Why improving gets the nod over moving
New research has revealed that more and more British homeowners are choosing to improve their existing home rather than buy a new property.
Traditionally, homeowners in need of more space would usually look to move to a bigger house, but these days more and more people are choosing to invest time and money in their existing home rather than buying a new property.
Recent research carried out by specialist insurer Hiscox revealed that around 15% of homeowners over the last year have decided to improve rather than move – a significant increase on the 3% of homeowners choosing the renovation route in 2013. And amongst 18-36 year olds this figure is even greater, with more than a quarter of this age group deciding to invest in their current property, suggesting a possible generational shift when it comes to home renovations
There are a number of possible reasons for this apparent trend. A sluggish and costly housing market is a key contributing factor, but stamp duty and the potential for interest rate rises also play a part. The cost and hassle of moving home is also a barrier to some people, and some homeowners have even cited Brexit and the uncertainty it brings as a reason to avoid investing in new property at the current time.
As well as seeming like a safer and less costly option, staying in your home rather than moving also offers additional benefits, enabling you to stay in one place for a greater length of time and become a part of the local community.
When it comes to renovations, bathrooms and kitchens remain the most popular projects, but there has also been a rise in other types of renovation including loft conversions and, living room extensions, which have both seen an increase of more than 100% in the last nine years. One area which has seen a particularly significant growth is garden renovation, which is now the third most popular home improvement project.
While renovating your home may seem a more attractive option than moving house, it does come with its own set of challenges. It may not be as costly as moving, but that’s not to say renovating is an inexpensive option. The average householder sets aside a budget of just over £16,000 per project and allows five months to complete the work. However, overspend and delays are common problems so it’s important to plan the work and your budget properly at the very start.
Depending on the type and scale of your renovations you may also require planning permission, so it’s worth getting in touch with your local planning department before forging ahead with any of the work. And don’t forget to let your insurer know that you are planning to renovate or you could be left with little to no cover.
For homeowners looking to improve their current property without experiencing the disruption of a full scale renovation project, a conservatory can often be the perfect solution. Unlike many home improvement projects they don’t usually need planning permission (unless they are over a certain size), and our luxury conservatories enable you to create extra living space that is both stylish and practical, without going to the effort and expense of a traditional full-scale extension.
So, if you’re in need of more space, don’t head straight to the estate agent. With careful planning and creative thinking, you can carry out renovations and improvements to your existing property to create a home that you’ll be happy in for many years to come.