For many growing families there comes a point when space is at a premium and it’s time to move to a new home. Sometimes the tipping point comes with the addition of a second, third, or even a fourth child. Other times it simply arrives when your children get too old to live together in a crowded space. Either way, the move to a larger home is a rite of passage for many American families.
My family is no different in this regard. When my husband and I had our first child, we moved into a smaller “starter home” that was perfect for our resources and our needs at the time. But our family has grown since then, both in physical size and in space requirements. We have also reached a point where we can afford to move to a larger home.
But we’re not ready to move quite yet. Our children are doing well in school, my husband has a short commute and works nearby, and I have made many good friends in our neighborhood. We’re certainly going to move sometime – probably within the next three to five years – but we’re just not prepared for the transition quite yet.
Still, the realization that a move is inevitable has caused my husband and I to start thinking about the steps we can take now to insure that our move goes as smoothly as possible when it happens. A move is a major life event, after all, and there’s more to planning a move than simply visiting new homes and bidding on what we like. It instead requires a more long-term focus.
Here’s what my husband and I are focusing on right now:
Improving Our Credit
When it comes to moving there’s no question that your credit score makes a real difference in the finances involved. If your score is bad, you may not be able to take out a mortgage at all. If it is good, you may be able to secure more favorable rates. For this reason my husband and I have been working to build credit by making all purchases on our no annual fee credit card. I have also applied for more cards and for rewards programs in the hopes of further boosting our credit and of finding the best cashback credit card in the process.
Upgrading Our Home
While home prices have shown signs of a rebound in recent months, there’s no doubt that we still live in a buyer’s market when it comes to real estate. This means that selling our home may be difficult, even several years down the road. In anticipation of this, I have already begun updating and upgrading our home to better appeal to future buyers. I’ve remodeled the kitchen and the downstairs bathroom, and we’re probably going to have roof work done sometime this summer.
Putting Money Aside
No matter what your goals or your position in life, you really can’t go wrong by making a concerted effort to save money. Moving to a bigger home (ie a more expensive one) down the road is certainly no exception. My husband and I already have dedicated savings accounts for retirement and for college expenses, so we decided to simply add one more: an account from which we can pull funds to pay a future mortgage. We have begun contributing to this account on a monthly basis.
These are the steps that we are taking now so that our inevitable move can be an easier process when it comes – whenever that may be. While this move is still several years in the future, it’s always good to be prepared, both for financial and peace-of-mind reasons.
This post was contributed by Becky W.