Upsize and Downsize: Top tips for your stage in the market

Whether you’re wanting to upsize or downsize, there are important decisions to make before you consider a move.

If you’re on the hunt for your next property, get clear on what you’re looking for and how much money you’ll need. If you find the perfect place before your current home has sold, there’s no need to miss out. Bridging loans allow you to borrow funds for your new property during this transition period. But buyer beware - they can be risky as you may have to pay two mortgages for longer than anticipated and bridging loans are typically not easy to get. To take into consideration that your original home might not sell, lenders typically have additional criteria you must meet including: your ability to repay the entire debt; potential rental income from the original home until it does sell; and having sufficient savings to be able to service the mortgage for at least 6 months. So weigh up your options first and work out if this style of lending is for you.

You may instead be looking to move into a smaller space. Leaving the family home can be a big transition, especially if it’s been a long time since you’ve been in the property market. When it comes to finding the right place for your retirement years, consider how easily accessible it is, now and in the future. Are there stairs to climb? Is the bathroom big enough to fit a wheelchair if needed? Are cabinets and light switches in reach? Thinking ahead and considering future needs will help you live comfortably in your home without having to move again.

To make the process smoother, get to know the area you’re thinking of moving to before you make the switch. Spend time in the neighbourhood, whether it’s through day trips or by staying in a local hotel or Airbnb. See what the area has to offer and how close the services you need are. You may also want to chat to locals to get the inside scoop on your desired location.

By being prepared and informed, you’ll be better equipped to manage either stage. It’s advisable to speak with a mortgage adviser early on in the process for advice.