Are you ready to trade in your cozy home for something more spacious? If so, congratulations! Deciding to buy a larger house, condo, or townhome is a major milestone. But before you break out the champagne, it’s time to buckle down and start your search in earnest.
While upsizing can be exciting, it also comes with some unique challenges. Knowing what they are can help you make a smarter purchase—one that you’ll be happy with for years to come. If you’re ready to start the process of buying your next home, here’s what you should know…
Timing is everything
The best time to buy or sell a home is whenever you’re ready. But what happens when you’re planning to do both at around the same time? When you’re upsizing, you’ll have to decide whether to purchase a new home before selling the one you’re in now, or vice versa. There are times when it might make sense to buy first, but only if you can afford to do so. Here’s why.
If you find the absolute perfect home at a great price, you may want to make a commitment before someone else snaps it up. Of course, there are risks involved. The biggest is that your current home won’t sell right away—which could put you in the position of paying two mortgages until it does.
Settling on a budget
Anytime you’re buying a home, it’s important to know your price range. But beware: budgeting for more space isn’t as straightforward as it seems. When you find a bigger place that you love, you’ll need to think beyond its asking price to understand the true costs associated with your purchase.
The truth is, more square footage almost always means higher repair and maintenance costs— and larger utility bills. If you want to get a sense of how much more you might be paying for a particular home, our advice is to talk to its current owners. Many sellers are happy to let buyers take a peek at their recent bills for major repairs and monthly utilities.
How much space do you really need?
Sometimes when a living space feels cramped, it’s the layout that’s the culprit. So before you start upsizing, ask yourself whether you regularly use all of the rooms in your current home. If the answer is no, it may be a clue that you should look for a house or condo that’s laid out differently.
In addition to areas that are underutilized, pay special attention to those that feel overcrowded. If you have a larger family, where do you tend to gather? Are there any rooms that everyone needs to use at the same time? would you all be happier with a larger kitchen or basement? What about an additional bedroom or bathroom? Thinking about layout as well as square footage can help you create a useful criteria for your search.
Think about the future
No matter how much you love your new home, chances are that it won’t be your last. Families grow, kids move away, things change…you get the picture. When and if you decide to sell your bigger home one day, you might get a very good price for it—if it aligns with what buyers are looking for.
Of course, your family’s needs should be at the forefront of your mind when you’re upsizing. But some of the features and amenities you’re looking for are bound to be those that are in demand. Before you start the process of buying your next home, do a bit of research to learn what makes a home desirable. Future you might be very happy that you did!
Planning on buying a bigger home soon? Reach out to learn more about the upsizing process–and find the property of your dreams.