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No matter how much you love a home, there comes a point when you may need to start looking for a new place to hang your hat. Here are 11 signs that time might be now.
1. You can’t wee when you want to
Or have a bath in peace. Or take a shower without queueing. Or clean your teeth without fighting for spitting-room at the sink.
It could be time to find a home in which at least two people can sit on two different toilets at the same time.
2. You’re dreaming about garages
There’s a certain stage of life when spaces such as sheds, home offices and garages become alarmingly seductive. It’s around the age when you haven’t been in a nightclub for several years and a child has had to explain with utter disdain that “it’s Billie Eilish, not Billie Eyelash”.
Perhaps you’ve got lawnmowers and power tools to store so a secure space is essential. Or maybe you work from home and need a quiet room that’s also a great place to sneak off to when relatives visit.
3. There are more children than bedrooms
Children love sharing a room and having a playmate on tap. Until they don’t and then it’s war. This change can happen almost overnight and when it does there’s no turning back.
As the little darlings hurtle through their teenage years they value their own space and want to express themselves in it, often by shouting, “TOUCH MY STUFF AGAIN AND YOU’RE DEAD.”
It’s best to separate them as soon as possible. Anything for a quieter life.
4. You haven’t watched the telly for months
You’ve kicked off your shoes, poured yourself a drink and just want to veg in front of Stranger Things. But as you approach the lounge all you can hear is the unnerving sound of semi-automatic gunfire. It transpires your child is attacking an enemy base and shouting “FIRE IN THE HOLE” through their Call Of Duty headset.
As much as you want to keep tabs on your children’s gaming habits – which is why you don’t let it happen in their bedrooms – it’s starting to impact your quality time with Netflix. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a playroom to shove them in?
5. The dinner parties just won’t fit
When you move into your own place for the first time it’s not unusual to become obsessed with mid-century modern furniture, DIY and cooking.
You’ll find your skills come on in leaps and bounds in so many vital areas such as flat-pack construction, toilet cistern repairs and knocking out a technically perfect soufflé. Soon you’ll want to show that soufflé off to as many friends as possible, ideally in a home with enough space for all of them to sit on a chair.
6. You’re thinking about knocking a wall down
Is that wise? First of all, are you trained to do it? If not, put the sledgehammer down.
Rather than going through all the dust, disorganisation and cost of an extension, perhaps it’d be easier to find a home that already has an open plan kitchen and bi-fold doors.
7. You’ve already done it. What now?
You’ve extended your home as far as it can go. You’ve gone into the loft, put up a summerhouse in the garden, changed the bathroom suite. Twice. Now you’re reduced to clearing out the gutters every weekend just for something to do.
If you get itchy feet when you’re not bashing through plasterboard to get to an original Edwardian fireplace, it could be time to move on to a larger place with even more DIY potential.
Perhaps your next home will be a home for life? Although knowing you probably not.
8. You are parking ten streets away
Your ability to parallel park may have progressed massively, but trying to find a space to squeeze into within walking distance of your home quickly loses its charm. Many city streets weren’t built with car parking in mind and residential parking has its challenges, too. It’s not uncommon to find somebody has decided to use your space despite the very obvious and slightly aggressive private parking signs you’ve plastered everywhere.
One way to leave your parking problems in the past is to find a new home with a drive.
9. You keep losing balls
No matter how many times you tell a small child not to hit, kick or fling anything over the garden fence, the moment they go outside they’ll lob a tennis ball at your grumpiest neighbour’s window.
When that neighbour stops throwing the tennis balls back it’s time to consider upgrading to a bigger garden.
10. There’s BBQ beef
Another sign you need more outside space is when the same neighbour drops a note through your door complaining that all their washing smells of smoky barbecued ribs.
Time your next grill session not to coincide with wash day, or find a garden big enough that you won’t smoke the neighbours out.
11. You’re always on Zoopla
Do you find yourself scrolling through online property portals when you’re supposed to be doing something else?
Absent-mindedly flicking through images of kitchen islands and sweeping staircases, picturing yourself swanning around your new home might be your subconscious trying to tell you something.