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Do we do our up or do we move?(18 Posts)
It's a wwyd. It's not thrilling but advice gratefully received! We're in a mid terrace ex council house in the centre of a small market town. House has got enough rooms for us. However, we ideally need to change the configuration to better suit our needs. We've got options depending what we go for, spending £10k to £25k. We would probably add this on our mortgage. This work would not add any value to the property. If we spend the max we could then stay here quite happily 5-10yrs, maybe more. If we spend the min then we'd be fine for quite a few years but I think we'd ultimately want to move. Really we'd like more space around us and a greener feel. The thing is to do a decent step up for a semi or detached with a decent garden in a good spot, you're looking at a lot more, £200k more than our house. Anything in between you pay more money for a smaller house but in a nicer area, and I think we'd struggle with space. So we're really torn between getting our house how we'd like it and trying to stay as long as possible, and spending the min to preserve our equity. One day I think we'll never be able to afford that jump so we should spend to stay, irrespective of adding value. The next day I think I don't want to stay here, I want more green space, let's spend the min and save. We're just hitting 40 now if that's relevant. Wwyd?
Are you going to be earning more to afford the job?
If yes then just move
Do you like the area you currently live in? No? Move, yes then do it up to max and stay put.
I'd make your house the way you want it. Moving would be very expensive. More green space is great but how much would you really use it?
It sounds like a pretty expensive area? The house might as well be worth more to s future buyer when you’ve improved the layout especially if you’re opening up.
Answers to questions :
I will be upping my hours next year from 24 to 30. So household will be earning a bit more. And won't have childcare to pay. We We have some debts we will clear within a year.
I didn't include much about prices but I don't mind doing that, our current house we have £165k left on the mortgage, and think it's worth £220 maybe. I can't see it being worth much more as they'll be a ceiling for mid terrace ex council. We could afford to move to something £250-300 now which would buy a 'nicer' house but smaller, less floor space. I would want to skip that move and go straight for the next level up which is £350-400k for a big 3/4 bed detached house.
Part of the problem is I can't work out if we could ever do that, we'd be buying at 45-55yo and repayments would be £1600pm to clear by retirement, which based on what we've got now sounds scary. Is that just what people do?!
By green space I'm thinking less overlooked, not feeling so crowded in terraces, and yes a bigger garden too. I would like to grow veg and release the children into the wild...
I think the financial burden of that sort of move would be too much. Personally, I'd spend money getting your current house the best it can be. You could even up your budget; it would be much cheaper than another 200k on your mortgage. I understand what you mean about not adding value, but as long as you're living in it, and enjoying it, it's not wasted money.
In my last house I spent money to make it suit our growing family better, with the intention of making it suitable to stay in. Because the next step up was about £100k and all we’d gain would be a 4th box room. We did garage conversion and knocked through living and dining room. But it didn’t change the fact that the house had a collection of small rooms and a tiny kitchen, and I still wasn’t happy.
We ended up moving anyway, spending that £100k but other side of town where it’s cheaper, and we gained far more space in the house plus a much bigger garden and a nice road (just dodgy wider area!).
But that’s me and I get itchy feet.
Have you thought more widely about other options/areas? Have you looked at mortgage affordability? Current low interest rates and long mortgages make more things affordable- risk of interest rate increases in the longer term but sounds like your income will be increasing and childcare costs about to decrease.
Where do you think you want to live in 20 years time? If it's not where you are now then you probably should be planning to move.
Are you sure there isn't a compromise with size so that you move to something in between your current house and the 3/4 bed detached? Could you find a semi rather than detached that you could imagine living in longer term?
It is possibly a very good time to sell, maybe less so to buy but if you sold now you would be a very good prospect for any seller over the next year if you would be prepared to rent in between purchases.
Hm... It does sound like a big jump up and doing it when you’re 50 might not make much sense if the children are almost adults and won’t benefit from the space and the garden.
Isn’t there a middle ground? Eg a semi or maybe end of terrace on a wide plot that you could but soon and extend over time?
This page pretty much re-runs the discussions in our house! We probably don't want to be here in 20yrs really. I think we'd get sick of it. I've been playing on Rightmove looking for a middle ground ground house, they're about £350k. If we were doing that we'd want 5yrs here to sort out our finances. Which means not spending too much doing it up I think?
Aaaaaand I've just noticed my title is a nonsense!
Actually there are some defo "better than our house" houses out there for around £330k. I think a 5yr plan is the way to go.
What about the possibility of moving to bigger house in greener area (if affordable) then when older downsizing (im making the assumption you have children then could downsize when they move out)?
Yes maybe. The kids are 5 & 3 now so that would be 20yrs... If we were doing their whole childhood here we'd have to go for it more in terms of what work we do. The full list is flat roof, replace conservatory, carpets, glazing, remove loads of wallpaper and probably have to replaster.
I will have a look at what cheaper houses are available in a greener spot out of interest.
Talking to h about it all, thoughts on here really useful. We think we want a 7yr plan (primary school). Which means making our house a happy one but going a bit steady on expensive renovations. Work hard to sort debts and overpay mortgage. Then move to an in-between house like a semi with some space around. And cap our aspirations at that.
We had a similar dilemma. Current house has enough space for the three of us, and in a very convenient though not salubrious location. Downsides were the downstairs layout (no downstairs loo, small kitchen, no utility space) which didn’t suit modern family living.
Looked at some houses that were bigger, better laid out and in slightly better areas but nothing available that we loved- and we couldn’t justify borrowing an extra £150k ish for that.
In the end we decided to put some money into our current house and reconfigure the downstairs. The stamp alone on our “next step” would have been £10k - £12k although that’s a moot point at the moment!
Renovations are almost done now and I love the new layout, but I do worry about having overspent. For that reason I’m inclined to stay put for 5-10 years, pay down the mortgage and do some investing with a view to buying later in one of the desirable semi-rural villages nearby, without upping the mortgage payments too much. Generally house prices in this location increase steadily, if I was in a “hot” market I’d possibly look to upsize sooner.
Your idea to have a 7 year plan sounds sensible, there’s a lot to be said for being financially prudent.
Thanks @Cottipus that does sound like a similar scenario so appreciate your thoughts. I don't think we can afford to move now, but have seen some online that we would be really happy to move to when we can do think we would be prudent to mind our spending here for sure.