Most people think of buying their first home when they get married. They can’t wait to get started feeling like a real family, and they know that a little place to call their own can be the fastest way to get there. Most families starting out, though, struggle with limited resources, and can barely afford a tiny two-bedroom unit. Even so, since a small home can seem perfectly adequate at that point, especially when the alternative is renting, and dealing with the headaches that come with such a lifestyle.
A cute little home can work very well as you only have one or two kids under seven or so. Past this point, it can begin to seem positively cramped. There are likely to be more and more belongings piling up, your storage closets may no longer hold everything that you have, everyone can seem to want to use the bathroom at the same time each morning, and your parents, now much older, could want to spend more time with the kids.
There’s more that can happen to make your home seem impossibly small. Your wife may come up with a great idea for a small home business; and now that the children are old enough to be taken to their activities, a second car would be wonderful if you had space in the garage to put it.
When you’ve outgrown your home, it’s usually very clear. Cramped homes can quickly get on everyone’s nerves, something that can have psychological effects. The sooner you make your move, the better.
What to Do When Your Family Has Outgrown Your Home
The move could be simply decluttering and remodeling
Sometimes, the feeling that a home is cramped can simply be psychological; at other times, it can be real. Whichever it is in your case, simply getting rid of stuff can make a huge difference. If you find that your home is full of things that you rarely use — clothes, furniture, tools, books and so on — simply getting rid of them can free up space that you might use for the things that you really need. Clearing out attic space alone could allow you to put in two small rooms. The remodeling option clearly costs far less than finding a bigger home.
If simpler measures don’t work, you need to look into trading up
According to the specialist chartered surveyors Harvey Donaldson & Gibson (hdg.co.uk), it can be tricky selling your home and buying at the same time. To pull off a simultaneous sale and purchase, you will need to sell at exactly the time that you put down money on the new home. You will then have enough to repay your existing mortgage and buy the new home.
It’s a far better idea to either obtain a bridge loan to take care of the interim period, or to sell first, and then move to rented accommodations while you look for a place to buy.
Make sure that you can actually afford to run the bigger house once you buy it
Buying a home can be hard enough that you may take for granted your ability to handle the challenges that follow. It’s important, though, to not overlook how difficult upkeep can be on a large house. Sometimes, possessions can be easier to buy than to maintain.
You need to sit down and carefully calculate furnishing costs for the bigger house, the cost of appliances and gadgets to put in every room, a home security system, property taxes, utility bills, home improvements prior to moving in, commute expenses from the new location and the overall cost of living a better lifestyle to keep up with wealthy neighbors.
It’s important to not max yourself out while you plan in this way, too. Plenty of unexpected drains on your resources may come up over the years. Buying less than you can afford is a great way to keep your sanity.
Just because they’re willing to lend to you, doesn’t mean you can afford it
Banks look at your financial past to determine if you are right for a loan. They can’t look at what will happen in the future. You may be able to do some forecasting, though. If you understand your industry, you may be able to tell that difficult times are coming. You may also have plans for a different kind of life, one that involves running your own home business, and focusing less on your job. If you have reason to believe that your future isn’t rock solid, you should think twice about expanding your mortgage and actually owing more.
Make it easy on yourself for when you need to move out one day
When you are ready to sell and move on one day, two- or three-bedroom houses will be far easier to sell. If you’re thinking of a four-bedroom home or something bigger, you will likely have less demand. It’s the same if you want to rent your home out. You’ll have a harder time finding tenants. A professional will help you with this, but it’s important to consider every angle when you think about the viability of your investment in a bigger home.