If it is time to buy a new home, there are a lot of things to consider such as location and overall home cost. One of the most important choices is how big of a house to buy. Get it wrong and it could cost you a lot of money. Let’s take a look at how buying the wrong sized home can cost you a fortune.
This House Is Too Small
If you are conservative, you might look at buying a small house to save money. Buying a smaller home can help you get into a neighborhood that would otherwise cost too much for you or perhaps allow you to get a higher level of finish.
The problem with a small house is when you outgrow it. If you plan on starting a family, this is a major consideration. Outgrow a home and you can either move or suck it up and stay but both might cost you money.
Choose a house that is too small and your biggest problem will be moving before you planned. If you have not earned enough equity, this means that you might have to come to the table with money. Let’s say that you bought a 200,000 home and it is appreciating at 4 percent a year. If you sell it after just a year, it is worth 208,000 dollars. After 6 percent Realtor fees, you would only get 195,520 dollars for your home and this does not take into account other closing costs. This could easily mean that you have to come to the close with a big fat check.
Having to move also means another big expense, movers. A move can easily cost you 2000 dollars if you use movers. Do it yourself and you could still be looking at a 400 dollar move.
If you decide to stay in a house that is too small, storage would be another issue. For most people this means renting a storage locker which could easily be a 200 dollar or more a month bil for a moderately sized unit.
Adding Square Footage
Another option is to build on to your home, if you have the lot size. The average price of an addition is $80 to $200 a foot in an average area but your prices could exceed this. So, to add a modest 500 square feet would cost you anywhere between 40,000 dollars and 100,000 dollars. Sure it would add value to your home but it is a considerable expense that could have been avoided.
This House Is Too Large
Sometimes the allure of that great big house is just too much to resist. Unfortunately, buying a house that is too big will have just as many problems as buying a small house, possibly more. Here are a few of the issues.
The larger the house, the more you will pay in maintenance. This will break down and there are things that need to be done for regular maintenance. If you buy a house that is too big, you could waste hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on additional maintenance. It could mean paying double or even triple price for carpet cleaning, pest control, maid service, lawn care, house painting, air conditioning maintenance, window cleaning an so much more.
Big houses are harder to heat and cool. Where you might have been able to get away with one unit on a smaller home, you might need two or even three on a larger one. You will probably have more than one hot water heater as well. If you needed a 2000 square foot house but bought a 4000 square foot one, expect double the electric bill.
In addition, that larger house might just have a much larger yard. This means that water costs will go up and since most areas base sewer usage on water consumption, waste water fees will rise as well.
Furnishing Your Home
What are you going to do with all of that space. There is nothing worse than walking into a big home only to see that most of the rooms are empty. For just average furniture, it can cost an easy 2000 dollars a room to furnish. Heck, even a cheap sofa costs 900 dollars or more. How many rooms are in that 4000 square foot home that need furnishing and how often will you actually use those rooms? Sure, you could leave them empty but then why did you buy that big house?
This House Is Just Right
The best option is clearly to get it right the first time. Sure, things change but generally, you have a pretty good idea of what direction you are heading.
If you are single or a couple with no plans of children, there really is no reason to get a home with more than 2 or 3 bedrooms. 2 Bedrooms if you choose multi family housing and 3 bedrooms if you go with a house.
If you are a couple that has kids or plans on having kids, most people are happy with a 3 or 4 bedroom home with maybe one additional living area.
If you are a Brady Bunch sized family, you might consider going larger but for most people, a humble, suitable sized home is the best option. It will allow you to save money and not waste it on housing expenses that you will never get back.