Thinking of moving? Here are tips no matter where you are on the property ladder.

New York Life | May 20, 2024

Two people holding a miniature house

Moving up the property ladder is a challenge, and a different experience for everyone. First-time homebuyers, upsizers, downsizers, and everyone in between all require different levels of guidance. In this article we outline key steps on how each group can move onto the next stage of the property ladder.

First-time buyer

A first-time home buyer, whether purchasing a studio apartment, a single-family house, or anything in between, should be focused on finding affordable options and saving for a down payment. Planning is crucial. Next steps:

  • Save for a down payment
  • Work to improve your credit score
  • Seek out an affordable mortgage

Second-time buyer

If you’re selling one place and buying another, you’ll want to leverage your existing property equity, gain an understanding of current market conditions, and consider tax implications. Next steps:

  • Seek pre-approval for a mortgage
  • Find the right property
  • Be aware of potential roadblocks like home inspections


If you’re moving to get more space, consider lifestyle changes, planning for larger mortgages, and potential renovation costs. Next steps:

  • Identify key objectives
  • Plan financially for additional fees
  • Consider improvements to your current property to add value


Family home buyer

If you’re looking to buy a home in which to raise a family, aim to get as much space as you can afford – remember, cute babies and toddlers become big teenagers before you know it! Also consider proximity to schools, parks, and recreation opportunities. Next steps:

  • Define your priorities in a home
  • Create a financial plan
  • Be patient and flexible during negotiations – remember, this is likely the biggest purchase of your lifetime


When you get older, your lifestyle changes. Many empty nesters downsize and use the cash left over to help fund their retirement. You may also want to consider moving to a municipality with lower property and school taxes. Next steps:

  • Determine your retirement goals
  • Assess your finances
  • Perhaps rent before committing to a new location

Before making any big property decisions, it's essential to prepare thoroughly. Clarify your goals, assess your current situation, and create a well-rounded financial strategy. Don't hesitate to seek guidance from a financial professional.



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Media contact

Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937