From simply needing more space to wanting a more modern home, the ‘renovate or relocate’ problem is something everyone faces sooner or later.

Let’s go through the pros and cons of both moving and improving, so you can get an idea about what suits you better:

Moving

Pros

A fresh start – Moving to a different home can feel like a new beginning. Not only will your home be new to you, your immediate surroundings and the people you meet will be, too.

It’s your choice – Unless you’re not under pressure to move immediately, you can take your time and look for the right property in the right area.

No contractor chaos – Having builders in your home while you’re still living there is no fun and a major inconvenience.

Cons

Your work may not be over – Not everyone who moves will be lucky enough to find a property that they can simply put their belongings into and have done with it. In fact, for many, the work begins once they move in.

Moving can be costly – It’s an unfortunate truth: moving home isn’t cheap.

Leaving can be tough – Even if you’re moving just a few streets away, sometimes leaving a place you’ve lived in for many years can be an ordeal. Lovely neighbours, close proximity to the station, shops, or school, can all make it hard to leave.

Renovating

Pros

Will cost less than buying a new home – doing up your current home will win out over buying a new one.

Value maximisation – If there are things that can be improved, doing so will add value to your property. This will give you the best return on investment, in terms of capital growth, should there be an uplift in the market.

You already know the area – Providing you’re happy where you are ,  staying put can be a huge tick on the pro-renovation side of your move or improve balance sheet.

You can really make your home your own – Deciding to improve your current property does allow you to really put your stamp on your home.

Cons

Tough process –  The actual work side of things can be extremely stressful. Many choose to move out entirely whilst the renovation is being completed, but that’s not always possible or practical.

The new can make the old look really old – If you’re planning on adding an extension to the property, or even remodelling your kitchen or bathroom, it’s worth bearing in mind that the addition of a brand new part of your home can often make the rest look very old.

Estimative costs are very rarely final costs – Be prepared to go over budget.

Planning pains – Many home improvement tasks will require planning permission, which can be a mission in itself. If you have your heart set on a basement conversion or a huge extension, you’ll need to ready yourself for a fight.

Might upset the neighbours – Large scale building work isn’t just an inconvenience for you, it can also be a huge upheaval for your neighbours. Are the people living next door tolerant enough to cope with all the mess and disturbance?

Questions to ask before making your final decision

  • Do I really want to move?
  • What is my budget telling me?
  • How important is your current location?
  • Is your property actually suitable for renovation?

It’s also important to talk with all concerned in your decision, including children. Everyone will be affected by the route you decide to take, so you should at least allow them to have their say. Go through all the pros and cons together to see if you can find common ground to base your final decision upon.