In no time at all, baby Samantha came along. It was then, you realized your family, was in need of a larger home, with more bedrooms and a yard big enough for the kids to play. Your lifestyle had changed from when you were single, getting off work and spending time in the city with your peers. Your peers now, were also married, had families and were moving to the suburbs. They were acquiring homes with patios and barbeques in the backyard.
You realize that over the past seven years since you bought your first home, that it is time to move onward and upward in the housing world.
Here are some points to consider first, and mistakes to avoid:
Before the housing crisis came along, that we are currently experiencing, trade-up homebuyers often would put their existing house on the market, and then begin their search right away. Some did it the other way around. They found the house of their dreams, and then immediately listed their existing home. Their agent would write contracts for the new home, contingent on the old house selling. The contingency carried a "kick out" clause that allowed other buyers to step in if they couldn't sell their house within 72 hours. In today's market, these types of offers are occurring much less frequently.
Another method used in the past was via a "bridge" loan. Up until a few years ago, I did a lot of sales using this method. A lender would loan an amount on the existing house, in order to close on the new house. The danger was the client would be required to make payments on two houses until the first home sold. Fortunately, most clients understood the importance of pricing the home well, they were selling. They also did a good job getting it in great shape for marketing. This facilitated our getting their first homes quickly SOLD.
A pitfall can come when a client wants to use "fictitious pricing" on the property they are hoping to sell. This usually happens when they wrap their heads around the idea they need to get a certain cash amount from their existing home, in order to reach their objective of getting themselves through the door of their new house. Overpricing your existing property will likely cause it to languish on the market longer, costing you more in the long run.
Still other clients decided to keep the first house as a rental. This often works, if they have enough cash and/or financial strength to qualify for the new home as well.
Do not waste time looking for homes above your price range. Get pre-approved for a loan, so you do not spin wheels looking at properties for which you cannot afford or qualify. Find a good real estate professional that you find knowledgeable and compatible to search for you. You will be surprised at how much time will be saved. Often buyers feel they can search on their own via the Internet. They would also be surprised to know status of many listings on the Internet, aren't current or correct. There can be pricing differences, and homes may have already gone to "pending" or "sold" status.
When you connect with an experienced real estate professional, and speak with a qualified lender who can provide you with options for financing and pre-approval, you will likely be far more successful in obtaining a comfortable trade up in homes.
Good Luck to YOU!