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Should I move house now?

When is the right time to move house? It can be tricky trying to find the perfect time to make such a big decision. It's all down to you, but we'll talk you through the factors you'll want to keep in mind.

Selling privately

Is it the right time for me to move home?

When you’re wondering whether you should sell your home, it’s common to have a lot of different questions running through your mind. Should I move now or wait? Is it safe to move now? Will house prices go up or down? Should I just build an extension instead?  Basically, there are a lot of questions that boil down to one key point: How do you know the right time to sell? 

When you’re deciding whether or not it’s the right time to sell (or buy, for that matter) there are a lot of different factors to consider. Some of these factors will be out of your control — like the economy or the market in your area. Some of these factors will be more to do with your personal circumstances — your job, your housing needs, whether you’re ready to handle the upheaval of a move. 

The truth is, nobody can make that decision for you. If someone tells you that it’s definitely the right time to sell or buy, without knowing very much about your personal circumstances, they may not be being totally honest. We think it’s important to give you all of the relevant factors, so you can make the decision for yourself. Sometimes moving might be the right choice, sometimes it won’t be. There’s a lot to be said for the power of community and we understand how important it is to love where you live. So here’s what you need to consider.

The big picture

As we said, there are a couple of big-picture pieces of the puzzle that you’ll likely want to consider: the economy and the market in your area. Firstly, the economy is usually linked to house prices (though not always, as we saw in 2020). If the economy is booming, there’s a good chance your house has gone up in value — depending on how long ago you bought it. 

But this doesn’t always work in your favour. If you’re looking to buy a larger home, some people recommend buying in a falling market — when the prices between differently-sized homes tend to be less, so it costs less to upgrade. If you’re looking to downsize or move to a totally new area, a booming market might be the right choice — because you’ll get the best possible price for your home. 

Alongside the larger economic factor is your local market. While you hear a lot of talk about “the housing market”, it’s not always one cohesive unit. You may find that your area is bucking the trend. If there are developments or new transport links being put in, your market might be in extra-high demand. Make sure to pay attention to your local area as well as the national headlines.

You might have different questions — because everyone’s circumstances are different and everyone’s priorities are different. "

Your needs

Although it’s tempting to buy into market trends, one thing the market won’t tell is the right choice for you. Think of it as something that informs your decision, rather than makes it. Your personal circumstances need to be weighed up just as much as what the market is doing. 

For example, say you’re about to quit your job to start your own business — you need to factor that in. Your current salary may make it much easier to secure a mortgage, so a move may be the right choice before you start your new venture. Or you may not want to make a financial commitment before you start a new enterprise, so downsizing might be a good move.

That’s just one of so many examples. You may have a different situation — maybe you've got a growing family, maybe you're an empty nester. Maybe location matters the most to you, maybe it's the size of your home. So the best thing to do is often sit down and think about your priorities.

Questions to consider

When you're deciding whether to move right now — and knowing if it’s the right choice for you — there are questions you have to ask yourself. A lot of it will be down to your individual needs, but there are some questions that come up for potential sellers again and again.

  • Do you love your current home?

  • How do you feel about your current neighbourhood? 

  • Are you looking to be closer to family?

  • Do you have more opportunities because of remote working?

  • Are schools a priority?

  • Could you extend your current house rather than move?

  • Are you in a financial position to take on the mortgage you want?

  • Are you factoring in the costs of moving? 

  • Would it change your commute?

  • Is upgrading to a bigger home worth it?

  • Can you afford the home you want in the area you want?

You might have different questions — because everyone’s circumstances are different and everyone’s priorities are different.

So should you move now? Well, that depends on you. Use the economy and the market to get a sense of how quickly your house would sell and what price it would sell for — we’d recommend a quick valuation to get a good estimate — and then you need to take that information and factor in your personal circumstances. Does selling this property in this market make your life better? Do the advantages outweigh the stresses? Is the move you’re hoping to make realistic financially?

A lot of the time, the answer will be yes. But not always. So take your time, ask questions, and remember that we’re here to help.

Should I move now? FAQs

Maybe. You can learn a lot by looking at house prices in your area to get a sense of what price you might get for it — but make sure to consider whether selling is the right choice for you.

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