Let’s face it, most people move into the starter home they can afford, not necessarily the one they most want or the one that fits their needs perfectly. And even if they achieve the latter, what fits when you’re in your 20s rarely still satisfies when you’re in your 30s or 40s.

Here are some signs it may be time to move on to a bigger and better home.

Your Family is Expanding

This is the most obvious, of course. Your two-bedroom, one-bath was just right when it was just the two of you, but when two becomes three, or three becomes four, it’s time to find bigger digs. Not just for the extra people under one roof and their morning bathroom routines, but for all of the stuff that comes with them.

Coming Home Isn’t as Much Fun as It Was

Your two dogs and two cats have no room to play and are climbing the walls (literally). Your quilting hobby has expanded from the bedroom to the living room, garage, bathroom… Family visits mean you’re sleeping in a tent in the backyard. In short, you’ve got a 10-pound life crammed into a 5-pound home and something’s gotta give.

Or maybe your new job is just too far away. When you bought your starter home, you were willing to spend the extra hour in traffic, but now? By the time you get home you’re exhausted, and the idea of getting up at 5 AM just to beat traffic only makes things worse.

You Can Afford It

If you’re in your prime earning years, there’s no reason to stick with the house you bought when you were first starting out. Maybe you‘re looking to diversify your investments, or you’re finally in a position to realize your dream of a backyard pool or an island kitchen or a woodworking workshop.

The Timing is Right

Market timing that is.

Even though the market is hot, interest rates are still low. And even if a market correction occurs in the next couple of years, housing costs won’t return to 2011 levels. So this might be the right time to carpe diem and upgrade your home.

You’re No Longer “Up” for Fixing Things

Maybe your starter home was a fixer-upper when you bought it, or it’s become one over the years. If your “Honey Do” list has gone from $ to $$$!!!, it might be time to find a newer, bigger, better home.

Your Neighborhood Needs Are Different

Kids on the way? Kids all grown? Do you love the nightlife or crave quiet? The tangible and intangible pluses your neighborhood offered 20 years ago may have edged into minuses by now.

Or maybe you’re the one who’s changed. You’re tired of driving and want someplace with high walkability. Or the city has lost its allure and you’re craving a beach/mountain view. Or with little ones running around, you need good parks and schools nearby.

Do any of these resonate with you? If so, it may be time contact a mortgage lender and/or real estate professional and begin looking for an upgrade from your old, starter home to a new home that suits your wants and needs today and in the future. Answer a few questions here, and a home lending expert will contact you!