If you’ve been living in your home for many years, you may have noticed it, somehow, get a little smaller. Perhaps the accumulation of stuff – the new dining table, the piano in the living room, recently added home office furniture and equipment – or new additions to your family have made the whole place seem a lot more cramped than it used to be. At this juncture, you are faced with a choice: you can either sell up and move somewhere bigger or extend your home to create more space. There is a lot to be said for both options and, of course, it will all depend on myriad personal factors particular to your situation. But what if there was a third option? What if you could do both?
Indeed, this is not as counterintuitive as it sounds. It is actually not uncommon at all for homeowners to extend their house specifically for the purposes of selling it. The reason is fairly obvious – with more house comes more asking price. And perhaps that extra value means the difference between being able to afford your next home or not. Even if you plan to sell the house immediately afterwards, you could even see the extension as indeed creating more space for yourself – simply because you will be able to afford an even bigger home afterwards!
Weighing Up the Cost
Of course, the extension itself does not come free. And, as with all home improvements ahead of a sale, the fundamental consideration is whether the added value your extension will attract exceeds or falls short of the cost of doing it. For the whole thing to be financially worthwhile, you need to go beyond breaking even.
Extensions, however, can vary significantly in form, style, size and, ultimately, cost. And it is important to remember the non-material things. If you plan to do some living in your extension before selling on the house, then that has value in itself. It is also worth considering that even if the extension does not add value significantly in excess of the cost of building it, it may still make your home more attractive. This is something which, depending on the circumstances, could mean the difference between making a sale and losing a potential buyer altogether.
Trust the Professionals
So perhaps you are unsure whether extending before selling is a good idea – or perhaps you don’t even know what type of extension to get? Almost certainly, you will not have a clear idea of how much value it will add, and this is because it’s impossible to put an exact figure on this. An extension at once attracts buyers (if it is to their taste) and adds more living space to the home itself. But there are so many other factors that interact with the inclusion of an extension which might affect the home’s value in any number of ways. For example, does the extension eat up garden space and make the back yard cramped? Is it in the sunlight or shade?
Your best course of action is to seek an appraisal ahead of doing anything. A professional real estate brokerage can provide an expert appraisal that will not only value your house but offer advice as to how much value will be added by the addition of an extension. City Home Collective, a real estate agency out of Salt Lake City, say that an appraisal is a necessary first step before any money is spent on an extension. There is simply no way of knowing, without one, whether the whole project will be worthwhile.