After a while, most homeowners find something about their home that they really wish was different and that they feel they must change, either by making alterations or by moving.
“Of course the problem might be something beyond the actual walls of your home, like the fact that your once-quiet suburban street has now become a much busier and noisier route, or that you have changed jobs and now face a long daily commute, or that a new development has changed the whole character of the area,” says Gerhard Kotzé, MD of the RealNet estate agency group, “and in that case moving will usually be the best as well as the most the obvious solution”.
But more often, the problem relates to the fact that families are constantly evolving, through an increase in income for example, or the birth of children and the acquisition of more possessions. “This means that the lovely little house you started out in can quickly become a very full space where you feel you have too few bedrooms, too little privacy and too many toys, tools or gadgets.”
It’s at this stage, he says, that many owners start to think seriously about altering their homes to create more space rather than moving - especially if they still like the area that they live in.
“However before they do, they need to ask themselves if this makes sense financially. Will the cost of the additions or alterations needed to give you the extra space really be less than the cost of selling up, buying a bigger home and moving? Or if the value of your home is already pretty close to the price ceiling for your area, what is the risk attached to spending a lot of money on renovating the kitchen or bathrooms?”