For those looking to upgrade, the home-buying process may look significantly different from the first-time purchase process. Certain factors should be considered when one is evaluating the decision if it is the right time to upgrade and move into a larger home.
For some, the upgrading process is contingent upon the sale of an existing home, unlike first-time homebuyers. Many looking to upgrade are challenged by having a gap between the sale of an existing home and the purchase of the new home.
In addition, upgrading also potentially means qualifying for a larger mortgage. Indeed there are many factors to consider before deciding to upgrade to a larger home.
Be Realistic About What You Need
The home buying process can be exciting! When looking to upgrade, homebuyers often come up with a long wish list of all the “must haves” for their new home based at times on what was missing in their current home.
Indeed, having a wish list is a good idea. However, being realistic about what to include on the “must haves” list is essential. Evaluating this list can save lots of hassle and money in the process.
When thinking about your wish list for upgrading many questions mimic those of the first-time home buying process. The basics might include:
- Square footage
- Master up or down
- Existing or new construction
- Number of bathrooms
- Community amenities
What About My Current Home?
When deciding to upgrade, many homebuyers have a current home that they will need to sale first. It is important not to neglect your current home as you hunt for your upgrade. If there are repairs that need to be made, do them before listing.
It might be a good idea to have a home inspection to identify areas of concerns. Sprucing up your current home with a fresh coat of paint and new carpets can help add the value needed to move it quickly.
Can I Afford A Bigger Home?
Your financial picture must be evaluated, too, when deciding to purchase a new, larger home. Just like first-time homebuyers, those looking to upgrade should meet with a lender to determine how much home they can afford.
Doing so will help those upgrading to narrow the home buying search process. Ordering credit reports and gathering financial statements to assist your lender can be done very early in the process.
How Will Life Be Different?
Deciding to buy a larger home can change your life. Often upgrading means moving to a different neighborhood or area, changing your circle of familiarity. If you have children, upgrading might mean changing schools. Taking an honest look at how upgrading will impact your life is another important, and often overlooked, point to consider.
Upgrading to a larger home is an exciting process and should take careful consideration. Although similar to the first-time home buying process, upgrading offers unique considerations that are slightly different.