Home Buying Checklist for the Upsizing Family

Remember when you and your spouse moved into your first house? No more apartment-dwelling for you. You were ready to be a proud homeowner!

But you weren’t quite as ready for the responsibility as you thought, were you?

When your furnace went out that first winter you panicked, and then you felt dumb when the repair man simply replaced the filter. The first time you had to get underneath the sink and take that drain pipe apart you cringed when you spilled black water all over your toiletries. Whoops.

When you realized you were going to have to mow ALL THE TIME to keep up with the grass growth, and that if you wanted flowers you would have to weed, and that trees REALLY got in your way if you didn’t prune them … well, you weren’t quite sure you made the right life decision.

You learned. You knew what you needed to call a professional for and what you could do yourself. You got used to the maintenance and the yard work.

You even got comfortable enough you started having kids.

That’s when you started running out of room.

So here you are, ready to move into your new place. Excited about a larger home, a few acres for the kids to play in, attached garage! And you know now you can handle it because you’ve been a homeowner for years. Right?

You’re half right. Unfortunately, there are a few things you maybe haven’t thought about yet:

  • The more appliances you have, the more frequent repairs will be. That’s just the law of averages, friend. With two furnaces you’re twice as likely to have heating issues each winter.
  • The same goes with more plumbing and fixtures. This is often not an emergency, but a quality of life issue. You can ignore a toilet that’s not working for a while if you have others. But then, why have a toilet there at all?
  • All that extra property is probably going to mean more time and effort to maintain it than you realize. This is a tough one to swallow, but upsizing homeowners often fail to factor increased yard work into their schedules.

Here’s a simple checklist to prepare you for the responsibility of maintaining your new, larger home:

  1. Get ahead on appliance maintenance right away. Make a list of all major appliances. Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring someone, put routine checks on the calendar.
  2. Purchase preventative plumbing services within the first three months. Don’t wait for leaks and clogs and toilet problems. Get recommendations for fixture replacements and drain cleaning so you can get ahead of plumbing problems, and do it every year or two.
  3. Decide what yard work you want to do, and what you don’t. Accept the limitations of your time and energy. What in your life will you sacrifice to make time for the increase in yard work? That’s a tough one.

Obviously, it’s that last one we can really help you with. Maybe you want to invest in a riding lawn mower but you don’t want to weed and prune, or you can handle weeding half your flower beds on alternating weeks but mowing is going to be too much. Maybe you’re busier than ever because it’s your promotion that made it possible for you to buy this place and you really need someone to do it all.

Take time before you settle into a routine to answer these questions for yourself and your family. Let us know how we can help you have a better life – with a better lawn – at your new home.

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