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My house has gained £30,000 in value. Should I realise that capital and move north?

·3-min read
<span>Photograph: Alamy</span>
Photograph: Alamy

Q I moved into my new-build house in late September 2020. After a long, coronavirus-related wait. It has gained approximately £30,000 in value and because of my age, I’m 51, I’m wondering if I should realise that capital and move slightly further north where property is cheaper, my deposit will be much larger and I’ll be nearer my family.

I’m in a growing town with an exceedingly high number of new-builds that are selling like hotcakes, so I’m sure mine would sell. Work moved me when they relocated their offices, so I had minimal costs when I bought.

I have spoken to my mortgage adviser to understand any penalties and implications of coming out of the help-to-buy scheme, and timing is everything but certainly a move next year would be fine.

At my age in life should I prioritise paying off the mortgage asap by downsizing/reducing the mortgage or not worry too much? I’m planning on staying in work as long as I can if I continue to enjoy it. I have a good job and a decent salary and there is only me to consider.
LM

A Not for the first time, I am puzzled. You have a good job that you enjoy, a decent salary and – I’m guessing – a short journey to work, given that you were relocated to be handy for work, so why on earth would you want to swap your current home for one further north with a much longer (and more expensive commute)? Lovely as being near to family can be, is it really more important than an enjoyable and more relaxed working week?

I can see that you might want to move away from your current workplace if you are now working from home and so don’t need to go into the office. But if things are getting back to normal and you do need to be in the office on a regular basis, I am not sure that moving further north is the right thing for you to do.

Clearly, being close to family wasn’t a burning issue when you agreed to relocate, although I can see that having your moving costs paid would have been something of a bonus.

But there would be no such bonus if you did decide to move further north as you would have to repay the equity loan you got as part of the help-to-buy scheme, you’d have to pay your own legal costs as well as estate agents’ fees and there might be a stamp duty land tax bill if you bought somewhere for more than £125,000 (now that the SDLT bonanza has ended). So the chances of you having very much left of the £30,000 increase in the value of your property are slim. If anything, you should prioritise paying off your help-to-buy equity loan as the amount of this will only go up as prices rise.

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