21 October 2015

Move or Improve?

Do you want to swap your small, separate rooms for a spacious kitchen/diner? Or could you do with 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. If you’re finding yourself increasingly frustrated with your current property and need a change, you have two options; move or improve.

We take a closer look at the pros and cons of each.

Moving: The Pros

The big advantage to moving is that you can draw up a list of all your requirements and hunt for homes that tick all the boxes. You can also choose which area you want to move to, if you’d prefer a shorter commute to work or to be in the catchment area for a good school.

The other benefit of moving is that you don’t have to live on a building site while you make the house how you want it. But remember, you probably will have some DIY to do, even if it’s just giving rooms a lick of paint or replacing the carpets.

Moving: The Cons

One of the biggest factors to take into consideration when moving is the cost. As well as the fact that you may need to take out a bigger mortgage if you’re moving to a different property, there are also estate agents’ fees, legal fees, stamp duty and the cost of hiring a van to take into consideration.

You also need to think about whether you have a realistic chance of finding your dream home that is in the right area and in your price range. It’s worth having a look on Rightmove or Zoopla to see what’s out there before you put the ‘for sale’ sign up.

Improving: The Pros

The best bit about choosing to improve your house is that you can have everything just as you want it. You can create more space by extending or converting the loft, dabble in open-plan living by knocking down walls, or add an extra bathroom if you’ve got a queue for the shower each morning.

Big jobs like adding extra space and/or fitting a new kitchen will be expensive, but any money spent on improvements can add to your property’s value in the long term. Remember to be aware of the area’s ceiling price otherwise you may find the house hard to sell on if you want to move in the future.

Improving: The Cons

There is a significant downside to improving rather than moving, such as having to live on a building site for what could be months on end, depending on what type of renovations you’re doing. You may also find yourself unable to have a bath, or use the kitchen for a while, depending on which rooms you are altering.

There may 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. It’s worth getting a professional in to help you assess exactly what renovations are achievable.

We're here to help you

Whether it’s moving home or improving your current house, we’re here to help you.

If you’re thinking of ways to cover the cost of making home improvements to your house you could consider borrowing more money on your current mortgage. Alternatively, if you plan to pay the money back within the next 5 years or so, getting a personal loan could be an option.

If moving home is the option for you then you may want to look into porting your current Nationwide mortgage.


Nationwide personal loans are available to UK residents aged 18-79 and are subject to status.

Mortgages are subject to underwriting and criteria. Minimum age 18.

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