Moving house is something everyone has to face at some time in their lives, for a variety of different reasons. Sometimes it’s not by choice, for example if your lease expires, or you need to move closer to elderly parents. Ideally, you’ll be in a position to make a decision when to move based on your own needs and desires. A new job, an expanding family, a change of lifestyle or finding your dream home are all very positive reasons for moving, but sometimes there is no compelling reason, you just want a change of scenery, or feel the urge to move on. All these scenarios will impose different restrictions on the time and location of your move, but as far as you have control over buying and selling property, how do you know when it’s the right time?
Follow the money
The first way to approach the question of finding the best time to move is to look at the practicalities of your situation. First of all, what is the property market like in your area? Are homes selling for good prices, and how do these compare to the cost of the kind of home you’re looking to buy in a specific location? While it can be exciting to think your home is worth more than what you paid for it, if you’re moving to a similar property in the same kind of area, you won’t really be any better off, because the new house will have increased in value too, effectively cancelling out your gains. The best moves from a financial point of view are downsizing from a large home to a smaller place in a more lucrative area, or moving from an area where prices are high to one where they are lower. You also need to consider how a move will affect your mortgage. Moving will mean changing or increasing what you’ve borrowed, and you could be moved to a less favourable interest rate. Make sure you do your homework where mortgage rates are concerned, so you can be sure of getting the best deal.
Follow your heart
Life is about being happy and fulfilled, and the place you live will have a significant effect on your health and happiness. If you don’t feel at home in your house, or things have changed since you first moved in and you feel differently about the place, then your happiness might need to be considered as more important than financial gain or loss. Maybe you need a new start, a new environment or career change. If you have been through a difficult experience then your home might be too much of a reminder, and a change of surroundings might be needed. However you feel or whatever has happened to make you feel this way, the bottom line is that you need to think about your own happiness and what you can do to influence how you feel.
These two approaches are opposite in nature, but needn’t be an either-or choice. Look at both sides before making a decision, and weigh up your options carefully to ensure your move takes place at the optimum time for you.