A growing family, a bigger kitchen, more space for entertaining, or perhaps the desire to make your dream home a reality – there are many factors that can point to upsizing your home. Whatever your reason, making the move into a bigger property is an exciting time but it also requires good planning and careful consideration.
Here’s a handy guide with tips and practical advice to help you navigate the upsizing option that’s right for you.
Planning makes perfect
When looking to upsize your home, thoughtful planning is crucial to a successful outcome. Start by listing the reasons you need to upsize and how this fits in to your short- and long-term goals. Think about your needs versus wants, categorising home improvements by functionality, lifestyle and aesthetics; maybe you want a combination of all three. You might find that your upsizing goals can be achieved in several ways – by buying a new home, renovating, or even building, or maybe only one option will work for you. Taking the time to identify the must-haves and the nice-to-haves, as well as setting clear goals and a realistic timeframe will help you to find the option that is most cost-effective and beneficial for you.
No planning process is complete without a budget. Start by looking at what you can afford and take the time to estimate and research all of the expenses, trying to be as detailed as possible. Carefully consider the impact that extra space will make to your lifestyle and budget. Will you need to buy more furniture? Are you financially prepared for larger mortgage payments? A bigger home might also mean your water, gas and electricity costs will rise, and will you be able to afford it? Creating an accurate budget may take time and effort, however, it will ultimately pay dividends as you compare all scenarios and identify what’s financially viable for you. This is also the opportune time to speak with your bank about current lending conditions, your borrowing capacity and how you can take advantage of any equity you have accumulated in your current property.
Another vital aspect of the planning process is timing: is it actually the right time for you to upsize? Is it a buyer’s or seller’s market? Depending on the state of the property landscape, you may need to act sooner rather than later, or you may need to put your plans on hold until conditions are in your favour. Be sure to seek advice from a property specialist at your local Peter Blackshaw office to understand the market and how it will affect you.
Is buying best?
When it comes to upsizing, buying is usually the first option that comes to mind, and while it is important to consider all possibilities, buying something new can be a great choice, especially if you don’t have the time or desire to build or renovate.
If you think that buying might be the right option for you, ensure that you consider your needs and requirements before starting your property search. Start by making a list: identify the number and size of bedrooms and living areas you want, think about land size, outdoor areas, whether you want a garden or pool, garage needs and storage facilities, the number of bathrooms, and so on. Think about how each room will be used in the short term and whether that might change in the future. It is imperative that you think about your future plans realistically and take the time to think about all scenarios — for instance, will you need space for visiting grandchildren or an extra room to care for an elderly parent?
You will also need to thoroughly research the area before attending inspections. Do you want to stay locally or are you happy to move to another suburb? If so, how will moving to a new area affect your current lifestyle? Take the time to think about schools, sporting facilities, doctors, local amenities, and transport options.
Also, if you are planning to buy then do you need to sell your home first? If so, what work do you need to do before you put your current property on the market? It might need essential repairs or some aesthetic touches to get it market ready. Either way, this will cost money. You will also need to think about other financial implications such as stamp duty, legal fees, building and energy reports, agency fees, moving costs, and so on.
Building and renovating
If you have particular property needs that you can’t find in an established home, or if you love your street or suburb, then renovating or building could be great options for you.
When it comes to bringing your upsizing dream to life, sometimes a smart renovation project can achieve your desired outcome. Perhaps you have enough land to extend, or you are able to build up and add another level. If your current home configuration isn’t ideal for renovating, then maybe your upsizing needs can be achieved by demolishing your home and building on your existing block, or by building a new home elsewhere. Starting with a blank canvas can give you an opportunity to reconfigure a floor plan and maximise every inch of space available.
If you think renovating or building might be viable, then research all possible expenses such as demolition, construction and/or labour costs, legal fees, design and architect costs, landscaping, building and/or development approval, as well as moving costs. To create an accurate budget, be sure to obtain multiple quotes from builders, seek advice from your conveyancer and contact your local Blackshaw Real Estate office.