It’s been said that moving home ranks alongside bereavement, divorce and redundancy as one of the most traumatic experiences you are ever likely to face, so generally best avoided unless absolutely essential or inescapable.
Consider the emotional toll. A home is not just a house: it’s the centre of a neighbourhood where you’ve made firm friends, are a familiar face in local pubs and clubs, and have settled into a comfortable routine of living over the years.
Moving home means finding your feet and striking up new acquaintances in unfamiliar surroundings, an experience that can be even more unsettling for school age children, whose education may be set back, or pets, who will find the move disorienting.
Then there are the practical and financial aspects to consider when moving home. Whilst trying to sell your existing house, your life is not your own. Buyers descend on you at unsocial hours, and there’s the strain of keeping your property in tip-top condition for their inspection. And finally, once you’ve got a firm offer and had your own accepted, you’ll more than likely find yourself in a housing buying chain or, God forbid, gazumped!
Unless you’re downsizing – which you won’t be if you’re looking for additional living space – you’ll probably need to up your mortgage repayments, and there’s conveyancing and moving costs to find on top of that!
If you’re moving home because of your job or to be closer to your scattered family, you have gains to set against your losses, but if it’s just for sake of some additional living space, it’s worth considering your options in the form of a loft conversion or home extension.
OK, converting your loft involves some upheaval, it’s true. But generally speaking the whole project can be completed in six weeks, and a good deal of that will be external or off-site work that won’t disrupt your day-to-day life in the same way that moving home will. Added to that, a loft conversion rarely involves any major structural changes to a property, so planning permission is not normally needed, and if it is we’ll take care of all that for you.
What about the financial aspects? To convert the loft of a typical 2/3 bedroom semi you’re looking at something between £25,000 and £38,000 (plus VAT), which is a substantial investment. That said, it is a real investment that will add value to your property, and should more than recoup your expenditure if and when you eventually decide to sell.
Most importantly, a loft extension offers the best lifestyle options. It gives you the additional space and freedom you want without having to say goodbye to old friends or the neighbourhood you’ve grown so much a part of. There’s really no price you can put on that!