Is it Time to Move? Signs You May Want to Consider It
Do you know the signals that it may be time to move on from your current home? Recent surveys indicate that homeowners move to new homes around once every decade.
For some people, that may sound like quite a long time. For others, it may seem surprisingly short.
The truth is that knowing when to change homes is a very personal decision—one that you have to weigh carefully before coming to a final choice. After all, selling takes work, and so does buying.
But it is hard to deny the excitement that comes from such significant changes. Maybe now is the time for you? One of the questions many people ponder is how to know when it’s the right time to downsize. There are also a significant amount of people who will wonder if now is the time to upgrade as well.
Keeping reading for some of the best tips on whether it’s the right time to change houses.
1. You have lived in your home for at least five years.
The consensus is that you need to own a home for at least five years before you can sell without losing money. All the costs associated with buying and selling a new home add up.
It takes some time before your increase in equity, increasing market value (hopefully) and other financial concerns align in a way that justifies buying something new.
Remember unless you are selling for sale by owner, you’ll probably be paying five or six percent commission to a real estate agent. Obviously, quite a bit of money if you haven’t lived in your place that long. It generally takes some time for homes to appreciate.
Keep in mind that selling as a for sale by owner doesn’t mean you will necessarily be saving a commission either. It has been proven over and over again that you’ll sell your home for more money with a real estate agent than without.
2. You want to take advantage of the seller’s market.
You may be lucky enough to find that your home is worth a lot more than it was when you bought it. The market is hot, and you want to take advantage of it. It makes sense to see what it would take to sell right now. Of course, the market is always changing, so you need to be sure that it is working in your favor right now.
There are a few indicators of a market that is favorable to sellers. These include:
- Price per square foot is going up in your area.
- Properties are staying on the market for shorter and shorter amounts of time.
- You hear from various sources that there are bidding wars for houses taking place.
- You see that there are a lot of people selling their homes in your neighborhood.
You can definitely look for these signs. But you can also take a shortcut and talk to a Realtor you trust. A reputable agent will be happy to give you some insight into what is going on in your area and what your home may be able to sell for. It never hurts to get some professional feedback before you go full tilt and list your home.
Be sure that if you do decide to buy and sell a home at the same time, you understand all the timing issues. Quite often many folks do not think about the nuances of coordinating two sales together.
In many instances, people think you can just add a home sale contingency to your contract, and that will solve your timing issues. Nope – far from it. Most people will not accept a home sale contingency for many reasons explained in the article.
3. Your home is draining your bank account more than you like.
If your home is costing you more than 28% of your monthly income before taxes, you may be in a situation where your housing costs are too high. It may be frustrating to realize you are in such a position but know that you are not alone.
Plenty of people accidentally get in situations where their mortgage and other housing costs are too much for them to handle. And maybe you are dealing with it—but is the situation causing you constant stress? If so, it may be time to sell and find a more affordable home.
Keep in mind that the stress you are feeling now is unlikely to let up unless you start earning more income. You have to weigh the possibility that you will get a raise or a better job with the opportunity that you could be paying too much for your home month after month, year after year.
As a real estate agent for the past thirty plus years, I have seen first hand how a surprising amount of people will stretch beyond their means to get into a house. Once the thrill of owning a large home wears off, you’ll be feeling the pressure to get out from under the financial albatross.
Being house poor it a situation that can make your life miserable.
4. You find out that your neighbors have sold their home for an excellent price.
When your neighbors sell their home for a fantastic price, it is hard not to look around your property and consider if you could do the same thing. The idea certainly is exciting. Maybe you could make a lot of money off of your house!
However, you should hold your enthusiasm for a moment to take stock of the situation. If your neighbor’s home is quite similar to yours, there is a good chance you could sell for a great price, too.
But if their home is considerably different than yours—bigger, more features, more bedrooms, more bathrooms—then it becomes more difficult to be sure if their good fortune would strike you as well.
Again, an experienced Realtor can be extremely helpful in this situation. Your agent has the training and the resources to look carefully at your home and at homes similar to yours in the same area that have sold.
By considering all the relevant factors, your agent can give you a pretty good idea of what your home could possibly sell for.
If your agent tells you that your home could also sell for a great price and you want to move forward, do so. You will have the confidence of knowing that you didn’t just guess and hope for the best. You actually did your research and are making a reasonable business decision.
5. Your life has changed significantly since you bought your home.
No matter how much you love your home or how much time you have spent in it, there may come a time where it doesn’t really fit you anymore.
You may have raised a family in the home, and now the kids are gone away. Or perhaps you are getting older, and the three stories of your home are more and more difficult to access.
Maybe it is precisely the opposite? Were you single when you bought and now are married with kids? Perhaps you want to move from the city to the country or vice versa? Without a doubt life, circumstances can change at the drop of a hat.
Your location plays an essential role in your overall health and happiness.
There are many reasons why a home can become less desirable as your life changes. If you are in such a situation, selling and buying a different home can be one of the best ways to set yourself up for a happier living situation over the long-term.
Moving to a new home or a new area offers so many opportunities. You can pick and choose what is important to you and put yourself in a position to take advantage of what you love.
It may be moving closer to family, to fishing or to better career opportunities. Whatever the reason, a move may be just what you are looking for.
You do, however, need to be cognizant of some of the downsizing problems to avoid. Lots of people don’t think things through to their fullest before making such significant decisions.
6. Your retirement is approaching or is in full swing.
Another additional reason for moving on from your current home is the possibility of retirement and housing that is more suitable. If you have owned a house and have been keeping it up for many years then your familiar with just how much work it entails.
Some folks want to sell for the sole purpose of making their life more manageable. One way of doing this is buying a condo. Instead of spending time with the constant maintenance with home-ownership, you’ll be letting someone else do it for you. This is one of the significant advantages of owning a condominium.
Of course, if you are older than fifty-five, you might want to consider buying into a fifty-five and over complex. Typically, the housing in a fifty-five and over neighborhood is more conducive to those in their retirement years.
Take a look at some of my best tips for picking a retirement house. If there is a homeowners association make sure you research this as much as the neighborhood itself. Some of the biggest disappointments in those who purchase a condo is dealing with an unruly homeowners association.
7. You want a vacation home and don’t need the big home your living in now.
More and more people are opting for selling the large home they live in now and choosing to own two smaller homes instead. Quite often the second home will be in a vacation destination.
Having two smaller homes is a great reason to move from your current house.
Buying a vacation property can be awesome for quite a few reasons. Not only will having a vacation home serve as a fantastic place to spend time away from the world, but it also can work as a top-notch investment as well.
You may work long hours as a business professional. You get run-down and are in constant need of some relaxation – re-charging of the batteries so to speak.
By having your own vacation destination you don’t have to go through the headache of booking a trip away, just pack a bag and hop in your car.
Before diving in head first, make sure you understand what to consider before buying a vacation house. You’ll see some great tips for picking the right vacation property.
Enlist the Help of a Skilled Realtor
If you are serious about wanting to sell your home and make a move, there is no better partner in your adventures than a reputable real estate agent.
A good agent will be able to examine your current situation and listen to your hopes and dreams for the future.
Once he or she knows what you are dealing with and what you want in the future, a plan can be made and executed. Picking your real estate agent is one of the most critical aspects in the entire home selling process.
It is not something you should take lightly, especially when you are talking about the complexity of buying and selling in the same time frame.
The signs may be right in front of you that it’s time to move on from your house. If they are, pay attention and consider making some changes that will benefit you now and in the future!
Additional Helpful Home Buying and Selling Resources
- What to look for in your next house via Paul Sian.
- Does refinancing my home make sense via Kevin Vitali.
- The pains of selling a home via Sharon Paxson.
- Don’t make one of these financing mistakes via Michelle Gibson.
Use these home buying and selling resources to make the best decisions when involved in a real estate transaction.
About the Author: The above Real Estate information on signs it may be time to move on from your current house was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 31+ Years.
Are you thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!
I service Real Estate sales in the following Metrowest MA towns: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Natick, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton and Uxbridge MA.