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Buying a larger home is one of the most significant financial decisions you’re ever likely to make. So, it’s important to make the right purchase for the right reasons.

It’s a legitimate strategy to buy a bigger home to increase your investment in the property market. However, most are in the upsizing market to cope with the needs of a growing family.

As experienced local agents, we’ve found that the most successful upsize buyers are those who thought about why they wanted a bigger home before diving into the market.

Spending time to analyse what you need will make the difference between a successful purchase and discovering down the track that the property is either too big or not big enough. That’s a mistake that can cost you tens of thousands of dollars in lost value and taxes.

Here are 10 questions you should ask yourself before you move up.

  • What’s the problem we’re trying to solve? 

Be clear about the challenge presented by your current property. Are you suffering a space shortage, or do you like the idea of owning a bigger home and the long-term investment benefits that it will deliver? There’s no wrong reason, but understanding your motivation will help you make the right purchase.

Do you need more space?

This is the question most families ask themselves when they consider upsizing. But here’s a better question: “how many rooms do you really need?” To answer, start with the bedrooms. Are children sharing, and will there be a time when each of them needs their own space? Perhaps the living space is cramped, or you want some privacy or a home-office? All these reasons are legitimate and should influence your property search.

What’s your budget?

Use a mortgage broker or bank adviser to give you an indication of your borrowing capacity and double-check the equity in your existing home. Also, be clear on whether you can afford the running costs of a larger home. Your utility bills and taxes will kick up a notch – sometimes considerably.

How long do you want to be in a larger home?

Many buyers upsize when their children are teenagers. But it only takes a few years before they’re leaving the nest and you’re rattling around in a big house. Even if they stick around a little while longer and treat the place like a hotel, it won’t be long before you’re wondering whether it’s time to move again.

Where do you want to live?

Upsizing is not just about finding a bigger property but choosing the right location. For most people, this will be a long-term decision, so be sure to pick an area that suits your lifestyle. Consider schools, transport and the type of weekend life you’d like to enjoy with your family. If you’re already in an area that you love, it may be an option to renovate and upgrade your home.

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