Move or Stay – How to Know When to Right-Size

Week 2

My five-week series, How to “Right-Size” Your Home and Life with Your Next Move, will help you determine when it’s time to “right-size” your home and move on to one that will better match the life you’re living now or the one you want to live. Your home should reflect your needs, wants, and budget — and maybe those have changed since you last bought your current home. Even a home you have loved!

Whether it’s moving up to a larger home or moving to a smaller one, you’ll learn about the steps you can take for this next “right-sized” purchase and also see how to buy and sell at the same time with maximum profits and minimal stress. 

Is your gut telling you that something isn’t quite “right” with your home anymore? Or, maybe it’s something obvious that can no longer be avoided or ignored. 

Whether you don’t have enough bathrooms for your now grown teenagers or your commute is now twice as long, or you don’t have office space for a new remote job, or the neighborhood doesn’t fit your lifestyle anymore — you realize your home isn’t working for you like it first did.

You’ve changed, your life has changed, and your expectations have changed since you bought your home.  And it’s completely normal and not unexpected to find yourself not as satisfied with your daily life there anymore.

And that’s why you might be ready to “right-size” your home! It’s when your current home isn’t the right fit for your life — whether it’s too big, too small, too expensive, wrong location, or something else entirely.

But moving can be a hard decision to make for many homeowners, both emotionally, financially, and logistically. It’s understandable if you feel a bit paralyzed in making the decision to move or stay in your current home … even when it doesn’t feel “right” for you anymore.

What’s Holding You Back 

When you still love your home and cherish the memories made there (especially if you’ve been there for many years), love your neighborhood, or absolutely love your neighbors, staying put feels comforting and safe. 

And for some homeowners, the hassle of packing up a home, going house hunting, getting financing, and buying and selling at the same time seems daunting. 

All of these factors can make some homeowners hesitant to move. Maybe that’s you?

However, if you daydream about what life could be like in a different home or you constantly feel burdened by your current home, listen to those clues and start by making a list about why you want to right-size and why it could be the right time to move.

In fact, the same reasons that are holding you back — your emotions, finances, or logistics — can be the very reasons you should move. 

Sometimes the signs are right in front of you but you just need a bit more clarity. That’s where I can help you answer your whys.

Making the decision to move doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful if you put careful thought into it and seek out help from a real estate professional like me. Together we can determine when is the right time to move or if you should stay in your current home a bit longer.

Today’s article is a great overview of the factors you should consider if you are confused on whether you should move or stay. It should help you get closer to making a decision that’s best for you.

Signs It’s the Right Time 

First up, determine if your needs and wants are still being met living in your current home. Are there signs pointing you toward making a move? 

This is when you ask yourself lots of questions and dig deeper to picture how you see yourself living in the years to come. 

I also tell clients to plan to stay at your next home for at least five years, and anticipate what your life is going to be like by then so this next home is the RIGHT one. 

Here’s what to consider:

Your life has changed or will change. You want a home that reflects your new or evolving needs, whether you have a growing family that needs more space, are a single mom on a tighter budget, or will be retiring soon wanting less home demands. 

Perhaps a condo unit and all of its amenities were perfect for you when you were on the go when traveling for work. And now you’re more settled and ready for a detached home to take care of and spend time in with family and friends. 

Or, maybe you weren’t “ready” for a single-family home and its responsibilities a few years back as a first-time buyer. Now you’re a confident homeowner and you want more space and a yard to enjoy. 

Or, maybe you don’t need a large home anymore as an empty nester. You want to return to life in a smaller space with less maintenance, fewer responsibilities, and more freedom to come and go as you please.

Can’t or won’t remodel. You love HGTV and can imagine your home remodeled and updated with larger rooms and a gleaming kitchen. Plus you get to stay in the neighborhood you love!

But you realize it’s only a fixer-upper’s dream. Your yard is too small for an addition, you’re not zoned for it, or you just can’t live through the mess or cost. 

Moving can provide you with the sanity you crave, the space you need, and you can ditch the rejiggering of the floor plan. And you can always seek out homes in your current neighborhood if that’s a priority.

Location, location, location.  When you bought your current home, it probably felt like the perfect location for you, but maybe not anymore. So many variables can go into what makes a well-suited neighborhood for you and what doesn’t at this point in your life.

Perhaps you want a better school district, a less noisy neighborhood, more yard space to entertain in, or less yard space to maintain, a shorter commute, or you are free to live anywhere now with remote work. Or, you’re done living in a cold weather place and dream of somewhere with more warm sunny days.

Maybe you live in an urban area but are ready for something more suburban or rural. Or, vice versa … city living looks really appealing to you!

As you can see there are lots of variables that can go into selecting a location but it all comes down to what you want now and where you picture yourself living in the years ahead. 

Don’t forget that if you truly love the feel of your current location but need a different home, we can always seek out other neighborhoods with a similar feel with homes you can afford!

Square footage is NOT working – too much or too little. You want to say good-bye to rooms cluttered with toys, or you have unused bedrooms sitting empty that you have to clean, heat and cool.  

You want to move from that starter home to a “forever” home; or you want to move from your “forever home” to that condo that allows you to save time and money on maintenance costs and allows you to just lock the door and travel for months at a time.

Remember that your space needs could change again so plan accordingly for down the road (at least 5 years!). 

Time It Right Financially

Next up, money factors and how they can make your move affordable and more doable. Certain times are the RIGHT time to move financially, and you should take advantage of the timing if you’re thinking a move is in your future. 

Here’s what to consider:

Equity in your home.  If you have owned your home for more than a year or two you should have built up substantial equity, putting you in a prime condition to move. This is when your investment in your current home can help you purchase your next right-sized home!

Remember the equity in your home is the difference between what you owe on your mortgage and what your home is currently worth. Your home’s equity can be increased if you have paid down your mortgage or the value of your home has risen over the last five years or more, or you can experience both circumstances.

You can tap into this equity when you sell your current home and use the profits from the sale toward the purchase of your next home, perhaps helping with a larger downpayment if moving up to a larger or more expensive home. 

If you’re downsizing, you can look forward to the extra cash from the sale of your larger home to use toward your next home or for living expenses or investments or whatever if you don’t expect to purchase a more expensive home. 

You might be wondering how do I take advantage of the equity in my home to buy a new home if I haven’t sold my home yet.  The answer to this depends on several factors, all of which we can go over together. I’ll also be addressing this topic in an upcoming article in this series, so stay tuned!

Positive financial outlook – steady employment/income or stable finances/investments. If you’re in a good place financially, all the better when it comes to right-sizing for your next home. Lenders will look at you favorably if you need to finance your next purchase, and you’ll have a better selection of loan options if you’re going larger or pricier. 

If you aren’t in the best financial position, you can always work toward improving it. You can increase your credit score, save more for a downpayment, and look for more steady or higher-paying employment. 

Reach Out for Help

I like to talk to my clients a few months, even a year before when they’re in the “thinking about moving” phase. We can take a look at your specific situation, life goals, and financial circumstances. So reach out to me earlier than later so we can determine what is right for you!

If you decide it’s the right choice to right-size, I can walk you through all the steps to make it happen.

Look out for the next article in my series — How to “Right-Size” Your Home and Life with Your Next Move. You’ll understand why it’s important to be methodical and purposeful when making decisions for this next move in The Two Questions You Must Ask Before You Right-Size. It’s a game-changer!

Right-Size Your Home

Hi, there!

I'm Beth Little and I love helping first time home buyers make their first home more affordable and I love helping sellers looking to move up to their forever home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true. 

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116 W Main Street
Northville, MI 48167


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schedule your free consultation

Hi, there!

I'm Beth Little and I love helping first time home buyers make their first home more affordable and I love helping sellers looking to move up to their forever home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true. 

schedule your free consultation


Buy & Sell


All Articles