Eric Pucciarelli, MBA, CRPC®
Co-CEO and Founder oXYGen Financial, Inc.
Request a FREE no obligation consultation: www.oxygenfinancial.net
So maybe you own a starter home or even the next level up and you are watching HGTV thinking how nice it would be to own a bigger home. Maybe it has the huge kitchen you always wanted, or an open floor plan that your current house is lacking, or even more bedrooms for your growing family. Whatever it may be, you are now faced with the question of when is the right time to upsize my house?
Here are 5 things to consider when trying to answer whether it is the right time for you to upsize your house
- What is the reason or the goal for upsizing?
Are you running out of bedrooms because your family is growing or perhaps you have family visiting more regularly? Maybe you are running out of storage space and might want to consider donating or disposing of items to open more space. Your income grown larger since your most recent house purchase and therefore you feel your house should be more reflective. Whatever the case, be sure to clearly define your reasoning
- Separate want vs. need
It is easy to get drawn into buying something for what it is instead of what it does. Is it the best use of your money if you buy a house with more bedrooms but only use them once or twice a year? What if your next house has a larger kitchen and you cook a lot or often host gatherings for family and/or friends? Consider getting a house with features you will always use instead of occasionally
- What is the cost to operate?
Ok. You found a bigger house and know the mortgage will be higher, but what about the other costs? It is a good rule of thumb to budget about 5%-10% of the home value for immediate improvements and about 1% of the value for ongoing maintenance. Then there is increased property tax, utilities, time commitment, and perhaps landscaping. Did you remember to account for the cost of furnishing a bigger home?
- Do you have enough cash reserve?
Purchasing a bigger house could require more cash for a down payment even with any equity you may have in your current house. Does your cash reserve level need to increase now that your monthly expenses are going up?
- Take it for a test drive!
After you account for increased expenses on the front end as well as ongoing, make sure that amount is set aside from your monthly income and see just how doable it really is. You may surprise yourself either way!
Determining the right time to upsize involves a long thought process and contains a lot of financial decisions. As you can see it is not always a simple black and white answer. It is important to keep in mind as well that not upsizing now does not mean never upsizing. What’s the right answer for you?