1. Should you buy or sell first?
The answer to this question is largely dependent on what kind of property you currently live in and where it is. If you live in a hot ‘hood, downtown house or unique loft or condo, you’ll likely be able to sell quickly. If you’re in a less-in-demand area or building, selling may take 60 or 90 days, and you probably want to sell before buying. The second big factor to consider is your financial resources – can you afford to carry both mortgages if your current home doesn’t sell? What if Buyers don’t think your current home is worth what you think it is? Fortunately, there are several options available to those who want to move up. Take a look at your current situation to find ways to make a new home work for you.
2. How big of a move-up should you make?
Selling and buying are expensive – there are land transfer taxes, legal fees, real estate commissions, moving costs, utility set-up costs and more to consider. If you’re going to make a move, make it count. If you need more space but don’t have that much more budget, consider a neighbourhood change. Lateral moves are expensive. You may want to consider Sterling Homes List and Sell for Free program: the List and Sell for Free program entitles you to have us pay the listing and selling commissions on your current home. Depending on the value of your existing home, this could be worth over $20,000 in savings to you
3. How has your life changed and how will it change?
Do you plan on being in your new home 3, 5, 10 or 20 years? Depending on your age and family situation, you’ll likely need to think about things you didn’t have to consider the last time you bought a home. Do you need to be near daycare or schools (elementary and secondary)? Should you consider getting a house with an income suite as a mortgage helper? Are you a dog-owner now and need to be near leash-free parks?
4. What do you love about your current neighbourhood? How do you wish it was different?
There are always compromises to make, even when upgrading to a more expensive home. Do you love being able to walk to coffee shops and restaurants? Or do you long for green space and want to be closer to parks and trails?
5. What do you love most (and hate) about your current home?
You know what they say about the devil you know vs. the devil you don’t. Do you love your current kitchen storage? Dream of closets? Do you hate shoveling your current driveway and want to live close to work so you can live car-free? Has your ensuite bathroom saved your marriage?
6. How much house do you need?
One of the top reasons people want to move is to have more space….but how much space do you really need and where do you need it? If your family is growing, you probably need more bedrooms, possibly another bathroom, and some playroom. Alternatively, you might be looking for more or different space – a home office to house your business, a bigger entertaining area, etc.
7. What kind of homeowner have you been?
It’s time to be honest with yourself: have you maintained your current home or have you closed your eyes in the hopes that the water in the basement/leaky tap/squirrels in the attic would go away? It’s OK if you don’t like being a homeowner – buying a new (or newly renovated) house or townhouse might be a better option for you. If you hate gardening, why buy another house with a big yard?