Upsizing Guide: Should You Move To A Bigger House?

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If the lockdown taught us anything, people need space. Upsizing and buying a bigger house can be a great way to access more area, alleviate stress and allow for more functional working-from-home environments.

But, with a high price tag, you need to consider whether buying a bigger place is for you and your financial situation.

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Why Do People Upsize?

Upsizing can come in many shapes and sizes and is effectively the word that's used in the property industry for moving up the property ladder. It can include; living in a flat and moving to a new build house, moving from a new build house to a gorgeous Georgian six-bed terrace or moving from a smaller dwelling to a larger one.

Everyone on the property ladder will go through a period of upsizing and downsizing, depending on their circumstances, so there are many reasons why people do it. Some examples include:

  • A couple is planning to have children and needs more than one bedroom.

  • A university student wants to move out of their studio apartment and into a shared house.

  • A large family needs more outdoor space and is looking for a more extensive garden.

  • An elderly couple wants to move from their small bungalow and move to a large home in Southern France.

Personal circumstances are endless, a natural part of the homeowner's journey.

What Is A Big House?

The terms big and bigger house are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two. A big house is any property larger than the UK average, which is relatively small at 76 square metres.

While a bigger house is simply any property that is larger than the one you are living in.

In the UK, the average number of bedrooms per house stands at around 2.95 rooms, meaning that any property with more than 3 bedrooms is considered large.

If you're thinking about buying a bigger home, then you will need to consider if you want to move to a property with more bedrooms or one with square footage.

The more square footage you choose, the more expensive the property will become & the more it will cost to maintain due to new expenses like higher heating bills.

There is a sliding scale of the different sizes of houses that are larger than yours, which should be compared against your budget.

The largest privately owned property in the UK is Wentworth Woodhouse, with over 23,000 square metres of floor space, while the smallest property in the UK has 1.5 square metres of floor space and is located in Conwy, North Wales.

Is Now The Right Time To Upsize Your Home?

Determining whether now is the right time to upsize your home will depend on several factors; your financial situation, housing needs, interest rates and the current housing market:

Financial Situation

You will need to consider if you can afford to upsize your home. This includes the cost of the new house and the associated costs of moving, like stamp duty, legal fees, removal and moving costs.

Consider whether your income can support more significant mortgage payments, utility bills and other expenses when buying a larger home.

Housing Needs

Upsizing may be necessary if your family has outgrown your current property and need extra space for a home office, guest room or additional living areas.

Consider upsizing your property if you are looking for a property with more amenities than your current home, including air conditioning, parking, number of floors, etc.

Housing Market

The current housing market should enormously impact your decisions when deciding to upsize. If house prices are too high and inventory is low, you may be unable to find a larger home within your budget.

On the other hand, if prices are low and inventory is high, you should find an excellent deal on a larger home.

Interest Rates

Interest Rates should also influence your decision-making when interest rates are low; you can secure a favourable mortgage rate, ensuring upsizing is more affordable.

But, if interest rates are high, you may need help finding affordable mortgage rates.

Before you make any big decisions, consider seeking the advice of a mortgage specialist or financial adviser who will be able to aid you in finding the correct route for you.

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What Are The Advantages of Living In A Bigger House?

If you are pondering about moving into a bigger house, you will benefit from having more internal and external rooms, an increased chance of value increase, improved family communication due to dedicated spaces, the opportunity to rent and a chance to create a forever home.

Larger Houses Have More Room

Most families demand more space in their properties, so living in a larger house is attractive. Increasing the available living area allows for family expansion in the future, be that through more children or having grandparents live with you.

Owning a big house will also mean you can have the space for a home office, library or gym without converting existing rooms or working from cluttered desks.

In recent years, home offices have become far more common as people move away from office life and having space to work is essential as busy family life can often make it hard to find a place of zen. This is why having a room dedicated to working or reading can be blissful.

Increase Outdoor Spaces

Most larger houses will have more extensive gardens, which can be a haven for dogs, children, families and older people. You could fill them with elegant entertainment areas, fit with a bar, outdoor seating area and BBQ or a playhouse and swing set. The opportunity is endless.

Comes With Higher Chance Of Home Value Increasing

Due to a larger house initially costing more, the chance of the property value increase is higher than a smaller house.

If you have lived in the property for over ten years and have not done much work on it, and house prices in your area rise by 10%, this will translate into a more considerable house value rise.

However, it is essential to note that occasionally house prices in an area may fall, which will cause the opposite to apply.

Bigger Homes Can Improve Family Communication

Most large houses will have more rooms built for function; for example, most big homes are created with a dining room, kitchen, living room and cloakrooms.

These spaces are created for a purpose and can improve how your family lives as comfortably as sitting at the dinner table and having full meals.

Bigger House, Less Clutter

Having a bigger house allows you to take less notice of a few things left lying around, but it also allows you to own more storage space.

If you've come from a smaller building, you'll know that storage is vital in any property, but in a larger home, you can create focal points out of the storage units, which you couldn't do in smaller spaces.

Most Houses Come With a Garage Space

Most larger semi-detached and detached properties will have a garage on the property, which can be helpful to store your car, house a gym, or be used as extra living space. A garage is a transferable space that can be used for almost anything.

Opportunity To Rent

Bigger homes allow you access to opportunities that a smaller home may not; for example, if you need an extra source of income, you could rent out a spare room to a lodger or rent out an outhouse as an Airbnb.

Forever Homes

Most people will buy a home with a larger square footage as a forever home that will allow them to have children, grow old and retire. In the long run, a bigger home may save you money as you are not constantly moving multiple times.

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What Are The Disadvantages of Living In A Larger House?

Although there are many advantages to having a larger house, there are also a wealth of disadvantages like increased household bills, more extensive deposits, bigger mortgage payments, increased maintenance costs, more furniture needed, a negative impact on family life and being less environmentally friendly.

Increased Household Bills

A larger home will likely increase household bills as heating and electricity costs can increase considerably. You may also have to pay for external help like a cleaner or gardener to keep your house and garden in top condition.

As the years go by, your home insurance will also rise as you will have more assets that need protecting, especially once all the children discover technology.

Larger House, Larger Deposit

Due to the property costing more, you may have to pay a larger deposit, which can be difficult if you are a first-time buyer or have not been at your current property long enough to release equity.

Increased Mortgage Repayments

Your mortgage repayments could increase significantly in a more extensive property than your smaller one. If you ever go through a financial hardship, you may need to cut back on your lifestyle. Otherwise, your house may be repossessed.

The mortgage provider will take your home ownership and take you to court, where you must prove you can afford to keep your home.

Luckily, if you ever face repossession, we can buy your property in as little as seven days!

Increased Maintenance Costs

Larger properties, especially older properties, may be beautiful, but more often than not, they have quite a few gremlins lurking in the walls.

Getting a new roof, cleaning your gutters or having the double glazing installed can cost far more in a larger house, so you will need to be able to have a maintenance fund in hand.

Increased maintenance costs are fueled by the chance of more things going wrong. A larger home is more likely to have more appliances which could become faulty and need to be replaced, like dishwashers, tumble dryers and more.

Trying To Fill Empty Spaces

The larger your home, the more space you will have. It may be easier to fill the area if you are either mega-rich or a keen interior designer. This could mean you spend high costs on excessive amounts of furniture.

Negative Impact On Family Life

Although having dedicated space for family life is seen as an advantage, having a larger house may isolate some people as they are further away from family members.

Having a larger property may also put a financial strain on the homeowners especially if the family is growing, which means there is less disposable income to be spent on holidays or family days out.

Less Environmentally Friendly

Building a larger property from scratch may have a more significant environmental impact as more materials are used in construction.

This, combined with more considerable amounts of energy needed to run all lights and appliances and the fact that many larger properties are in the suburbs, making families commute further to work, increases the chance of environmental harm.

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What Are The Alternatives To Upsizing?

If upsizing doesn't meet your current requirements or you can't afford higher mortgage payments, consider renovating or extending your existing home, maximising storage in each bedroom or creating multifunctional spaces.

Renovation & Extensions

Changing the size or shape of a room in your home could easily add square footage to your property. Renovating or extending a property is minimal compared to purchasing a larger, more expensive property.

You could renovate the loft or basement space to create another room in the house, which could be used as an extra bedroom or guest room.

Extensions can either come as a conservatory, single-storey or multi-storey and add extra room or rooms to your property, giving you much more space. You must acquire planning permission from the planning council to make an extension.

Maximise Storage

When maximising storage capacity, the first port of call is to declutter your home. Sometimes it's not the lack of space that's the problem, but rather a lack of organisation.

By decluttering your home, you can create more space and make your living space feel less cramped.

Maximising storage can create more space in your home, including installing shelving, cabinets, built-in wardrobe and closets to create much-needed storage without taking up too much space.

Using deeply coloured cabinets at a lower level, and lighter colours at a higher level can create a horizon effect in a room and ultimately make the room seem larger.

You could build a large shed or structure for external storage if you have a garden. However, you will need planning permission to create this, especially if the design is visible to neighbours.

If you dont have a large enough garden to erect a shed, you could rent storage space and fill it with items you don't need every day.

Create Multifunctional Spaces

If you cannot obtain planning permission for an extension or shed or don't have the budget, you could consider creating a multifaceted space. This could be converting a spare room into a home office with a sofa bed or making a living-dining space.

Why Should You Upsize A Family Home?

Ultimately, upsizing your family home will mean there is more room for growth in the future, it opens you up to way more opportunities, and you will be able to adapt to the space as you wish.

Larger homes are usually more valuable than smaller properties, especially if they are periodic or have been built for a purpose. Upsizing means investing in a long-term asset that will gain value over time and is seen as a better investment than a smaller flat.

However, if you are looking to create short term funds by investing, you may be better off flipping a smaller property and renting it out in the current market.

Is It Worth Upgrading To A Bigger House?

One of the number one issues people face when living in a larger house is the additional maintenance costs, household bills (electricity and water etc) and external teams (cleaners & gardeners).

If you can handle these costs and want to move into a larger house to future-proof yourself, then it may be a good idea to upgrade.

How Does Stamp Duty Apply To An Upsize?

When you purchase a larger house which will be your only residence, you will not face Stamp Duty on the first £250,000 of the property's value, but then:

  • 5% if the property is valued between £250,000 and £925,000.

  • 10% if the property is valued between £950,000 and £1.5 million.

  • 12% if the property is valued at over £1.5 million.

First-time buyers buying their first home will not pay stamp duty on the first £425,000 of the property's value.

However, if you are buying a second home or expanding your property portfolio, then you will have to pay:

  • An extra 3% Stamp Duty on top of the standard rates on any property valued at £40,000 - £250,000.

  • An additional 8% Stamp Duty on top of the standard rates on any property valued at £250,001 - £950,000.

  • An extra 13% Stamp Duty on top of the standard rates on any property valued at £950,001 - £1.5 million.

  • An additional 15% Stamp Duty over the standard rates on any property valued over £1.5 million.

How Can You Upsize Quickly?

If you want to upsize your home quickly, you should ensure that you are financially prepared, which could include getting pre-approved for a mortgage and having a down payment saved so you can act quickly when you find the right home.

If you have the funds available, consider buying a bigger property with cash, as this is the fastest way to purchase and sell a property.

We recommend you make a list of the features and facilities you desire the most in your new property; this will help you narrow down your options and find a suitable property more quickly.

Although, you should be mindful of remaining flexible on certain features or neighbourhoods to find the right property promptly.

Property Portals like Rightmove and Zoopla can help you find a sale in your desired area. Using your chosen features, you can filter your search results and find the best property possible.

One of the easiest ways to move into a property quickly is to consider a new build home, which is move-in ready and can be completed in as little as a few months.

Alternatively, you could hire an experienced estate agent to help you find a larger property that meets your needs quickly and efficiently; however, you will need to consider selling your property.

How To Sell Your House Quickly

This is where we can help! We can buy your property for cash in as little as seven days, all you have to do is click "get offer" below, and we will contact you with a no-obligation cash offer.

Once you know how much your property is worth, you can either put your property on the open market with an estate agent or sell to a cash buyer — like us.

We are a leading cash buyer who can buy your home fast for cash, in a timescale that suits your situation and allows you time to move into your forever home.

One of our property experts will handle everything generally associated with the house-buying process, so you won't have to lift a finger. We'll even cover all your solicitor and survey fees.

We have an excellent track record with thousands of exceptional ratings on TrustPilot for our customers and overall service.

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Tom Condon

Tom Condon, one of our content writers, has fascinating expertise in sustainability in the property industry. Tom thoroughly understands the market and has experience in both residential and commercial property. He enjoys attending conferences and staying current with the most recent property trends.

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