Daddy E and I had contemplated moving about 18 months ago and had tried to sell our house for about 8 months. The market has been pretty stagnant around us and none of the properties in our price bracket of £230 – £250k were moving so we eventually took it off the market. Fast forward to this year and again the subject of moving has come up, however we then watched the recent Sarah Beeny programme on Channel 4 where she convinced people they could double the size of their current house for half the money of moving to their dream property and this got us thinking. Could we improve our home rather than move and actually end up with the living space we wanted.
The problem with our four bedroom house is that it is very top heavy. We have four excellent double bedrooms upstairs and two good sized bathrooms. Downstair however the space hasn’t been that well thought out and our current lounge / dining room is a squash when full up and the conservatory at the back of the house dead and unused space once we get past the summer months as it is too cold in there. So we began thinking about extending the conservatory across the back of our house effectively creating a mirror image of our current lounge setup but where we could put our dining table and set up a small snug area for me and Daddy E to get cost in at night. Roo’s toys would then be moved into the lounge as it stands now to create a dedicated play zone for her in the warmth of the house meaning she can use her toys all year round rather than them sitting in the cold conservatory.
We began speaking to a few companies to get some ideas as to price and had some really different figures come in ranging from £18k right through to £35k and one chap saying it would be a 5 month build. Needless to say we were sceptical and the top figures got us a little scary as when we began looking into the financial side of things and the various options such as personal loans, re-mortgaging or extending our current mortgage the figures and repayment amounts altered substantially. We had to do a fair bit of homework here to make sure that we got the right deal for us and looking long term what would be the easiest to pay off should we come into some money. In the end we opted to extend our current mortgage and got a brilliant deal from our current provider.
We’ve eventually settled on a quote at just under £19k and the work is expected to take around 6 weeks and start next month – exciting times! Daddy E has gone off into the realms of Grand Designs several times and is dreaming of a custom built fish tank in our archway between the rooms and he also seems to have his eye on a rather shiny flatscreen smart TV to go on the wall in the new snug! I’m just as bad and fell in love with a dining table that came in at a heart stopping £4,500 before we put the chairs with it and we’ve had to promise ourselves that we will keep a tight reign on the budget as we don’t want to have to back to the bank to borrow more or renegotiate what we have agreed with them in terms of what we need.
For us, deciding to improve our home rather than move now seems a much better option. We can finally end up with the space we need and also add some additional value in to the house as it will balance the living space back out. Choosing to take the extra borrowing on our mortgage was much less than the cost to move and still puts us in a healthy financial position should we move in the next 6 – 8 years. Let’s just hope that the next 6 weeks go smoothly and we don’t end up on an episode of Cowboy Builders!