Have you started to notice things about your house? New things, like the way the garage door creaks a little. Or, the funny smell behind the fridge. Or, the way you have to cram your whole family into a space meant for two.
You love your house, but maybe you’re not in love with it anymore.
Don’t rush it. Take a moment to break up properly. Make sure you tick every box on our checklist before buying a new house.
1. Be prepared
Just like watching Marvel trailers, you need to assess something before making a new financial commitment. Selling your home and buying again comes with a host of costs and headaches, including the potential drama of juggling two loans and trying to match up settlement dates. Plus, there are often fees like stamp duty and agent’s selling commission.
Save time, stress and awkward interactions with your old house by putting together a comprehensive budget and to-do-list before the havoc of your home upgrade begins.
2. Make a choice: chicken or egg
Whether to buy property before you sell your current home is an age-old conundrum and really depends on your personal circumstances. Weigh the pros and cons, and make sure you have contingency plans in place before you sign on the dotted line.
3. Understand your new borrowing power
Things have probably changed since you bought your current house. You’re different, now. Maybe you’ve got a better job, or you’ve shed some costly responsibilities. Plus, if you’ve been keeping on top of your repayments, you probably have some equity to leverage.
It’s important to understand how owning your current property affects your next move. You might have more to spend or the ability to service a higher loan, but you won’t be eligible for first home buyer benefits.
4. Change your location, not yourself as a person
Yes, we all need a post-breakup hair refresh. But you’re still you. Your next house should satisfy your needs, even if you’re moving somewhere new.
Where you choose to go next affects how much you need to pay (and borrow), as well as how quickly the property will go up in value (and your quality of life with it). Make sure you buy property in the right suburb to suit your financial and lifestyle needs.
5. Decide on the best style of property for you
We’re not talking about lush interiors – although we won’t stop you from finally buying that luxurious daybed. You need to choose a property that works for your lifestyle.
While an apartment is low maintenance, a suburban house might be the only place to fit your growing clan. A heritage home might make you feel more like a nineteenth-century poet, but flash mod-cons are often underrated. Follow the lure of inner-city living or spread out in a country abode, but make sure it’s the right choice for your individual circumstances.
Be realistic about the non-negotiables, such as the number of bedrooms/bathrooms. And try not to duplicate anything you dislike about your current home. We all have a type, but you’re moving on for a reason.
6. Put your best house forward
Spend some time learning how to increase the sale value of your current property. There are heaps of simple things you can do to make it more appealing.
The new owner will probably want to put their own stamp on it, so don’t dive into a major home renovation too close to your sale date. Concentrate on inexpensive home improvement options, such as cleaning up the garden to create curb appeal, de-cluttering the interior and giving the walls a fresh coat of paint.
If it’s within your budget, consider hiring a stylist for any home opens.
7. Upgrade your loan with your home
Buying a new house is a great time to review your home loan. Don’t just roll it over into the same kind of product. You probably have basic home loan know-how after purchasing your first property, but there’s always something new to consider.