Has your property seemed smaller recently, does it feel cramped rather than compact? Is an extra bedroom, a bigger garden or a second bathroom starting to become more important to you as you grow older? It might be the right time to upsize.
With time, homeowners’ lives will change and so will their housing needs and you may decide the time is right to move to a larger home. Whether you want to move to start a family or children have already entered the picture, perhaps you’ve just decided the time is right to get a family dog, upsizing is a big and important decision in your life.
While this is an exciting period, this change isn’t always straightforward. Upsizing can get difficult as you need to be a proceedable buyer to buy another property, and very often people need the funds of their current home in order to buy the next. Failure to be in this position as well as the issues of the unpredictable property chain, where you’re relying on countless other buyers and sellers, could grind your upsizing dream to a halt. So, if you’ve decided it’s time to bigger and better things, read our upsizing guide for more information on this life-changing moment:
Why are you upsizing?
This may seem a simple question but when it comes to choosing the right home, having a clear idea in your head of what’s needed, rather than what you want is crucial.
Many people think that moving houses and upsizing are interconnected as if it was obligatory to always move to a bigger house. However, this a narrow view that could lead you to an unnecessary financial burden. Take a second to think and reconsider your approach, you might be missing out on the benefits of downsizing.
Take time to define what it is that your current property is lacking and what features your new home needs to have? It can be easy to be enamoured by the look of new properties especially if they’re at a good price, but what was the core reason for your move? Rather than being swayed by smaller factors that catch your eye, concentrate on the bigger issues, such as the number of bedrooms the house has. If you’re unsure of what to look for, check out our house viewing checklist.
Choosing the right location is essential
As well as the property you’re moving to, its location plays a big role in the upsizing process.
Factors like the availability of suitable jobs and the quality of schools in the prospective area will have a massive effect as time goes on. Especially if you’re looking to start a family, you want to ensure you will all be settled and happy in your new location.
Another big reason why location is so important when upsizing is that the area that your property is situated in will impact the resale value of the home. If transport links are growing and town redevelopments are ongoing it’s common that the house prices in these areas will be increasing in line with these changes. Areas in and around major cities (see our commuter towns series here) are most likely to see improvements due to their proximity to economic hubs, like London for example. Having an idea of where the price of the property may go will have a strong impact on your retirement, potentially leaving you with a reasonable profit, so it’s important to look towards future implications
Looking to the future
Your decision to upsize is a forward-thinking one as you look to move to a house that suits your changing needs as well. Factors that are growing in popularity with new homeowners, such as good network coverage should be considered, as the use of smartphones and tablets becomes more common, the ability to use them without Wi-Fi is becoming increasingly important. Investigate whether the area you’re looking at has suitable network and 4G coverage to ensure you’re not caught out when you leave the house and need to use the internet. Another factor that has grown in importance is pollution. With the relentless growth of major cities and the infrastructure that comes with them, air pollution can become more of an issue. The negative effects of air pollution on health mean that choosing areas that have cleaner air can lead to a better quality of life for you and your family.
The financial impact of upsizing
When you’re looking to upsize into a larger home, as well as moving your mortgage to the new property it’s likely that you’ll need to apply for a bigger mortgage. Your current income, expenses and whether you plan to start a family will be considered by your lender among other factors, to make sure that loan is right for you. The next step would be to decide whether you can afford the new mortgage and the costs that come with a larger property. It may be worth thinking about refinancing, this can be done for a number of reasons, the main one being to lower your payments. Shop around to see whether sticking with your current mortgage structure suits you or if it may be time for a change. If your application for a larger mortgage is successful you’re likely to be required to make larger mortgage repayments than you were previously. Having a clear idea of how much you can afford to pay monthly will give you a good picture of what payments are realistic for your particular financial situation.
On top of mortgage repayments, you should consider the other expenses you’ll incur and what current expenses may increase, such as stamp duty. Only first-time buyers are exempt from this tax, and the price of this is calculated as a percentage of the property’s value. For example, if the price of the property is £250,001- £925,000 you’ll be required to pay 8% of the property’s value on top of the price. You can find out exactly how much your stamp duty fee will be with an online calculator. Furthermore, a larger house means more money spent on utility bills, insurance and council tax. On top of this, there is the cost of time, having a bigger home and garden means more time spent cleaning and gardening unless you pay to have it done for you.
Understanding what factors you should focus on when choosing a home to upsize into, and what costs you’re likely to incur will help you make the right decision when moving into a family home. If you’re looking to upsize but still have a property to sell, using a specialist house buying company could help you move to your dream home much faster without relying on an unpredictable property chain too. For more information on our services please visit our How it works section or check out our blog.