Homeowner guide: selling vs renovating

Homeowner guide: selling vs renovating

author: Emily

By Emily

Not sure whether the grass is greener on the other side? We help you decide whether you should sell up or stay put.


Deciding whether to renovate or sell your home can be a mind-boggling decision that many homeowners face. If your family is expanding and your formerly cosy home is beginning to feel like the walls are closing in on you, figuring out whether or not to stay and extend or fly off to a different nest can be a difficult choice to make.

There are plenty of things to consider, like the cost of building an extension vs the cost of moving, but in our helpful guide, you’ll find all the answers you need to help you make that all-important decision.

Take a step back and look at the price tags

Put the dreams of your ideal lottery-winning home to one side for a moment and look at the price tags of different options. A well thought-out and planned renovation project could actually cost less than buying a newer and bigger home. But what is the average cost of an extension?

Depending on what you’re looking to have done, a single story extension works out at roughly £1500 per square meter. For the average single story extension of 4m x 5m which would give you the perfect add-on to your kitchen or living space, the build cost would be £30,000 upwards.

Now if you think about the cost of moving to a new house: packing everything up, stamp duty, legal fees, movers costs, estate agent fees and more, the actual cost of moving house could end up well over £20,000 (based on a family moving from a £250,000 first home to a £400,00 property).

With this in mind, could it be more cost-effective to take out a homeowner loan to help extend your current property to transform it into exactly what you want?

What about adding value to your home?

Does a new kitchen add value? In short, yes it does, but this completely depends on whether you have the budget for a complete refit, or you’re looking for more cost-effective ways of giving the heart of your home a bit of a lift.

From changing the work surfaces and getting new appliances to simply giving your cabinets a new lease of life with a colour change, there are so many ways in which you can add value without breaking the bank. Plus with simple changes like this instead of a refit, you’ll still be able to use your kitchen, as opposed to living in a building site for a few months.

Adding value to your home in this way means you can customise to your heart’s content. More often than not, if you move into a new property, you may love the high-tech kitchen but may want to change a few other bits and pieces.

What about just moving out?

Like with a renovation, there are benefits to moving out too. You can turn over a new leaf when you move, plus it gives you the option to have a good clear out of all those forgotten items left hidden in the attic or storage spaces. Your new home may have bigger and brighter rooms and much more space. You’ll meet new people and get to explore new areas (if you decide to move far from where you are now).

But packing up a young family and hauling them to a new property can have its challenges. Between paying for estate agents, solicitors and umpteen other fees as well as hiring a man with a van to help you pack and move, the costs to head to a new nest can become a lot more than we imagine.

Is there a way to do both?

Should you decide between one or the other? Why not consider doing both? If your current home needs a bit of updating and you think you’re ready for a change of scenery, why not look at what renovations you can do to not only add value to your home, but to help your property be that little bit more attractive to potential buyers!

Do a realistic assessment of all the rooms in your home. Is the bathroom suite okay but maybe the tiles could do with updating? Is your kitchen still in good nick but maybe a fresh coat of paint on the cabinets would give it that modern lift it needs?

By making these small changes, you could increase your chances of selling and get that higher asking price, meaning more money available to buy your dream property and money spare to be able to put your own stamp on it.

How to decide whether to renovate or sell your home

Moving away from what you know and love can be scary, especially if your children have taken their first steps there. At the same time, embarking on your first ever extension can be an overwhelming time, but by taking a moment to evaluate the best possible way forward, looking at both the money and time involved, you’ll be able to make the best decision based on the current wants and needs of your family. 

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Emily

By Emily

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Homeowner guide: selling vs renovating Homeowner guide: selling vs renovating