Extend or move?

(12 Posts)
Nowthereistwo Thu 03-Sep-20 23:10:12

The age old debate, extend or move.

We live in a (small) 4 bedroom house, been here 9 years and have 2 young dds.

Good location, edge of town, woods literally opposite, good neighbours and 3 miles from my mum and village school dd attend.

But the house feels small, no master bedroom (Just a bed, no room for wardrobe). We knocked through kitchen/diner when we bought 9 years ago, but still only room for a 6 small seater table.

We've just had it valued and we've been lucky to make a lot of equity, but equally the house that we would move for has equally gone up in value (Herts). So now the potential mortgage is more than we'd feel comfortable taking at 39 years old.

So we want to extend across the back and into the garage to make a large kitchen, dining and family room. Also knock through 2 bedrooms to make a master bedroom with ensuite (currently using a spare room as dressing room & office).

The agent said we wouldn't recover the cost of the extension initially (maybe 50%, then wait for natural increase), but it would give us an improved quality of life living here and still leave us with money to travel enjoy life rather than being a 'slave to the wage'.

The majority of houses on the street have already been extended, but it feels wrong to spend money on the house when it doesn't add value?

What would you do?

OP’s posts: |
SauvignonGrower Thu 03-Sep-20 23:27:30

Wouldn't trust the agent's perspective - they make money when you sell!

Most people find it is worth staying put and extending simply because the costs of moving and then sorting out the decor in the new house is so high.

DemiBourbon Thu 03-Sep-20 23:29:05

If you’re planning on living there in the long term then I would extend. You’re getting the house you want, in the area you want without taking on a much bigger mortgage. We’re in a similar situation and staying where we are and improving the house means we’ll pay off the mortgage well before retirement and still have a house we’re happy with, in an area we like, as well as our money to ourselves within fairly short period.

Duvetdweller Thu 03-Sep-20 23:34:46

We were in exactly the same position - but I loved the position. Not because of rural etc, more because kids could walk everywhere, school, friends, shops, cinema etc. Never regretted it - love the house, was a stepping house and now it’s our forever home

Nowthereistwo Fri 04-Sep-20 07:00:33

Great words of advice.

We have an architect coming round this morning. I just hope their ideas and our budget come together.

OP’s posts: |
flapjackfairy Fri 04-Sep-20 07:06:10

It is your home. It isn't about value !
Do what suits you as a family. I wouldn't move . You have too much going for the house in my opinion. Forget the obsession with making money from your property and enjoy it is my advice .

MarieG10 Fri 04-Sep-20 07:07:07

Good luck

Ask what their ideas are before telling what extension you thought of as they can be very creative. Ours was different to what we thought and tipped the balance as to which architect we chose

Check exactly what they provide. Will you also need a structural engineer? If so ask for a ball park of costs as they will have engineers they work with all the time

Check if they think you will need planning permission. Ask if they are sure as some are finely balanced depending on local authority.


JoJoSM2 Fri 04-Sep-20 09:46:48

I’d be tempted to move. The rooms sound tiny if you can’t even fit a wardrobe in the master and there’s only space for a 6-seater despite having knocked through downstairs.
Adding an extension won’t stretch all the other rooms.

Financially, it doesn’t make sense to overspend on an extension if you can’t grt your money back. Even if the market rises to cover the extension costs, you’ll still be out of pocket compared to the value of an intrinsically bigger and more valuable house that you could get now.

AntiHop Fri 04-Sep-20 09:55:19

I'm having exactly the same dilemma except our house is way smaller (2 beds). We have one child and another on the way. Our rooms are also small. We could afford to move to a 3 bed. We're going to look at a couple of places next week but I think we will stay put and extend. We'll start with a loft conversion and then sometime down the line extend the kitchen. We might not make our money back, but that's ok as it's our home not a business and we want to live here a long time. We love the location, and it's very convenient for dd's school. We love the house too, despite the small rooms.

I like the sound of knocking through 2 bedrooms op.

NeptuneBlue Fri 04-Sep-20 10:44:16

Hi OP, your house sounds very similar to ours. The previous owners knocked two of the small original bedrooms into one, and and also knocked through the kitchen diner. We are thinking of adding an extension to the back as well, even though the cost of it will mean we will be overspending on the ceiling price for the house if we put it on the market. The knocked through bedroom is absolutely lovely! If you're umming and ahhing you could probably do this at relatively low cost (especially if you're up for re-decorating and making good afterwards). It was a big selling point for us when buying the house.
We're thinking of adding the extension even though it doesn't make financial sense as we love the area and the road. We're aware that not many houses come onto the market that tick so many of our boxes that we can afford. Building an extension will be expensive, but not as expensive as the jump to the next house up the ladder, and like you we don't want to be saddled with a huge mortgage. It will give us things like a useable entertaining space, practical storage, a utility room, things that we feel will enhance our quality of life day to day. Finally, we're not planning on moving in the near future, if we were planning to move in the next few years I wouldn't even think about it. So yes, the financial element is important, but at the end of the day its your home and not purely a financial investment; your quality of life is important too.

Porridgeoat Fri 04-Sep-20 12:51:39

I would extend out the back but keep all 4 bedrooms to maintain value. Find another way to get a small loo/shower room off your bedroom.

Also declutter to make the house feel more spacious.

Factoring in the cost of moving and stamp duty and estate agent/soliciter fees could impact your decision?

Personally I wouldn’t choose to be a wage/mortgage slave. The kids will be gone anyway in 15 years or so won’t need as much space anyway

Porridgeoat Fri 04-Sep-20 12:53:27

Where do you see yourself in 30 years op?

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