Is Bigger Better? How to Decide if Upsizing is Right for You

Upsizing isn’t just for growing families anymore. In fact, moving up to bigger and better homes is a decision that can be done at any time of life. Here in the Arlington, Virginia area I’ve helped people ready to upsize who are in all stages of life – retiring, new jobs, expanding family, working from home, or simply in need of more room to fit changing life situations.

In general, the most common benefits of upsizing include:

  • More living space
  • More storage space
  • More yard/garden space
  • More room for entertaining/hosting friends and family

If all of this appeals to you and you are considering upsizing to a new home, here are a few questions and considerations that will help you make the right decision.

NOTE: Not sure if the time is right to sell your current home and upsize? Here’s a great resource to help you decide: “6 Signs It’s Time to Sell Your Home and Move to a New One.

#1: Wants vs. Needs

Knowing what you need vs. what you want for an upsized home will make the decision process a lot more efficient and will help your Realtor find the right property for you. The more specific your list, the better, because it help you and your real estate agent identify the right next steps – or next home!

As you figure out what your needs are, don’t just think about today, but also the needs of the future. For example, if you already have a child, and plan on having one more, you probably won’t need more than 3 or 4 bedrooms. If you think you’ll be transitioning to working from home full time, you’ll want to make sure you have dedicated office space.

Then there’s the “wants” to figure out. Wants are important, too, as they are the things that give you enjoyment and make your house into a home. Features such as a playroom for the kids, an entertainers kitchen, extra space for an artist studio or working out are all things that upsizing can provide.

#2: Space Expectations

If you’re planning to upsize because you feel your current home doesn’t have enough space, take a close and honest look at your current situation. Is it that you don’t have any space – or is your space being used inefficiently? If your garage is so full of stuff that you can’t park your cars inside, or one of your guest rooms is filled with boxes, winter clothes and a dusty treadmill, then your problem might not be a lack of space but rather inefficient use of it. Before you start house shopping, declare a decluttering weekend. Sort, donate, or discard all of the stuff that has been piling up and you might be surprised how much bigger your house feels.

On the other hand, you may legitimately need a larger home. If you live in a one-bedroom condo, and you’re planning on starting a family within the next year or two, you’ll need to start thinking about moving to a larger home. If your predict that you’ll be working from home much more in the future, you’ll need dedicated office space where you can be productive and out of the way of daily life.

#3: Budget

Upsizing doesn’t just mean a bigger home, it can also mean bigger expenses. Maintenance, utilities, property taxes, additional furniture to fill the extra space, and more can add to your budget, so it’s important to figure that out ahead of time and make sure you are ready.

You’ll need to spend more time and money maintaining a larger home. You’ll pay more property taxes. Your utility bills will be more expensive. And even if you sell your old home to finance your next home, you could easily end up with a larger monthly mortgage payment as well.

#4: The Basics Still Apply

Timing, location, finding the right agent are just as important when you’re upsizing as when you’re choosing your very first home.

Decide on the area you would like to upsize to. Make a list of neighborhoods or areas in your city with homes that fit your vision. Sometimes upsizing means moving to an area where you can get larger homes for lower prices, making location a very important decision.

Upsizing can be a very exciting process. But it also needs to be approached with caution, and with plenty of knowledge about what to expect. Be sure to consult a trusted real estate agent that can guide you through the entire process as smoothly as possible. If you’re ready to buy, sell or learn more about the real estate market in Arlington and the surrounding Northern Virginia communities, as a highly experienced Arlington Realtor, I’m here to help! Give me a call at 703-593-6320. Email is good, too at