Why you might need a bigger home

Making room for older parents, providing children with their own space, and having a home office is among the key reasons homeowners are trading up to larger properties according to one industry professional.

Auckland home stager Janine King of Janine King Design sees real estate trends first-hand and has helped plenty of people move from smaller inner-city homes to larger properties during the past few years.

“What I see is that people mainly upsize for lifestyle reasons,” says Janine. “The kids start growing up and so the family moves to a bigger home. Sometimes they leave the city to relocate to rural or coastal areas – escaping city life altogether for a slower relaxed lifestyle.

“Moving out of the inner-city means these families can get a lot more for their money.”

Apart from providing teenage children with more room, some parents are also buying a larger home to accommodate their parents.

“I have seen families pool their resources so they can buy one huge home so elderly parents can move in – they often have their own section of the house and share plenty of family time with the children.

“These homes can feature two kitchens, there’ll be plenty of bathrooms, garaging and parking spaces too. This is where the country living can really pay off as you can buy a large plot where the main home can be extended or a separate home built for the grandparents.”

Then there are the toys; jet skis, boat, and cars for the teenage children.

“Again, things like this force home-owners to trade up to a larger plot with extra garaging,” says Janine. “During that period – when the teenagers are heading into their 20s – they often get their own cars, need personal space, and so some separation is needed – parents value it as much as the kids.

“And of course in a city such as Auckland plenty of kids can’t afford to leave home as house prices are out of reach – you need $200,000 just for the deposit; let alone enough income to service an $800,000 mortgage.”

Janine also says more people want a home office.

“Some employees work at home one or two days a week, others are self-employed and need an office, and then there are full-time employees who run a little business on the side,” she says.

“Again it is about separation. People want to keep their work stuff well away from family life and so desire an office or spare bedroom to do the paperwork or for storage.”

But not everyone is fleeing the inner-city for more open spaces, says Janine.

“Plenty of people are climbing the corporate ladder and that can involve holding large diner parties and functions at home for work colleagues and visiting clients,” she says. “That means large entertaining areas are needed, a dedicated dining area, and plenty of bedrooms for guests and friends to stay overnight.”

Finally, gardens are increasingly being placed on the tick list of home buyers, says Janine.

“People who have the time to tend to a garden are starting to look at growing their own vegetables. These people want organic food, even their kids are starting to push for it, so a larger garden can be used for this.”

When you look at all the reasons for moving to a larger home they all come back to available space; or the ability to increase the living areas while being careful not over capitalise – spending more on a home than it can be sold for.

“Buying a home that can be expanded over time – either upwards or sideways – can help future proof your purchase,” says Janine.

“It’s all about understanding the next stage of life, and figuring the young children will grow into young adults, and that parents might prefer to be with you than in a retirement village and perhaps one day you will get that boat – but where to store it?”

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Steve Hart

About the author

Steve Hart is a specialist freelance writer covering all aspects of real estate.