Moving on up: 9 Tips for Upsizing Your Home

In life, our major goals are to become happier, healthier, and wealthier as time goes on. Typically, this means moving up in our careers, building a family, and creating a life of luxury and contentedness. 

However, as things progress and our families get bigger, we often find ourselves needing a larger home. If things are going as planned, by this time, you should have the finances to accommodate upsizing your home. However, before you make any big moves or commitments, there are a few things to consider. 

We want to help you make sure your process of trading up is as smooth and successful as possible. Keep reading for our top nine tips on what to do when finding a bigger home for you and your family. 

1. Assess Your Budget

Before upsizing your home, you need to figure out what you can afford. Maintaining a healthy monthly budget is vital for short-term and long-term financial security. You don't want to commit to payments that stretch your budget too thin. 

Dig into your monthly cash flow to see how much you can comfortably afford to spend on a higher mortgage. This may mean cutting back on some of the other expenses in your life, liking dining out, shopping, and other unnecessary items. Nearly 53% of Canadians live paycheck to paycheck, don't become one of them because you didn't do your homework before making a big investment.

2. Figure Out What You Want to Do With Your Current Home

Once you're sure you can afford to upsize your home, you need to figure out what to do with the home you're living in now. If you and your family are renting a home, this process will be quite simple. 

However, if you own your current home, you have two primary options. You can either sell it to help you afford your new home or keep it as a rental for an extra source of income. However, most people would prefer to sell their homes rather than taking on two mortgages, which means prepping the home for the market.

Additionally, understand that you may not be able to get approved for a second mortgage if you choose to hold onto your current home.

3. Get Pre-Approved for Your Next Mortgage

This leads us to our next step in upsizing your home, getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Talk to your lender or bank to find out what you're eligible for in terms of loan amounts and interest rates. 

If you must sell your home before you can get approved for a loan, make that your top priority. Regardless, you need to know what you're looking at in terms of mortgage eligibility before shopping for your next house. 

4. Save Money for the Mortgage Downpayment

Depending on the size of your mortgage, you'll need to come up with a varying minimum down payment. For example, if the loan is under $500,000, you only need a 5% downpayment. 

If the purchase price is between $500,000 and $999,999, you need 5% for the first $500,000 and 10% for the remaining price. However, if you choose to put less than 20% down on any mortgage, you'll need to pay for mortgage loan insurance.

5. Consider All the Costs of Upsizing Your Home

Once you get approved for a mortgage, you need to start thinking about all the costs involved in upsizing your home. Take your finances we discussed earlier into account to make sure everything is within range of your budget. 

For example, when you move into a larger home, you'll have more expenses. These include:

  • Higher property taxes
  • Higher utility bills (heating, cooling, electricity, etc.)
  • Possible HOA fees
  • Home repairs and maintenance
  • And more

Additionally, moving into a bigger home requires furnishing a bigger home. You'll likely need to buy more beds, couches, shelves, and other necessities to fill the larger space. Make sure you account for these things in your budget.

6. Create a List of Priorities

When trading up into a larger home, you need to sit down with your family and come up with a list of priorities. You'll likely be living in this house for the next 10-20 years, if not longer. You need to make sure it meets all of your needs and expectations. 

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How big a home do I need?
  • How many rooms and bathrooms do we want?
  • How close do I want to be to work?
  • What school districts do we want to fall under?
  • Should we find a place with parks and playgrounds nearby?
  • Do we want our home to have special amenities (pool, firepit, patio, fenced yard, etc.)
  • And more

It's okay to dream big and wish for the world, but make sure you have a clear idea of your top priorities that are non-negotiable.

7. Hire an Experienced Realtor

To help you find the home that's best for you and your family, we highly recommend hiring an experienced realtor. They can also help you sell your current home if you need to do that first. 

Experienced realtors are familiar with the local real estate market and can help streamline the process of finding exactly what you need. Furthermore, they are skilled in the art of negotiation, which will be useful when negotiating terms with the seller. 

8. Think Ahead

Before you sign any contracts when upsizing your home, make sure you're thinking about the future. Buying the home at the right time (during a buyer's market) could help you build positive equity in the home over time. If resale value is important to you, you also need to consider the neighbourhood and whether it's growing or in decline. 

Additionally, if you're taking on a larger mortgage payment, you need to think about your financial longevity and job security. For example, if you work in sales and are having a great year, making the mortgage payment maybe a piece of cake. But what if you weren't having a great year?

9. Make an Offer

Finally, when you have all of your ducks in a row, there's only one thing left to do - make an offer on your next home. Use the advice and guidance of your realtor to make sure you're getting a good deal.

It's okay to come in with a low offer, just don't make it so low that you offend the seller or they decide not to take it seriously. If you make a super low offer, they may not even respond or send a counteroffer at all. And remember there are other things to negotiate with other than price, such as:

  • Closing costs
  • Realtor fees
  • Appliances
  • Furniture
  • Window treatments
  • Decor
  • And more

Lean heavily on your realtor if you don't have much experience negotiating real estate deals. They'll help you get the most value for your offer.

Are You Ready to Upsize Your Home?

Upsizing your home can be an incredibly exciting and rewarding experience. Just make sure you follow the tips listed above to ensure your transition into a larger space is smooth and stress-free.

And if you're ready to start looking into your options or need help selling your current home, we're here for you. Contact us today to get in touch with our top agents.


Quick Guide to Commercial Real Estate

Quick Guide to Commercial Real Estate

If you are interested in building long term wealth, then commercial real estate will help you achieve your goals. However, if you've never bought a commercial property before, it may be quite daunting. While navigating the ins and outs may be challenging, the right information will be a useful tool. 

This article will give you a guide to commercial real estate purchase. If you are a first-time buyer, then keep reading to find out what you need to know when you buy your first commercial property.

What Is Commercial Real Estate (CRE)?

Before diving into this guide to commercial real estate, it helps to know what this type of real estate is. CRE refers to property meant for business activity. Tenants rent out for work and not to live in. This is what sets it apart from residential property. 

It usually has a longer lease period which means more consistent passive rental income for you. It’s an appealing form of real estate because of the high returns and property appreciation.

Step by Step First Time Buyers Guide to Commercial Real Estate 

1.Know your options

If you are going to buy commercial real estate, you have to know the options available to you. Commercial real estate typically falls into four broad categories.

  • Office

In this category, some buildings house different types and sizes of offices 

  • Industrial 

This includes the larger commercial property, including warehouses and factories. It involves a larger outlay and is much more prominent on floor space.

  • Multi-family rental

Multi-family rentals are buildings that you can rent out to many families such as apartments.

  • Retail

Encompasses retail space for businesses that interact directly with clients, for example, shops and restaurants. 

2.Define your strategy 

Once you know your options, it's time to decide on your strategy. You have to ask yourself if you want to buy to keep the property for rental. Or if you're going to purchase and develop the property to improve its value for resale. 

You will also want to think about which type of property you wish to specialize in. A clear

3.Set up a budget 

The next step is to come up with your budget. As a novice property buyer, it's easy to pay too much for a property. The goal is to pay a fair price. Get experts, to give you a guide to commercial real estate prices. This will help you come up with a reasonable budget for the property type you are most interested in. 

The Canadian property market, especially office space, is quite appealing; hence properties move fast. Having a predetermined budget will help you make decisions quickly. That way you won’t lose out on many great properties.

4.Get some help

Commercial property can be quite involved, especially if you are doing it for the first time. It’s essential to get an expert to give you a good guide to commercial real estate purchase. Consulting with a tried and tested realtor will help you avoid complications. 

You might hit a lot of speed bumps while shopping for CRE. Having experienced people by your side will ensure success in your real estate journey. The temptation to avoid the expense of getting help is understandable. But getting help will save you more in the long run. 

5.Go shopping 

Now that you know what you want and how much you can spend, it’s time to start shopping for your commercial property. To begin with, look through property listings, you'll find a goldmine of available properties. 

While skimming through the listings, you should keep a couple of things in mind.

6. Location

It's important to determine if the location is ideal for your chosen property type. For most commercial real estate purchases, urban locations are the best. For retail property, a location with a vacancy rate of less than 5% is the most desirable. 

Slightly out of town locations with a good transport network are a better option for industrial sites. They are also much less competitive.

7. Zoning

Authorities classify specific areas for different business types. This is why you must know the zoning laws. Buying a building in an industrial area with the hope of turning it into a children’s play area, for example, might not be legal. 

Guide to Commercial Real Estate Property Due Diligence

Once you have your eye on a property that works for you, it's time to do your homework.

Property taxes

They do say only two things are certain in life and tax is one of them, as with anything else you have to pay the piper. On average property taxes around the Edmonton area are roughly 2.3%. You have to know how much you are going to pay in tax so you can plan ahead.

The state of the building 

An important consideration you should make is the state of the building. Will it need repairs? What kind of maintenance is required regularly? These factors come into play in the cost consideration and will also save you future headaches. 

It's important to get a thorough building inspection done so you won’t get any surprises. Find a guide to commercial real estate building inspection to get a checklist to use.


Once you have all the information about a property, the next thing is to secure your funding. You don't want to lose out on a great property because you are still working out the kinks. So it's best to get the funding ready before you commit. 

Closing the Deal 

After all, is said and done and you have all the answers, it is time for the paperwork. Remember to read through the contracts, including the fine print. Enlisting legal help to give you a guide to commercial real estate contracts is a necessity at this point. You might want to make sure your contract has a due diligence clause, in case you discover something unexpected.

Final thought 

Despite COVID-19, the commercial real estate market in Canada is still a great long-term prospect. However, blindly diving into the property market might leave you frustrated and in a loss position.

Commercial real estate buying can be quite risky since it involves large amounts. The risk becomes even more prominent when you are not well informed. For a new buyer, the many considerations you have to make may be complicated. Use this guide to commercial real estate to equip yourself with the knowledge you need to make a right decision.

Getting the right property will have you well on your way to generating good passive income cashflows and lasting value. 

Even with a good guide to commercial real estate buying, looking for the right property may be overwhelming. We are here to help. Please have a look at our commercial listings and Contact us to find out more about our services. 

Copyright 2024 by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. All Rights Reserved.
Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.
The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by CREA and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA.