Your home is your castle. You love it, it’s home, and you’ve spent a long time crafting an aesthetic that imbues your four walls with a sense of character and personality that is unmistakably yours. However, as much as you love your home it’s not uncommon for all of us to start to feel an itch. We start to feel that our beloved home is losing its lustre or that it’s no longer adequate to meet the changing needs of our families. Perhaps we have a new arrival on the way and need a little more space so that they can have a nursery and a room of their very own. Or maybe we have to accommodate an elderly relative who can no longer live independently. Maybe we even join the growing hordes of telecommuters who eschew the office for the benefits of working from home. There are a multitude of reasons why we may decide that it’s time to upsize, but before we do, we need to ask ourselves these very important questions…
How big is big enough?
By the time we’re ready to upsize our home, our financial situation is often markedly different to how it was when we were starry-eyed first time buyers. Not only are we likely to be earning more money because we’re further along in our careers, but we have the benefit of equity from our current properties meaning that we have much more buying power. That said, it behoves us to consider how much house is just enough and how much is too much? While it may be tempting to go straight to the upper end of your budget this can have long lasting implications on your disposable income.
Even if you’re able to afford the mortgage comfortably, a larger property will have higher running costs; it will cost more to heat, council tax is likely to be higher and it will likely use more water and electricity. These can all add up over time and have lasting consequences which could impede savings and financial planning.
Can I afford the upfront costs?
When buying a new home, many of the costs are absorbed by the equity that you have gained on your property, but there are still upfront costs which can prove prohibitive if you’re currently living hand to mouth or can exacerbate debt issues. You will need the aid of a surveyor such as Allcott Associates to ensure that your new property is structurally sound. If they should discover something that needs repair, however, this may allow you to negotiate from a position of strength and get a better price on the property. You will also have to bear conveyancing costs, valuation fees and potential stamp duty.
Can I make do with what I have or will I need new stuff to fill the space?Finally, when moving into a larger property, it’s tempting to assume that you must invest in new furniture to fill it, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes the best decoration is space. A minimalist aesthetic can make your home more relaxing while also ensuring that you are spared the distraction of clutter.