Starting a new job, a family, or receiving a significant pay rise are all factors that could lead to buying a bigger home. But there are considerations and key questions to ask yourself when upsizing to a new property.
From budgeting to timing, we have some practical advice for you if you’re thinking of upsizing in the near future.
Should I buy a bigger house?
When it comes to how much space you need to live comfortably, it’s ultimately down to personal taste. Starting a family (which requires a potential extra bedroom for the baby) or wanting a home with a larger garden or kitchen could lead you to start looking to upsize. However, sometimes simply renovating the space you have now is enough. You could also extend a room or rooms in your home to give yourself more space, without having to move.
Upsizing to a family home
Meeting someone and deciding to share a living space or starting a family will require some planning. Take some time to think about how each room will be used when moving into an upsized home. Upsizing is an exciting prospect, but you should aim to maximise every inch of space.
Things to consider:
- What will your budget will be? Try and make this realistically match up with your expectations in terms of area, number of bathrooms/bedrooms and layout.
- Extra costs can mount up: stamp duty, conveyancing, moving costs, repairs, and the long-term costs including higher bills for amenities etc. And remember, more space can mean buying more furniture.
- Figure out what features you want, such as another bedroom, a playroom or a study. This will help you stay focused when choosing which properties to view.
- Researching the local area is worthwhile. As well as assessing transport options and nearby amenities, look at the area’s local schools and their Ofsted reports, class sizes and catchment areas.
Looking for your family’s next home? haart invests in the people and technology to get you moved smarter and faster (and with more cash in your pocket when you have). Find your new home here.
Upsizing & Stamp Duty
Stamp Duty Land Tax (Stamp Duty) is a tax that you pay if you buy a property over a certain price. This tax varies for Scotland and Wales. In 2017 the rules for Stamp duty changed when purchasing a first home. You no longer have to pay it if the property cost under £500,000. Other exemptions and reliefs from Stamp Duty are available.
If you are upsizing, you will more than likely pay Stamp Duty. This is a substantial amount you will need to factor in to your budget. How much you pay will depend on the type of property it is, but getting an idea of this additional cost before you decide to upsize is important.
Time to upsize your home
Once you have made the decision to buy a bigger property, it’s time to plan.
- Do you need to sell to buy? If you need to sell your property, this will likely mean a longer timescale and you will need to manage both the selling and buying process. At haart we’re on a mission to get you moved. Read our Guide to Selling Your Property here.
- Location, location, location. Just like when you bought your smaller property, be sure the new one is close to things you need, like school, shops or where you work.
- As we mentioned, knowing what you can afford before looking at dream homes is important. Upsizing will mean bigger utility bills and possibly a bigger mortgage. Would it be cheaper to renovate or extend? Be sure before you start planning for the extra space.
- Consider the resale value in the future. Although it’s not an exact science, if you plan to move again it pays to know if it will be a good property to sell on. As well as resale value, keep in mind if you want to extend this property in the future or if it will be capable of catering for a growing family.
Is now the right time to upsize my home?
As well as changes to the housing market, with prices rising and falling, you also need to consider the timing of upsizing with any deadlines or important changes coming up in your life:
Are there any other plans in your future which you need to take into account, such as the potential of having more children or another person living with you (like an elderly relative)?
If you’re moving to support a child’s transition to a new school, you may want to work to a deadline to settle in before the new school run commences.
Are you in a financially stable place? Can you foresee any major changes to this such as a change in job?
Work backwards from any deadlines you have and allow plenty of time for things to fall into place. That way, upsizing will be as stress-free as possible.
Alternatives to upsizing
There are other ways to create more space in your home without the need for moving.
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.
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.
- Other additions
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 by neighbours, but it could be enough to give you more room without the need to upsize.
Cost of upsizing
Having a budget for upsizing is paramount. We have put together a list of questions around the financial side of upsizing here:
- Will your new mortgage be affordable?
- How much more will the household bills be?
- Are there future plans to renovate or extend the property?
- Does the property need work or changes made and how much is that likely to cost?
- Will it have a good resale value?
- Would it be a cheaper option to extend or renovate your existing property?