4 Tips to Make Upsizing Your Home a Breeze

4 Tips to Make Upsizing Your Home a Breeze

  • William Weeks
  • 10/30/22

If you’ve been in your current home or apartment for a while and the walls are starting to feel like they are closing in, it’s probably time to upsize. Perhaps you’ve been looking at Mt. Washington real estate and eyeing up a lovely colonial cottage. Taking the steps necessary to purchase a larger home can be daunting and stressful, creating hesitancy in many potential home buyers. While a home purchase can be unsettling, it’s also very exciting and can significantly improve your quality of life. At the same time, you’ll want to take your time and be assured that you are making a sound decision and purchasing the right home to meet your needs. This article provides four tips that will make upsizing your home a breeze.

Assess your “needs” and “wants”

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When perusing houses for sale in Federal Hill, Baltimore and considering an upsize, the first consideration is determining if you really need a larger home. Sometimes a house just feels cramped because there’s too much furniture or has become cluttered or disorganized. So, the best way to ease your mind about an upgrade is to make a detailed list of your “needs” and your “wants.” For example, if you are expecting a new child, more space is likely an impending “need.” If you want a club room with a pool table, that would be more of a “want.”
Remember, “wants” are not bad, so even if your list mostly wants, a decision to upsize is still perfectly legitimate, given that you have the budget for it. Your list is only intended to help you ascertain whether upsizing is necessary for the short term or if you can proceed more slowly in the decision-making process.

Evaluate your budget

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The next step will require a careful analysis of your finances. It may be useful to meet with a certified financial planner or accountant to give you a precise picture of your current financial situation and provide insight into how upsizing will impact your bottom line. As part of your analysis, call your current mortgage lender and ask for the pay-off amount on your mortgage.
Next, consult with a local real estate agent or property appraiser to determine a ballpark value for your home if it sold today. By subtracting your mortgage balance from the approximate selling price of your home, you’ll arrive at a rough gross estimate of the equity you have to work with. Let’s assume you own Canton real estate that would sell for $425,000, and your mortgage payoff amount is $225,000. If that were the case, your gross equity would be $200,000. Accounting for the 6% sales commission the agents receive leaves you with $174,500 net equity.
So, you would have almost $200K to invest in upsizing your home. That is a substantial downpayment and could ultimately keep your mortgage very reasonable. Remember, a larger home will cost more for utilities, insurance, and taxes, so you should figure those into your budget. If your home is in a community with an HOA, there will also be monthly fees for that. It may be tempting to think that renting an apartment is more affordable, but you must remember, that you pay a mortgage for a fixed period and will eventually own the home (which will have increased in value!) When you pay rent, you pay to stay, not to own, so there’s no return on your investment.
Sit down, crunch the numbers, and you will likely discover that upsizing to a beautiful piece of Ellicott City real estate is an excellent idea and more affordable than you thought!

Love the location

In addition to the pleasantries of owning a larger home with more space, upsizing also lets you upgrade your location. Don’t purchase a larger home in a neighborhood you don’t love. Sometimes it’s better to shop for the community first, then find a house in the area that meets your needs (and perhaps some of your wants, too!). So, if you have been looking at charming Hampden houses for sale, take a day and get to know Hampden. Talk to current residents, walk the neighborhood, and discover what’s around and what the community has to offer. Many modern communities, especially in suburban enclaves like Frederick, are thoughtfully designed and absolutely amazing. Many offer fabulous resort-style amenities like swimming pools, paved trails, tennis courts, and fitness centers. If you are a golf lover, many communities are located on or near fantastic country clubs, and residents are often provided discounts on their tee times.
If you have young children, research the schools in the area. Access to excellent schools is one of the primary selling features of homes, and many would argue that it’s the most important consideration for home buyers.
If you commute to the office, how far away is the neighborhood? What kind of traffic and commute times can you expect? How far is the neighborhood from the nearest airport or train station? You’ll have extra commuting time and expenses if the community is farther from work.
Finally, if you enjoy certain sports or outdoor activities, or if you are an avid shopper or enjoy dining out, is the community close to the things you like to do? Take time to scout out the closest parks, shopping centers, and highly-rated restaurants. So if you have been looking at luxurious home sales in Frederick County, MD, and you have fallen in love with the location, you can feel confident that you’ll enjoy living there.

Get help from a real estate professional

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Once you are ready to go for it and upsize your home, it’s a good idea to seek the help and expertise of a real estate agent. This will be particularly helpful if you navigate buying a new home and selling your current home simultaneously. If possible, it’s a good idea to sell your existing home first so that you’ll have cash in hand to purchase a new home. It can also prevent the undesirable situation of having two mortgages until you sell your home. If you absolutely must buy and sell simultaneously, a knowledgeable agent will be an invaluable resource to guide you through the process.
When you are ready, your agent will be there to help you find a home that has adequate square footage, a great location, excellent schools, and desirable amenities. The agent will work tirelessly to satisfy the “needs” and as many of the “wants” on your list as possible. And when you cross the threshold of that beautiful, new, upsized home, you’ll be confident that you have made a sound decision.
If you are considering upsizing to a home in Baltimore, Frederick, or Ellicott City, contact William Weeks with Coldwell Banker. William is an experienced, credentialed, and empathetic agent that strives to make the home buying process as pleasant and stress-free as possible.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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With extensive knowledge in real estate, from the historic streets of Frederick to the vibrant heart of Federal Hill and throughout the Baltimore area, I offer invaluable expertise to those looking to buy or sell homes. Real estate dynamics can vary widely even within short distances, so it's essential to have a trusted expert versed in the intricacies of local markets. I stay abreast of the latest trends, listings, and opportunities in Baltimore. Eager to serve, I'm here to not only meet but also exceed your property-related expectations. Let's embark on your real estate journey together!