Our homes are as unique as we are. But have you recently realised your current home may be too small for your growing family’s needs? Do you require an extra bedroom and bathroom, or has working from home and home-schooling led you to realise you simply need more desk space?
You could delve down the renovation and extension path, however many families are currently choosing to upsize their home.
However, there are considerations you need to take into account – such as additional costs, changes to your lifestyle and the physical move and re-location itself.
Regardless, it’s important to get this decision right to ensure the ever-changing needs of your growing family are met.
Why upsize and what to consider?
When you begin your ‘upsizing journey’, it’s important to consider just how much space your family will need now, and into the future. Do you need 1 or 2 extra bedrooms, a second living space, or simply a larger backyard to fit a trampoline or swimming pool?
When buying a larger home, you may also be buying at a higher price point. Being realistic with what you can comfortably afford is the most important step in your upsizing journey. You do not want to overstretch your financial situation, so speak with a trusted Mortgage Broker or lender who can assist with assessing your borrowing power.
It’s important to do this before you start looking for a home. You may even like to consider “trying on” the increased mortgage repayments before you commit to any kind of upgrade. For example, if you know your new mortgage will be $500 per month on top of your existing mortgage, you may like to save this additional money sooner and store it in an offset account.
In addition, speak with your Accountant to determine if you can (or should) keep your existing home once you upsize. If your existing home then becomes an investment property, your Accountant will be able to provide an overview of any tax implications. Furthermore, if you intend to sell your existing home but buy the new home first, you may need to factor in bridging finance. On the other hand, if you have to sell first, but don’t buy another home straight away, you may need to account for additional rent or storage costs for a period of time.
As well as the additional costs of a new mortgage – think deposit, stamp duty and conveyancing fees – borrowers also need to consider things such as moving costs, larger insurance expenses, increased utility bills and even new furniture for the new larger home.
It’s important to have a clear idea of what you want from the beginning. Invest the time to research and seek inspiration, and then set about creating a plan. Even consider having a “mood board” or a “scrap book” of colours, fittings and finishes you like.
Finally, if you are moving to a new location and suburb, it’s important to consider you and your family will have to adjust to a new lifestyle, with new neighbours, and potentially a new school too.
Take your time with the process
Buying or upgrading a home is likely the biggest financial decision of your life. The last thing you want is to make an impulse-based decision, because you feel pressured from an agent. Remember, you can always walk away if the deal doesn’t feel right – there will always be another property. The worst thing you can do is rush your decision-making process, and then regret it later.
In booming locations, not many properties are sold off-market. Usually, once a property listing is live, committed buyers will begin immediately inquiring with the agent – requesting the Section 32 or even inspection times.
It’s strongly recommended to meet agents in person and clearly explain what you are looking for. Attend open home inspections, and highlight your specific requirements to the agent.
When the agent has a listing that may be suitable, they may invite you to privately inspect the property – early on in the campaign, such as when advertising photos are being scheduled. This may give you the advantage of inspecting early and giving you time to decide whether you can submit an attractive offer.
Having early access to pre-market viewings for in-demand family homes is extremely beneficial, but you’ll need a strong relationship with the agent and be on their radar.
What to look for during a home inspection?
Once you find the right home, it is time to thoroughly inspect it – both inside and out. When inside the property, check the condition of the interior and exterior. Has the property been maintained by the current owner, or tenants? Are there any visible cracks inside – on the ceilings or walls? Or even any cracks on the external brickwork? As you walk through the home, does the floor feel even underfoot? Are external gutters intact? Can you see any water damage? Peak under the floor – if the house is on stumps, what condition are they in?
Ask the agent for permission, and then take photos or short videos so you can review in detail later.
If the property requires any work prior to moving in, make sure you factor these costs into your overall budget. If you are serious about the property, it’s recommended you conduct a professional property inspection. This way, you can be sure a professional has checked for major issues, such as plumbing, roofing and structural problems.
It is important to consider obtaining a professional building and pest inspection. While this will add to your costs, it is vital that you find out about any hidden surprises like damp, termites, shifting foundations, or faulty wiring and plumbing.
To learn more about what you need to know before buying a home, see our article; 5 tips you need to know before buying a home. Alternatively, if you’d like to know more about extending your home and what to consider, see our article [here].
Always seek advice from a trusted professional.
Purchasing and investing in real estate is exciting and when done well, can significantly transform your life. Your local One Agency specialist, lives and breathes real estate in your area and has insights into exactly what is happening in your community.
Now is a great time to get started on your property journey, or continue climbing the property ladder, as interest rates are at an all-time low. Our agency is also seeing high-quality family-oriented supply begin to come onto the market, and this is set to continue as we progress through summer.
To learn more about the benefits of real estate investing and what prices may do long-term, please contact us at One Agency. With One Agency being one of Mildura’s most trusted real estate agencies, we are well placed to provide you with our view of the current market based on our local experience. We’ll thoroughly guide you through the process and help you take advantage of this opportune time in the property market.