If you’re like us, this year may be the year that you have some big moving plans in place! A lot of people like to take the month of January to think about what the next twelve months have in store! It gives you something to work toward and look forward to as the year progresses! For you, (and for us) this might mean a house move! One in which you need a bigger property, a larger space, more rooms, or just simply want to be somewhere new! We started this process just a few weeks ago (YAY!) so, through our experience we’ve learned a few things! I’m here to share the steps you’ll need to take in order to make the transition a smoother one! Consider these suggestions to help you get started on your next big move:
BUDGET: Think about your budget and know what your current financial situation is versus your future finances when building a budget!
First of all, you need to know exactly what your budget is when it comes to the purchase of a new home! This starts with getting a valuation and an idea of what your current house is worth, versus what you may be able to get as an advance with a new mortgage. You will need to consider all types of mortgage loan products and options to decipher the best route to take. Once you know these figures, it will be easier for you to decide what your budget is and to begin the process of selling and buying your next home! It’s also beneficial to take into account the payoff of your current home if you are selling for more than you owe (just because you make 150K from your sale, you still need to account for the 80K you owe before counting that cash in your mind!), have an idea of closing costs and lender fees for your purchase and sale (no lender fees for your sale), consider the taxes on your new home (are they higher or less?), take into account the previous owners’ utility bills if possible on the home you are considering purchasing, give yourself a concessions budget as well as possible funds for fixes in your current home after an inspection, and be sure to take into account fixes and upgrades on your new home! There are a ton of other costs when it comes to selling and purchasing so, prepare yourself with a budget that includes those possible/guaranteed other costs!
PREP: Get your house ready to list!
Knowing the figures is one thing but, getting the top notch valuation for your home may be harder than you think! It is time to ensure that your house is ready to be sold! There are a number of things that you can do-minimize the interior so that it allows possible buyers to “mentally move in” (remove personal photos, things on the fridge, small rugs, items on your kitchen & bathroom countertops, bulky furniture, personal mementos), neutralize the space (paint colors, simple decor pieces, etc.), and tidying away things to present your home in the best possible light! Small changes can make the biggest of differences. When it comes to photographing or showing your home- turn all the lights on, turn off fans, remove cars from the driveway, open blinds/shutters, wipe countertops, and vacuum/mop!
HOME SHOPPING: Look at all different types of properties, even those you think you may not love!
You may think you know what you want from a property when you’re scrolling through the endless inspo board on Pinterest but, seeing something IRL is totally different than on your phone or laptop! You may think you want a to story until you walk through it and realize that a laundry set downstairs isn’t ideal for your family, OR you’ve decided totally against a second story but, see one in person and fall in love with the layout! My best advice would be to see all sorts home layouts and styles! Look at houses that are finished and look at those that need a little work and TLC. Consider properties with scope for extensions or ones that are just that little way out of your desired area! You may be surprised by what you find and what you may end up loving that you originally thought was a no-no!
THE MOVE: Prepare for the move in advance
Finally, once you’ve sold your house and found the new home of your dreams in your desired neighborhood, you’ll be counting the minutes waiting for your move date! In the meantime, you can start to prepare well in advance to make the moving process easier and less stressful for the whole family! Pack and clear things away that you don’t need for the next month or so (if you’re buying a preexisting home and not new construction). Consider packing the boxes with your new home and layout in mind so that unpacking will be that much easier! Also, think about the first night in your new home and have a box dedicated to some of the things you will need (shower essentials, towels, bedding, kitchen necessities, diapers, wipes, paper towels, etc.)! For us, we’ve already packed most of the boys’ toys and play things, except for some of their daily favs! Our kitchen has already been boxed up with miscellaneous things and dishes that we only use on special occasions! Getting a few extra hands to move in and out is also super helpful, whether it’s family who are just as excited for you, friends that want to start making your new home memories together, or even hiring professional help to take care of the moving process!
This process can be emotionally draining and physically taxing but, I hope these tips help make your transition into buying a new home smoother this year!