How to Move Up with Ease Series – Week 1
We all love our first home, but eventually, there comes the point when it’s time to move on. Life changes, and so do our needs and wants in a home.
The stakes are much higher when you are ready for a new home but have one to sell or rent. This time, you’ve got more to think about, plan, and “get right” than when you bought your first home.
This 5-part weekly series is a “how-to” guide for moving up to your next home with as little stress as possible. Whether it’s your first time moving up or you’ve done it before, this series is a great resource.
First, how do you decide if you should move or stay in your current home?
Your cozy home now feels cramped. Your hip neighborhood now feels noisy. Your job and commute have now changed. Your oldest kid starts school next year. Your youngest kid graduated from college. And suddenly, you keep hearing The Clash’s famous song, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
You change. Life changes. And so do your needs and wants. Whatever the situation, you’re home isn’t a good fit for your family’s needs and lifestyle anymore. It’s easy to cope with your current situation, but why not consider a new home?
Moving can be a complex financial and personal decision, so determine if you’re truly ready for it. Here’s what to consider before you start packing.
Your $$$ Situation
Equity in your home. You should have substantial equity if you have owned your home for five or more years. This is when your investment pays off, and you can use this equity to purchase your next home.
Financial Outlook. Your employment is steady, your income is improving, and your financial situation looks good now and down the road.
This means three things: 1) You will get approved for a mortgage; 2) you can afford higher mortgage payments; and 3) you can own a more expensive, larger home.
Healthy Housing Market. If the market is stable or flourishing, it may be an excellent time to sell your home and buy a new one. Homes priced right will move, and that’s good if you’re a seller. It’s better to avoid a sluggish time in the market. Your home could take a while to sell, and who wants to drag it out and not get the price you were hoping for?
Your Needs & Wants
Location, Location, Location. So many variables go into what makes a good neighborhood for you and your family at this specific time. When you bought your current home, it probably felt like the perfect location for you, but maybe not now.
It might not be a kid-friendly neighborhood, and you want a better school district, or you changed jobs and now spend more time in the car, or maybe the area has changed. Maybe your quiet street is now too busy. Perhaps you want a more substantial community feel or a more walkable neighborhood. Or you want a larger yard and more space between neighbors.
It all comes down to what you want now and where you picture yourself living. Plan to stay at your next home for at least five years, and imagine what your life will be like then.
Can’t or Won’t Remodel. You love HGTV and can imagine your home remodeled and updated with larger rooms and a gleaming kitchen. But you realize it’s only a fixer-upper dream. Your yard is too small for an addition, you’re not zoned for it, or you can’t live through the mess or cost. Moving can give you more sanity and more room, and you can ditch the rejiggering of the floor plan.
Space Invaders. You want to increase your home’s size since your family is growing, OR you want to downsize since your kids are gone. Whatever the direction, you’ve realized the size and space of your home doesn’t work for you and your family anymore.
You want space for toys (yours and theirs!) to say goodbye to cluttered, cramped rooms. Or, you don’t need four bedrooms anymore and want a more manageable home and yard. Space needs can change dramatically in a short time, so plan accordingly down the road.
Green Acres. Have you figured out what you like? Homeowners either love big yards or hate them. Yard space can be an excellent addition to your home — for entertaining friends, kids, dogs, gardening, and just getting some fresh air. Even a small patio or deck or even a nearby park may be what you are looking for next.
If you don’t want to mow every Saturday or don’t have enough privacy between you and your neighbor’s yard, it’s nagging you. Every. Single. Day … then it’s time to move.
Life Changes You. Where you live impacts your life and vice versa … your life will affect where you should live. If you’re a growing family, a newly single mom, or empty nesters, you want a home that reflects you and your new needs.
A condo unit and all of its amenities were perfect for you when you were on the go with travel and work. But maybe you’re more settled now and ready for a townhome or single-family home to take care of and spend time with family and friends.
Or maybe you weren’t “ready” for a single-family home and its responsibilities a few years back as a first-time buyer. Now you’re a confident homeowner, and you want your own space and yard and to not deal with your condo’s rules anymore.
Timing can make or break the affordability of particular homes. Sometimes you can anticipate upcoming life changes in the next few years. It’s good to be prepared and perhaps plan an earlier move, especially if the housing market is good and rates are low.
It is sometimes the most challenging part to decide whether it’s time to go or if you should stay. I’d be happy to help you with how to think through what’s best, and, no, the answer isn’t always to sell just because I’m a real estate agent.
Sometimes the answer is not yet, or wait until X time when it makes more sense. Please think of me as your real estate counselor, helping you talk through these big real estate decisions.
Whether you move now or later doesn’t matter to me, I want to help you when the time is right for you, not rush you into something too early that isn’t in your best interest.
I'm Tehane, a local realtor helping locals buy, sell, and stay local in Honolulu Schedule a conversation, and let's talk about your current situation and where you want to be. Then, let's create a plan to get you there. Every journey begins with the first step!
BHGRE Advantage Realty
4211 Waialae Avenue, Box 9050
Honolulu, HI. 96816