How to Decide When to Buy Another Home

How long should you wait to buy again?

Your home is a great place. But maybe you aren’t so sure it’s the right place for you any longer. The notion of moving to a new home is becoming increasingly tempting—and possibly has gone beyond the idea stage to the point where you are actively browsing real estate listings. Still, you are hesitant, wondering if you should stay put a while longer before thinking about buying a new home.

When’s the right time to buy another home?

There’s no one-size-fits-all rule for how long you must stay in one home before leaving it for another one. Deciding when to sell your home and buy another one is an individual decision influenced by a variety of factors.

There are lots of reasons why you might contemplate buying another home, even if you’ve only been in your existing home for a relatively short time. Perhaps your family has outgrown your current space. Maybe you want to be in a neighborhood that’s more convenient to work, schools or other important locations. You may even need to move to a completely different city or region for work or family reasons.

Issues to consider

Before you make any decisions, there are some key issues you must consider. Chief among those is the financial aspect. You will need to think about how much you will be able to get for your current home—and what (if any) additional amount you would need to add in order to afford the next house you want to buy.

There are also practical issues involved. Moving can be a major undertaking, especially if you have a family. If you are relocating to another area, you may also need to find new jobs and schools, and plan a new life in a new community. Bottom line: this generally isn’t a decision you would make on a whim. But if the circumstances are right, it could be a great move and the start of an exciting new adventure.

Financial factors

The financial picture will be influenced by the real estate market (or markets, if you are buying and selling in two different areas). If the area is leaning heavily toward being a buyer’s market or seller’s market, you will likely be at an advantage for one transaction in the scenario—and at a disadvantage in the other. You will need to weigh the potential outcomes for each and look for ways to balance them out, or make up the difference.