Few people end up staying in the first home that they buy. It’s the unfortunate truth of most ‘starter homes’ — they are wonderful for first-time home buyers as a place to begin their journey towards creating wealth and financial independence, but most people will outgrow them as they need more space, look for a new neighborhood, or simply want to invest in more valuable property.
However, it can be hard to know if you’ve outgrown your home. Each person or family’s needs and means will be different — so no one can tell you for certain that it’s time to move up to a new home. The best way to figure out the next steps for you and yours is to sit down with an experienced real estate agent and walk through your options.
With that in mind, there are some signs that can help you identify whether or not you might be outgrowing your home. Here are the 5 most common identifiers:
1. — Not Enough Room In Your Home
The first sign is also one of the most straightforward. If you are feeling cramped in your starter home — or have noticed that you don’t have enough storage for your belongings — you might be outgrowing your home. This often happens as people grow to appreciate new hobbies, take on extra work, or simply want more room to live.
One important thing to note is where you would like to have more room. Are you an avid entertainer, but your kitchen is just too small to whip up feasts to share with your friends? Do you want extra space to turn into a home gym? Is your family growing, and you just don’t have enough bedrooms to keep up?
These are important questions to ask yourself (and anyone else weighing in on the decision) because they’ll help you narrow down your ‘must-haves’ in a new house. After all, you are moving up to your dream home, ideally — you want it to meet everything that you need!
2. — A Growing Family Needs More Space
Another common reason that people need to expand their homes is because of family growth. As a new generation enters the home (and those kids grow) the family home can become restrictive. Most starter homes belong to singles or couples and are suited to their needs. But, with the growth of the family, many people swiftly outgrow their home and need to move up to a larger space.
This is also a great opportunity to explore your local neighborhoods that might be better suited to your family’s needs. Make sure to think about what your family will most likely need in the next few years, not just what they need right now.
3. — Other Relatives Moving In
It’s not just a younger generation that can lead to you outgrowing your home. Oftentimes, aging parents or other relatives will move in, which can cause the same space concerns as raising children.
The main difference between making space for older relatives — as opposed to younger family members — is that they sometimes have specialized needs that you must consider in your home search. This could be ensuring that your new home can accommodate the necessary medical equipment. Alternatively, your new home might just need to have living space on the main level, to avoid the need for aging family members to go up and down staircases.
4. — New Employment (for better and for worse)
Generally, lucrative new employment opportunities can be a great chance to expand into a larger or more valuable home. With more financial flexibility, you will usually be able to find a home that suits your needs and is a wise investment.
This doesn’t always mean that you’ll have more space, however — outgrowing your home isn’t always literal, after all. Sometimes, being a move-up buyer means moving to a property is more valuable due to a highly-desirable location, such as a luxury condo in an urban area like Arlington VA. In some cases, new employment will make commuting from your current home prohibitively difficult — when this happens, you might be in the perfect position to move up to a more valuable home!
5. — You’re Ready for New Responsibilities
One of the most important decisions to make when outgrowing your home is what to do with your current home. Many people choose to sell their old house — but this can lead to extra stress if you make the common move-up buyer mistakes. If you choose to follow this route, make sure that you work with a real estate team has extensive experience helping families buy and sell a home at the same time.
Another option is to use your current home as a rental property. In this case, you can generate income as a landlord — but this also means that you take on the responsibilities of having tenants.
No matter what you choose, moving up to a new home is an exciting step in life that comes with new responsibilities. So if you’re ready to move into another phase of home ownership, you might be outgrowing your home!
If you think you might be outgrowing your current home, don’t worry — you don’t have to be alone in the next steps!
Our team specializes in helping families get out of their starter house and into a dream home in less time and with minimal stress! Our amazing home search tools (such as our cutting-edge Mortgage Calculator and Home Valuation Tool) and vast network of off-market homes will make sure that your transition into this new phase of home ownership is as seamless and stress-free as possible!
To learn more about how we can help you, contact the Keri Shull Team today! No matter if you are living in Arlington VA, finding where to live in DC, or living in any of the other amazing neighborhoods in the DMV, our Move-Up Buyer Guarantee is sure to take the stress out of your home search.