Maybe you have a new family member on the way, or an elderly one looking to move in. Perhaps the kids have outgrown their bedrooms and are looking for more space, or you have suddenly found yourself working from home and require an office area.
Whatever the context that provokes it, many of us find ourselves needing a bigger home to accommodate for changes in circumstances.
For some, the instinct is to immediately start delving into the property market to look for a bigger house, one that can cope with the demands of family expansion. However, in the majority of cases, this isn’t the best solution.
Even taking away the time needed and stress accumulated in searching for and putting an offer in on a new property, there are a number of extra costs that many don’t factor into the overall price.
For example, moving from a 3 bed to a 4 bed property in South London can see in the region of £5,500 worth of legal fees, £13,000 estate agent fees, a colossal £55,000 stamp duty and £5,000 miscellaneous fees accrued throughout the process. This is a huge outlay before the price of the property is even brought into consideration.
Expanding your current home – the main alternative to moving house – not only solves many of the issues involved with a current lack of space, it will also add significant value to your property that will more than cover the outlay needed for an extension.
Loft conversions are where the biggest benefits can be found when it comes to expansion. In a city as crowded as London, building outwards isn’t always possible. Upwards, however, is a more likely option. With areas underneath roofs underutilised, generating more space by converting these into a master bedroom, a bathroom, an office or other spare room can be a very effective way to increase living space for an affordable price.
Case Study: Dulwich
The leafy area of Dulwich, largely located in the London Borough of Southwark, presents us with a good example to work with when determining the pros and cons of both sides of the move/extend debate.
According to Home.co.uk, figures suggest that moving from a 3 bedroom to a 4 bedroom house in this region could see additional funds of around £338,377 required (average correct as of April 2016) after the sale of your existing property. However, this figure is based on house prices alone, and doesn’t consider the extra £79,192 needed to cover legal fees, estate agent fees, stamp duty and other miscellaneous costs associated with the process.
Having a loft conversion performed in this area (such as the one performed by LMB Loft Conversions at Grove Hill Road in East Dulwich), thereby potentially transforming your 3 bedroom to a 4 bedroom property if you desire, can start from somewhere in the region of £30,000. As an initial cost, this might seem relatively high, but when you factor in the likelihood that the value of your property will increase by 20%, not to mention the additional living space created, it’s not hard to see which of the two options open to you is the most cost-efficient.