So the decision to buy a home the first time is often easier than deciding to move once you’re already on the property ladder. But these tips will help you to understand if you need to move, things to think about when selling and the cost implications (and ways to save)!
Save £££s when upsizing:
There is a multitude of ways you can save when moving into a larger property. Here are a few to think about:
When you’re upsizing, ask yourself if you’re paying more to be in a location that you won’t take advantage of. For example, if you always drive to the shops, does it really matter if you’re a further five minutes away, where house prices are cheaper? Whether it’s good schools, local shops, or a train station, being honest about what you won’t use could save you a lot of cash on your new home!
Another thing to consider is schools & catchment areas. Did you know that schools can drive house prices up? In real terms, buyers will pay an average of £38,600 more if they’re near a top-rated school compared to a ‘good’ school, no matter whether they have children to send to that school or not.
Adding square footage (& value):
When you’re looking at new homes, it’s worth viewing properties that aren’t as big as you would like in case they have great potential for extension.
For example, could you turn the loft into another bedroom? Add your dream extension? Convert the garage? It will vary by property, but getting this done yourself, instead of looking for a home with them already built, could save you thousands.
Do you really need all that space?
Here’s something you might not have considered – broadening your search by lowering the amount of square footage you’re looking for. Research shows that the average asking price per square metre is £2,945, which means that forgoing just a little bit of room could save you thousands.
It’s easy to overestimate how much space we actually need, so ask yourself questions like: “How often will everyone be in the home at once? Instead of having a home office and a guest room, could I combine the two? Is it worth going for a smaller-than-perfect kitchen since I’m not actually an enthusiastic cook?”
Take a look at your current habits and the space you use, and be honest about how much more room you definitely need. There’s a huge gap between ‘perfect’ and ‘realistic’, and in that gap is a lot of money.
Staging your home
As an upsizer, you’re likely to be selling your property. This being said, presenting your current home in the best way possible will make a difference to how long it’s on the market and the bottom line – the price you sell it for. And let’s face it, you need the highest possible price to secure the next place. Clearing away clutter, and knowing who you’re marketing to (a family home, a flat for a young couple) along with the main selling points (nearby local shops, great transport links etc) will help you sell.
Secondly, now is also the time to ‘spruce up’ your property by identifying any easy fixes – the wobbly door handles, the front door in need of a fresh coat of paint, the weeds creeping up the driveway. Small elements can make a big difference to a first impression.
Whilst it seems like a lot of work before listing your home, just think about your move. By decluttering now, it’ll mean one less thing to worry about when packing, and even less stuff to unpack in your new, larger home!
The differences in a bigger home:
Whilst upsizing may solve all of your problems, it could also invite other problems.
Think about the extra costs that come with a bigger home. Have you considered the estimated new utility costs or the rise in council tax? What is the energy rating on the home? Has your new home now got a garden? Will you need to purchase the equipment to tend to the garden?
It might sound silly, but you will also need to consider furniture; will your existing furniture fill your new expansive space? Or will you need to purchase new stuff? You’ll probably already have considered furniture for bedrooms or reception rooms you didn’t have previously.
However, when purchasing new furniture that requires financing, we advise you do so after completing your mortgage application.
Consider your options:
Whilst it may seem like the obvious option to move to gain a nicer home or more space. Have you considered all your options?
Adding an extra room or rooms to your property gives you the space you need. Make sure you get planning permission and budget for the new spaces.
Changing the size or shape of a room in your home can open it up. The cost of redoing a space could be minimal compared to buying a new, larger property. You could also renovate your loft space to create another room in the roof of the house.
If you have a large garden, you could also build a structure or install a large shed to give yourself more space. Planning permission will be important, especially if the structure is likely to be visible to neighbours, but it could be enough to give you more room without the need to upsize.
If you’re upsizing, extending or perhaps aren’t sure, be sure to get in touch with our specialist (and charming) mortgage advisors for advice.