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Move or Improve?



Having spent the festive season at home and with spring around the corner, this may be a question you’re currently pondering. According to Rightmove, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day are the busiest days of the year for online property viewing which is interesting given that most Estate Agents would advise against having your home on the market during the festive season.

 

So what do you do if instead of tackling that ‘to do’ list of maintenance jobs you’re beginning to wonder if moving would be a better idea?


My first bit of advice would be not to make any rash decisions; if you’re in a state of uncertainty you need to explore why that is and look at the pros and cons of each option.


I’ve recently had this conversation with a lovely client who has been in the same property for nearly 20 years. Over the last few years we’ve refurbished a number of rooms but the ‘biggies’ such as the master bedroom, ensuite and kitchen are still on the list. Not surprisingly the thought of tackling these rooms and the associated upheaval got her thinking whether a move wiping the slate clean and making a fresh start would be easier. I also think she’d fallen a bit out of love with her home and procrastination was keeping her stuck.


My advice to her (and to you if you’re having similar thoughts) was to go and view some properties that caught her eye. Really really think about how you and your family use specific rooms and spaces and whether a different property would offer anything new or better. It’s ultimately about looking beyond what you can actually see and being able to picture yourself/selves living there and how those current needs will change over time as the family dynamics change.


You may currently have toddlers so a playroom might be on your list of ‘must-haves’ – it was on mine but now my toddlers are now 19 and 17 I’m delighted we have a drive big enough to accommodate a lot of cars! Your bedrooms may have fitted wardrobes, would a new property offer the same? What are your current and future needs in terms of outside space?


There’s an awful lot to consider and it’s all very personal as we all have different lists of must-haves. Moving house is up there on the list as one of the most stressful things to do so it’s not something to do on a whim. Equally, there’s the financial aspect to consider: it’s not simply the asking price of the property as you also need to factor in Estate Agent’s and solicitor’s fees as well as stamp duty and removal costs.


If instead of moving you opt to tackle those maintenance and makeover projects on your home, there are also financial considerations here. Whether you may still be thinking about moving in a few years time or whether you’ve decided that your current home is, in fact, your ‘forever’ home will ultimately dictate how much you’ll be prepared to spend on it.


Whatever your decision be sure you’ve weighed up all the options, have a properly thought out plan and most importantly that you enjoy the journey. Oh, and in case you’re wondering - my lovely client hasn’t moved; we’ve very nearly completed the living room and will be moving on to tackle the kitchen shortly.