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Move or improve – what's the best way to get the home you need?

Being a homeowner means you're faced with questions all the time. What should you do with the garden? Or what's the best way to insulate the loft? But what about that age old question – should you carry on making improvements to your home or just bite the bullet and move somewhere new? As with any big decision, there are pros and cons to both, so here's our guide to getting the home you need.

What budget do you have?

An image of a piggy bank and a model house.

Firstly, can you afford to move? Estimates show that this year, based on an average house price of £218,225, it will cost you around £8,886 to move house. Now it may be you've outgrown your current home so you have no option other than move, but given the costs involved it could be more economical to simply improve where you live if you have the choice. Research by My Home Move shows 58% of homeowners identify location as the main reason they bought their home, so if you love where you live why leave it?

The cost of improving

Home improvements will cost as little or as much as you can afford. A simple change like a lick of paint can make your home feel like new, but be done on a relatively low budget. And any improvements you make are certain to add value to your home, should you come to sell up at a later date. Mark Hayward, Chief Executive of NAEA Propertymark (National Association of Estate Agents), says:

"You can be on a budget or willing to spend, there are always innovative improvements that can be undertaken which will successfully increase your home's value."

In fact, their 10 top home improvement tips are a great place to start if you're looking for inspiration.

And if you're thinking about tackling a bigger project, like building an extension or converting your loft, this guide has advice from tradesmen, to help you cost the project and work out what planning permission you may need.

Don't forget about your insurance!

If you're making improvements to your home you must inform your insurer of everything you alter, so that if you make a claim at a later date your policy's still valid. The nature of the work, for example flat roof extensions, can also make a difference. They'll need to know about changes to the number of bedrooms and bathrooms too, as this will contribute significantly to how your premium is quoted.

You can also check with them about what you're actually covered for. If you're going to be doing some of the work yourself, it's a good idea to check if you have accidental damage cover included as part of your policy. That way, you'll be covered for any minor mishaps, such as accidentally drilling through pipes.

At Hastings Direct we pride ourselves on offering quality insurance at competitive prices. Our home policies are Defaqto 5 star rated and come with a range of great benefits as standard.

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