Is your family ready to move from a starter home into something bigger? Whether it’s another bedroom, a more spacious kitchen, or your first private backyard, more living space can mean a better quality of life. At the same time, purchasing more square footage isn’t always as simple as it sounds. The process comes with some unique challenges, and knowing what they are can help ensure that the property you buy truly meets your family’s needs.
If you’re a move-up buyer looking for a roomier home, here are the major considerations you should be aware of…
Buy or sell first?
One of the first questions you’ll have to contend with is whether to buy your new home before you sell your current one, or vice versa. The answer will depend on a few factors.
In some situations, buying first can be more convenient. Let’s say you find the house of your dreams—or a deal that’s too good to pass up—before you put your home on the market. It may benefit you to buy first in this situation, but there are financial risks involved. The biggest is that you may wind up paying two mortgages for a while if you don’t make a quick sale. Before deciding which step to start with, consider weighing the pros and cons of both options with a qualified agent.
Budgeting for more
As a move-up buyer, you already know you can afford more home—but how much more? It’s all too easy to look at the sticker price on a house and forget about the other costs associated with owning a larger space. Luckily, a bit of forethought can help you narrow down your price range so you don’t waste time looking at properties you can’t afford.
When you’re budgeting, be aware that heating, cooling, and maintaining a bigger home will almost always add to your living expenses. And don’t forget to factor in closing costs!
What are your needs?
While buying more space is exciting, it pays to be strategic about it. What does your family really need? More storage space? An additional bedroom so the kids don’t have to share?
Think about how you tend to use the space you have now. Be aware of any areas that get overcrowded. Perhaps there’s a lineup to use the washroom every morning. Maybe your family spends time together in the living room, and having a bit of extra square footage could make those experiences more enjoyable. Whatever you’re space needs are, try to be aware of them before you start searching.
When you’re buying a new home, it’s not all about your living space. It’s also about location. Ideally, you want to find a neighbourhood that’s convenient for you—and one that you love. That’s why it’s important to think carefully about your finances, and where you can afford to buy more space. Homes in the city’s core almost always come at a premium. For this reason, purchasing a larger property often means living less centrally.
Fortunately for Torontonians in the west end, there’s no shortage of vibrant residential communities here (from Swansea to the Junction). While some areas are more affordable than others, an agent with neighbourhood expertise can help you find some options that will work for you in the community of your dreams.
Finding the right agent
For many move-up buyers, the hardest part of finding the right house is getting started. The home-hunting process can be intimidated, even when you have the means to afford more square footage.
The good news is, once you choose the right agent, everything else will start to fall into place. During your search, look for someone who has a great track record. Ask each professional you’re considering working with about their experience with move-up buyers. And whatever you do, don’t forget to find out about their expertise in the neighbourhood where you want to live!
Are you a move-up buyer looking for more space in the High Park-Bloor West area? Get in touch—we know the neighbourhoods here, and we’d love to discuss your needs!