You’ve heard about downsizing. What about upsizing? Here in Chicagoland and across the country, the search for more space could be a big motivation for a new wave of homebuyers, particularly after months of “Shelter-In-Place” orders.
In a recent study from Realtor.com, nearly one in five survey respondents said that they wished their current home had more space, and more than 15 percent of renters and owners said that “more space in the house” is a must-have for their next home — making it the most sought-after home feature among these potential buyers.
But when it comes to your home, is bigger really going to be better? As with so many important decisions in real estate, determining the amount of space you need will be a personal decision — based on your lifestyle, your finances, your wishlist, and your goals.
Considering whether or not “upsizing” will be the right move for you? Here are a few important questions to ask as you consider investing in a larger home:
What Are Your Goals for the Future?
As you think about your “wants” and “needs” in a new home, it’s also important to think about the life you want to get out of it. Is more space a feature that is worth investing in, based on your short-term and long-term goals? Or are there other features that you should prioritize in order to find a home that will truly work for you and yours?
For example, more space may be a must-have feature for you if you’re planning on growing your family or expecting your kids to return home “to the nest” after a few years away. On the flip side, you may not need all those extra bedrooms if you’re not going to be hosting many overnight guests. While your home may be the go-to spot to get together now, that enormous chef’s kitchen and pantry may not seem as important in a few years when your kids are the ones hosting Thanksgiving dinners.
It’s all about being realistic, taking the longview, and discussing your goals with a local real estate professional. Your Baird & Warner agent is a hyperlocal expert who will take the time to truly understand what you’re looking for, in order to help you narrow your search and find the properties that will be the right fit for where you are now, and where you’d like to go.
Are You Willing to Move Into a New Neighborhood?
In many cases, finding a home with more space might mean moving into a new area. Are you comfortable with making a change in location? Are you willing to move for more space if it may mean a longer commute to work, or moving away from your favorite restaurants, shops, and theaters?
Looking to explore a new neighborhood or get a better sense of all that Chicagoland has to offer? Your real estate broker will be a valuable resource. Baird & Warner agents are local experts, who can help you search for properties while also getting a feel for each new neighborhood.
Will a Larger Home Mean Bigger Bills — or More Responsibilities?
Beyond your downpayment and monthly mortgage bill, it’s important to consider all of the other financial and personal commitments that may go into owning a larger home.
For one thing, upsizing into a larger space may mean more time spent maintaining and cleaning the property, inside and out. Meanwhile, larger properties may also come with higher taxes, bigger utility bills, more substantial closing costs and a need for more furniture and decor — all of which can impact your pocketbook over time.
Does a Bigger Home Really Mean More Usable Space?
Don’t let your dollars go to waste. While that listing may come with more square footage than your current property, it’s important to make sure that is space that you will actually use. For example, will you actually take advantage of that separate basement screening room? Do you really need five bedrooms for your family of three? Do you have a vision for that upstairs “bonus room,” or would it just end up as a blank space?
Your Baird & Warner agent can help you find the property that’s as unique as you are. As you begin your home search, don’t be afraid to talk over your plans and expectations — and any strategies that can empower you to make the most of your investment over time.
Will a Larger Home Mean Larger Resale Value?
Does opting for a larger home automatically mean a better investment? It’s important to remember that the real estate market is ever-changing, particularly in a dynamic area like Chicagoland.
While some studies suggest that buyers may prefer larger floor plans and more space right now, consumer preferences could shift back toward smaller properties down the line — which could ultimately affect the resale value of your home. Similarly, it’s important to remember that there are many ever-changing factors and trends that must be considered when considering the value of a home now and in the future — from its location and any nearby amenities, to the state of the overall economy.
Interested in learning more about the Chicagoland real estate market? This could be a great topic to discuss with your local real estate expert, who can help you navigate the ins and outs to expect right now, and in the future.
Ready to Start the Search? We’re Here to Make It Easier
While it’s hardly business as usual, we know that the Chicagoland real estate market is still strong. The market is moving — and if you’re ready, you can too.
During this extraordinary time, the professionals at Baird & Warner, Key Mortgage, and Baird & Warner Title Services are here to help homebuyers and sellers achieve their biggest real estate goals, while making the process easier at every step of the way.
Please rest assured that while we are instituting the CDC’s health safety and prevention protocols across all our businesses and office locations, we are still operational and ready to continue serving you. Whether you’re buying or selling, your Baird & Warner agent can help you make the most of virtual open houses and tours, so you can continue to pursue your real estate goals from the comfort and safety of home. At this time, real estate brokers can also show homes in person, with safeguards in place to ensure the health and safety of every buyer and seller. Along the way, our One-Stop Shop will work together to give you an easier experience from beginning to end.