If you purchased a home just before the burst of the housing bubble and saw your home value fall, you are probably in the same boat as many other buyers who have had to hold out the past few years, waiting out the market changes, before being able to move up.

If you are looking at options for more space, and are weighing either moving up or adding on to your existing home, there are a few considerations you should keep in mind, according to the real estate pros at the Equifax Finance blog, in the recent article, “Love It or List It?”

First, do you even need more space? If your kids are all bunking doubled-up with absolutely no private space, if your “home office” is your dining room table, if your storage spaces and garage are overflowing, or if you want to have more children, but have no room for one, you probably do need more space.

The decision to either build on or just move up is going to depend on both financial and non-financial factors. Financially, according to the article, it almost always is less expensive to add space than to move. A home addition customizes your home in a way that you can specify to your needs and desires, and you can often recoup some of that cost over time. But construction on your home takes time, ties up your home from being able to live in comfortably, as contractors come and go, and projects often run longer and cost more than anticipated. One way to save money the article’s author suggests is to do as much as you can yourself, if you have the skills to do so.

Simultaneously buying and selling a house is difficult, and owning two houses (paying two mortgages) at once is no fun. Do your research on prices in your area to sell high and buy low, protecting yourself as both a buyer and seller. Whether you’re in a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market, one of the transactions may be challenging, so prepare yourself for that situation. In some areas where there’s a buyers’ market, you may be able to ask a seller to make your purchase contract contingent upon you selling your current home. Some sellers may be willing to cooperate with you in such a circumstance, some may not. So be sure that you can arrange financing, should you find a home that you’d like to act on. Speak with a mortgage broker early in the process so that you can act quickly, if necessary. Likewise, in a sellers’ market, you can also try to negotiate with the buyer of your house to have the sale contract include a provision that makes the closing contingent on you finding and closing on a new house.

Whichever you choose, the bottom line is do your research in advance to make the process as smooth as possible. Get more real estate selling and buying tips and information at the Equifax Finance blog, which also includes tons of information on other personal finance topics, like retirement, credit, insurance, savings, taxes and more.

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