Trading Up in Santa Fe: Tips for Buying a Bigger Home

The living room of a fine home in Santa Fe

A home in Santa Fe with a courtyard entrance framed by a river-rock doorway flanked by two trees in terra cotta pots

We often work with clients who want to stay in Santa Fe but trade up to a larger home. These repeat homebuyers have their sights set on a bigger and typically more expensive home. They’re trading up rather than downsizing.

 

Trading-up homebuyers can include first-time homebuyers who are ready to move on from a starter home. But they also are long-time homeowners who want more space to spread out. Trading-up homebuyers range from millennials to baby boomers.

 

And “bigger” doesn’t necessarily mean more square footage. Many trading-up buyers look for homes that are better than their existing homes in some way. A better floor plan, a better location, or better features (think casitas or home studios) all qualify as elements these buyers might want.

 

Tips for Trading Up to a Larger Home

While it’s possible to buy a bigger home without spending more money, trading up generally means buying a more expensive home. And it always requires advance planning and critical thinking about your needs and wants. Determining your buying criteria can save you time during the search process. Just as important, figuring out your needs can help your Barker real estate broker find the homes that make the best trading-up candidates.

 

Here are some tips to consider as you think about trading up and staying in Santa Fe:

 

Determine Your Trading-Up Criteria

Before you begin looking at larger homes, think about your needs and wants. Yes, you may want more space. But what needs are involved? Think about such things as space for hobbies, bedrooms for returning or visiting family members, or perhaps a separate suite for seniors. Start to put together a picture of the larger home you want and how you’ll live in it. This will help you decide on the overall square footage you want.

 

Think about the total square footage as well the layout and number of rooms. In some cases, the more bedrooms a home has, the smaller the bedrooms are. You may not need more rooms, but more space.

 

Finally, decide on your trading-up location. A neighborhood close to restaurants? A home that lets you bike from your driveway to a trail? Are you looking for new construction?

 

Research the Santa Fe Market

Do some research to learn the current state of the market and look for trends. Our Market Reports are a great starting point. Talking with us is another recommended step.

 

Your Trading-Up Homebuying Checklist

This checklist includes criteria that are often important to trading-up homebuyers. Add the criteria that support your individual needs and goals. Categorize each item as a “must have” or “would like to have.”

 

You’ll notice some either/or items on this list, and that’s deliberate. You should decide if you want to trade up to a new construction home, a turnkey home, or a fixer-upper home, for example. All three types of homes can be bigger than what you own now.

 

Criteria Must Have Would Like to Have
New construction

Turnkey home

Fixer upper

High-speed internet access

Smart home features

___ number of bedrooms

In-home studio or office

Large lot

Easy maintenance lot

Low maintenance exterior

First-floor master suite

Upper-level master suite

Casita for guests or rental

Gated community

In-town location

Remote location

Nearby schools

Nearby outdoor recreation

Nearby restaurants

High walkability score

Other (add your own)

 

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Once you’ve completed your checklist, you and your Barker Realty broker can use it as a guide to finding the homes that best meet your needs.

 

You may need to revise your checklist based on current market conditions, and that’s OK. We’re here to help you find the home you need so you can make the leap to a traded-up home while still enjoying all the benefits of living in Santa Fe.

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