Tips To Upsizing Your Home
Purchasing a home is always an exciting endeavour but for those who are upsizing, the second (or third, or fourth) time buying is different. You are more knowledgeable, you can make better decisions faster, and you’re more confident. When your lifestyle evolves to a certain point, it’s time to upsize. Perhaps you’re starting a family, or your kids just won’t stop growing, even if the layout of your home isn’t working for you anymore.
Upsizing has a new set of rules. If you’re thinking about adding square footage into your home life, here are a few tips that will help you think critically and be confident with your next purchase!
Why Do You Want To Upsize?
So you want to upsize your home, the obvious reason is because you want more space – but what other factors are there?
It helps to pinpoint the exact moment you first thought “I need a bigger house”. Where were you? What were you doing? It could be that you had too many cooks in the kitchen (literally), or maybe your kids sharing a room got into an argument that was your breaking point (we’ve all been there!).
Think back to when you first bought your home. What were your needs and how have they changed over the years? You could be combining incomes, starting a family, even just itching for new scenery. To be happy in your home, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re looking for. Make that “needs” list and stick to it!
Upsizing vs Upgrading
It’s common to confuse upsizing with upgrading. Just because something is bigger doesn’t mean it better suits your needs! Your home’s layout could be getting less convenient for your evolving lifestyle, you could be craving brand new home features like a fireplace in your ensuite, or maybe you got that raise and want to move into a different neighbourhood. Whatever the reason, if all you’re looking for it a nicer home but you don’t need more space then an upgrade could be just what you need!
A great example of what to look out for when upsizing is bedrooms – you might think you need another bedroom just for storage but that bedroom is taking up space that could be more effectively used elsewhere. Your Realtor will help you with these details when you’re house hunting, however you should be aware that more rooms can mean taking square footage from something you actually need – like the kitchen!
A larger home can also mean a smaller yard. If you’re looking to upgrade and have more space in your front and backyards, a smaller home with larger yards could be the better option.
Only Buy Square Footage That You’ll Use
It’s easy to get swept away in the excitement of house hunting so it’s important to keep a level head! While you might be amazed by all the space of a new home, think critically about how you would use it. If you know how much space you actually need (think back to your list from the first tip) then you won’t get sucked into purchasing that’s larger than necessary. It’s not that we don’t like big homes – but your home should work for you. Larger homes are more expensive as well, you don’t want to be paying for a home that you’re not using.
Prepare For A New Neighbourhood
Usually when someone is upsizing they’re considering different neighbourhoods as well. If your desire to upsize is fueled by a growing family or new pets, then your downtown condo probably isn’t cutting it. You need to face the very real possibility that you will need to relocate from your comfort zone and into a more spacious neighbourhood. For some this is a welcomed change, for others it means saying goodbye to a loved community.
Do your research! Make a list of all the communities you would consider moving into and get familiar with them. Join the community group on Facebook, check out the community website, and take a walk around to see what it’s like!
Crunch Some Numbers (With Your Mortgage Broker!)
Financial reality vs the things we want is often skewed – but with proper planning your goals can become reality! When upsizing, it’s critical to understand how much you can get approved for before you start shopping. With a bigger home comes higher property taxes, more maintenance, and increased utility bills.
Ask yourself the question:
“Do you have the financial means to support yourself (and your family) with these increased expenses?”
Speak to your mortgage broker about these new costs. They will be able to run the numbers for you and discuss the financial impact it will have on your unique situation.