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To move or extend in Manchester?

If you’re starting to feel the strain of a lack of space in your home, there will come a point where you start to contemplate whether you should move to a bigger house, or add an extension to your existing home in Manchester. So what factors should you consider before deciding whether to extend or move?

There are a variety of reasons why one might be considering a move. Reasons can include a new addition to the family, starting to work from home and needing an office space, needing a utility room, or wanting to accommodate relatives and friends who come to stay with you several times a year.

Several years ago Manchester Evening News reported that 7 out of 10 homeowners in the UK opt to stay put and make improvements to their home, rather than moving. Due to the general trend of rising interest rates and property prices, more and more people are turning to Architect firms in Manchester, rather than estate agents in order to obtain their dream home. Popular programmes like Love it or List it are also encouraging home owners to think before automatically selling up and moving on when their house becomes too small.

Often people decide to move to a less affluent area so that they can get more house for their money. However most families with children can be reluctant to do this as they want to live in the catchment area for the best schools.

So what, then, is the best and most cost effective option?

Buying a bigger house will more often than not mean a bigger mortgage. Roughly speaking, for every £10k you borrow, your monthly payments may increase by approximately £65. You need to budget for solicitors fees, valuations, surveys, land registry, and estate agents fees. You’ll also probably pay for removals fees too, and altogether this can add up to around £7-£10K.

Stamp duty also need to be considered too. If under £250K it may be 1%, and you may consider this manageable, however, if it’s above this then you’ll have to pay at least £7.5K. If you go over £500K you’ll have to pay something closer to the region of £25K.

Extending your home is often the cheaper option, and you can start by searching for residential architects Manchester. A quick google search can give you the top 10 architects Manchester list and out of these you’ll want to find an architect to work with who is professional and informative, RIBA registered, within your budget, and who you enjoy dealing with. If you don’t like your architect this can be a big obstacle, even if they’re considered good in their field. Working on your home is a personal project close to your heart so finding the right person to work with is important.

When budgeting for a house extension, you need to take into account professional fees as well as the overall cost of the build itself, and for most typical extension projects these will be in the region of about £5K. An architect should also be able to give you an idea of what the cost of your extension will be, although this will be a roughly estimated cost at the initial design stage. If you want to engage a quantity Surveyor to find out in more detail how much your extension should cost then you should find a Manchester architecture firm who also offers QS services. At House Architects we have QS/PMs on board who can advise you from the start of your project. The cost of your extension will beaffected by many factors including the standard of finishes you opt for. For example a concrete worktop will cost less than a marble worktop.

If you also want to landscape your garden you should allow in your budget for a landscape architect or designer too.

Will your house extension increase the value of your home?

Speaking with MEN in 2013, Mike Groves of Thornley Groves Estate Agents said:

“In terms of increasing floor space, it is worth extending because for every £1 you spend, you get £2 back.

“The market is levelling out and it’s not going backwards.

“People should move for life-cycle reasons, such as a birth, death or relocation, but those moving simply for a bigger kitchen or more space will realise spending £20,000-£50,000 is irrational, and that they can improve their existing home for much less.”

Another thing to bear in mind is the effect of moving on you and your family. Alongside death and divorce, buying a house is generally recognised as being one of life’s most stressful events but bear in mind, living on a building site for three to four months while the work is done will be very disruptive too, so manage your expectations whatever you decide to do, and expect some ups and downs in the course of your house extension project.

If you engage a trustworthy architects in Manchester at the outset of your project, you can manage out much of the stress that a house extension project comes with.

So, in summary, extending your home rather than moving house is probably the cheaper option in most cases. By doing this it enables you to stay in a good catchment area, around your good neighbours, and it can take away the stress of moving house. There are many ways in which you can add more space to your home. For example, extending to the rear, extending to the side, Adding a 2 storey side extension, converting your garage to another room, converting your loft space, or adding a dormer conversion to the loft. There may be more than one design option to explore before making a decision about what is the best way to go forward, which is another reason it’s especially important to speak with your Manchester interior architect before engaging the builders.

If you want to read more about the process of obtaining planning and building regulations approvals for your house extension then take a look at our frequently asked questions page. Alternatively you can start the process of engaging an architect for your house extension by booking a free initial consultation with the architect for your area. Catherine Traynor covers the Manchester area. She is an award wining architect specialising in residential design. Find out more about Catherine here, or book your free consultation today.

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