Move or improve?

What you can do when you’ve outgrown your home

Do you have more kids than bedrooms? Are you tired of working at the kitchen table? Or are you crying out for a bigger bathroom? If you want to level up your living space, you’ve got a choice: relocate or renovate. It’s a big decision, so we’re here to help you weigh up the pros and cons – what it could cost, how long it might take and ways to take as much stress out of the process as possible. 

Should you stay or should you go?

It’s one of the most pressing questions homeowners will ever face - and you’ll probably change your mind many times before deciding.

Of course, what you can afford will be key – is there enough existing equity in your current property for a move? Have you got spare savings to help with removal costs?

You’ll likely face plenty of practical compromises too. Whether you choose good schools over a nicer neighbourhood or swap a home near a train station for one next to a park, there will be lots of difficult decisions to take.

To help you work out what’s right for you, we’ve broken down some of the hidden financial costs. Here we compare what you can expect to pay for a move, versus the bill for a renovation instead.

Compare your costs

How much is it to move home?

The average cost of moving in the UK is £9,331. Average cost of moving in Liverpool is £2,271. Average cost of moving in London is £22,417.

The short answer: it depends on where you’d like to go1! But we can help you figure out all your costs of moving – that’s everything from stamp duty and surveys to removals and storage. We’ve also got helpful tips on picking the perfect location and planning for the big day.

Would a makeover make more sense?

Loft conversions cost between £20,000 and £45,000. New kitchens cost between £5,000 and- £10,000. New bathrooms cost between £2,500 and £6,000.

You might be able to eke more square feet out of your current home. Your loft could become an extra bedroom, or a clever kitchen redesign could make life easier. Home renovations could be cheaper than you think2 – so it might be worth staying put and working with what you’ve got. Our guides can help you decide. 

Timing is everything

It pays to be patient when buying a home

Conveyancing takes 8 - to 12 weeks. A house survey takes between 2 and 3 weeks. Moving in can take from 1 day to 2 weeks.

Be prepared to be patient – buying a new place could take you anywhere from six weeks to six months3. You’ll have loads to get through, including the time it takes for you to find the perfect property. And then you’ve got to run the gamut of offers, conveyancing, surveys and completion. Our handy guides break it all down for you.

Is renovating worth the wait?

Loft conversions take 8 to- 10 weeks. New kitchen builds take between 3 and 12 weeks. Fitting a bathroom takes 3 weeks or more.

You could have a gleaming new bathroom in just a few weeks – but a loft conversion could take a couple of months (if not more)4. It’s not always easy to live with the noise and mess of building work. So if you’re thinking about serious home improvements, it’s worth figuring out how long they’ll take. Our guides give you an idea of what to expect. 

How to keep calm and carry on

Plan for a smooth move

46% felt anxious about delays caused by solicitors. 40% took 3 to 6 months to feel settled. 54% asked family for financial help.

Moving house can be a stressful experience – it’s no surprise when there’s so much to think about. Staying organised can help you feel more in control, so take a look at our checklist. It’ll help you get a head-start on your to-do list, which should make everything a little bit easier.

Tips for a low-stress refresh

13% of households were concerned about moving out temporarily. 32% about disagreements with builders and 40% about unforeseen circumstances, like damp

Renovations can be stressful too5 – the bigger the job, the bigger the potential for things to go wrong. You’ve lots to look out for, from planning permission delays to weeks without hot water. Our guides can help you plan ahead and cope with last-minute changes.

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