Once you decide to move home, you are embarking on one of life’s great stress events. That is the downside, however, it is also a time of great excitement, and with a little forethought and planning, your stress levels can be minimized.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to make sure that when the time comes, and the perfect home is found, the mortgage is the least of your worries. In this guide, we walk you through how to finance your next home with some practical mortgage tips for trading up.
Trading up is a big decision, and the trickiest part can be untangling the web of financial aspects that need to be considered. To help, we have created a list of tips that covers everything from evaluating equity to timing your move:
This stage sets the foundation for your move. By assessing this information, you can set realistic and affordable targets for your upgrade:
Key steps that can help with this stage include:
- Assess Home Value: Get a professional appraisal to understand your home’s current market value. This will inform your equity and borrowing capacity.
- Review Mortgage Terms: Look at your current mortgage terms, including outstanding balance and any prepayment penalties.
- Consider Market Conditions: Evaluate current real estate market trends, as they can significantly impact the value and saleability of your property.
The next step is to consider the financing options for trading up. This is essential for making sure your move to a new home is smooth and – of course – stress-free. It involves understanding the options and their implications.
Among the common financing options are:
- Bridge Loans: A bridge loan can provide short-term financing to help you purchase a new home before selling your current one. It’s a convenient option but usually comes with higher interest rates.
- Home Equity Loans: If you have significant equity in your current home, a home equity loan can be a good source of funds for your down payment. Be mindful of the additional monthly payments you’ll need to manage.
- Refinancing Options: Consider refinancing your current mortgage to access equity or secure better terms. This can be a strategic move, but it’s important to weigh the costs and benefits.
Preparing for a New Mortgage
Getting ready for a new mortgage involves several key steps to ensure you are in the best position to secure favourable terms. It’s about presenting yourself as a reliable borrower.
- Improve Your Credit Score: A higher credit score can qualify you for better interest rates. Pay down debts and avoid new credit lines to improve your score.
- Understand Your Debt-to-Income Ratio: Lenders look at your debt-to-income ratio to assess your borrowing capacity. Lowering existing debts can improve this ratio.
- Get Pre-Approved: Mortgage pre-approval gives you a clear idea of what you can afford and shows sellers that you are a serious buyer.
The process of simultaneously buying and selling a home can be a fraught one. However, some planning and preparation can help you achieve a seamless move when the time comes.
Some of the major factors to consider include:
- Coordinate Timelines: Work with your real estate agent to align the selling of your current home with the purchase of the new one. This minimizes the risk of owning two homes at once or having nowhere to live.
- Understand Market Dynamics: Knowing whether you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market can significantly influence your strategy for both selling your current home and buying a new one.
- Consider Professional Help: Real estate agents and financial advisors can provide invaluable assistance in navigating this dual process, offering insights and advice tailored to your situation.
When trading up, it’s not just the price of the new home that matters. There are additional financial considerations and costs that can impact your overall budget.
Key considerations include:
- Closing Costs: Factor in the closing costs for both selling your current home and purchasing the new one. These can include agent commissions, attorney fees, and transfer taxes.
- Moving Expenses: Don’t overlook the cost of moving. Whether you hire professionals or do it yourself, moving comes with its own set of expenses.
- Home Improvement and Furnishing: Consider the costs of any immediate home improvements or furnishings needed for your new home, which can add up quickly.
Securing your new home is just the beginning. Long-term financial planning is crucial for maintaining your investment and ensuring a stable financial future.
- Budget for Ongoing Costs: Plan for ongoing expenses such as property taxes, homeowners insurance, and potential HOA fees. Regular maintenance costs should also be factored into your budget.
- Consider Future Life Changes: Think about how your life might change in the years to come and how your new home fits into those plans. This could include family changes, career moves, or retirement.
- Build Equity and Refinance Opportunities: Keep an eye on your home’s equity and market conditions. As your equity builds, refinancing can become an option to reduce your mortgage rate or tap into equity for other financial goals.
If we could sum up the process of successfully trading up in one word, it would be – preparation. By laying the groundwork for your move, you can trade up with confidence and be free of the doubts and uncertainties that are at the root of the stress normally associated with moving home.
By being prepared, you have found the key to successfully trading up and achieving the key to your dream home.