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Extend or move?

(21 Posts)
MsTea Fri 05-Feb-16 17:03:56

Hi, I'm hoping you can give me some advice on whether we should move or extend our house. It's a 3-bed with kitchen diner and lounge downstairs. With a 2-year-old and another on the way (hopefully) we desperately need more space. We need a fourth bedroom for family to stay and a playroom so all the toys stop taking over our lounge! A downstairs toilet, utility (we also have a dog) and en suite would also be good.

So, do we extend our house or move? We have a huge garden so plenty of room out to the side. We like the area we're in and the schools are good. We could probably raise the money through a remortgage or two. My concerns though are whether we'll exceed the ceiling for the area (our street is one of the less desirable in the area iyswim). The hassle and mess also definitely do not appeal.

To move, we'd have to go to a slightly less desirable area (though still ok) to get the size of house we want. I've seen a couple I would want to go and view and think I would be happy in either. But with the costs of moving, never mind paying out more for a bigger house, I don't know if it would be better to spend it all extending. I also don't relish potentially weeks of viewings, unreliable buyers, surveys and solicitors.

So what would you advise? Anyone done both and can tell me which is easier / less hassle / less expensive? I wish I could just click my fingers and have a bigger house!

Thanks in advance for any replies. I have to go and do ds's dinner, bedtime etc now but I'll be back later smile

Quoteunquote Fri 05-Feb-16 17:29:41

Stay put and extend.

JustWantToBeDorisAgain Fri 05-Feb-16 21:12:33


lalalonglegs Fri 05-Feb-16 21:19:54

Another saying extend.

MrsJamin Fri 05-Feb-16 21:34:29

Get a really honest quote for the building work - you might find it is economically a wiser decision to move. We had extension work last year, and it was very stressful, and that was with me working out of the home and school age children - I can't imagine being at home with a baby amongst all the work going on? It depends also if you can find what you're looking for in the area you're in - if not, then you might as well extend.

MsTea Fri 05-Feb-16 21:58:34

Thanks all. I am leaning towards extending. I know we can't afford anything the size we want in the area we're in so it seems the more sensible option. But MrsJamin, I know what you're saying about the stress and being at home while it's going on. I'd hate it! How long did yours take? Baby (if it sticks) isn't due til sept, is there any chance of getting it done by then if we get a move on? I work part time at the mo so would get a break from the mess.

MrsJamin Fri 05-Feb-16 22:14:41

Very doubtful sorry. The process of architects plans, and getting the right builder took us a very long time. They started the outside work in Feb and it was mostly done by August. How much do you think that would cost? I would be surprised if it was less than £100k if you're down south, for 2 storey?

MsTea Fri 05-Feb-16 22:20:53

We're up north. My dad's a surveyor and he's given us a rough estimate of £60k, though I expect it would come in at more than that. Finding the right builder also worries me. Sadly we don't live where my dad works so he can't recommend anyone! Aargh, so stressful, I wish I knew what to do for the best (and had a moderate lottery win to pay for it...!)

CharmingChampignon Fri 05-Feb-16 22:29:21

Our extension/loft conversion/rewire began end of May and finished (ish) late Dec. That said, there were months of water surveys/planning apps/drawings/structural engineer/quotes before that.

I'd still go for extending over moving though, despite the horrendous mess and upheaval. For us, the finances spoke for themselves. For the money the works cost - all of which is now reflected in the increased estimated value of the house - we could not have bought anything that had the same space, laid out how we wanted, in an area we were comfortable with. We would have had to have spent double to get similar space.

Myhousetoday Fri 05-Feb-16 22:30:15

Sorry your time scales are a bit ambitious for the scale of project. Do you need planning permission these days? Our extension 8ish years ago took Feb to Sept, but the paperwork was in place, builders chosen, detailed plans and specifications in drawn up. We did: extend out back, ground and first floor, extensively remodeled layout and extended into loft. Total refurbishment, rewiring, new windows etc. Even had to replace the existing stairs when the minor histprical woodworm we were aware of turned out to be more extensive than anticipated. Turned kitchen into kitchen-diner, added one bedroom and one bathroom, downstairs toilet and utility. We moved out for 7months (with a 6month old and a toddler) or it would have taken much much longer.

MsTea Fri 05-Feb-16 22:44:29

Yeah, I feared as much. Lots to think about, thank you all.

LunaLovebad Sat 06-Feb-16 12:09:00

We were in the same position as you a couple of months ago, where we were weighing up the hassle and stress of extending vs the hassle and stress of moving. For us a big factor was location - we are in an ok area but it's not exactly where we wanted to be but unfortunately houses of the right size rarely come up for sale in the area we wanted to move to, so we were heavily leaning towards extension. Then a minor miracle occurred and our perfect house came on the market in the right location so we've opted to move. But it sounds like you're already in an area you're happy with, so I would extend in your position. The costs of moving are astronomical, for us it's going to be around £40k with stamp duty/estate agents/removals/solicitors etc, so it's only worth doing if you really want or need to move.

Moving15 Sat 06-Feb-16 12:50:34

If you can live through the disruption and you would end up with the house you want I would say extend. We recently had the same dilemma but chose to move because we wouldnt have been able to create what we wanted on our old house plot.

MsTea Sat 06-Feb-16 21:52:46

The astronomical cost is what puts me off moving Luna. How is that 40k broken down, if you don't mind me asking? The last time I moved (7 years ago) it cost me £4K, but I wasn't selling and there was no stamp duty to pay. This time, stamp duty for my preferred house will be about £2,400 or less if we get it below asking price (we are not big spenders!), agents' fees are typically 1% of sale price, is that right? So likely to be £1,600ish. So there's £4K. How much are solicitors nowadays? And moving people? Plus there are surveys and mortgage arrangement fees. And is there anything else I've forgotten? It seems an awful lot that could just be spent on actual bricks and mortar in an extension.

Moving15 we do like the area which is why it's such a dilemma. And I think we could create something really nice with the land we have. But then I worry that were we to extend we'd struggle to sell if/when we came to in the future (I'm thinking a way off in the future). Our street is an old council housing estate and while many are now privately owned, not many of those have extended (though not many have the space we do to extend into). I know someone who extended beyond what was typical in their street and they really struggled to sell when their marriage broke up. But then if it is going to be a way off in the future maybe it won't matter so much; we'd be extending to live in it, not sell on straight away to make a profit.

It's so difficult to know what to do for the best!

dotdotdotmustdash Sat 06-Feb-16 22:24:59

Couldn't you extend in two phases? Maybe do a side extension that will house a playroom (that could be used as a spare bedroom with a bed-settee), a Downstairs loo and a utility. If it is built in such a way that another storey could be added above it in a few years it might spread the cost a bit.

Ragusa Sun 07-Feb-16 10:23:26

We're living through an extension at the moment. It is honestly not that bad but then again I don't have a baby who needs to sleep in the day. That could be challenging. If you got the noisy stuff donebefore new baby arrived it mightn't be so bad.

EarSlaps Sun 07-Feb-16 12:51:02

You could always budget in a rental property whilst the messiest bits are done.

As long as the extension would mean the house had a good layout I'd go with that. Some extended houses are just really awkward though- we saw one on the market where the bedroom added over the garage couldn't be accessed from the upstairs, only via an extra staircase downstairs. Great for a granny/au pair annex but odd for a family.

RandomMess Sun 07-Feb-16 13:49:53

We did a loft extension and got them to do it through the roof so the worst of the work did not affect using the rest of the house!

Same if you are extending on the side - if you are adding on a new room to be a kitchen etc. it can all be built etc whilst you have use of the current one etc.

MissyMaker Sun 07-Feb-16 13:57:08


Having building work done is stressful and messy and likely to overrun, etc. But, actually moving is all of those things too.

Get 3 or 4 quotes for the extension. Then work out the moving costs....include surveys, conveyancing, stamp duty, removal company, etc. You may be surprised to see just how much moving costs.

As to whether or not you'll see your money back if you extend, consider the fact that you like the area, it's in a good catchment, has a huge garden and you are planning to extend it to make a well-balanced family-friendly house. Downstairs loo, extra reception room, 4th bedroom and ensuite are all things that people want. Just make sure that you don't go too OTT on the finish and you should be okay.

LunaLovebad Sun 07-Feb-16 15:57:42

MsTea it's £25k stamp duty, £5k estate agents, £2k conveyancing fees, £1.5k mortgage fee, £2k removal fees, £800 survey costs, £2k to replace the integrated kitchen appliances we'll be leaving behind. It's eye-watering. We're in the SE though so everything seems to cost more. The only way we can justify it is because we know that our current house is not a forever house for us and never could be no matter what we do to it, and the new one is.

MsTea Sun 07-Feb-16 19:59:52

Some great advice here, thank you all. I'm going to contact some builders and see what quotes we get then take it from there. Hopefully all will go smoothly (but I bet it won't!)

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