Does the idea of moving to a new home give you a thrill of excitement or does it feel somewhat intimidating? Aside from the financial and time commitment, moving to a new home can have a significant emotional impact. So how can you know whether your desire to move is just a passing fancy or whether it represents a more meaningful impulse?
What follows are a few key indicators that your urge to move might make sense right now. Take these into consideration, and then have some important conversations with your family about the next steps. Once you’ve made up your mind, talk to your real estate agent or broker to learn more about the value of your current home and determine your purchasing power in today’s market.
Your lifestyle is changing
There are many ways a lifestyle change can indicate it’s time to make a move. Maybe the starter home that was perfect for going out with friends on the weekends isn’t as much fun now that you’re staying home more. Maybe your no-frills condo needs to give way to a single-family home with a garden and greenspace. Maybe you want more walkability or better access to arts and cultural venues in your area. As your habits and preferences change, your home should change too.
The size of your family is changing
Maybe your growing family’s possessions have your home bursting at the seams. Maybe the kids have moved out and your sprawling family home is no longer practical, and is even a little lonesome.
Perhaps you’re bringing an elderly family member into your home or a returning post-college grad needs a place to stay while they get their career off the ground. Whatever the reason, if you’re outgrowing your current home—or if it feels too big for your family now—making a move could make sense.
You’re ready for something different
Are you longing for a home that looks different, or have you found that outdoor space is a priority for the way you and your family live now? Perhaps your minimalist design aesthetic is giving way to a more maximalist approach or you simply want to have a different view from the front porch. If you are no longer loving the look of your home, this might be a great time to consider a change.
You’re looking to invest
Many homeowners experienced huge growth in the value of their homes during the pandemic as shrinking inventory drove up home prices. If you’ve always wanted to own an investment property, now might be a good time to explore your options.
If you’re thinking of downsizing, you might have an opportunity to put part of your equity into a primary home and the other part into an investment property. Alternatively, you may want to consider “house hacking”: purchasing a multi-family duplex, triplex, or quad and renting out the other units.
You’re looking to expand
On the other hand, maybe you want more flexibility and the ability to vacation without leaving the comfort of home. That may mean that you sell your current home, purchase a less expensive primary property, and then put the rest of your equity into a vacation home. Do you have friends or family members with whom you like to vacation? Consider a fractional ownership agreement so that you can all take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a home-away-from-home getaway.
You’re focusing on accessibility
For many reasons, accessibility can be a significant factor that impacts your enjoyment of a home. Maybe you or a family member have experienced a recent change in your health or mobility. Maybe you have a family member who’s getting older and coming to live with you for added safety and security. Perhaps you are getting older and finding that running up and down stairs multiple times a day is no longer as easy as it once was.
If accessibility is becoming a concern, it may be time to look for a single-level condominium or house to make day-to-day tasks a little easier. If you’re looking for more accessibility for a family member, consider a property with a guest house, carriage house, or accessory dwelling unit (ADU) so that they can keep their independence while also enjoying an easier, worry-free lifestyle.
Your home no longer “sparks joy”
You may have heard of lifestyle guru Marie Kondo’s recommendation that you only keep those items that spark joy for you and your family. The same can apply to your home. Does it spark joy when you turn into the driveway? Do you enjoy living there? Do you find yourself longing to go back home when you’re away or do you wish your vacations could never end?
Spending months in quarantine taught many folks that their homes were not as comfortable as they had previously thought. In addition, if you’re working from home permanently, you may find that your space is no longer suitable for you. Maybe you’ve gone through some difficult times or experienced some painful events while living in that home and it is no longer the haven that it once was.
Whatever the reason, your home should be a place of comfort and joy for you and your family. If that is no longer the case, it may be time for a fresh start. Talk to your trusted real estate professional to find out what type of home fits your needs and your budget. Sometimes a change of scenery is a great way to add some happiness back to your everyday life.