Renovate or Relocate: Should you move or improve your home this year?

Written by

Luke Hilton

Luke Hilton is a Warrington-based email content writer and designer in the financial services industry. He enjoys mixing analytics and creativity and can usually be found with his head buried in stats, piecing together the patterns that make good content. In his spare time, the drive to figure things out continues with what can only be described as a love-hate relationship with DIY. With a keen love of the outdoors, Luke is usually up a mountain somewhere or in his garden growing his own oasis.

Wednesday 28th February 2024

It’s one of life’s big decisions: should you stay put and work to make the most of your existing property, or move to a new home that may already have some of the features you’re looking for?

We spend a great deal of time in our homes. According to IPA TouchPoints 2023, we spend 18 hours and 43 minutes there each day on average. So it’s extremely important to live in an environment that meets your practical needs and suits your aesthetic tastes too.

But when it comes down to it… is it cheaper and easier to relocate or renovate to create your perfect home?

Is it a good time to buy?

After years of uncertainty, the housing market is looking more positive and mortgage rates seem to be stabilising. One in five are considering moving in the next 12 months as a result but, for many, it’s still simply not an option.

That’s because house prices are still high, despite the average house price falling very slightly recently according to Zoopla. Many buyers may still be waiting until both house prices and mortgage rates have lowered.

The benefits of moving house this year

  • If you’re currently renting, owning your own property means you won’t need to worry about rent increases (rents are predicted to rise again this year). Your income will go towards paying off your own mortgage instead
  • You may find that house prices continue to rise, which means you could get a better price now
  • While you can update and improve your property, you’ll need to move homes if you want to experience a new neighbourhood or city
  • If you need significantly more space, it could be cheaper (and potentially less disruptive) to move home than spend big money on extending your current property

Should I make home improvements instead?

18% of Brits made a New Year’s Resolution to decorate or renovate their home, with kitchens and bathrooms still remaining a priority.

The great thing about renovating your home is you’re in control of the changes you make. Depending on your budget, you can design and create an ideal home that’s bespoke to you and your family.

While renovating could improve the value of your home, just 6% of people state increasing resale value as a reason for their home improvement projects. It seems more and more homeowners are looking to make improvements to better suit their lifestyle, making the home a functional and enjoyable place to be.

The benefits of renovating your home this year

  • Experience a ‘fresh start’ or a more appealing/functional home without the stress, inconvenience or potential expense of moving house
  • Mortgage rates are still significantly higher than they were a year or so ago, so you may choose to wait until they fall to buy a property
  • Depending on the type of improvements you make, you could end up making a good return on investment. Home improvements can lower your energy costs and increase the value of your property
  • Moving house doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be moving into a ‘finished product’ so you may end up spending money on renovations anyway. If you’re happy where you are, improving your existing property could be more cost-effective

How to renovate your home on a budget

Being on a budget doesn't mean that you can't make improvements to your home. Whether you have £1,000 or £35,000, focus on the changes that will impact the way you feel about your house.

Here’s how you can make the most of your home improvement budget:

  • £1,000 - Upgrade your interior lightening to make your home feel brighter and modern.
  • £3,000 – Give your whole house a fresh lick of paint, perfect if your home just needs a small update.
  • £5,000 - Landscape your garden to create a space which will encourage you to spend more time outdoors.
  • £7,500 - Upgrade your current bathroom or install an ensuite.
  • £10,000 - Get a new kitchen and update your appliances.
  • £20,000 – Install a garden room to create a separate space away from your bustling living areas
  • £25,000 - Create an extra bedroom or office space for ever-growing families.

Of course, these costs will vary depending on whether you hire a contractor or take on the job yourself. But when you consider the costs associated with moving house you may find that doing up your existing property can work out cheaper – particularly if you manage your budget well.

If you need some inspiration for your home improvement project, social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram are great places to start (as well as our home improvements hints and tips, of course). With so many home and interior influencers ready to share the latest trends, you'll never be short of home improvement ideas.

Funding your renovations

There are many different ways you can fund your home improvements, from using your savings or a credit card to remortgaging or adding to your mortgage. It’s important to consider all your options before making a final decision.

If you’ve decided to borrow the money you need for your home improvement project, or even to assist with moving costs such as removal van hire or storage, our personal loans could help. With our home improvement loans, you could borrow between £1,000 and £35,000 with competitive rates from as low as 7.4% APR Representative (£7,500-£25,000).

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