Making the decision to move can feel overwhelming. You’ve likely been settled in your current home and neighbourhood for a while and changing location, packing up and moving, and restarting your life in a new area will take a lot of work. It can be easy to just stay where you are, but moving is often the right choice - especially if you’re in need of a fresh start. It’s hard to truly know if moving is the right decision at any time, but these are five of the most common signs that you might be ready to move.
1. It’s the Best Financial Decision
When your financial situation has changed for the better or the worse, a move might be the next necessary step for you.
Your Monthly Payments are Tight
If you’re finding that your current income can’t support your housing and living costs, or you could see it being a problem in the future, consider a move that will put you in a more comfortable position financially. You have plenty of options you can explore. For example, there’s the option of downsizing to a smaller, more affordable home. Or, you can consider moving into a new city that has more affordable housing. Either way, if your budgets are tight, it’s essential you act quickly. Moving to a home that aligns with your budget will help you avoid debt and can reduce financial stress in your life.
Your Income has Increased
Conversely, if you’ve found that your pay has increased and you have significant disposable income, a move can be a smart choice. If you’re currently renting, consider entering the market and purchasing your first home. If you’re already a homeowner, you can look at upgrading to a larger home, or shopping for a home in a more desirable area.
Upgrading your home can be a smart financial move that will help you build wealth. The Canadian housing market has seen relatively steady growth for the past 17 years, and investing in the housing market can help you build wealth over the long-term. Book an appointment with a mortgage broker to understand how much more you can afford at your new income level.
2. The Space You’re In Doesn’t Fit Your Needs
As life progresses, our spatial needs can change. If you’ve been looking around your house and reconsidering its spacing, it might be time to switch to a home size that fits your lifestyle better.
A growing family may find that they need more rooms and more space to live comfortably. Often, a “starter” home will become too small for your needs in just a few years. You start to accumulate items - such as sports gear, bikes, decorations, gifts – and find you can’t store them anymore without feeling cluttered. A new home can offer you more rooms, a backyard, a larger kitchen, or anything else your current house is missing.
On the other hand, parents whose children have all grown up may find the upkeep of a large home too stressful. When you downsize, you also reduce your household upkeeping responsibilities and allow yourself time to focus on hobbies instead. If you’re feeling crowded in your new smaller space, follow some basic design tips to make a small space feel big.
Whether you’re downsizing or upgrading, having a home that fits your sizing needs will allow you to feel more comfortable in your day-to-day life.
3. You’re Ready for a Change
The right kind of change can bring excitement to our lives. Moving allows you to consider many new possibilities. You can move to a new neighbourhood or city or change from an apartment to a townhouse. Maybe you can finally get a pet if you move out of your no-pet strata or no-pet rental. Or, perhaps you’ve always wanted to buy a fixer-upper and get your hands dirty turning it into your dream home, or live closer to the water so you can go sailing on weekends. The possibilities are quite endless.
Consider making a list of priorities you would want in a new home and see what ideas start to emerge. This will give you a clear picture of what you’re looking for and get you excited about a change!
4. You Have a Different Commute
When people buy homes, one of the things they consider most in the purchasing decision is their commute time to work. The workforce has changed dramatically in the past few years, with more companies allowing employees to work from home either a few days a week or full-time. Your new commute (or lack of commute) can completely change your desired location. For some people, remote work will finally be an opportunity to move outside of the city and get more space in the suburbs, which is just one of many potential market shifts we could see in a post-COVID-19 world. For others, this might be the perfect time to move to another city or province entirely.
5. You’ve Been Thinking About It (A Lot)
If you’ve had moving on your mind for a while, it’s likely for a reason. The desire to move can present itself in many ways. You could continuously be looking at interior design concepts and furniture even though you do not need to update your current space, or you could be looking at listings on REW all the time to gather a sense of how hot the market is.
If you notice yourself indulging the idea of a move, listen to your instincts and run the numbers. Start the process of considering a move and see if it continues to feel like the right step:
Make a list of what you want and don’t want in a new place in terms of size, amenities, location, and more.
Consider your budget and what you can afford.
Review listings online to see what your budget can get you.
If you’re ready, talk to a mortgage broker and hire a realtor.
Give it some thought, speak to your friends and family, and review the list above until you come to a decision you feel comfortable with. Even if you don’t end up deciding that moving isn’t the right option for you right now, you’ll be more satisfied with your decision to stay put.