When it comes time to begin your search for a new home, there are many decisions to make. While you might think you should buy the largest house you can afford, there are other considerations to make when it comes to selecting a home size. The size of your home matters in terms of resale value, maintenance, and plans for you and your family.
Physical Needs and Maintenance
Your home is your way to express yourself and your style. Consider your physical preferences when it comes to the size of your home. Do you like a small, cozy, and intimate feeling in your home? Do you have lots of stuff and need lots of room for storage? These are all individual preferences that prospective homebuyers should consider. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to “the right size” home.
Other questions to ask yourself include:
•Do I have a hobby or activity that takes up a lot of space (and supplies) in my home?
•How many kids do I have (or plan to have)?
•Do I work from home and need office space?
•Do I want guest space/visitor space? How often do people come to visit? Do I entertain parties and gatherings often?
•How much time do you have to maintain a large home? Is a cleaning service within your budget?
•Do I have very large furniture to accommodate?
Average Guidelines to Consider
As mentioned above, there are several factors to consider for your unique preferences. However, as a guideline, the average family of four can comfortably live in a 2,400-square-foot home. You’ll want to leave an average of 200 to 400 square feet per person living in the home. However, that does not mean your family cannot live in a much smaller home. Older homes tend to have a more intimate and smaller feel, while newer homes are made increasingly bigger by the year.
Budgeting for the Right Size Home
Of course, you’ll have to factor in your monthly budget when it comes to choosing the right size home. First, you’ll need to consider the size of the loan you’ll need to purchase the home. More expensive homes will naturally need a larger loan. Consider your ability to get approved for this type of loan based on your family income. Of course, you’ll want to consider your ability to place a down payment on a more expensive (and larger) home.
The larger the house, the more utility expenses you can expect. Things such as electricity, landscaping, water, gas, and more, are factors you should build into your monthly budget. Smaller homes may be easier and less expensive to maintain.
Thinking about the Future
As you determine how much square footage your family needs, consider your family dynamics. Do you have a baby on the way? Do you plan on having more children down the road? Do you want this home to be your “final destination” without having to move again? These are all things families should think about, specific to their changing family units.
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