Do up or Sell up
| Financial Guidance

‘Do up’ or ‘Sell up’

Do you want to swap your small, separate rooms for a spacious, open plan kitchen/diner? Or do you need an extra bedroom for your growing family?

As people’s lifestyles change they need different things from their home, whether that’s more space, extra bedrooms or just a different layout. When this happens it’s easy to quickly fall out of love with what was once your dream home.

But with the cost of moving continuing to rise, selling up isn’t always an option, so now could be the time to consider some Home Improvements. Renovating your home not only makes it more enjoyable to live in, it can also add thousands to the value, usually for much less than the cost of moving and taking on a new (and usually bigger) mortgage.

Deciding whether to move or improve your current home can be a big decision. To help you decide between doing up or selling up, we’ve looked at the good, the bad and the ugly of both.

Do up:
The Good: The best bit about choosing to improve your home is that it allows you to put your own stamp on things and make sure the space really works for your family. You can think about what it is that will make your life easier, whether that’s creating more space by extending or converting the loft, creating open-plan living space by knocking down walls, or if you’ve got a queue for the shower each morning adding an extra bathroom.

The bigger jobs like extending or fitting a new kitchen can be expensive, but any money spent on improvements can add to the value of your property. Our Home Improvements Calculator can help you to understand which home improvements can increase a property’s value the most. But be aware of your area’s ceiling price, otherwise you may find it hard to recoup the costs, or the house hard to sell on if you want to move in the future.

The Bad: Unfortunately, there are some things you just can’t change, you can’t for example pick your house up and move it. So, if there’s things about your neighbourhood you don’t like, such as a busy road or a long commute – you’ll be stuck with them.

There can also be limitations to what you can change in your current property. If you have a small garden, you’ll only be able to extend so far without compromising your outside space, and your loft needs to be a certain height for a conversion to meet modern building regulations. Therefore, its important that you speak to a professional to help you assess exactly what renovations are achievable.

The Ugly: Even seemingly simple renovations can cause a mess and can lead to you living on a building site for what could be months on end, depending on the type of work you’re doing. You could find yourself without a bathroom, or relying on the local takeaway if you’re unable to use the kitchen for a while.

The Good: You may be able to find a property in the right area and at the right price, that ticks all the boxes on your wishlist. If you can afford it, you’ll be able to buy somewhere with the extra space without the chaos of builders and the accompanying brick dust.

The Bad: You’ll need to think about whether you have a realistic chance of finding your dream home. How many homes have you seen on the market, in your price range, in your desired location which you’d be happy to keep exactly as it is? You could still find yourself with an element of work to do, whether that’s just giving rooms a lick of paint or tackling bigger jobs like replacing the kitchen. It’s worth having a look on Rightmove or Zoopla to see what’s out there before you put the ‘for sale’ sign up.

The Ugly: It's easy to overlook the costs involved in buying and selling, but one of the biggest factors to take into consideration when moving is the cost. As well the possibility of a bigger mortgage to fund your dream home, there are other costs you’ll also need to consider such as estate agents’ fees, legal fees, stamp duty and the cost of hiring a van or removal company. It’s worth doing your sums before deciding whether going to market is right for you. Rightmove have a great calculator to help you estimate your moving costs

We're here to help
With the cost of moving continuing to soar, the number of home-movers and therefore number of houses on the market continuing to fall, meaning many people are choosing to ‘do up’, not ‘sell up’. If you’re part of this growing trend and are looking for a way to fund home improvements, we’re here to help.

Have you considered a second mortgage?
Where a remortgage isn’t an option or wouldn’t be good advice, a second mortgage can be just what you need to fund your home improvements. Here are a few scenario’s where a second mortgage could be a better option.

When affordability or a change in circumstances would make a re-mortgage unfavourable
Where early repayment charges would be incurred or better rates would have to be sacrificed
Where you would suffer marginal cost of new money, such as a higher LTV banding.
With rates from just 3.88% a second mortgage can help fund your clients home improvement project – whether they’d like a new kitchen, need to repair a roof, are planning an extension or just want to give their home a new lease of life.

Find out more
If you have any questions or would simply like to find out more, please call our team of experts on 0800 131 0280.

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