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Move or renovate? What’s the smart choice in 2019?

Move or renovate? What’s the smart choice in 2019?

We’ve arrived in 2019 with some ominous questions if you’re looking to move to a new house this year: what will happen with Brexit? What does it mean for the economy? How will it affect the value of your home? What will the implications be for lending and moving costs?

What do property experts think?

Some experts seem quite buoyant about the property market prospects for 2019. Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of HomeOwners Alliance said: “Our figures show very few people are putting off major life decisions – such as moving house – because of what’s happening in Parliament. And rightly so. In these situations, it’s obviously important to have an eye on the bigger picture, but it’s much more useful to think about your own situation. If you’re planning on moving, there’s no reason not to, there will always be people looking to buy.”

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors are more cautious, however, advising that key price indicators are falling nationally, with half of the UK regions price balances now flat or negative, and commented: “The weaker trend in prices is being driven by the lack of demand from new buyers, which is in part a result of heightened political uncertainty, ongoing affordability pressures, a modest upward move in interest rates and a lack of fresh stock coming onto the market.”

The benefits of renovating

The uncertainty of 2019 and beyond will undoubtedly have some people staying put. And even if you’re prepared to sell, the lack of properties on the market might mean that you simply can’t find somewhere else you want to go. Renovating or extending a home, or updating it or modernising it, can be a good way to make the most of what you’ve already got. It can help you to get a better price for your home in the long run too, as you may get back more than what you invest. However, getting good advice from an estate agent is essential to help make the right investment choices and understand if your house has a ceiling price – putting in that high-spec kitchen might not be worth it.

Weighing up the costs

Weigh up the refurbishment costs against the rising costs of moving and let the facts help you make an informed choice. Consider the solicitor fees, removal costs, mortgage fees and surveying costs when it comes to selling up, and compare it to the costs of architects, builders and skip hire. Does your estate agent think you could get a better asking price for your house if you made some changes? Would you be happy with your house if it was updated and be prepared to stay for longer?

Waiting it out

The reality of your own financial situation, along with your personal level of optimism and how pressing your need to move is will help dictate what you should do next. With unanswered questions overshadowing the property market and the economy, many who may be tempted to move might simply choose to sit tight and ride out the storm of Brexit before making any big decisions.

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