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Most of us reach a point in our lives when our current home just doesn’t work for us anymore. These past couple of years, especially, have had a significant impact on the way we use our homes and it’s caused many homeowners to reevaluate their needs. Some want more space to accommodate working and learning from home, while others may hope to downsize in order to save money.
No matter the reason, there is a lot to consider when you’re dramatically changing your square footage. Before you make the move, I want to warn you about a few common mistakes to avoid.
Not Establishing Your Goal
Are you permanently working from home and need more separation or a designated office space? Are you growing your family and need room for children? Are you an empty nester who is looking for low-maintenance living? First of all, you have to establish your “why”. Don’t get caught up with pretty Pinterest homes - think through how much room you really need and how you will use it.
Not Considering Your Lifestyle
Maybe you bought a swanky loft downtown but now you see the commute to work is hell, it’s noisy every night from all the bars and clubs, and everything you try to grow on your north-facing windowsill just dies. Or maybe you have hobbies that require more space than what your small midtown unit has to offer? Not thinking carefully through your needs is a sure-fire way to end up with buyer’s remorse. That’s why you need to think beyond the square footage and consider what your daily life will look like in your new home.
Not Thinking Through the Costs
Remember, everything is bigger when you buy a larger home…including the bills. You are likely to have a larger mortgage payment, and may also be looking at higher property taxes, homeowners’ insurance premiums, utility costs, and repair and maintenance costs. And while many people downsize to save money, that isn’t always the case. Location plays a big part in how much money you can save.
Rushing to Make a Decision
Before you rush into buying something bigger or smaller, take some time to evaluate your current home and figure out what is or isn’t working. And remember, a home’s layout has a lot to do with functionality. It doesn’t matter how large an apartment is if it has an awkward floor plan. On the other hand, a small home that is laid out well can feel spacious and may even work better than your current place.
Your needs as a homeowner are continually evolving; you can try to plan for the future but only to a certain extent: financial situations change, families grow or get smaller, priorities shift, etc. Sometimes it’s better to focus on ‘rightsizing’ rather than ‘upsizing’ or ‘downsizing.
Source: Lansing State Journal