December 12, 2014 Lydia Gable

From A Starter Home to the American Dream

The picture of the American dream usually includes a first home and eventually a better home, and the idea that if you dream big and work hard, you can have the best home. So how do you know when it’s the right time to trade up? Certainly there are the obvious factors that may affect your decision to invest in a more expensive property. Obvious examples include an impending marriage, a growing family, or a career promotion that requires a move. Although, sometimes it’s as simple an answer as: it’s just the right time.

What is Your Idea of Moving Up?

What determines a move ‘up’ for you? For some home owners, moving up could mean moving from suburban any-town USA to a penthouse condominium in the city. For others it could mean moving out of the city into an affluent suburb. Consider the example of my clients Jenny and Jake, from an episode of (HGTV) HouseHunters on which I was featured. Jenny and Jake were moving up from a smaller home to larger one in the $800,000 range. Jenny felt that she had compromised on their first home when she moved from Pasadena—a very walkable city—to live with her new husband Jake. Consequently, Jenny had some deal breakers notably aesthetics and location. She wanted a Mediterranean style home in a not too remote location in the suburbs. Additionally, it had to have good Feng Shui. Jake wanted a Southern Colonial cozy home, but with privacy. Two different ideas of what constitutes “moving up” but with my help and armed with good ideas of what they both wanted, they found a home. Take a look at their very different ideas of trading up.

Are You Ready to Move to a Better Home

Assuming a trade up is predicated on a recent increase in your income, then the question: Can you afford it, is most likely, yes. Assuming then that you can indeed afford a move up, according to HGTV Front Door’s article How to Know You’re Ready For a Bigger House, there are still some very real questions that you should ask yourself before a trade-up. Below are a few thoughts to consider as suggested by HGTV.

  • Finances

If the last time you bought a home was 10 years ago, things have changed a bit. It’s a little more difficult to qualify with the banks now post-economy crash. So if even of you can afford it, make sure your finances are in order.

  • Monthly Budget

HGTV quotes Brandon Green, a Washington D.C. real estate broker, who suggests there are some important cost factors to consider when moving into a bigger, better house. Green says:

If you’ve been living in a smaller house, you could easily double your property tax obligations. You need to factor that in the monthly budget.

  • Selling Your Home

Will your home sell and will it sell at the listed price? The idea is to make a profit and if you are like most, you will have a mortgage on the home for sale. Consequently, a new home buy will be contingent on that sale. So you might consider increasing your home sale value and working with a staging expert to increase the chances of a good profit. Refer to my previous article, How to Increase Your Home Sale Value.

Lydia Gable is an experienced and respected Realtor® in the Los Angeles and Ventura County communities. For more information on any topics covered in this blog or to make an appointment to sell your home or view home listings, contact Lydia Gable today.

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