La Canada Flintridge & La Crescenta Real Estate | Harb & Co.

Can We Afford to Move?

ask phyllis real estate question, real estate q and A

Dear Phyllis,

I look forward to reading your real estate news because you discuss a lot of timely topics. If you have answered this before my apologies. We recently learned that I am pregnant with our third child. I can’t imagine another baby in our small three bedroom home. We didn’t buy our home that long ago. I am not sure if we can afford to sell and move to a larger one. How do we find out if we can afford a larger home? Jennifer

Dear Jennifer,

Congratulations! This may sound like a complicated process, but it’s really very simple:

The best way to for you to learn the value of your home (what a buyer will pay) is to meet with a local Realtor®. I often meet with homeowners who are unsure if they are in a position to move up to a more expensive home. The first thing I or your real estate agent should do is view your home. Then review comparable listings and sales which are similar to yours (comparable location, condition, size, amenities and age). Once the value of your home has been determined, your real estate agent should provide you with an estimated Seller’s Net Sheet. This will outline the costs incurred in selling your home (escrow, title, brokerage, etc.).

First determine your net from the potential sale of your home. Then it’s time to learn how much you will spend on another larger home. This can be done by looking online, going to open houses, or by having your real estate agent show you homes.

Of course, there are other factors to consider: in addition to your increased mortgage payment, your property taxes and utilities will also increase. Once you believe you would be comfortable with your increased monthly expense, the final step (and not to be overlooked) is speaking with a lending professional to ensure you can qualify for the larger home.

I know this may seem complicated, but experienced real estate agents do this all the time and can help you through the process. Congratulations on your new baby.