Love it or list it? Are you battling with the decision? Interior Stylist Maxine Brady talks us through the key things to think about when deciding to keep or sell your home.
Love It or List It?
When I bought my house two years ago, my home was in a dire state. Two years down the line, with hundreds of DIY projects under my belt, I’m facing a tough decision of should I stay or should I go?
If you are also puzzling this same question – then you’ll know there is no easy answer. Here’s my check list of key factors you may need to consider
1. Money matters
An important factor when deciding if to renovate or move home is the cost. You need to weigh up the outlays of moving vs the expenses of staying.
Whatever you decide, you should know that there are many home projects that will add value to your property, appeal to potential buyers and make your home more comfortable.
An extension or loft conversion
Converting your attic or extending your home can add up to 21% to the value of your property (according to Rightmove). With my own home, I’m torn between converting my loft or moving – you can see my ideas for my space on the blog. Or both! My loft would cost me an extra £30,000 but moving would be almost the same cost.
Adding an extra bathroom – especially an en suite – could add as much as 5% onto the value of your house. Renovating an existing bathroom could add 2.8%.
One of the first rooms I tackled in my home was my tired looking bathroom, putting in a roll-top bath and a shower. Now it’s lovely to relax in– and it’s a selling point too.
If your kitchen is looking a bit tired around the edges, then rather than rip it out, you are better off injecting a bit of love instead with a quick makeover. Replacing the door fronts, worktops and tiling breathes new life into a kitchen.
Using unusual materials in my kitchen like copper piping has made my kitchen stand out from the crowd.
A lick of paint and general maintenance can be very low cost but could add as much as 2.6% to the value of your home. Outdated flowery wallpaper, ugly fireplaces, old carpet or unattractive light fittings are all small things to replace but once updated will transform your home.
The biggest transformation in my home was putting down new oak flooring throughout my ground floor. It’s helped my downstairs style to flow and will provide extra appeal and value if I decide to list. In fact, property guru Phil Spencer says wooden flooring is one of those features that appeals to just about everyone. You can’t fail!
I replaced all the radiators in my home and put down engineered oak flooring to complement my home style.
Open Plan Living
If you are planning to stay it could be time to think about to make your home work harder so you make the most of your space. Knocking down walls may not be a big job but it can open up your living spaces and make a huge difference to the way you use your home.
In my house, I pulled down the wall between the living and dining room to create an open-plan space. Now, the whole area works better for my family and it’s filled the room with light.
2. Location! Location! Location!
Is your home in a great location with everything you need in easy reach? If you can’t find a new house in a similarly great place, it might be better to renovate than moving.
If you want to be closer to good schools and public transport then you may want to move. In this case, even if renovating is cheaper, it might be wise to move to a better location.
In my case, my house is situated on top of a very steep hill and I’m the other side of town from my family and friends. On the plus side, I have great neighbours and I’m only a five minute drive from the South Downs. My location works well for me.
3. Go with your instincts
There are intangible things that make us emotionally attached to our homes.
You may love your house and can’t bear to leave it behind. If it makes you happy, it might be worth staying and renovating the areas that need some TLC.
You may want a fresh start and moving house can be energising and can transform your lifestyle. If you are feeling it’s the right time to move, then use this as the motivation to take the next step on the property ladder.
My own house has gone up in value since I bought it. But after years of time, energy and lots of love into my home, I’m too attached to let go (right now). Making over my home has been so rewarding and I’m looking forward to relaxing in the beautiful space I have created. Obviously, that doesn’t stop me going online and looking at properties in my area every once in a while. Or day dreaming about loft conversions.
Will you ‘love it’ or ‘list it’?
It all depends on what you find important. Weigh up the costs, consider what you’ll want in the future for you and your family, follow your heart and decide what will really make you happy – that’s my best advice.
Maxine Brady | Interior Stylist & Lifestyle Blogger
All images courtesy of We Love Home Blog and used with kind permission.