navigation menu icon
For Sale By Onwer Logo

How To Decide If You Need To Upgrade Your Home

Hanna Kielar May 17, 2023

Debating whether to move to a larger home to meet the needs of your growing family can be a complicated choice. For example, it could mean putting in extra time and effort to sell your home while looking for a new one. It can also mean reworking your budget to see if it’s even feasible.

On the other hand, you don’t have to move – there are creative ways to fit everything you need in your current space – but there are certainly benefits to having more space.

Growing family bigger home

Before deciding, keep reading to help determine if now is the time to upsize your home or stay put.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Moving To A Bigger Space?

Here are a few factors to consider when deciding if you should move to a larger home.


More storage space: Need to find a place for all those toys or tools? A bigger home can help you find much-needed space.

Spare rooms can be turned into short-term rentals: Depending on location and demand, you can turn spare bedrooms into a potential income opportunity.

Extra rooms can be made to fit your family’s needs: Whether it’s a home office, gym or extra bedroom, having more rooms offers you more choices.

No need to go through major renovations: Let’s say you want to upgrade your existing home by doing something like adding an extension or another floor. Sure, it might be cheaper than buying a new home, but it could mean months of headaches for your family.


Your monthly costs could be higher: When you get a larger house, there’s more to the cost than just the sticker price. There’s insurance, utilities and buying additional furniture.

You could have unnecessary or unused space: Sure, those extra rooms are nice, but it’s a waste if you don’t use up every inch of your home.

More maintenance could be required: A larger home could mean more maintenance like mowing a larger lawn or simply cleaning additional rooms each week.

You could have to change your lifestyle to afford it: If you move to a new neighborhood, you may have a longer work commute. That, and increased costs, could mean you need to skimp on part of your budget to be able to afford a bigger house.

What To Look For In A Bigger Home 

So you’ve thought about all the pros and cons and decided to buy a bigger house. We understand this can be exciting and stressful at the same time. For help, check out this list of things you’ll want to consider and use it to guide you along your home search journey.

What Are Your Family’s Needs?

Give some thought to the type of home that would best suit you and your family. For example, are you interested in staying in your current neighborhood? Do you want to be in a highly rated school district? Do you want to cut down on your commute to work?

Once you have a list of your needs, prioritize them because you’re not going to get everything on your list. Sometimes you may have to sacrifice location for a bigger home or to be closer to family.

Will Your Children Share A Room?

Think about your current and future needs. If you’re planning on having more kids, will you want each child to have their own bedroom, or do you want the option of having a guest room?

Some parents love the idea of their kids sharing a room – both for the bond it could create between children and because it saves space. Others want each child to have a room, particularly if the children are teenagers.

There’s no right or wrong answer. It’s all about what’s best for you and your family.

How Many Bathrooms Do You Need?

Most families typically want more than one bathroom – it’s easier to deal with morning routines as everyone is scrambling to get to work or school. Keep in mind that older homes only have one or two bathrooms, so having a clear understanding of what you want is key.

Some people prefer having a separate bathroom for guests. Others are OK with not having a guest bathroom as long as they have their own master bath.

Also, keep in mind that a full bathroom is different from a partial bathroom. A full bathroom will have a bathtub and/or shower. The types of bathrooms included in the home will be included on the listings you view, so be sure to pay attention. The number of full baths versus partial baths is sometimes a deciding factor.

What Is Your Preferred Room Placement?

If you’re looking at two-story homes, you may run into a master bedroom on a level separate from the rest of the bedrooms. Is this something that appeals to you?

For some, especially those with small children, the thought of being on a separate level is a deal breaker. Little ones tend to wake up often at night, so some parents would rather be closer for convenience. Others don’t mind the separation and might even welcome it. They appreciate the privacy of being on another level of the home as long as the master bedroom has its own bathroom.

Are You Willing To Move To A New Neighborhood?

Finding the perfect home for your specific needs could mean that you need to move to a new area entirely. Perhaps your current home is close to many amenities, but the urban location means homes are tiny. Having a home that’s more spread out could entail moving closer to the suburbs, away from the amenities you love.

What’s Your Budget?

Buying a bigger home means you’ll need to factor in costs like a larger mortgage, more utilities and time-consuming home maintenance tasks. It also means budgeting in closing costs, moving fees and coming up with a down payment if you can’t sell your home in time. It’s crucial you map these out and determine what kind of mortgage you can afford – you’ll want to look at things like your credit score to see what rates you can qualify for.

How To Sell Your Home

Unless you plan to carry two mortgages, you’ll need to put your home on the market before you start searching for a new home. In either case, it’s a balancing act.

If you know you’re going to move, start preparing now by organizing and decluttering each room. Then, when it comes time to list your home, you’ll be ahead of the game. It also helps to look at the current real estate market to understand whether it’s a buyer’s market or seller’s market. That way, you can try to estimate how long it could take you to sell your home and price it attractively to get a solid buyer.

Make sure to review your finances to determine if it’s feasible to purchase a home before your home gets sold. In these cases, you may need a loan to help you with a down payment until the sale of your old home is finalized. This may take the form of a bridge loan or some other type of loan like a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

On the other hand, if you sell your home before looking for a new one, you’ll need to think about finding temporary housing and where you’ll store your items until it’s time to move into your bigger home.

In some cases, you can sign a rent-back. This means you can rent your old house from the new owners for a predetermined amount of time while you look for a new house. If you’re located in a seller’s market, you can sign what’s called a settlement contingency where you buy the new home once your existing home is sold.

Whether you buy or sell your home at the same time or not, take a careful look at what you’re willing to put up with. Are you OK with being rushed with selling your home and the risk of taking an offer that’s lower than what you wanted? Otherwise, are you fine with taking a bridge loan or paying for temporary housing before moving into a new place?

The Bottom Line

Deciding whether to upgrade your home or not isn’t easy. There are pros and cons to any decision you make. Do lots of research and discuss with your family what the right choice might be for you.

If you decide to sell your home, you don’t have to go it alone. For Sale By Owner can help you save money by listing and selling your house by yourself – there’s no need for a listing agent. Find out how we can help give you access to tools to sell on your own.