Your current home is becoming a bit too snug with the kids growing and the pets multiplying. The time has come to move to a bigger home. Before you go signing on the dotted line, there are a few things you should consider when you are in the market for a larger space.
Why Do You Need a Larger Home?
Knowing why you want a larger home will help you in the home buying process. It helps you prioritize what you need in your new home. For example, you may need to provide space for one or more parents who are no longer able to live alone. You may want to look for a home with an in-law suite or at least the space to build one.
Is Your Current Layout Part of the Problem?
Some circumstances make living in a particular layout difficult. For example, if you have elderly parents living with you, living in a multi-story house may be part of the problem. A single story home of similar size might solve the problem without the need for a larger space and a higher mortgage.
Will You Use All the Space?
When touring a new home, make sure you can use all of the space. You don’t need to pay for a larger home if you are only going to use 60% of it. Do you really need a separate home office as well as a dedicated guest room? That odd room might work as a play space when the kids are young, but what will you use it for when they are older? Remember, that unused space translates to a higher mortgage payment, more taxes, higher energy bills, and additional maintenance.
Are You Going to Become House Poor?
If the majority of your income is going to go towards the mortgage payment and additional expenses of that larger home, you may find yourself in a house poor situation. That is when you don’t have a lot of leftover income to invest in things besides your home, like saving for retirement or your kids’ college fund. Plus, you won’t have money for luxuries like a weekend at the beach. You may find that never going on vacation gets tiresome after a few years.
Can You Maintain a Larger Home?
Maintenance is an ongoing need if you want to keep your home in good condition. That means cleaning the gutters, making small repairs, and keeping up the landscaping. You can pay others to do it, which can become expensive. You can do it yourself if you have the tools and experience to do it safely. You can purchase home warranty plans to handle breakdowns in major systems. You should have a plan to handle home maintenance before you buy a larger house.
Are You Willing to Move to a New Neighborhood?
You may find the homes in your current neighborhood are similar to your present home in terms of size and layout. To upsize, you may have to move to a new neighborhood. That means moving schools for the kids and may involve a longer commute for you. If you currently live in an urban area, you may have to move to a suburban area to find a larger home that fits your needs.
How Long Will You Need the Larger Space?
Is the larger space going to serve you for a few years or a couple of decades? If you have young children, you may want a larger home to live in while they are growing up. However, if you have teenagers, they will likely be moving off to college in a few years. That larger space may become wasted space when they leave.
These questions will help you decide if a larger home is the right choice for you and your family.