Best value for your investment

Moving or improving – What gives you better value for money?

In a quest to explore the idea of the benefits of moving or improving at home, I have done some research into the cost of housing locally to see how much property you get for your money when buying as opposed to floor space you can achieve by improving upon what you’ve got.


My research started as a purely personal interest as we are currently looking to move home and have restrictions on extending our property as it is in close proximity to the Fishbourne Roman Palace. In the last year or so, we have outgrown our current home and are looking for extra space at both ground and first floor level.
The intrigue came upon noticing that one of our local agents, Cubitt and West, have introduced a cost per sq. foot for each property they are marketing thus showing the value for money. This lead me to conduct a survey of the most cost effective areas locally to live in, where you get more footprint for your money.
I think that when you are thinking about moving or improving that it is always a good idea to know the value of your home, per square metre. Equally knowing this figure can make you stop and think about the potential floor area that you might be wasting, for instance if you have a double garage, ripe for conversion, which is packed to the rafters with stuff!

The 3 main areas I looked at were Horsham, Midhurst and Chichester and would be interested to carry out the same exercise for Petersfield when time allows.

                                           Horsham                             Midhurst                             Chichester
2 bed properties                £4840 / sq. m
3 bed properties                £3995 / sq. m                      £2950 / sq. m                        £2900 / sq. m
4 bed properties                £3200 / sq. m                      £2700 / sq. m                        £2605 / sq. m
5 bed properties                £2720 / sq. m (min)             £2615 / sq. m                        £3161 / sq. m

Focusing in on Midhurst, the floor areas for the lowest and highest priced properties in each band were as follows:

Midhurst                             Cost                       Area                      Cost                       Area
3 bed property                     £212,500                93.9 sq. m              £375,000            127.1 sq. m
4 bed property                     £375,000              139.6 sq. m            £1,000,000           243.3 sq. m
5 bed property                     £400,000              153.1 sq. m            £1,350,000           279.8 sq. m

For the average family to move and gain an extra bedroom plus additional living accommodation, you would be moving up the property ladder, typically spending £125,000 – £150,000 to get that extra bedroom.  This would equate to approx. 45 sq. m of extra floor space based on my research.

However, a typical extension costs between £1500 and £2000 per sq. m and so with a top-end specification you would be looking to invest your money to create between 62.5 and 75 sq. m of new build extension or on a more modest budget. 83 – 100 sq. m. Much better value for money than buying that extra bedroom in an existing property.

value for moneyExtending and altering is not everyone’s cup of tea but when your ‘ideal home’ seems to be at least £100,000 more than your budget then thinking outside the box and improving, or moving and then improving seems to make a lot of sense and great value for money.

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Food for thought and definitely something that we, as a family, will be contemplating when house hunting in the coming months.

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