Your home is more than just a roof over your head, particularly the one in which you started out as a new family unit. But as we becomes three or four becomes more, there comes a time when what seemed palatial is, to put it bluntly, no longer for purpose.
Upsizing can become not just desirable but sometimes downright necessary if you have a growing brood. Of course, leaving your old home will be tinged with sadness, but that will pale in comparison with the excitement of moving into the new one.
Getting the ball rolling
The sooner you can get your existing property on the market, the sooner you can start viewing possibilities. Fail to do so, and sellers will not see you as a serious buyer, and you won’t be in any sort of position to put in an offer.
There is no end of choice when it comes to estate agents, so shop around, scour the websites that give unbiased customer opinions like these reviews of Fox and Sons and most important of all, take your time. This is the most expensive thing you are ever likely to sell, so do it right!
With your house on the market, you can also start chatting to the agents about what you are looking for, and you can also begin the long hours of trawling through sites like Rightmove and Zoopla and start making appointments to view houses.
But what exactly are you looking for? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
1) What’s your budget?
Boring, of course it is. But seriously, this needs to be the first question. Find out what you can afford on the basis of the equity you can reasonably expect from the sale, plus any additional cash you can put down, plus the mortgage you can afford, minus the agent’s fees, conveyancing costs, stamp duty and so on.
If you’ve not spoken to a mortgage broker yet, go and do so as soon as you can, but in the meantime, you could use an online mortgage calculator to get a reasonably accurate idea of what you can afford.
2) How much room do you need?
There are two parts to this question – how much do you need now, and how much do you need in the future. If you are planning on your family growing and growing, you don’t want to move house for every new bundle of joy.
And it’s not just about the kids. Do you need an additional study or home office? What about the garage and outbuildings?
3) Where do you want to live?
As we get older, we tend to focus on the what over the where, which is not the best way to go about choosing a home. Is there a particular town, village or neighbourhood you really like? What about local schools, both now and when the kids get older? What are your public transport needs? Do you want shops and other facilities in walking distance, or are you happy to get in the car?
4) How much maintenance can you handle?
A larger home demands more time and money for upkeep. A huge garden looks great for playing football with the kids on a summer evening, but someone will have to cut all that grass and keep the flower beds tidy and the hedges trimmed. Will that be you? Or have you budgeted for someone to come in and help?