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Renovate or relocate

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We all choose properties that are right for us at given periods in our lives. But over time we can outgrow them. And if we don’t nurture them they can start to look a little shabby. If you’re falling out of love with your home you may be thinking it’s time to move on. Before you call the estate agent, take a little time out to consider the alternative – Renovation. Is it for you?

What’s Involved?

This depends on you and your property. If you want more space, then you will need to extend your living space via an extension or loft conversion, which means you’ll need to call in the builders. If you are simply fed up with the condition of your home, then redecoration may be all that is required and if you are DIY inclined you could do this yourself. Other problems, such as damp, decaying plaster, or a broken central heating system may require a higher degree of intervention, but such issues can all be put right by calling in specialists. You don’t necessarily have to move home to get the changes you are seeking, but you may have to manage the hired help.

If dealing with all of this sounds a bit scary, then consider the alternative. Moving home creates massive upheaval in your life. Along with the emotional considerations, you’ll need to co-ordinate removals, utility connections, postal redirections, and potential school moves. The time, effort and cost involved in relocating can easily become as demanding as renovating. It’s not a clear-cut decision.

Looking at the pros and cons of each option can help. The pros of one option tend to be the cons of the opposing choice, so we’ll keep our positive hats on and look at the good points in each scenario:

Good Reasons to Stay Put and Renovate

renovate or relocate• Familiarity with your neighbours, local area, and community, and the proximity to friends and schools you are happy with
• Your existing mortgage terms may be more favourable
• No need to fork out for legal or estate agent fees
• Continuing benefit from investments and improvements you may have already made at the property, such as insulation and double glazing
• Emotional attachment to your property
• Familiarity with your urban infrastructure, such as doctors, dentists, public transport and shops
• Use of existing rooms or land in and around your property to up-size your living-space without paying again for it

Good Reasons to Relocate

• It avoids the hassle of managing trades people
• Removes the risk of potential overspends on the project
• You can acquire the extra space you need, or leave behind the infrastructure issues ,without having to engage in building works or DIY
• A new home may provide a more appropriate layout for a change in the structure of your family, for example, providing more private space for teenagers, or older parents who may be living with you
• The character of your existing home may be spoiled by the addition of an extension, or other modifications to its appearance
• Renovations run the risk of over capitalising your property, i.e., spending more on it than it is ultimately worth in the housing market for your area
• Certain issues may be impossible to resolve without moving, such as proximity to a landfill site
• It gives you the chance to escape those elements of your home that were always a compromise

Whichever way you decide to jump you will be faced with challenges. The trick is to work out in advance which of those sets of issues you feel more comfortable dealing with. Radical changes to your existing home can breathe new energy into your life, yet sometimes a fresh start is what’s really needed. Only you and your family can know which the right choice is for you.

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About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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