Growing Family? How To Decide If You Need To Upgrade Your Home
Deciding to sell your home is a big decision, no matter what stage in life you’re in. Throw in the addition of another family member, and it complicates things even more.
A growing family doesn’t mean you have to get a new home, though there are certainly benefits to having more space.
Read on to help determine if now is the time to sell your house to buy a bigger one.
Should You Sell Your House Because Your Family Is Growing?
As a mom of a 10-month-old living in a home that is bursting at the seams, I have asked myself this question manytimes. My husband and I want to grow our family soon but aren’t sure if the time is right to upgrade our home.
If you’re in the same boat, here are some questions you can use to help you decide.
Is A Bigger Home Better?
There is more to a home than just the square footage. There’s also the layout and number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
For example, we have three bedrooms. That sounds perfect, since we have one child and want to add one more soon. However, we have three smallbedrooms– with three small closets.
Keep bedrooms and storage in mind if you decide to look at new homes. There may be more bedrooms than you currently have, but will you be tight on space?
Are You Willing To Relocate To A Different Neighborhood?
Perhaps you bought your home before you had kids, when your priorities were different.
When my husband and I bought our home, we wanted to be close to Detroit, where we spent a lot of time attending sporting events or trying new restaurants. Now, we’re OK with moving further from the city to have more space.
Are you OK with a new neighborhood if it means more space? If so, that’s another point to consider when upgrading your home.
If you need help determining if it’s the right time to upgrade your home, you can get in touch with us by email or phone. We’re more than happy to help!
Can You Afford The Financial Burden Of Upgrading?
When you get a larger house, there is more to the cost than just the sticker price. You have more house to maintain. Higher taxes to pay. More utilities. And more furniture to fill up all the new space.
Is that something you’re prepared to take on?
One concern that keeps making its way into conversations I have with my husband is about being “house poor.” We don’t want to have little to no discretionary income because most of our money is going to pay for the house.
One way to help avoid being house poor is to research the energy costs of a home you’re interested in. Remember, it’s not just the price of the home, it’s all of the other costs associated with it, too.
What Are The Benefits Of Moving To A Bigger Space?
While there may be some exceptions, these are the pros (and cons) associated with having a larger home:
- You wouldn’t need to move again soon if your family continues continue to grow.
- You could host family gatherings or have space for out-of-town visitors.
- You could make any spare rooms into a home office, gym or whatever best fits your family’s needs.
- You would have more storage space.
- Your monthly costs could be higher.
- You could have unnecessary or unused space.
- More maintenance could be required.
- You could have to change your lifestyle to afford it.
What To Look For In A New, Bigger Home
So you’ve thought about all the pros and cons and decided to buy a bigger house. Congrats! This is an exciting time. It can also be stressful. 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?
Before you look at homes, give some thought to the type of home that would best suit you and your family. Are there certain deal breakers that come to mind? You won’t want to waste time looking at homes that aren’t the right fit. On the flip side, though, you don’t want to miss out on a good home because your requirements or your wish list are too strict.
Will Kids Share A Room?
Knowing whether kids will be sharing a room can help you determine how many bedrooms you need. Think about your current situation and the future. Do you want the option of having a guest room? Or is it more important that kids have their own space?
Some parents love the idea of their kids sharing a room – both for the bond that 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 is no right or wrong answer. It’s all about what’s best for you and your family.
How Many Bathrooms Do You Need?
The usual rule of thumb is a bathroom for every two bedrooms. A lot of older homes have only one or two bathrooms. Depending on where the bathrooms are located, this could work for some families.
Some people prefer that there be 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 type of bathroom will be included on the home 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 are 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 kids, 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.
Then there are others, oftentimes with teenagers, who might appreciate the privacy of being on another level of the home as long as the master bedroom has its own bathroom.
What Location Factors Are Most Important To You?
When looking to upgrade your home, the neighborhood you choose can be just as important as the size of the home. Is the home close to work? Family? Good schools? Sometimes, you have to sacrifice location for a bigger home or to be closer to family.
Many parents and parents-to-be focus on the school system. Having kids go to a highly rated school is important to many. And, living in a what’s seen as a good school district often helps with the home’s resale value.
Parents planning to send kids to private school could be less concerned with the school district and more focused on other factors – such as proximity to work or family.
Distance To Work
When evaluating whether or not a home is a good fit for your family, distance to work is often at the forefront of many people’s minds.
If you have a long commute, you may miss out on family time. But perhaps moving further from work would afford you more flexibility to increase your home’s size. The distance to work may be further, but the increase in house size can make it worth it.
Check out 2019’s five best cities to raise a familyfor some inspiration on family-friendly neighborhoods.
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.
This can be tricky if you have kids at home.
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.
For some tips to help you prepare, check out this blog on how to organize and stage your home with kids.
If you decide that you would like to sell your home on your own, we can help. Take a look at this Ultimate Guide On How To Sell A Home For Sale By Owner.
The Bottom Line
Deciding whether to upgrade your home or not isn’t easy. There are pros and cons to any decision you make. If you do your research upfront, it will not only be easier for you to decide, but you’ll feel more confident in your decision.