When you envision your dream home, what image comes to mind? Do you see a cozy little cottage, a traditional 1,300-foot ranch house, or a massive multi-story “McMansion?” Whatever kind of image you’ve always held in your mind’s eye, bear in mind that it may not reflect a size that actually suits your present (and future) needs. Here are some things to think about in determining how much home is right for you.
Long-term budgeting – Your mortgage loan pre-approval range and payment comfort zone may confine you to a certain size of home – especially if your heart is set on living in a particular city or neighborhood. Don’t get stuck on the idea of a specific size if it forces you to live in an area with sparse or sub-par amenities. It’s not just a matter of what you can afford; it’s also about enjoying your location.
Number of rooms – Maybe you only need two bedrooms right now, but how long is that situation likely to last? In addition to any plans you have for growing your family, think about whether you need spare rooms for guests, hobbies, or home office facilities. On the other hand, if you’re downsizing you may need only the two bedroom home after all.
Square footage – It only makes sense that the more kids, pets, guests, cars, and other stuff you plan to accommodate, the more square footage your home should encompass, both within the house/garage and in the surrounding yards. But you must also think about how much it will cost to heat, cool, repair, remodel, and maintain all those extra square feet in the years to come. If you want more control over these expenditures, you might have a happier life in a smaller-than-anticipated space.
Remember – it’s no fun being “house poor” in which you can afford the house payment but cannot afford any outside activities. Contact us if you’d like some additional advice on right-sizing your home search!