Movin on Up

Houses are like the clothes in your children’s wardrobe – before you know it, they’re too small. Now outgrowing a house doesn’t happen as quickly or as often as Junior goes through shoes, but if you’re planning a family, that house you live in now will feel awfully tight down the road. This is when you may start thinking about moving up.

While the need to upsize to a larger house is one thing, there are other aspects to the move-up that need to be considered.

Larger Homes Cost More

Sure, larger homes are more expensive than smaller ones but that factor alone shouldn’t dissuade you from pursuing more space.

The equity in your current home, if you have it, will go a long way in cutting down the cost of the new, larger home. If you don’t have a lot of equity you’ll need to sit down with your accountant or a calculator and your budget to figure out how you’ll pay for the new home.

As you do this, consider that the home’s price won’t be the only thing that costs more. Consider the following:

  • Larger homes cost more to heat and cool so you may have higher utility bills. Get around this by purchasing a newer, more energy-efficient home.
  • With more space to maintain, expect both your interior and exterior maintenance costs to increase. Look for a home that’s been well-maintained to cut down the chances you’ll face expensive repairs in the near future.
  • The higher the price of the home, the more you’ll pay for property taxes.
  • Homes that cost more are more expensive to insure.

Credit Considerations

For many Americans, our credit scores are something we only think about when we need to borrow money. Maintaining a good score is challenging but necessary; after all, your score determines how much money the lender will consider loaning and how much that money will cost.

While you’re perusing your credit, do a quick calculation of your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Add up all of your monthly debt payments, divide the sum by your monthly gross income and multiply the result by 100.

If your DTI is more than 36 percent you’ll need to either pay off some of the debt or bring in more money to raise the “income” portion of the equation.

Taking the upsizing process a step at a time will help alleviate some of the stress involved in moving up. Ensuring you can comfortably make the new house payment and the increased utility, insurance and taxes makes the rest of the process a breeze. You may just find, in fact, that movin’ on up is of the best decisions you’ve ever made.

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