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Thinking of upsizing - Our top ten tips to consider

1)      Why?

Think about the main real reason you need or want to upsize.  This will either be a necessity, such as expanding your family, because your current home no longer caters for the space you need, and you have decided to move as oppose to improve.  Or maybe it’s more aspirational, and you want something larger to accommodate that ‘Wow Factor’ open plan living space you’ve always wanted?! Whatever the reason…. if you’ve made the decision to upsize, go with your gut and go for it!

2)      Where?

Location, location, location!  Choosing the right location will always stand you in good stead. We would always say compromise on the property slightly, if the location is spot on! If you are moving for schooling options, check out the Ofsted reports for your chosen schools and look within the school catchments areas to get a feel for those you prefer.  Do you need to be near good transport links?  If so, this needs to be factored into your search.  What else is important to you…. local amenities? Semi-rural aspects? And don’t forget to check out the local crime stats…. better to be safe than sorry!   

3)      When?

Just like for first time buyers there is never a right time to start paying bills, there is never a ‘perfect' time to start paying larger bills.  Are you dictated to by a deadline? If so, work backwards from your deadline date and start getting all your ducks in a row early on, within enough time to make sure you achieve your deadline date.  New job start date?  School catchment cut off? Now is the time to act!

4)      Interest rates

As interest rates are currently at a record low, for anyone contemplating upsizing, you are better to do it sooner rather than later to lock in a fantastic mortgage deal now, before the interest rates start creeping up.  This could potentially save you thousands across your fixed term and help reduce the overall mortgage term, if the inevitable does happen!  Always speak to your current banks, and a qualified IFA, for their best advice on your situation and potential moving plans, should you require a mortgage.  A very good IFA, could help to save you thousands.

5)      Do not make your home your prison! 

Speaking of increased mortgages, it is important to know your limits and speak with a qualified IFA to set a budget and price range that you are more than comfortable with paying each month.  Of course, this might come with some small sacrifices from time to time (such as having an M&S meal deal in, as oppose to going out for a fancy meal) …. however, if you over stretch yourself too much on your onward purchase and monthly mortgage commitments, it will start to affect your daily lifestyle too much.  Potentially you could run the risk of your house becoming your prison, and you will feel like you are simply living to work to cover all your monthly bills, as oppose to working to live, to enjoy your home and existing lifestyle.  Sadly, this can easily happen!

6)      Future scope/ potential

If you are thinking of future expansion plans, to maybe cater for your growing family, or desirability to have that dream kitchen you have always wanted, make sure you do your research.  Is the plot big enough? Would it take too much off the garden if you extend? Do the parking arrangements cater for a growing family? Have others extended in the road? What is the drainage position?  Would it allow for an extension? Make enquiries with the neighbours and speak to the local authority to get an idea if what you are looking to do is feasible.  Speak to local builders and architects to get their advice and approximate idea of costings.

7)      Know your most important tick boxes

Perfection rarely exists in anything….so trying to accommodate all your tick boxes is unrealistic.  However, knowing your most important search criteria and focussing on those tick boxes that you absolutely cannot compromise on is key.  If you get 7/8 of your main tick boxes you are onto a winner, as rarely will you find all 10!  Know those that you are prepared to compromise on, versus those that you can’t.  The most important question to ask yourself after viewing a house is ‘can you see yourself living there?’, and what does your gut feeling tell you?! If it is yes, then go for it!

8)      Neighbours

Nobody wants to live next door to the neighbours from hell, right?!  Always ask what the neighbours are like.  The sellers have an obligation to answer this honestly, as worst-case scenario if there are any issues or grievances, they are obliged to divulge this information.  Once you have had an offer accepted on your chosen property, go and meet them personally and introduce yourself.  Looking at the surrounding houses and how well neighbours look after their gardens for example, is always a good measure of what the neighbourhood is like.  If you are used to brilliant neighbours, you will know that having great neighbours that become friends can help you make those amazing memories over the years that you will cherish forever. 

9)      Timescale/ chain size

If you are dictated to by a deadline, this needs to be thoroughly checked out at the outset.  Check this out fully with the estate agent marketing the property to understand the length of how many properties are involved in the chain and gauge an idea of timescale.  Sales are often agreed without the due diligence being done on this at the outset, which of course can cause problems later down the line.  Now, I am not saying there is anything wrong with being in a chain, as chains are fine if they are managed well, and everyone involved has a clear understanding of the timescale being worked to and all parties involved remain on the same page!

10)  Do you need to sell to buy?

Last point, but probably the most important…If you need to sell in order to buy, getting your house on the market in readiness for finding your ‘dream home’ is crucial!  Making the mistake of thinking your house will sell within days, so can wait until you find your ideal home first, could potentially cause you lots of disappointment.  Have you missed out on houses of interest previously, by not being in a proceedable buying position?  If so, how many?

When the right house goes up for sale, especially in sought after areas and highly favoured demand vs supply market, you will be competing with proceedable buyers who have either sold, or do not need to sell to buy.  You will have much less bargaining power, than those who can immediately proceed on their offer.  Check out our separate blog on this topic, at https://www.harper-williams.co.uk/blog/28-which-first-find-home-or-sell. 

Contact our team on 01925 407210 or register your details at https://www.harper-williams.co.uk/valuation to discuss how we can get you in the best possible buying position, in readiness for making your bigger move!

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