CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Devon Life today CLICK HERE

Decision dilemma: should I stay or should I go?

PUBLISHED: 14:37 06 June 2014 | UPDATED: 14:37 06 June 2014

Decision advisor Roni Jay

Decision advisor Roni Jay


Can’t decide whether to sell the house or extend it? Devon decision advisor Roni Jay looks at how to weigh up the alternatives.

When you need more space, there are two basic ways to go about getting it. Add to the space you already have, or sell your house and buy one that gives you the extra room you need. So how do you decide which is the better option?

It’s a good idea to start by drawing up a list of all the things that you want from a house. This is a wish list, so don’t start compromising – yet. However, be realistic (no point describing a 20 bedroom mansion… unless you can really afford it). So your list might include a big family kitchen, a dedicated study, at least 5 bedrooms or whatever. And don’t forget location: do you want to be in town, on the edge of a village, near a railway station?

Now organise these things into three categories: A,B and C (OK it’s not original but it’s easy to remember). Category A is for the criteria that you absolutely aren’t prepared to be without. Group B are the things you’d really like to have, but there’s some scope for compromise and you’d be happy if you could achieve, say, 80 percent of these. And Group C is for factors you’d regard as a real bonus, but they wouldn’t be deal-breakers.

The next stage is to see how your existing house measures up to this wish list at the moment. How many criteria does it fall short on, especially in your A and B categories? By definition, if your house can’t meet any one of your non-negotiable A list criteria, then moving makes more sense (if you’re certain you’ve put those factors into the right category).

So, can you extend or improve the house to meet the criteria in category A, and most of those in your B list? Be creative about the options here, including such things as a separate building in the garden, or reassigning the use of the rooms you already have. The next stage is to cost this up. There might be different options, depending on whether you just extend the kitchen or whether you also convert the loft, for example.

Now you know whether staying is possible, and what it will cost. The next thing to do is find out what the cost of moving to a house that ticks the right boxes would cost you. So research the market and see what’s out there and, crucially, whether there are affordable properties around that tick more boxes than staying put and extending your house would.

Right. Now you’ve got everything you need to make a sound choice over whether to stay or go. Just a moment though; choosing where to live isn’t a purely practical, financial decision. Yes, you’ve listed all the things that matter to you but even so, don’t ignore your gut feeling. Do you relish a fresh start? Will you miss this house desperately for reasons that are more emotional than practical? And remember to factor in the effort of moving, or the stress of having the builders in.

In the end, the most important thing is to have all the information you need so that once you make your decision, you feel fully confident that you’re doing the right thing. That confidence will get you through whichever option you choose.

Roni Jay is a Devon-based decision consultant


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Devon Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Devon Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Devon Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Homes & Gardens

Thursday, November 22, 2018

We’ve spoken to the New Continental Hotel in Plymouth to find out why they think a weekend or city break in Devon is perfect for families, couples and everyone else!

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

NATALIE MILLAR-PARTRIDGE relaxes at a family-run Dartmoor retreat where the emphasis is on the glorious environment it sits in

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Ex-Chelsea footballer Colin Lee came home to Devon and built an incredible multi-million pound waterside house. CHRISSY HARRIS takes a look around

Read more
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

As we head into Autumn, the change in season is all around us. From the leaves on the trees turning burnt orange and fiery red, to dark mornings and nights bookending our days. As we put the clocks back an hour to battle the darkness, here’s some top tips on how you can keep your home warm and costs down this Autumn.

Read more
Monday, September 17, 2018

Green, renewable sources of energy are becoming more and more popular for domestic use. We talk to Jay-Dee Williams at Energie about thermodynamic solar panels: the fuel efficient, cost-effective way to heat the water in your home

Read more
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Fig Tree Court is a development of 14 apartments in Tiverton for retired and semi- retired over-55s with gorgeous views over the Grand Western Canal

Read more
Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural energy provider, Calor, gives some top tips for homeowners wanting to make their houses cosy and warm in time for the colder months.

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Converting a crumbling barn into a luxury bolthole takes some doing. Chrissy Harris went to see the results of an ambitious family project | Photos: Rob Coombe

Read more
Friday, August 3, 2018

From a hot tub Land Rover to a Romany caravan, Claire Saul picks out 7 Devon holiday lets that make hot topics for conversation

Read more
Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Two former city dwellers have found peace, quiet and a stunning home in an East Devon village. CHRISSY HARRIS went to visit The Old Rectory in Plymtree

Read more
Monday, July 9, 2018

The redevelopment of some rural Devon barns has unearthed a very unique link with our greatest statesman

Read more
Sunday, July 1, 2018

Residential property company heylo recently signed the Armed Forces Covenant, pledging its commitment to fair treatment and support to the Armed Forces community, including regulars, reserves, veterans and their families. The signing took place in a ceremony held at Wellington Barracks

Read more
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A creative couple with a passion for nature took on a derelict farmhouse in North Devon and used it to inspire their life’s work. CHRISSY HARRIS went to find out more | Photos: Matt Austin

Read more
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The luxury tree top escape is nestled in the grounds of The Fox & Hounds Country Hotel in the North Devon countryside

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search