One reason to buy a home is to upsize. When you purchased your home it probably felt big enough, maybe with some room to spare, only now you are finding it's feeling a little tight, or it soon will be.
It could be your family is expanding for the very first time, with a baby on the way, or that your kids are fast becoming teenagers and need their own entrainment space, just so you can hear yourself think. It might even be that an aging parent is moving in, or that you are going to be working from home full time and need an office, one you can ask clients into if need be. While your home will hold many memories and be a secure comfort zone for you, packing up and moving on will open up a world of opportunities for you, not to mention a lot more space and privacy.
To help you step through the emotion we've put together a list of reasons why you might be looking for a bigger home as well as some tips for what kind of home features will add value to your next home.
Reasons to upsize your home
You might have a baby on the way or plans very soon for a family of three or more kids. This is the perfect time to plan, budget and prepare your nest for those little chicks.
For others, it's a case of already having little ones and getting exciting news of another bub on the way, just with no more room at the inn.
What you are looking for is bigger living spaces, bigger kitchens, possible extra bathrooms and more bedrooms. A young family will also really benefit from indoor-outdoor style living areas that open up to allow bigger play areas, give you an easy eye and ear out for them when they are playing in the garden and give them plenty of space to run, grow and develop.
Teenagers love to test their independence and express their own, unique tastes in music, movies and messiness. For these reasons, it might be best to leave them to it. Their own entertainment space will free up your leisure time and give you space to relax while they fight over the remote in a different part of the house. It will also allow them to have friends over, which for some parents is preferable to not knowing where they are or who they are with. Teenagers will usually also have a lot more trouble sharing bedrooms than younger children, so if you have pre-teens in bunk beds, it might be a good idea to start thinking about separate rooms in the near future. You will be looking for a second large living space or maybe a theatre room, bedrooms with enough space for a study desk, or a dedicated study area for your kids to do homework and read in peace.
If your parents or close relatives are aging, or have been left alone after the death of a partner, it might be a good move to bring them in with you. They are not so frail that they need constant care, they would like to spend more time with you, maybe even help out with the kids, but they will need some privacy, so look for detached spaces or rooms in more isolated parts of the house, preferable with their toilet and bathroom.
Running a business from home can save you a lot of time and money, however, you also want it to be professional and allow your family their privacy and freedom to come and go as they need. A dedicated home office will also allow you to 'go to work' and not be disturbed. Look for a secure private entrance, lots of natural light and preferably has windows with nice views.
When is the best time to upsize?
You should be looking at a bigger home before your current ones get too cramped. If you delay it until you are living on top of each other, you add pressure to your purchase and your home sale. The earlier your plan, the more time you have to get it right and you can take your time looking for new options, ones that will work for years to come.
Should I build from scratch?
Depending on the area you live and what the housing options are, you might want to consider building your own home. In some cases, government incentives are available to help out here, so it may be worth doing some research to see what stimulus packages might be on offer. Building your own home allows you to get the features and lifestyle you want without compromise. Some builders also offer free upgrades on features, rent or mortgage payments made while the building work is done.
One thing to keep in mind though is that a new build can take as long as two years to complete, although for some people that might be a bonus as you can use that time to prepare your current home for sale and wait out the best property prices.
Other features to consider
Storage space is a real winner for increasing a home's value. Everyone has too much-accumulated stuff, and most of it will need to be tucked away out of sight until it's needed, which maybe never.
Great storage space is out of the way but organised so if you need to grab a camping set, it's there ready to go. Garage space and shelving is usually the best option for additional storage but also look for great storage in kitchens, so go for high cabinets, pull out pantry and island benches.
This is an especially important feature for upsizing because more people in the home means more excess items to store.
Wardrobes are big, heavy, pretty inflexible and space consuming. Built-in robes are not just great items for bedrooms but also for linen closets, under stair storage and laundry storage.
Wardrobes don't have to contain clothing either, they can be great spaces for toys and games for little kids, gaming, music and laptops and books.
Most people don't mind if there isn't much of a yard if the rest of the home is perfect. One thing to keep in mind though is a yard gives you the flexibility to offer a home to pets. It can also mean some playtime for your kids or even a place to put a hammock or lounge chair and get in some reading. Gardens and leafy surrounds can be very therapeutic and can enable you to have beautiful views from your windows, as well as inviting wildlife, birds and butterflies a place to live and rest.
A backyard can also be a centre for entertainment. A decking or enclosed BBQ area, especially one that can flow into the indoor living space is a massive bonus to families, entertainers and home buyers.
And finally, if you are looking for something luxurious a backyard also gives you the option of a home pool. A lap pool or in-ground pool can be an incredible asset but also provide a lot of fun family time, exercise opportunities or cooling off after a long hot day.
In some cases keeping the same postcode is important if you want your kids to continue going to their same schools. If finding a new home in your neighbourhood isn't working out, consider refitting your existing home or even knocking it down and starting again.
For your home to provide future returns it's best to consider elements that will last when you are building or extending your home. Timber floors, stone benchtops and Smart technology will all ensure you have a great home to live in, and a great home to sell.