People are spending much more time at home these days. It’s predicted to continue even after the pandemic ends, thanks to more options to work from home and a newfound appreciation for home life. Starting a family is usually the go-to reason for upsizing to a house, townhome, or larger condo, but evidently, there are other strong motivations to do so. To help, we’ve rounded up the most important aspects to consider when looking to upsize.
Define your goals and reasons
As with any goals you’re striving towards, defining them is key to your success. And, with upsizing being a major life transition that can increase expenses, defining your goals for this is critical. Are you planning on starting a family, having more kids, or adopting a few fur babies? Do you see yourself working from home from now on? Is having a private outdoor space going to enhance your wellbeing? Tired of getting woken up by your partner’s Peloton-ing in the next room? Considering every possible variable will help to define concrete goals for your upsizing plan.
Finding the right new location
Chances are your plan to upsize includes a change of scenery. You’ll need to again consider many aspects such as local shopping, public services, transit, and commute time. If starting a family is part of your upsized future, you’ll need to consider schools, parks, daycares, and other child-focused amenities. With moving out of Vancouver becoming part of the current local upsizing trend, have you considered growing neighbourhoods like Squamish, Langley, and the Burquitlam area? Check out our latest neighbourhood spotlight, featuring the community and marketplace of Coquitlam.
Consider upsized expenses
You can expect larger expenses with a larger home. A larger condo will most likely see an increase in strata fees, often tied to the square feet of the property, along with other building amenities. To learn more about Strata Fees, head over to our article: How Strata Fees Work for your Pre-sale Purchase.
If you’re moving from a condo to a house, you’ll need to budget for taxes, utility bills, insurance, and new maintenance expenses. House maintenance can also cost you time if you choose to do it yourself. And a larger home will also require new or more furniture to fill it.
Moving your mortgage?
Assuming you’re selling your current home, you’ll need to explore mortgage options for if you sell your current home before or after purchasing your new home. If your current home won’t sell beforehand, you may want to consider an option like “bridge financing”. This lets you use your current home’s equity to pay the downpayment on your new home, while you wait to sell your current home.
Another component of your mortgage to consider is how you might refinance or plan out your new mortgage payments. Understanding what your financial situation will look like in a bigger home ahead of time will help to make a budget transition far easier. You can talk to industry experts, like Nest Mortgage, about how to plan your mortgage for your big move.
Floorplan over square feet
A bigger floorplan isn’t always better, it’s how you utilize space. Start by identifying what type of spaces are most important. Do you need a dedicated dining room? Or will you better benefit from a larger living room that can fit a smaller dining table? Will a private backyard or terrace enhance your wellbeing? Is your pandemic home cooking spree demanding a larger kitchen before you launch your TikTok cooking show?
Working from home and plan to continue?
Working from home has been one of the most discussed trends throughout the pandemic. Do you need a separate office to avoid distractions from the kids? Or is it just you and a partner? Maybe you’re working from home part-time? Then perhaps a larger living room or kitchen will give enough space for a small corner office, without the need for a dedicated room.
Upsizing your outdoor space
Another top pandemic trend has been getting outdoors. Are you looking for private outdoor space for your kids that a house with a backyard can provide? Maybe a larger condo that includes a terrace that will satisfy your fresh air cravings?
Squamish, being the ultimate outdoor playground, has a new development called Redbridge that we’re excited about. Besides its stellar outdoor living location between Whistler and Vancouver, it’s stocked with high-end wellness amenities. Their “Base Camp” includes hot and cold plunge pools, an infrared sauna, red-light therapy room, yoga room, bike maintenance room, heavy-duty equipment storage lockers, Canada’s first zero-impact gym, and more. Find out more in our article Unleash your adventurous side: Redbridge in Squamish.
Upsizing but not upgrading?
Remember, more space doesn’t have to mean a higher price tag, but other sacrifices will probably have to be made. Maybe purchasing a larger condo in an older building will be worth missing out on some amenities. Or maybe moving into a house outside of Vancouver will be worth the commute, since you can also work from home.
Additional income or increased investment returns?
Is the potential for additional income part or doubling as an investment property of your upsizing goals? A larger and more expensive home doesn’t necessarily mean it will see a stronger ROI. Many other factors are in play such as the location and neighbourhood, age and condition of the property, and potential updates or renovations needed. Also, would you consider an extra condo bedroom or separate suite in a house for additional income? Would being a landlord and having to share your space be worth it?
If you’re looking to upsize your home, we hope these points assist in the process. For a look at the next steps of how you can begin the process of purchasing your next home, check out our article: What to Know when Purchasing Pre-sale Homes.
By MLA Contributor Simon Gerard