Spending more time at home this year has taught us a lot about our living spaces– what we love about them, and what we loathe about them. When you work from home, learn from home, sleep at home, and eat at home, you realize the importance of being comfortable at home. So what do you do when you think you have outgrown your space? Opening yourself up to the idea of moving into a new home is a scary and daunting thought, but when you think about how much it can benefit you and your family, the task may become a bit easier to manage.
Visualize What You Need
It’s important to take stock of what you want more or less of in your space. The first step is to pinpoint the problem areas. Do you need more bedrooms? Are there enough bathrooms? Is your backyard too small for your kids or your pets to fully enjoy (maybe you don’t even have a backyard to begin with)? Is your kitchen too cramped and you need some more counter space? Taking inventory on these types of needs can be eye-opening and help you filter out a better list of what it is you really need, rather than just what you want.
You may realize that all you need is a little bit of tidying up and rearranging to make things more comfortable, or it may solidify your decision to get a new place. This new home you are searching for could be your forever home if you plan it right. While looking at what you have now, it’s important to look far into the future when considering moving into a new place to know exactly what to search for. Thinking about the potential of your family growing to guarantee you have enough space for everyone, making sure you have the space you need to work at home for the long term, and ensuring everyone lives comfortably within those walls are just some of the aspects of your future you need to consider before starting the home hunt.
Consider Your Location
This year has brought about a greater need for flexibility. With many people working remotely, it provides you with the opportunity to think about your current location and if it’s really where you want to be. Right now, many are working remotely, which means you can work from virtually anywhere—your bedroom, your living room, even your kitchen—as long as you have access to the internet and can get your work done. This new and widely accepted work style allows you to pursue the job of your dreams remotely and while giving you the chance to pursue your dream home destination too. These circumstances open up other questions surrounding where you are living now and if you actually want to be living there long-term.
Because of the new work-from-home atmosphere, there is the opportunity to have a conversation with your family about moving out of town or even out of state. Many have taken this time to move closer to loved ones, while others have used this as an opportunity to have a fresh start. Considering your options as a family, whether that calls for moving to the country or into a big city, can give you a wider net to cast when looking for a new home.
Don’t Get in Over Your Head
When you decide you must move into a house better suited for your family, or just want to move to a new area, you want to be as prepared as possible. Getting your finances in order to make sure you can afford a larger space is a big task to tackle before moving any further along in the home buying process. One of the best ways to do so is to get a home loan preapproval before you dive head-first into the market and fall in love with properties way outside of your budget. It’s also important to keep in mind that the cost of the home goes beyond the purchase price. Keep a list of improvements and projects you are willing to pay for in the next 10 years (i.e. new windows, roof, etc.) and ones that you need to have completed by the previous owners. If you do find a home that needs work or something went wrong in the inspection, you may be able to get the seller to cover these costs.
Moving into a new home with projects upon projects on the to-do list means expenses will quickly begin to pile up, and it’s something to begin planning for far ahead of time. It is important to factor those potential projects into your budget, especially if you have other big life events that have their own costs, like kids that will go to college soon or children that will need to enter a preschool program. Home renovations may cut into your budgets for these things if you do not plan accordingly. Preparing with tasks like getting preapproved and creating a list of house hunting deal-breakers will not only guide your search in the right direction, but also keep your sights on houses that you can afford and that fit into your future life plans.
Finding a home that can be perfect for the long-run takes time and effort. After taking inventory of your current living situation, determining a set of needs and wants for both now and your future will help you make the best choice in determining whether you’ve outgrown your current space or learning how to find a new place to call home.