There comes a time for most home owners where they are ready to move out of their current house and into a more valuable property. If you’ve started to ask yourself: “Am I outgrowing my home?” then you might be what we call a move-up buyer.
Being a move-up buyer can be stressful, because there are a lot of moving parts that can cause financial strain. It’s important to learn some key advice for move-up buyers, so you can avoid financial pitfalls and get excited about moving into your new home!
So without further ado, here are 8 Vital Tips for Move-Up Buyers to keep in mind!
1. Know what you can afford
One of the most common mistakes that move-up buyers make is getting too excited about moving to a more valuable home and not setting a proper budget. It’s great to look forward to moving into a new home, but you need to learn what you can afford and search for homes accordingly.
When finding your budget, make sure to consider the primary and incidental costs of home ownership. For your mortgage, consider using a high-tech mortgage calculator to learn what you can afford. Then, you must take into account other costs like insurance, Home Owner’s Association/Condo fees, and home upkeep costs.
So, what’s the best way to know your realistic budget for a new home? Work with a home-buying expert who can help you better understand your needs, wants, and means!
2. Know what your current home is worth
Just as important as setting a budget for your new home is knowing what you might be able to get for your current home. Some people will optimistically overvalue their current home — but a lot of other people will be surprised by how much they could pocket from selling their home.
Your current home’s value will depend, in large part, on the current housing market in your area. To get a better, real-time understanding of how the market is affecting your home’s value, make sure to check out the Keri Shull Team’s Home Valuation Tool!
Armed with the knowledge of your home’s value, you can confidently go into the meeting with your real estate agent and discuss your options as a move-up buyer.
3. Decide whether to buy or sell first
This is a tough decision for some move-up buyers, but you need to ask yourself this question when buying and selling a home at the same time: “Do I want need to buy the new home first, or sell my current home first?”
Unfortunately, there’s no cut-and-dry answer to this question. It really depends on your personal situation. If you sell your current home first, you risk losing the new home and being without a home until you can win a different move-up home.
On the other hand, if you buy a new home first, you could have the deal on your first home fall through and get stuck with two mortgages — which can be a lot of financial stress.
Luckily, the Keri Shull Team has an exclusive Move-up Buyer Guarantee to put your mind at ease! When you move up to one of our amazing listings, we will sell your home for FREE — so you don’t have to worry about being homeless or having two mortgages at the same time!
4. Learn your financing options
One of the most important parts of moving up to a new home is making sure you have the financial flexibility to put an offer on a new home before selling your current house (if that’s what you choose to do).
These options can help you cover any gap between listing your home and buying a new home without introducing extra financial strain. As always, the best way to figure out which option works best for you is to speak with an agent or team that specializes in move-up buyers. They will be able to introduce you to local finance and lending experts who will work with you to create a refinancing plan that works for you!
5. Consider all your options for a new home
If you’re only considering homes that you find online when searching for your next house, then you are limiting your options! This is especially important to keep in mind if you are having trouble finding a new home that meets your needs and wants.
One of the most attractive options — that a lot of move-up buyers don’t consider — is to build a new home. If you choose to build a new home, you will have complete creative control over the process, so you can completely customize it to suit your needs!
With that said, there are some costly mistakes to building a new home that you should take care of to avoid. And, it’s not always the best option for anyone, so make sure to really ask yourself: “Should I buy a home or build one?”
6. Make a “Love it, Hate it” List
We’ve mentioned finding a home that suits your needs and wants a few times so far. If you already know what you want and need in a house, great! But if not, you’ll have to sit down and decide on your priorities.
One way to figure out your needs is to create a “love it, hate it” list. On a piece of paper (or a word processor, we’re not picky), write down the things that you love about your current house. What made you buy it in the first place? Does it have a big backyard that’s great for entertaining? Did you fall in love with the open-concept kitchen? Write these “love its” down!
Next, on that same sheet (or document) write down the things that you hate about your current home. Is it too far from your work? Is it located on a busy, loud road? Is it missing space for storage that you need?
Once you have a list of the things that you love and that you hate about your current home, you can boil it down into a collection of “must-haves” for your new home!
Expert tip: Don’t just focus on your house — make a “love it, hate it” list for your neighborhood, too! After all, you’ll want to absolutely love where you live!
7. Don’t just look on the market
If you are only looking for homes that are actively listed on the Multiple Listing Service, then you are missing out on a ton of houses — one of which might be your dream home!
The perfect property for you might be an off-market home. These are houses that have not yet gone live on the housing market, and which real estate agents can’t show to just anyone.
These homes can be great for move-up buyers because you can avoid costly bidding wars and save time, money, and stress while searching for your new home. Still, you have to learn how to find off-market homes if you want to access these benefits.
If you work with the right real estate agent, they will have the connections and network necessary to help you find the right off-market home for you! To learn how you can access the Keri Shull Team’s off-market homes (over 160 different properties!) click here to check out our priority access program!
8. Work with the right people
If you work with the wrong people, your move-up buying experience can quickly become a nightmare. After all, there are a lot of moving parts in buying a home — and if you are buying and selling at the same time, that just multiplies!
That’s why it’s vital that you work with a real estate team that has a proven track record of helping move-up buyers find and win their dream home! The Keri Shull Team helps hundreds of families each year with all of their real estate needs — and we are standing by to help you with yours!
To learn more about how our specialized team can help with your real estate needs, contact the Keri Shull Team today! Our local experts will help you find where to live in DC, Arlington VA or any of the other amazing neighborhoods in the DMV.
Make sure to ask about our Guarantee programs, including our Move-Up Buyer Guarantee — if you move up to any of our listings, we’ll sell yours FOR FREE!
To get started, just click here and schedule a meeting with one of our move-up buying experts!