When the Starter Home Needs to Go: Tips for Moving Up

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Unfortunately, our homes don’t always grow with us. What may have initially worked fine for a single person, a young couple’s starter home, or a family with a newborn can quickly become too small as families expand and multiple generations live under one roof.

Remodeling and adding to your home is one option for creating more space, but it can be costly, and the size of your property may be prohibitive. That’s when moving to a bigger home becomes the best solution.


The first thought when upsizing your home is to simply consider square footage, bedrooms, and bathrooms. But it’s important to take a more critical approach to how your space will actually be used. If you have younger children (or possibly more on the way), then focusing on bedrooms and bathrooms makes sense. But if your children are closer to heading off to college or starting their own families, it may be better to prioritize group spaces like the kitchen, dining room, living room, and outdoor space—it’ll pay off during the holidays or summer vacations, when everyone is coming to visit for big gatherings.


If you need more space, but don’t necessarily want a more expensive home, you can probably get a lot more house for your money if you move a little further from a city center. While the walkability and short commutes of a dense neighborhood or condo are hard to leave beyond, your lifestyle—and preferences for hosting Thanksgiving, barbecues, and birthdays—might mean that a spacious home in the suburbs makes the most sense. It’s your best option for upsizing while avoiding a heftier price tag.


Upsizing doesn’t always mean buying a larger home – sometimes it means buying a nicer home. That is why people have starter homes. You might be ready for a quality upgrade if you have built up enough equity to use as a larger down payment, have come into some new money or have worked hard and are eligible for a larger mortgage. It is during this time that you’ll want to start looking at not only your budget, but you original wants and needs list when you were looking for the home you are in now. It has likely changed. One thing you will absolutely need, is a great REALTOR® – click here to find the perfect REALTOR®, for you!