My feed

to access all these features

Join our Property forum for renovation, DIY, and house selling advice.


Help me decide - moving v loft conversion

21 replies

Downtherabbithole · 26/06/2012 14:44

We live in a small 3 bed semi in a great area, good schools, short journey to work etc. I am due to go back to work in February next year (after maternity leave for DS2) and work from home 4 days a week. What was my study/office is now DS2's room and DS1's room is too small for them to share, so I have nowhere to work.

We have been looking for a 4 bed house in this area for a few months and seen nothing that we like so we're thinking of a loft conversion, but not sure if its worth it financially. Had a quote for £35k for the loft conversion, which we could pay in cash as just inherited exactly that amount from my GP's, and obviously we would save the approx £20k in moving costs for a new house. BUT I don't think we would get the money back when selling due to many factors eg small garden, ceiling price on houses in this street etc, we would probably only get 20k back of the 35k I think, maybe 25k.

Would it be stupid to go ahead with the hassle of a loft conversion and should we just keep looking for a new house?

OP posts:
MirandaGoshawk · 26/06/2012 14:49

If you are happy with your house, neighbours, street, location etc., I would stay & do the loft conversion. IME PITA neighbours can totally ruin your life so if everything is otherwise fantastic - better the devil you know,& all that, plus the hassle of moving.

Having said that, you are right in that you may not get back what you put in, but if you plan to stay for a while, and have good quality of life int eh meantime, is that such a problem?

One more thing - £35k sounds an awful lot to me. We had a quote of £25k for two bedrooms & shower/wc. Worth getting some more quotes?

CuddyMum · 26/06/2012 14:53

I had 6 quotes for our loft conversion - sounds excessive but I'm glad I did. The company I liked best ended up matching our lowest quote. £32k for two huge bedrooms, front dormer window and huge full length rear dormer (on a detached house).

Downtherabbithole · 26/06/2012 15:04

£35k is for rear dormer bedroom and ensuite shower, inc 5 windows in total, all plumbing, wiring etc. Everything except decorating. It does still sound a lot though doesntr it? Will get some more quotes but this company does have a really really good reputation amd comes v highly recommended.

Just not sure I can bring myself to go through all the hassle knowing we probably won't even get our money back.

OP posts:
oreocrumbs · 26/06/2012 15:11

Would you be able to get a 4 bed with a bigger garden for £35k more? If you get a loft conversion, are you still likely to outgrow the rest of your house - mainly the garden/living spaces as your DC grow?

I think doing the loft is worth it if you are happy to stay there for a good stretch of time. It probably won't add 35k to your house, but when you consider saving moving costs and an improved way of living while you live in this house it will balance out.

If you think you may well have to move in a couple of years even with the loft, then I wouldn't bother. I would look to move now and use the money to cover the moving costs and towards a bigger house.

Downtherabbithole · 26/06/2012 15:20

oreo I think that is the main problem, I don't see us staying here more than another 3-5 years max due to ground floor living space/garden. We would need to increase our mortgage £200-300 a month to get a 4 bed house so it would be a stretch but doable. The problem is finding a 4 bed house in this area that we like! Don't want to waste moving costs on a new house that we don't really like but it gives us more space, and then wanting to move again in another 5 years and wasting more moving costs.

Argh! My head hurts!

OP posts:
oreocrumbs · 26/06/2012 15:45

If you want to sell on in the forseeable, and with it being a falling market you may well end up losing that money.

Are there any other options for your office? How about a shed/playhouse type structure in the garden? That would cost less than £1000 for a big one, and if you wanted to put permanent power in there a bit more, but then you are talking a couple of thousand rather than 35.

Could you use the garage? Have a window put in so it has light?

Is there room in the sitting room for your desk space and you would have to be super tidy and organised?

Are there any areas you could move to that you had previously not considered? Any new build schemes that you could get a deal on?

Lots to think about, but in your shoes, I would probably try to keep that 35k to put down on your next house so your LTV will be at a better rate for the next mortgage. Things are not going to get easier on that front for a while so I would be keeping a tight hold on any big lumps of cash if I had any.

Downtherabbithole · 26/06/2012 17:16

oreo thank you so much for taking the time to reply, it has really helped me focus my thoughts. We don't have a garage but had thought of replacing the shed. Am wondering about cost of heating in winter etc though. But you're right, even if we get a top spec one it is still much cheaper than what we would lose on the loft.

In the end I think the answer might be to get a desk custom built to go in the awkward corner in our dining/living space. It is only a small space but I only really need room for a keyboard and monitor and don't need much space for paperwork etc. Its not ideal but I guess it would do until we find a house we like. And means we could put the 35k inheritance into paying down our mortgage so we would be doing something constructive financially.

OP posts:
Downtherabbithole · 26/06/2012 17:17

And I wouldn't need to spend the last 3 months of my maternity leave with builders in the loft! That has GOT to be a bonus!

OP posts:
oreocrumbs · 26/06/2012 17:33

It is a bonus, a loft conversion is a pain the bum to live through. Your whole house will be filthy with builders dust. Its a special dust that is designed to get everywhere no matter how often you clean up! Wink

Not to mention the faff of moving and storing your stuff, and having people traipsing through your house. Keeping your DC entertained and a safe distance etc...

Glittertwins · 26/06/2012 19:38

We had a loft conversion done as it was the only way to get the space we needed as an extension to the side was not permitted. It cost £32k in 2010 then there was the decorating and furnishing. The builders only came through the house near the end when they knocked through for the stairs. They went in and out of the roof via the scaffolding until then.

We weighed up how much a 4 bed house with study would cost, along with all associated moving costs and it would be doubling our current monthly mortgage payment for not a huge amount of extra space then there was the issue of needing a second car and paying for that. We live in a very convenient area for shopping, nursery, my work and now school so if we moved further out for less expensive but bigger housing, we'd need to factor in a new car, insurance, fuel too.

We're fairly certain that we would get the money back on it should we sell but we don't want to move and it suits what we need now rather than it being a selling point. The newer houses in our road are a lot more expensive so we think that there isn't a cap on prices. The only downside is that the downstairs space isn't huge but the older the children get, they'll probably spend more time in their rooms which are a decent size each, as well as a tv room ie the original 3rd bedroom.

DTANCHEVA · 11/08/2013 16:16

if you are looking for some other quotes we had a very bad experience with builders who left us in a right mess after a bit of searching we came across O`Neills who came in sorted out the mess which was our two room loft conv. and left us with a fantastic living space only wish we had found them at the start of the job would have saved a lot of time, money and stress! message me if you want contact details D.T

office1 · 03/12/2013 11:50

This reply has been deleted

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

HomeHelpMeGawd · 03/12/2013 12:17

I would def save for the larger place in your shoes, Downtherabbithole. At say 4% interest a year, 35k saves you £1400 of interest in the first year (which equates to about £2k of income before tax, exact amount depending on your income, obv.) So the 35k becomes closer to £45k over five years, once compounding is taken into account.

I can send you the details of someone who can do your desk if you like. PM if you want. It may be fairly pricey (a few hundred quid) but he's a proper carpenter and it would look v good.

Beastofburden · 03/12/2013 12:24

You say you work from home 4 days a week, are the kids home at the same time, or does someone else care for them?

Because the other way to do it, would be to go into work five days a week and use their nice free desks Grin

MummytoMog · 03/12/2013 13:02


No thanks central london lofts.

Beastofburden · 03/12/2013 19:22


AbeerNaseer · 18/04/2014 16:25

This reply has been deleted

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

jordanrwood14 · 14/05/2014 17:48

This reply has been deleted

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

bishboschone · 14/05/2014 17:53

We decided to move over a loft conversion . We love the house we are in , the neighbours ,the road etc but we needed more room . We bought a new build and blagged the stamp duty and lots of other extras . We also bought off plan and have made £50 k already even though it's not built going on the same houses selling now. To do a logi conversion and maybe a side extension woukd have been between 40-100 k and we would never have got that back .

bishboschone · 14/05/2014 17:54

by the way my husband works from home and we converted tge back of the garage into an office . is that a possibility?

jordanrwood14 · 19/05/2014 09:54

Wow, that all sounds great! I'm very glad that you are happy where you are :) Extensions such as loft conversions can be a nightmare and I'm sure you did the right thing by moving!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.