If your family is getting bigger and your house is starting to feel a bit cramped, you might decide that it’s time for a move. But moving house is a big decision to make and there are a lot of different things to consider before you do it.
If you make the wrong decision and move at the wrong time, you might not get the best price on the house or spend more than you need to on a new place. It might not be the right time in your life either. For example, it could disrupt your career or your family if you suddenly decide to up and move so you need to think carefully before you make any decisions.
If you’re stuck on the fence, like we often have been, these are some of the best ways to decide whether it’s the right time to sell your house or not.
Is equity on your side?
When house prices are particularly low, you’re likely to have negative equity. That’s when your house is currently worth less than the amount you owe on the mortgage. So, if you sell your house, it won’t even cover your current mortgage and you’ll have to take out another one on the new house. That’s never a good situation to be in because you’ll end up in a worse position than when you started.
However, if house prices are good and you have positive equity, you’ll be able to sell your house, pay the rest of your mortgage off and end up with a bit left over to put a deposit on your new house. That means you won’t have to deal with two mortgages and you’ll be making a profit on selling your house.
It’s important that you look at this before you decide whether to sell your house or not. Consider how much you’ve got left on your mortgage and then have a look at the average property price in your area. If the prices are good and you’ll make a profit on the house, now might be a good time to sell. But if you have negative equity, you should hold off for a while and see whether the markets might change.
Do you have debts?
If you’ve got a lot of debts and your financial position is very unstable, is it really a good idea to take on a new mortgage?
It doesn’t matter if you haven’t paid off your current mortgage (as long as you aren’t in negative equity) but if you’re under a mountain of credit card debt then that should be your priority.
First off, having a lot of unpaid debts could impact your credit rating which means you might struggle to get a decent mortgage and you’ll probably end up paying high interest rates.
Secondly, if you’re trying to cover all of your other debts as well as a new mortgage, your finances are going to be very stretched.
If you’re thinking about selling your home, you should improve your financial situation before you start looking at mortgages.
Can you afford to move?
People tend to overlook a lot of the costs involved with moving house. Obviously, you need to work out whether you can afford to pay the mortgage, but what about all of the estate agents costs, the legal costs and the stamp duty?
On top of that, you have to think about all of the costs of moving day itself, like hiring a removals company and packaging up all of your stuff. Even if you’ve been to the bank and you can get a good mortgage on a new house, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have the money to pay for all of those extra costs. If you decide to go ahead with the move, you might end up in a bad financial situation for a while.
It’s best to add up every single expense involved with moving house so you’ve got a solid idea of exactly how much this is going to cost you. If you can’t quite afford it yet, why not hold off for 6 months and save up for the all important mortgage loan? It’ll make the whole process a lot easier for you.
Can you extend your current house?
If space is your main reason for moving, you should think about the possibility of extending your house before you decide to move. You might absolutely love the location of your current house because it’s a nice area, it’s close to work, and there are plenty of amenities like shops close by.
If you can find a bigger house in the same area, that’s fine, but what if you can’t? Are you really prepared to increase your commute and live in a neighbourhood that you don’t like as much? Probably not, and you don’t necessarily need to.
If you’ve got space in the garden for an extension, that will give you the space that you need without having to move to a different area. You can stay in the house that you love and it’s going to be a lot cheaper than buying a whole new house. On top of that, it will add value to the house, so you can see it as a an investment.
Is the house in good shape?
You’re going to struggle to sell your house if it isn’t in good shape. If you haven’t decorated for a while and there are things that need repairing, you’re definitely not ready to show it yet. Even the smallest of issues can put a buyer off so you need to make sure that everything is in perfect condition before you put it on the market.
Even though you’re going to have to invest a bit of money in repairs and decorating around the house, it’s worth doing because you’ll be far more likely to find a buyer. You can also ask for a bit more money if the house has been recently decorated.
If you consider all of these questions, you should have a better idea of whether you’re ready to sell your house or not.