No matter how much you love your current home, you may still be dreaming of the day you can buy your dream home. Buying up looks different for everyone. One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to buying up is timing. Is that today or a few years down the road? What do I have to do to figure out if it is time?
Here is a quick way to make that assessment.
The first step is to make a list of all of the practical reasons as to why it might be time to buy up.
Those reasons may include:
- More bedrooms for a growing family or for visiting friends and family
- Proximity to work, school, friends, and/or family
- A larger outdoor space
- Proximity to parks, walking paths, dog parks, bike lanes, bus routes
- Ability to walk or bike places as opposed to driving
- Better access to the recreational things you enjoy
Next, make a list of the emotional reasons for making such a move.
These reasons may include:
- Memorable get-togethers on your friends/family members spacious deck
- Less stressful commute to work and/or school
- More time with family and friends
- Spending a relaxing Sunday at the nearby golf course
With the information you have already written down, it's time to create your “needs” and “wants” lists. These two lists will give you a clear picture of what is a necessity in your future home and what is not. That does not mean that your “wants” list goes out the window, because this is a working list and those categories may change. Organizing your thoughts and desires for buying up will allow you to get a full picture of your new home and make the search much easier.
A “needs” list includes things that are (or have the potential to be) deal breakers.
This may include:
- Minimum number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Specific price range
- Specific square footage range
- Detached, semi-detached, condo...etc
- Wheelchair access
- A bigger kitchen or family room
- Bigger or greener backyard
- A specific neighbourhood or area, or proximity to
- School district
- Closer to public transport
- Nanny or In-Law suite
- Newly renovated
- Fully finished basement
A”wants” list would include things that do not fall on the “needs” list but are still important to you. These may also be features you can add in yourself late on or simply dream items that you would love to have in your future home.
This may include:
- A pool or place to put one in
- Specific style of renovation
- Hardwood floors
- A porch or patio
- Fenced in yard
- Well done gardening and landscaping
- Shed or workspace
Lastly, take a financial snapshot to determine if you can afford to move up.
In order to do this, you will need to:
- Get a good idea of what your current property would sell for in today’s market
- The average price of homes in your desired neighbourhood or area
- Property taxes, fees, or other financial factors included in your move
- The actual cost of moving
- What size or mortgage you can afford (learn more about getting a mortgage appraisal here). Even if you are not yet ready, your mortgage broker can help you get to the place you need to be to buy up.
Once you have all of that down on paper, you’ll have a clear picture of your readiness. If the practical and emotional reasons are compelling, and you can afford to make the move, the, you have your answer.
The time to move is now! The market is hotter than ever here in Ottawa. If you need help making this determination - especially figuring out what your home will likely sell for, call today.