Itchy feet? The tell-tale signs that it's time to move house

We can't fight this feeling anymore!

Some love affairs are made to last forever, but when it comes to property, it's rarely the case. It doesn't take much to turn our heads – an extra bedroom, a bigger garden, a brand-new kitchen. In fact, a new survey suggests that one in three homeowners is currently on the lookout for a new home. Are you one of them?

Related: The pointless home improvements that WON'T add value – so should you even bother?

The study commissioned by Keepmoat Homes also reveals that the average homeowner begins to get itchy feet in their home after nine years of living there. But more than one in 10 admit they start to think about moving after just three years.

Even if you don't THINK you're ready, you might be exhibiting some of the tell-tale signs that it's time to move house. How many can you tick off?

1. Your home starts to feel like it's shrinking... or growing

room with with wall flower pot and glasses on table with chairs

(Image credit: Mark Attenborough)

There are two extremes here. Either every cupboard is bursting at the seams and you swear you've got more children than you had last week. Or you have countless rooms that you barely use and resent having to clean. Either way, it's probably about time that you do something about it.

2. You spend EVERY lunch break on Rightmove and Zoopla

Well there's no harm in looking, is there? Just for five minutes? Except when five minutes turns into a full hour, and that letter you needed to post is still sat on your desk. Or you've unintentionally stood up your lunch date... poor Sandra in accounts. We bet you also slow down when you drive past a 'For Sale' sign, don't you?

3. You're not cleaning and tidying as much as you used to

cleaner spray bottle and lemon

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

And suddenly, that list of DIY projects becomes less important. Who cares about basic maintenance? Like replacing the blown bulb in the spare room. Save it for the next owner!

4. Every conversation starts with 'The problem with my house is...'

It's too far away from the office. The kitchen is too small for entertaining. All my friends are across town. Face it, the love affair is over and there's no going back now.

5. You've stopped throwing dinner parties

dinner with fork and various food

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Brown)

Your place just isn't fit for entertaining. In fact, you eat out every night because you can't bear to be at home...

6. Your home is too perfect

Extension? Tick. New kitchen? Fitted. Windows, doors, carpets? All replaced and top notch. You can't find anything else to change, so your only option is to find a new project.

7. Your planning permission has been refused, again

house with exterior table and chairs

(Image credit: Future PLC/Darren Chung)

Your side-return extension of dreams is never going to happen here. But you might have a better shot somewhere else.

8. You start buying things for your next place

Aah, back in the day your house was the apple of your eye, and you'd shower it with gifts. New curtains for the living room, beautiful bedding, pot plants aplenty. But recently, you've stopped. Instead, those little homeware treats you've picked up at the supermarket or ordered online aren't even making their way out of the packaging. Instead, you've stuffed them in storage, ready for your fantasy home.

9. That passive-aggressive relationship with the neighbours is about to bubble over

house with white wall and sky blue and yellow door

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Related: Rubbish neighbours! Are you guilty of this bad bin etiquette?

Why can't their kids go five minutes without kicking a ball into your garden? And who keeps parking in your spot? All out warfare isn't an option, but moving most definitely is.

Amy Cutmore
Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is Editor-in-Chief, Homes Audience, working across the Future Homes portfolio. She works on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.