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Ready to Move Up?

February 8, 2011

Today’s market has created an environment where it is a great time to be a buyer. Interest rates are still at historical lows, the job market is improving, and affordability is near generational highs.

Those with growing families and steady jobs may be asking themselves if now is the time to “move up”. To answer this question, consider these points:

1. Finances: Is your job steady and secure? Moving up can mean taking on the responsibility of a bigger monthly mortgage payment, along with higher property taxes. And any buying process will involve fees and costs that add up quickly. If you have steady income and at least eight months of emergency fund saved up, then now could be a great time to move on up.

2. Equity: Some buyers use the equity they have built in their current house to help fund their “move up.” Now is a good time to research the local housing market. Trends are incredibly localized when it comes to housing. Some neighborhoods may have experienced dramatic declines in home values, while others have maintained a healthy level. Find out how much equity you have built in your house by examining the comparables in your area, as well as your latest appraisal.

3. Housing Trends: Now that you have researched the local housing trends, you must ask yourself whether or not you feel comfortable making a move in your particular economic climate. Are you confident that values will hold in your region? Do you feel that there is a healthy balance of buyers and sellers, should you need to move and sell? Your local real estate agent can answer many questions pertaining to local market trends.

3. Family Considerations: Moving up may mean moving away from friends, family, and school districts. Be sure to take this into consideration before jumping into a life changing situation. Move ups, however, can also be a blessing for growing families. Space can become limited as children or aging parents are included into the daily structure.

4. Energy: A bigger house means more energy consumption. This translates into a bigger carbon footprint, as well as a heftier monthly bill. If you are moving up, consider looking for homes that meet green standards. Energy star rated appliances, adequate insulation, and even new insulated windows can make a huge difference.

Remember, homeownership is a long-term investment. In today’s troubled market it is best to keep in mind that home values may not be at their bottom. But if you meet the financial qualifications outlined above, then a long-term investment, and a “move up” sound like a good fit! Now, have fun picking out your dream home!

Published: February 8, 2011

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