Move Up Buyer Guide

With a little preparation, finding your dream move-up home can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Use this guide to start planning your next move today.

The Move-Up Buyer Guide: The Steps to Buying Your Next Home

For many families, the move from their starter home to their forever home is an exciting milestone. But it’s also a big move – both emotionally and financially. If you’re considering making the leap to a bigger house, here’s a move-up buyer guide to help you navigate the process. If you’re in the market for a move-up home, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, consider your financial situation. Make sure you have a solid understanding of your budget and what you can afford. Next, think about your specific needs and wants. What kind of features are you looking for in your next home?

But where do you start? We’ve put together this guide to help you search for a home that’s a better fit for you. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect move-up home for you and your family.

 

1. Knowing When It’s Time To Move Up

Whether you’re renting or owning, you’ll probably reach a point where your old home just doesn’t fit your needs anymore - like there just isn’t enough space for your growing family. 

9 Signs You’re Ready For a New Home
Is It Time to Buy a New Family Home?
If you’ve decided it’s time to move up, you’ll first have to be sure you’re ready for the financial commitment of buying a new home. You’ll need to have a down payment in order, as well as expenses for moving and closing costs.

The Costs to Buy a Home and Other New Home Costs You Should Plan For
How Much do You Need for a Down Payment?
As well as savings, you’ll also want to have as little debt as possible, and be in good standing with your bank before you can think about buying a new home. This will be reflected in your credit score, which will let the bank know how much of a risk you are to lend money to. If your credit score isn’t great, there’s no need to worry. The sooner you get to work on improving it, the better shape you’ll be in when it’s time to move.

The Ultimate Guide to Your Credit Score in Canada
What is a Good Credit Score in Canada?
The Importance of a Credit Score When Buying a Home

2. Finding The Right Home

The reason you’re buying a brand-new home is because your current house no longer fits your needs, and the last thing you want is to end up in the same position again a few years down the road. That’s why it’s important to think long-term when looking at homes and consider what your needs and want will be in the future.

Your New Home: A  Needs Vs Wants Checklist
What Are the Most Important Features to Include in Your New Home?
7 Tips to Help Determine Your New Home Needs
Most home-builders offer a range of floor plans designed to suit all kinds of needs, and Sterling is no exception! When choosing a floor plan, consider some of your future home needs, such as how many people will be living in your home, how much storage you need, how many stairs you want to deal with day-to-day and how often you entertain or have guests staying over.

How to Choose the Perfect Floor Plan
Moving Up: Where to Spend Your New Home Dollars
Everyone wants the benefits of owning a brand-new home, but not everyone will want to wait for several months while their new home is being built. This is where Quick Possession homes can be the perfect option. With a Quick Possession home, you’ll have fewer options for customization (the floor plan will already be set, for example) but you can move into a brand-new home basically right away while still enjoying all the advantages of a new build such as a New Home Warranty.

New Quick Possession Homes For Sale in Edmonton
The Benefits of Buying a Quick Possession Home
New Home Warranty Basics

3. Consider Your Community

It’s not just the building itself you’ll need to consider when looking to move up - you’ll also need to consider the wider community you’ll be living in. Are you an active family who enjoys green spaces? Do you need all the latest shopping and amenities nearby? Do any family members have medical needs that might require a medical facility nearby? By doing your research before choosing a home, you can be sure that your community serves all your needs as well as your home does. 

New Communities in Edmonton
How to Find the Perfect Edmonton Community
Excellent Edmonton Communities to Explore
Amenities to Expect in a New Community
For families with younger kids, one of the most important considerations in a new community is the available schools. By planning ahead for where you want your kids to go to school, you can not only get them the best education possible, but you can also make your own life a lot less stressful by having a shorter commute! Before choosing a community, be sure to check out all your available schooling options. 

What Schools are in Sterling Communities? 
New Communities To Keep Schooling Close to Home

4. Buying and Selling a Home at the Same Time

One of the most important things you’ll need to be prepared for when upgrading your existing home is the possibility of having to sell your old home while you’re in the process of buying the new one. There are a few steps you can take to make this easier on yourself, such as adding conditions to your purchase offer to ensure your old home is sold before you close on the new one.

How to Handle Buying and Selling a Home at the Same Time
5 Tips to Make Life Easier for Move-Up Buyers
If you do end up having to carry two mortgages at the same time and you’ve owned your old home for a while, one option available to you is to take out a line of credit against the equity already built up in your old home. A Home Equity Line Of Credit (or HELOC) can give you an extra cash boost at a lower rate of interest than a regular loan, allowing you to cover any unexpected payments that might pop up.

What Is A HELOC and is it Right For You?
6 Ways to Use the Equity in Your Home
What You Need to Know About Home Equity

5. Making the Move

Once you’ve found your perfect home and successfully navigated the home-buying journey, it’s time for the final part - the big move itself!  This is a stressful time no matter what the circumstances, but with a good amount of planning and some helpful guides, you can take steps to make the day go a lot smoother.

A Handy Checklist For An Easy Home Move
Tips for Preparing Your Family for the Big Move
Solutions for Moving Twice
As well as creating a detailed plan, you can also make your move easier by hiring some professionals to take care of your move for you. This often means a little extra expense, but can save you a huge amount of time and effort if done correctly.

Tips for Choosing a Moving Company
The Cost to Hire Movers
Your Complete Moving Checklist

 

 

Things to Consider When “Moving Up”

Are you feeling like your current home just isn’t meeting your needs anymore? Perhaps it’s feeling too small, you want to move closer to work or you’re just feeling like it’s time for a change? Whatever your reasons for wanting to move up to a bigger and better home, we’ve got you covered! Here are a few of the most important things to be aware of as a move-up buyer:

Juggling Buying and Selling

While it’s certainly possible to buy and sell a house at the same time, some people prefer not to take on both jobs at once as it can feel overwhelming. But which one to do first? The answer depends on a few factors, but the main ones are:

What is the location and condition of your current home?

The answer to these questions will have a huge impact on how quickly your current home will sell – if your home is in good condition and in a highly in-demand area, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to sell it quickly, whereas if the home needs some repairs (or even renovations) or is in a less-desirable area, you could be looking at up to 60-90 days to sell.

What’s your financial situation?

If you did need to buy before you sell, would you be able to financially carry two mortgages for a few months while the sale is underway? And if your old home doesn’t move as quickly as you’d like, how much of a financial hit are you willing to take by lowering the price of your old home?

Once you factor these answers into your consideration, you should have a much better idea of whether you’re positioned to buy or sell first.

Related article: Is It Time to Buy a New Family Home?

 

Think Long-Term

Ideally, when you buy a new home you’ll want to stay there for a long time, so it’s important to not just buy a home for right now but also consider where you’ll be in the future. Are you expecting the size of your family to change – will you have kids, or more kids if you already have some? Do you have older kids who’ll be moving out on their own in the near future? Are you in line for a promotion at work or a change of career that would necessitate a move? Are you expecting a significant change in income such as a raise in the immediate future? Of course, you can’t always predict the future with complete accuracy, but it’s worth thinking about any possible changes in lifestyle that are on the horizon, and considering how they’ll impact your new home if you buy now.

What Kind Of Homeowner Are You?

Are there any jobs in your current home you find yourself avoiding? Does your current home have a big yard that you find you don’t like maintaining, or do you find yourself just ignoring the basement or garage and letting junk pile up in there? There’s nothing wrong with that of course, but these things are worth bearing in mind when you upgrade to your next home. A move-up is about improving your quality of life, not simply moving to a bigger place, so if you think a big yard is more trouble than it’s worth, consider looking for a place without one.

Are You Happy With Your Current Neighbourhood?

Moving up isn’t always about just the physical building you’re living in – the area where you live can be just as important. Ideally, you’ll want to upgrade your neighbourhood as well as your home, so think about what you like in your current neighbourhood and what you’d change if you could. Some things to consider:

  • Do you want to have easy access to parks and green spaces?
  • Do you want to be able to walk to local stores and restaurants?
  • How is the commute for you and your spouse? Could it be improved by a move to a new area?
  • Similarly, how’s the school run if you have kids? For older kids, what colleges and universities are nearby?

As well as convenience, an upgrade to a new community can also be a great financial investment. While a brand-new community might still be developing as you move in, this means that as new features and amenities are added, the value of your purchase increases along with the community.

How Big Of A Move-up Is Realistic?

Moving up to a bigger home isn’t just a matter of selling an existing home and buying a new one – there are also a lot of extra costs and closing costs to factor in as well. This makes lateral moving expensive, and you don’t want to be paying those extra fees just to end up in essentially the same situation you were in when you started. That’s why it’s important to make sure your next move will be a big enough improvement to be worth it. Check your budget carefully and consider how much of an upgrade is feasible for you.

How Long Have You Owned Your Current Home?

Depending on how long you’ve owned your current home and how much you’ve paid off on the mortgage, you may be eligible for a HELOC, or Home Equity Line Of Credit. This would allow you to borrow against the equity you’ve built up in your current home, which you could use to either improve your home before you sell it or to put towards a bigger down payment on your new home. This could have significant financial benefits in the long-term because if you’re able to put down a 20% down payment on your new home you won’t have to pay for mortgage insurance which means lower monthly mortgage payments for you.

Moving up to a better home is a big decision, and isn’t always as straightforward as just buying a bigger or more expensive home. You should consider all your options carefully and decide if a move-up will be a significant upgrade to your quality of life, not just your home. When you feel that you’re ready to make the move, get in touch and speak to one of our experts who can help you make your new dream home a reality.

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