We may put it off all we like, but eventually the time comes to admit your home is too small.
Whether you have been late for work due to the morning queue outside a single bathroom, find yourself considering triple bunk beds to house your growing brood, or just need a space for paperwork that doesn’t need to be cleared away when a meal is served, the signs that we have outgrown our current home are obvious.
Louise Ferguson, a freelance home search agent says that a growing family is by far the most likely reason that people make the decision to move house.
“People see it as a natural progression, from a starter flat to something a little bigger when they get married or move in together. Moving to a house with one extra bedroom every time a
new child arrives is sometimes no longer enough however.”
“There are so many homeworkers these days that often a couple will require an office each, plus a spare bedroom, so you are talking about a four-bedroomed house even before they have thought about starting a family.
“If they do go on to have children, they are often loathe to give up this luxury of space so will always be looking for something bigger.
An ensuite bathroom or two is a luxury that many would move house to achieve too, even if they have enough bedrooms.
New relationships these days are likely to include so-called blended families, but whether or not the whole number are together all the time, space is needed for everyone - step- and half-brothers and sisters too.
There is also the importance of entertaining and the value we may place on hosting large events and seating all guests comfortably. If you find yourself squeezing everyone in and being embarrassed about your lack of space at parties or Christmas, it might be time to consider upsizing.
Ferguson says that it is not until children have fled the nest that buying a smaller home is usually considered but that this doesn’t always follow: “Many householders have elderly parents to consider at this stage in life, with their grown-up children returning for spells living at home too so, for many, a larger house is still a must.”
It isn’t just a restricted indoor square footage which might start homeowners yearning for a move. Many flat or apartment owners move to get access to space outdoors.
A garden is top of the wish list for house hunters looking for that second step on the housing ladder. A need for outside space also often coincides with the arrival of children; a safe enclosed garden is the perfect place for a toddler to learn to walk while a driveway for ease of parking and the ground floor entrance to park a pram is seen as a must. Space
for family picnics or just a place for teenagers to let off steam kicking a ball is highly desirable.
Unfortunately it is also true that the arrival of children can coincide with a drop in income as one or other parent decides to work part-time but, if possible, Ferguson says that this is one of the situations where she would advise considering a move to a less expensive area to be able to afford the space you need.
“We tend to think of the property wisdom: location, location, location. But if your household is threatening to burst at the seams, a move to a larger house, even if the area is less exclusive, should give a huge improvement in your day-to-day quality of life.”