Moving because of a Growing Family
Items to think about when moving because of a growing family.
Hi, I am Jeff Chubb with the Chubb Realty Group and I wanted to introduce you Annie. Annie here is the new addition to our family that has helped me put a lid on the third child conversation… for now at least.
Whether you are moving because of a furry friend like Annie or because of kids, then here are some things to think about and how to start the process.
Step 1 – Determine Your Budget
First you need to figure out what you WANT to afford. Want? Yes, what is it that you want to spend. That you feel comfortable spending. There are few things worse than being house poor.
Remember that the monthly payment will need to cover insurance, taxes, a mortgage payment (if you are getting a mortgage) and condo fees (if you are purchasing a condo).
Do you currently own a home? Do you need to sell in order to buy? If so, do you have an estimate of what your net proceeds will be that you can carry with you to the next purchase?
Once you have figured out the above questions and determined your comfort level, then it is time to call a Mortgage Banker (We work with some great mortgage bankers so let us know if you need a recommendation!). A mortgage banker will review your finances and will advise on the different programs to help you find the best fit to help you maximize your affordability.
There are many Urban Myths when it comes to buying a home, but here are two of the biggest!
“I need 20% down in order to buy a new home” – FALSE - Government-backed programs offer home buyers plans with as little as 3.5% down while Veteran Programs offer programs for 0% down to active and past military.
“I need a FICO score of 750” – FALSE – FHA offers programs for 3.5% down with FICO scores of 580 or above. If your credit is lower than that then it may be okay, but they will require a 10% down payment.
Step 2 – Determining Your Needs
So why are you moving? Is it because you need an additional room in the house? Or is it because you need to be closer to work or family?
Speaking of work, is there an acceptable commute time that you are willing to accept? Are there certain methods that (i.e. Commuter Rail or T) that you plan on taking and must the house be within a certain proximity of that station?
How much space do you need in your next home? When talking about space, we are referring to how many beds, baths you need and if you have an idea of the overall square footage. Do you have any special needs like a separate office space or a big back yard? Or maybe you are looking for a smaller yard for less maintenance. Is the school district important to you?
What condition does the home that you ultimately buy need to be in? Are you willing to make improvements or are you looking for the home that is renovated where you can move in and not worry about a thing?
There are no wrong answers to these questions. These answers will help you focus in on finding your dream home.
Step 3: Look at Preferred Areas
What is the general location that you are wanting to be in? Keeping an open mind can be a huge advantage at this stage of the home buying process. As an example, being broad and choosing an area like the ‘North Shore’ or the ‘South Shore’ or maybe the ‘Metro West’ area is the right fit for you. Again, there is no wrong answer.
The general areas chosen are generally chosen based off of work circumstances/commutes and family. As an example, if you live in Woburn, the South Shore may not be the best fit for you and your family as Boston traffic is not getting any better!
Step 4: Bringing it all together
You know your general needs and you know your budget. This is where we can come in and be a huge assistance. At this stage we will want to research the homes in the towns of the general area that you have chosen. We will want to see if your budget and the affordability of the town match up to accomplish your real estate goals.
Some towns are going to carry a higher premium then others. This is where an open mind can be a huge benefit. There are often towns that can be a great substitute to other towns if you are not able to find what you are looking for. As an example, if you can’t find what you are looking for in Wellesley, then there may be homes in the neighboring town of Needham that checks all of your boxes.
This can be a very difficult part of the process, as often times we will have the internal struggle of compromise. Many times, if someone is looking to be in a specific town, then there will have to be one or two ‘must have’s’ that we have to remove from our list of desirables to be in the location we desire.
This is one of the most important phases as it is where we need to set realistic homebuying expectations of the area as well as your next home. An extreme example, if you need a half-acre, then the Back Bay is probably not the right place to be looking.
Step 5: Think about that Next Step
Remember to think about the future. You will want to buy for tomorrow’s needs, not todays. In other words, if you are planning to have a 3rd kid, put them in the ‘need’ equation.
You do not want to move every 2 to 3 years. Buy for at least a 5 to 7-year window. Why you ask? Let’s be honest, the actual moving part of the process isn’t exactly fun… And it isn’t cheap either. The cost of selling a home and moving can eat into a person’s hard-earned equity. Historically speaking, the longer you stay, the more appreciation you earn.
Again, I am Jeff Chubb with the Chubb Realty Group of eXp Realty. Should you have any questions about your next home or your current one, then I would love to chat. Helping you achieve your real estate goals is my only call. Call the ‘Real Estate Guy’ for all of your needs. You can reach us at 617-480-2600 or by email at [email protected].