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What You Need to Know About Combining Family Homes

When it comes to getting ahead in the fast-paced world of real estate, there are few better ways to do it than by combining families in a single home. With more people to pay the mortgage and the bills, everyone can breathe a little sigh of financial relief. The benefits don’t stop with the cost savings, either. When two households buy into one larger property, both stand to gain a healthy profit from the sale of their current homes and an increase in equity. Having extended family around can be convenient and alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation. Young families love having extra hands to help with errands or watch the little ones. And for the elderly, having their children around can be a source of comfort and safety. 

However, before you decide to sell your house to merge with another family, there are a few things you need to consider.

Are Your Households Compatible?

Getting along with your extended family on weekends or during family gatherings isn’t enough to go on to decide to move in together. You may share common interests and values, but living under one roof is a whole different experience. Before putting your house on the market, it’s a good idea to sit down and discuss what a day might look like in the life of a combined family. Every household has its quirks, and knowing them in advance will help you make the right decisions. Rambunctious children or pets might be fun during a visit but can quickly become unbearable if you live in the lower suite of your new house. A heart-to-heart discussion now can prevent a lot of heartaches later if you find that your two households are not compatible.

Make a Plan

Are you planning to move into a unit or bedroom inside a family member’s current home? Or do both homeowners intend to sell and buy a new place to accommodate everyone? If you’re hoping to buy a new home, you need a plan. It is a strong seller’s market all across Canada, and houses get snapped up quickly. You will need every advantage you can get to compete when you find a listing that is right for you. 

Start by deciding on the ideal house for your combined household. Keep in mind that the fewer conditions you have, the more likely you are to succeed in buying a home. If you’re a single adult moving in with a family, a house with an extra bedroom or den might work perfectly. 

However, if you each want your own space, you’ll need something larger, perhaps with a basement apartment or even a duplex. 

If there is room in your budget, you could even build a separate garden suite on the same lot. This option provides more privacy and can help reduce the noise complaints if you find out your granddaughter practices the violin for two hours every day after school.

Prepare Your Home Now

It’s never too early to start decluttering and cleaning your house to get it ready to list. You may be surprised at how much stuff you’ve accumulated over the years that you no longer use or need. If you start sorting through it now, you won’t have to panic or rush when it comes time to move. Being organized now also allows you more time to make the upgrades and repairs that will add to the sale value of your home.

Book a Home Evaluation

Before you decide to pool your resources and buy a large, luxurious home, it’s smart to do some research ahead of time to see what you will be able to afford. I suggest starting with a home evaluation on each property. While you don’t know exactly how much you will get until your house sells, an appraisal will give you an excellent idea so you can create your budget. 

Did you know that the Parks Group offers free home evaluations? You can book yours here.

Get a Pre-Approval

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage may be the most critical action you can take to ensure your success in buying an ideal home. Your pre-approval, combined with your estimated earnings from selling your current property, lets you know what price bracket to focus your search in. It also helps you compete with other buyers when you find a house you like. When you already know you can get financing, you’re in a position to place an unconditional offer that a seller is likely to accept.

Leave Room for Renovations

In a perfect world, you could find a turnkey solution that is move-in ready with minimal work. However, in a competitive seller’s market like this one, you may be better off buying a house and renovating it to suit your needs. You may require significant renovations, such as noise-proofing between the two units or adding another bathroom. In any case, everyone has their own tastes and preferences, which means there will be minor upgrades at least. Leaving room in your budget for renovations will ensure both households are happier in the long term.

Work with a Local Real Estate Agent

It is a lot of work to sell one house, never mind two. A local real estate expert can handle nearly everything, from showing the home, negotiating the sale, and navigating the legal contracts. They’ll also have a network of trusted contractors, which means they can help with the home preparations that result in a higher sale price. The more you maximize the sale of both properties now, the more you have to bargain with when finding your dream home to merge into.

Succeeding in today’s real estate market requires creative solutions. Here are some other ideas you can consider:

Thinking of selling your home to merge with another household? We are here to help and answer any questions you may have.