaufortBelle Sun 17-Jan-16 21:27:48

Can the downstairs be rearranged at all to make the space work better? Does it have to be a full extension our could a really good quality conservatory arrangement work? Could you compromise with a really good quality Summer/Garden House/Man Cave that could double as an office/extra room with heating, etc?

I think there are massive benefits to keeping a small mortgage if there is another child on the way. Don't dismiss it.

ILoveMyMonkey Sun 17-Jan-16 21:27:55

You can build over drains so long as you include an access point, my structural engineer DF did this in his extension - well worth looking at extending with this option rather than moving given all the pros you mentioned.

champagneplanet Sun 17-Jan-16 21:29:47

Newlife it's crazy, none of the houses I have seen are anywhere near as nicely done as mine (personal taste obv)!

Random I think we will do that, I'm saving around £1000 per month as the moment, that's after after we've lived our lives, a bigger mortgage would stop that.

champagneplanet Sun 17-Jan-16 21:32:56

Ilove a conservatory may be a compromise, less of an expense and if I could build over would be a good solution.

RookieMonster Sun 17-Jan-16 21:35:22

Moving house is the worst. The cost, the stress, the upheaval. If you are happy where you are and have no pressing need to move, make do with what you have. Investigating other extension options is worthwhile.

NewLife4Me Sun 17-Jan-16 21:46:01


Where we are is much sought after, it has what people most want, but now are dc are either adult, moved out or boarding it is far too big.
Sometimes I'm rambling round, you can only use one room at a time grin

We need to find somewhere where we can soundproof an outbuilding or garage. Something we have needed for a long time.

It's hard finding what we want, they hardly exist.
In some respects we are lucky as this type is usually harder to sell than the conventional type so we usually get a good deal, when we find one.

WhatsGoingOnEh Mon 18-Jan-16 12:18:00

Do you just have itchy feet, or maybe the urge to improve/change? Could you quench those urges by redecorating your current house, or building a garden office, or (like you suggested) a conservatory?

The pluses of your current place are HUGE.

Sunflowers22 Mon 18-Jan-16 12:24:44

You sound to have a lovely home. You'll never know if you'll be happier elsewhere until you move, but of course you can't move back! It's hard to find why you would move from your posts. Maybe write a pro/con list on some A4 with each down a side.. One side may be longer grin

Wuffleflump Mon 18-Jan-16 12:27:19

If you love everything else about the house and the area, I'd stay put. It just seems like moving for the sake of it.

Consider the extension even if you wouldn't get the money back on the house value. There are lots of costs involved in moving, including on houses you don't end up buying, plus the stress and upheaval, plus the costs of getting the new house to your own tastes.

You'd be spending money on the house you want to live in. Its value is purely theoretical while you need to live somewhere. And it sounds like if you can extend your current property, you need not move again until retirement.

Roseformeplease Mon 18-Jan-16 12:28:26

What about getting an architect to look at what you already have? Not just an extension but ways of using the space more effectively. Sometimes they come up with ideas you would never have thought of which make a huge difference but are not as expensive as a full extension.

namechangedtoday15 Mon 18-Jan-16 12:59:14

I agree with getting an architect around to look at redesigning what you have. Have a ring around, many will come out for a free half hour. To be honest, you would spent quite a chunk of the £20k it would cost you to extend to move. If everything else is good (neighbours, grandparents, schools etc), I think you'd be nuts to move (and make a compromise with bedrooms / drive etc) when you haven't fully explored what you can do at this house.

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