Whether its upsizing or downsizing, purchasing your home is a major decision and not one that you should take lightly.
Chances are, when you bought your first home you probably made some compromises to get on the property ladder. Since then, you have had an opportunity to learn what you really want to upgrade, customize, or change.
Upsizing requires a different way of thinking compared to when you bought your first home. It may seem like a natural progression, but there are many factors you need to consider carefully before making a final decision.
Be aware of the extra costs and responsibilities.
When you’re ready to upgrade your living situation it’s tempting to consider only the upsides.
But you should consider whether or not you are prepared and willing to deal with the higher-maintenance that a larger home typically brings. Sure, a larger home may seem like a dream come true, but you will have more space to clean, more problems to fix, and more expensive utility bills. Repairing and taking care of things is essential to the property retaining its value, but this can become a costly exercise on a large demanding property. The costs of maintaining a bigger garden or repainting a larger house – especially a double storey – every few years can certainly take the sheen off things.
Carefully think about if you’re ready for all this. After all, the main reason for moving into a bigger home is to enjoy the extra space rather than be stressed out by having too much work to do around the house.
Know what you are looking for.
If you think that you can handle all the maintenance that comes along with a larger house and are ready for an upgrade, then start planning what you want in your new home. Before you make the choice to upsize your home, you should sit down with your partner or family to discuss why you are choosing to upsize, and what exactly you need. You can then compare your needs with what is available on the market.
The most common reason people upsize is because their families are growing and they need more space. If there’s kids in the family, parents usually want at least three bedrooms. They may want a living space they can see from the kitchen—a place where they can keep an eye on the little ones while cooking. Parents also like to be on the same floor as their babies or young children, so it’s easier for them to help or check up on their safety. Whatever the reason, you should be sure that you’re upgrading exactly the right things before making the big final decision.
Consider how much space you really need.
Be realistic about the space your family will need when you upgrade your home. Many people overestimate the amount of space they need. You may find it difficult to furnish a large home with just your existing furniture and household items. Before you invest thousands of dollars in upgrading furniture, curtains, and rugs, consider how the current issues in your home can be solved in the most simple and economical way.
Sometimes you’ll find all you need is an extra bedroom or bathroom, or a more open-plan living space. These make a huge difference and provide what’s essential without the hassle of unnecessary housework.
Does the house incorporate any cost-saving measures?
Because upsizing to a bigger house means higher costs, consider picking one that has sustainable, energy-saving features in its construction. For example, houses with double glazed windows are effective insulators that reduce your day to day costs on electrical heating & cooling. Houses with sustainable solar panelling can also save you money by capitalising on the natural energy of the sun.
Did you know that in the average Aussie home, lighting can also account for over 11% of your energy consumption? However, if you choose a home with energy efficient lighting technology, such as a combination of LED and compact fluorescent light fittings, it’s possible to reduce that amount significantly. Houses where all lighting is wired through a C-Bus smart wiring system are also an excellent option.
Are you willing to compromise on location?
If you are unable to afford a larger home in your preferred neighbourhood, examine what it is that you like about the area. Are you drawn to the parks, schools, public transportation, accessibility, serenity, or the low crime rate? Once you identify what it is you love about the area, look for comparable locations offering these similar “must-haves”. Getting a house in a location that’s just slightly outside the mainstream suburbs can be a great way to get a big, beautiful home at a more reasonable price.
Do you plan on selling your current home?
If you plan to sell your current home when upsizing to a new one, we recommend meeting with our real estate agents to get an appraisal. That way you can estimate how much your current home is worth, get more detailed information on your local market, and be better financially prepared to make that big final decision.