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Move house or renovate? Expert advice to help you decide

By October 30, 2019Home, Moving House
Fallen out of love with your home

Whether to stay put and upgrade the home that you are in or move house is a dilemma faced by many people. Whichever option you decide on will have costs, however, it is generally cheaper to try to remodel and find a way to maximise the potential of your current home than to move. But there are a number of factors to consider to ensure you make the right decision.

Calculate the fees

Moving house means qualifying for a new mortgage, so you will need to decide whether or not the timing is right to apply for a mortgage based on your other financial obligations and personal circumstances. Selling your current home also means estate agency’s fees, removals, utility reconnections and conveyancing costs.


What are the renovation costs

Once you move house, you’ll need to factor in the cost of renovating your new home, which unless you find something in walk-in condition that exactly matches your taste you will need to budget for some alteration works. The cost for refurbishment is between €650 – €850 per square meter excluding finishes and fittings such as kitchens, flooring, windows etc.

Don’t underestimate the emotional trauma

And don’t underestimate the emotional trauma. Unless you are staying in the same area there is all of the stress with upheaval from your existing community, schools and neighbours. This needs to be carefully considered.

If you have a good amount of equity built up in your current home, you may be able arrange a home equity loan to pay for renovations. For many people, however, especially those who are living in homes they had not planned on staying in for so long, it can be hard to see past all of the shortcomings.

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Do you have room to improve?

Some houses, especially the newer homes, have little scope for development as attics have already been converted and garden sizes limit extending.  It really is worth getting some advice. We had clients who bought a home in an area that they loved before they had any children. Three children later their home simply wasn’t working for them but they had become even more attached to the area so their preference was to remodel their home.

Because of the restrictions with the layout which was very long and narrow, it required a considerable amount of money to remodel and would not offer a significant return on their investment. So the better solution for them would to look at moving.

While renovating may seem like a good idea when you love the location it is important to ensure that what you are doing will deliver exactly what you need and not detract from your resale potential in the future.

See advice from a local Estate Agent

An estate agent will tell you that location is the most important factor to consider. This plays a big role in the buy-versus-renovate question. If you adore the area that you live in and have reservations about leaving behind neighbours, amenities and the place that feels so much like home, then renovation may be the wiser choice.

However, seek advice and get quotes for your planned renovations and if possible an agent’s view on the value that the completed project might add to your home. If the new sale price outweighs the cost of the renovations, the decision of whether or not you should move house will be a much easier one to make.

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Denise O'Connor

Author Denise O'Connor

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