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Don’t Move, Improve

B-Day – House Prices to Crash and Burn?

To move or improve? It’s an age-old question and one that’s made a tad more difficult to answer by the current political and financial climate. However, for those of us who survived the apocalypse on 1st January 2000 (the day the planes fell out of the sky and banks deleted our financial records) we could be forgiven for taking the predictions of housing markets crashing, civil unrest and food shortages, come Brexit-Day, with a pinch of salt.

Having said that, the housing market is still sluggish and home improvement has some distinct advantages over the stress and uncertainty that moving can induce. Here are a couple of ways in which improving can beat moving for many people today.

The Old Ones are the Best

Until a generation or so ago it wasn’t so unusual for older relatives to turn up on the doorstep with a suitcase or two and then refuse to leave. My own parents grew up in houses that accommodated not only their own family but at least one stray grandparent. Today, it’s back to the future as the trend for extended families to live together seems to be on the increase. This can make sense, in so many ways, if the space is available or can be made so by home design and improvement.

The generation now at retirement age may have a stash of capital locked up in a large (too large) property that they’d rather see benefit their family now. People at retirement age are also generally in good health and have the time and energy to help out with childcare and other domestic matters, which busy working couples will appreciate. For the seniors, with an eye to their own future care needs, moving in with a younger generation can make both financial and practical sense.

Home Design – Show me the Money

Home design and improvement can, effectively, cost next to nothing. For many people there’s a good chance you actually have that cash available in equity in your own property. With all that financial uncertainty hovering over us and a recent rise in interest rates, now may not seem the best time to extend your mortgage. However, now may be exactly the right time; the winks and nods from the outgoing Chairman of the Bank of England suggests it could be several, maybe many, years before interest rates ‘rocket’ back to anything near their one-time norm of around five per cent.

With interest rates still currently in intensive care, grabbing a five-year fixed rate deal now could be perfect timing. It could also, with careful budgeting, mean that your home improvement could be bought and paid for by the time your fixed rate period ends.

Stress Free Solutions

Whilst larger projects may be disruptive in the short term, home improvement can be a much less stressful experience than selling up and moving on. It can also improve not only your home but quality of life, the potential value of your home and can be achieved, with clever financing, for very little indeed.

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