Moving is one of the most stressful life events but planning ahead can make a move less stressful. COVID-19 has had a great impact on the real estate market leaving many to wonder whether or not they can afford a home or if they can afford to size up (or down). Some lucky ducks have even gotten the opportunity to permanently work from home, meaning they can live anywhere! But where to begin the planning process? Here are some tips to help you plan a successful move.
More Reading: What to Wear While Working From Home
Rents are high and home prices have nearly tripled.
So this could be the nudge you needed to start planning your move. If you’re renting, you’re just making a landlord richer. Which is fine if your rent is cheap but if you’re practically paying a mortgage amount, you should probably look into becoming a homeowner yourself. There is more wealth in owning real estate than in renting- anything. A house, car, storage; etc.
Calculate it. How else will you know if you can afford a move?
Don’t make the mistake of jumping into planning a move without having an idea of the numbers. You may even be surprised to discover that you can afford more than you think. Maybe it’s a good time for you since mortgage rates are continuing to go up. There’s really only one way to find out- get an estimate. I like using a mortgage calculator to figure stuff out. It certainly beats a regular calculator because it allows you to estimate your payments including graphs of loan repayment along with monthly and yearly amortization tables. I’m a visual person so seeing graphs and charts is a gamechanger. And a spreadsheet to keep track…but that’s a whole other post.
But that’s not all, folks! There are other key factors to consider when planning a successful move.
- Save for a down payment. And save for a few months of mortgage payments if you can. This can help you have extra moving money for things like new furniture and home renos or repairs.
- Credit Score- keep track of your credit. If it needs improvement, now’s the time to work on that. Pay off any card debt and do NOT get any new loans- like a new car, for example.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will help speed the process when you’re ready to shop.
- Look into first-time buyer programs. You can get lower rates and the down payment can be smaller.
- Find a good realtor to work with. There are plenty out there!
Aside from those planning details, you’ll want to think about the not so fun part; PACKING.
Ok, hear me out. I’m not trying to rush you or anything but packing is not and has never been my favorite thing to do so trust me when I say, plan your packing ahead of time. Now don’t go packing up with nowhere to go but do de-clutter, organize, get boxes or containers and label them. Do all the necessary things to keep your life in order before a move.
When you are ready, schedule lots of time to pack.
It always helps to go through your things every now and then to prevent clutter. I like to do this quarterly. I usually take a bag for “toss” and one for “keep.” I go through my closet and each room in the house. Then, I donate the good stuff and throw away any junk. Having less stuff will help you so much when the time comes to pack up for a move. Think, all you will have to do is label boxes with what room they’re going in. According to an article in Bloomberg, a “first night” box is also a great idea. Get more moving tips there.
You’ve got this!
If you’re over-thinking home ownership, stop. Anything is possible. And if there are obstacles, work on them. Everything has a solution. Becoming homeowners was one of the best decisions my husband and I made. We’ve been able to make our house into a home, work on house projects, have a peaceful yard to hang out in and so much more. It’s all about the planning process. If we did it, so can you!