When it comes to living spaces, what feels large to you now might feel small later. After you spend four years in a shared dorm room in college, that first post-graduation studio apartment feels sprawling. The next upgrade to a two-bedroom apartment feels even bigger. After that, your 1,500-square-foot starter home feels like a mansion.
So you may find yourself surprised, one day, when you realize the house you bought is just too small to meet your needs for much longer. Not sure if you’re ready to move on to a larger Waterloo Region home? Keep an eye out for these signs that a move to a larger home might be a good idea.
1. Your family is growing, and the kids are getting older
We'll ignore the obvious — that as your family grows, you'll likely need to upsize — but often the actual size of your family members is what prompts an upgrade. A three-bedroom house with one room for the parents, one room for the two under-three-year-olds to share, and a guest bedroom/home office combo will suffice.
That is, until those tiny tots are no longer so tiny, and they want more space for their growing bodies, larger mattresses, and homework desks.
As your children grow older, they will desire more privacy, which typically demands the addition of additional bedrooms. Consider not just if your home is too small for your current family, but also whether it is too small for your future family.
2. You work from home at least sometimes
Countless individuals made the transition from corporate office to home office in the past few years, thanks in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic, and while many have gone back to the office, hybrid work schedules, those that involve some in-office days and some work from home are still far more commonplace than they wee before 2019.
While the conveniences of working from home are undeniable, when your living room starts to feel like your workplace, it’s hard to relax after clocking out. A lack of 'real' home office space can also seriously impact your productivity, and neither you or your boss want that.
A dedicated home office space may require upsizing your Waterloo Region home, but having a quiet and organized place to work — separate from where you spend your leisure time — is a very worthwhile upgrade.
3. It might make a lot of financial sense
Investing can be nerve-wracking, and most seasoned investors would advise you to diversify your portfolio to reduce your risk.
Buying a larger home is one way to invest and provide yourself with a lovely place to live at the same time. If you have money to invest but don't want to keep dumping it into the stock market, put it into a property that will likely appreciate in value while also increasing your quality of life.
But there are even more financial advantages to upsizing your Waterloo Region home than just making a smart investment.
If you own a home and prices go up 15% while you own it, here’s what your return on investment looks like at different price points:
$1 million $150,000
$1.05 million $157,500
$1.1 million $165,000
$1.15 million $172,500
$1.2 million $180,000
$1.25 million $187,500
It is important to note that this is just an estimate of your return on investment. The actual amount of money you make when you sell your home will depend on a number of factors, including the current market conditions and the condition of your home.
An appreciation in the value of your home can even score you some tax breaks too. As Canadians, we are taxed. A lot.
The good news is that your primary home is exempt from capital gains tax, so if it increases in value by $200,000, that’s $200,000 tax-free into your bank account when you sell it. In Canada, your primary residence is really the only way to invest your money tax-free – even RRSP’s are just a tax deferral strategy that will catch up with you when you’re older.
If you’re looking to maximize your tax-free primary home exemption, buy a bigger home.
4. You’ve reached your decluttering limits
One of the pieces of advice given to homeowners who feel their space is too claustrophobic is to declutter their home and get more organized. And that's great advice, up to a point. The fact is that you can only declutter so much.
If you’re someone who constantly declutters, looks for clothes and books to donate, and tries to live a more minimalist lifestyle, you will rightfully feel frustrated if you find after all your efforts you’re still bursting at the seams. If that’s the case, it’s time to upsize, not to keep decluttering.
5. Your family is full of introverts
We all lead busy lives, and most of us need some quiet time to ourselves at the end of the day. If your family has a few introverts who require their own space to recharge, then sharing small quarters likely isn’t a good long term fit. And even more outgoing family members can feel intruded upon if the rest of the household seems to be constantly around.
6. You want to do more outdoors
Upsizing your home often entails more than simply increasing the amount of room you have indoors. If you don't have enough yard space to realize your gardening aspirations, you can upgrade to a home with a larger yard.
This will offer you the room you need to create an enviable garden and one of those fancy outdoor living spaces you keep scrolling past on Instagram with envy.
Speaking of which, you don't have to be an amateur landscaper to yearn for more outdoor space. Something else that the pandemic lockdowns got us all more used to was eating at home, rather than heading out to restaurants, and many of us spent the pandemic summers expanding our repertoires when it came to BBQing and outdoor cookery.
More outdoor space will allow you to enjoy outdoor living to the fullest, whatever that means for you, from starting a vegetable garden to hosting family BBQs on a regular basis and being able to offer real outdoor seating rather than just a few folding chairs. You could even consider adding a swimming pool (or looking for a new Waterloo Region home for sale that already boasts one.)
7. You have big hobbies
Speaking of hobbies many hobbies requires a decent amount of supplies. Painting, hopping on your exercise bike after work and even serious video gaming all require equipment and tools that take up space that a larger home may be able to better accommodate.
Often a larger home, for example, can offer you basement or attic space a smaller home does not, and even if these have yet to be converted into living space if the potential is there - and it usually is - such spaces can offer you the chance to create functional, stylish spaces you've always wanted - like a home gym, a video game room, a separate living area for a teen or adult relative, an Airbnb moneymaker and more.
Whether you are expanding your family, pursuing new hobbies, or simply looking for a change of scenery, upsizing to a larger home can provide you with the space, comfort, and flexibility you need to live your best life. With more room to spread out, you can finally breathe easy and enjoy the freedom of having a larger living area.
But where do you start? That's where Team Pinto comes in. As experts in the Waterloo region real estate market, we can help you navigate the upsizing process with ease. With our exceptional customer service and vast knowledge of the local area, we can help you find the perfect home that fits your unique needs and preferences.
So, if you are ready to make a move and find your ideal larger dream home in the Waterloo Region, contact Team Pinto today to schedule a consultation. We are committed to helping you find the perfect home that you and your family will love for years to come!