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Heidi Johnson, Realtor, ePro Certified & Notary is Proudly Serving the Houston, Texas Area & the Surrounding Suburbs. Personalized Customer Service for YOU! Call/Text 832-603-9111 or email: Call me now.

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Figure out how much your current home is likely to sell for.
Have your real estate professional conduct a comparative market analysis. “Be realistic about pricing the home so it moves quickly,” adds Sandy Guralnik, a broker with Coldwell Banker United in Charlotte, N.C. This will help you avoid a long gap between when you buy your new home and sell your old one.

Consider the market.
If you have only been in the home two or three years and made little or no down payment, you might not have enough equity to sell at a profit in today’s soft market. You might even owe more on the mortgage than the home is worth. On the other hand, if your home has appreciated well, it might be easier to move up to a bigger and better home.  You may have to rent it out.

Consider your finances.
Your overall debt picture is important if you plan to move into a larger, more expensive home. In addition to a higher mortgage, you’ll likely have higher utility, insurance and property taxes as well. If you owe money on a home equity loan, you’ll have to pay that back when you sell the home, which will eat into your profit.

Get preapproved by a reputable lender.
The lender will tell you how much money they’re willing to lend you, which will tell you how much house you can afford. Then, figure out how much you’re comfortable spending. The two numbers are not necessarily the same, says Jan Miyasato, director of corporate and client services for Prudential California Realty in Pleasanton, Calif.

Determine your long-term housing needs.
Will you be starting or expanding your family in a few years? Will the larger home be as teen-friendly as it is toddler-friendly? Is there a place for a home office if one of you eventually works from home?

Be realistic.
Most people will not be able to move up from a starter home into their dream home. It’s a long-term process that occurs over several moves, says Debbie Wong, a certified residential specialist with Prudential California Realty in San Mateo, Calif. Plus, it’s harder to qualify for a loan if the jump in monthly payments is too big, she says.

Preview properties in your target price range and location.
Look to see whether the homes match your trade-up goals.

Get your home on the market.
Moving up will go more smoothly if you are able to sell your home before trying to buy another. For one thing, many buyers are leery of contracts in which the sale is contingent on the seller finding a home. Finances also are an issue. You might be able to get a bridge loan if you’re unable to sell before you buy, but consider whether you can afford two mortgages for more than a month or two.

Determine the best time for your move.
If you want to move in the summertime, start your other preparations early enough to meet that goal.


 Heidi Johnson, Realtor

832-603-9111 Call or Text