Do you remember searching for the perfect home? And then you found the one you’re in now. It was perfect for the two of you. And now, a few kids, a drooling dog and maybe an in-law or two down the hall- your perfect home is bursting at the seams. If you’re ready to move into a larger home to fit your growing family, here is what you should know about upsizing your home. Click this link to read the full article.
If it’s any consolation, you have plenty of company. In 2014, a record 60.6 million people, or 19% of the U.S. population, lived with multiple generations under one roof, a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data found. If you have older kids, you can’t even count on having an empty nest, now that the preferred living arrangement for 18- to 34-year-olds is with their parents (more than alone or with a roommate). And more than one-fifth of Americans older than 55 live in a multigenerational household, as well.
So what do you look for in a home when you’re bringing so many people under one roof? There’s plenty more to consider before you upsize beyond just square footage. Topping the list: how to upgrade your home without fully downgrading your bank account. Yes, upsizing will cost you, upfront and on down the line. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad investment. It just means you need to be smart about it.
Here are six things to keep in mind before leaping into a larger home.
1. Think critically about your goals
Yes, we get it: You want more space. But have you thought, specifically, about why?
Before you hit the house-hunting trail, take a moment to pin down what you really, actually need, suggests Suzie Mayes, a real estate broker at Living Room Realty in Portland, OR.
“How are you actually going to live in this bigger house? For example, why do you want a bigger kitchen?” she asks. “If you’re going to be hosting Thanksgiving moving forward, maybe that makes sense.” But otherwise, perhaps not so much.
Listing your goals will help you prioritize, adds Christine Wren, a Realtor® and certified international property specialist with Keller Williams Realty in Austin, TX.
“Is the idea to accommodate your traditional nuclear family, or do you need to make rooms for seniors and young adults coming back from college?” Wren asks. “Is open concept right for you and your family? It sounds fabulous to watch the kids when they’re little, but you’ll get a lot of noise as they get older.”
In other words, have a plan and find a home that works into it.
2. Determine whether bigger is truly better
Before beginning your search, consider not just the home’s square footage, but also the layout, says Kim Trouten, a Realtor and designer with Allen Tate Realtors in Charlotte, NC.
“What people want and need isn’t necessarily what builders are producing,” Trouten explains. “In this very hot market, they’re building the largest houses they can on the smallest possible lots in order to amortize the price, which doesn’t necessarily equal good rooms for families.”
You might think you’re getting more space, but if that space isn’t useable or feels tight, does it really help you in the long run?
“Sometimes, the more bedrooms a home has, the smaller those bedrooms are,” Trouten explains. “You don’t always need more rooms; sometimes you need more spacious rooms.”