Upsizing & Downsizing

Whatever your reason for moving home, it can still be an overwhelming process. Your family might be growing, and you need a larger property. Your children may have left home, and you’re looking to save some cash by downsizing. No matter what size home you’re looking for, it can sometimes be a challenge to find your dream home. Here, we help you with our guide to upsizing and downsizing your home. Homeowners will upsize or downsize their property for a number of reasons. But moving home isn’t always as simple as finding a house of the right size and planning how you’ll decorate. It can be easy to over complicate the move – or only remember the good things about buying your last home – so it’s important you take things carefully. In this guide, we are going to share with you six tips for upsizing or downsizing your home. Sometimes you will need to move due to matters out of your control; but it’s important that whatever your reasons, you take a step back and take an objective approach to buying your new home.

1. Take off the rose-tinted glasses

When you’re upsizing, it can be easy to get carried away and start dreaming of huge homes with massive gardens. Even when downsizing, it can be easy to find yourself viewing properties that aren’t really any different in size to where you live at the moment. Many buyers fail to remove their rose-tinted glasses when downsizing their home, which can leave you out of pocket and right back where you started. To make this process easier, find an estate agent with multiple listings and a large network of properties.

Tell them exactly what you’re looking for, and let them find you your dream property. They won’t have the emotional attachment you do, and will be able to find you the right home – whether larger or smaller – for your family and budget.

2. Be clear on what you need (not what you want)

This point follows on from letting your emotions rule when looking for a new home. Sit down and create a list of essential criteria when you’re downsizing/upsizing. You need to look at this from the point of view of what do you need, as opposed to what you want: How many bedrooms should the house have? What sized living room/kitchen/garden suits your needs? What are your reasons for moving? For example, are you downsizing to reduce your mortgage repayments?

By being clear – with yourself and your agent – about the kind of property you’re looking for, you can make the right decision for you and your family. It can be difficult to look at something like a home objectively, but remember the reasons why you’re upsizing/downsizing and focus on these to avoid disappointment.

3. Know your budget

Especially when upsizing, it can be easy to forget your budget and start looking at houses that are way out of your price range. And while you have the added benefit of selling your current home to fund part of the property; you still need to keep the figures in mind. Work out exactly how much you have to spend, and how much over this budget you’re prepared to go.

You should also look at the increased costs of upsizing and work out if you’ll be able to meet the mortgage repayments. Even if you’re looking to downsize, you should still think smart with your money. What are the reasons you have for moving to a smaller property? If you’re looking to cut your expenses, find out how much things like council tax and bills will be in a new area. You may cut the cost of your mortgage, but increase everything else.

 4. Improve your home before you move

Everyone wants to get the best possible deal when they sell their home. By spending a little now and making some smart improvements, you can really boost its value. Ask yourself, “What sets my home apart from others in this price range? What can I do to increase its market value and get the best deal for it?” Minor investments can generate a great return.

Speak to your estate agent and surveyor to find out how much your property is worth now, and what changes you should make to improve its value. If cash is tight, you might prefer not to make these changes. But do what you can and you will certainly reap the benefits; whether you’re upsizing or downsizing your home.

5. Sell before you buy

Many homeowners wonder whether they should wait until they’ve brought a new home to sell, or if they should sell first and then start looking. We would recommend selling before you buy, as this will give you a significant advantage when making an offer on a new home. You won’t be pressured by time constraints to accept an offer that is below market value, and you can buy your next home with ‘no strings attached’.

To give yourself some security, you could add a contingency clause into the sale contract that gives you plenty of time to find a new home. Upsizing or downsizing your home is a big decision and one that will have a big impact on your finances and family life. By following these tips and being sure to think carefully before you make any decision, you can relax and enjoy the buying process.

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3rd July 2017

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