When you start your house search, size is the first thing you need to consider. How much space do you and your family need? Do you need a large kitchen and living room area? Is it important to have a lot of outdoor space? Before you start getting into the specifics, you need to work out what size house you need and how many bedrooms you want.
Most people tend to lean towards buying the biggest house that they can get for their budget, but that isn’t always the best thing to do. You need to think about your family’s needs and your financial situation, but there are other lifestyle factors to consider as well, like environmental impact, for example. Deciding on size isn’t as simple as finding the biggest house you can afford, so you must think carefully about it and weigh up all of the different factors. These are some of the big questions you should ask yourself when deciding how big your new house needs to be.
What Can You Realistically Afford?
‘Realistically’ is the most important word here. A lot of people go to the bank and find out how much they can borrow, then start looking for houses based on that budget. But if you borrow the maximum amount, you may be able to pay the mortgage each month but you’ll be left in a tricky position if you don’t have much leftover. You should be able to pay the mortgage and other bills and still have money left over for spending and a bit to go into savings. If you can’t do that, you can’t realistically afford the house and you should be looking at a smaller place. Before you make any decisions, use a tool to calculate home mortgage payments. You can then work out your monthly budget and see what size of house you can realistically afford to buy. Make sure that you remember to factor in all of the other costs associated with being a homeowner as well, like repairs and running costs. If you buy a house that is too big, you can easily end up in a bad financial situation.
How Much Energy Will It Use?
Increased energy usage is one of the big downsides of a large home. You might have more space, but that means you also have more rooms to heat. This is a problem for a few reasons; firstly, it’s going to be a lot more expensive and even though there are some simple ways to reduce energy costs, you will always pay more in a larger home. If you are concerned about the amount that you spend on monthly bills, it may be best to consider a smaller house that is easier and cheaper to heat.
It’s also worth considering how comfortable the house will be. Large houses take a long time to heat up and you might find that you are often very cold in the winter. Smaller houses, on the other hand, are much easier to keep warm and cozy.
Even if you aren’t concerned about the financial aspect, you may still want to reduce your energy usage because you are trying to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Anybody that is concerned about the impact that they have on the planet should seriously consider the size of their house. A smaller house uses so much less energy and over the years, that adds up to a serious reduction in your carbon footprint.
Can You Afford The Maintenance?
The bigger your home is, the more likely things are to go wrong, and it’s up to you to pay for that maintenance. This is one of the big costs that new homeowners tend to forget about and they are surprised when they suddenly have to pay out for repairs. Although it depends on the age of the house and the materials used in construction etc, it is advised that you set aside 1% of the total value of the home each year for maintenance. So, the larger and more expensive your home is, the more money you can expect to spend on maintenance each year. You can reduce these costs by keeping up with preventative maintenance and learning to do some jobs yourself, but you will always pay more for maintenance in a large home.
Are You Willing To Clean It?
Cleaning the house probably isn’t your favorite thing in the world but it’s a necessary job that you can’t really avoid. If you really hate cleaning, you need to take that into account when deciding what size house to buy. There are a lot of benefits of having a large house but it does also mean that you have more rooms to clean and you’re likely to spend more time keeping things tidy. People tend to grow into the house that they buy, which means you will accumulate more clutter and it will be tougher to stay on top of the mess. But if you live in a small house, you are forced to be more conservative with your possessions and you will find that your cleaning time is much shorter.
You could, of course, hire a cleaner to clean your large house but that’s just another added expense that you need to take care of.
What Are Your Future Needs?
This is a very important consideration and when you are looking at houses, you must think about what your needs will be in 5 or 10 years as well as what your needs are now. In some cases, if you don’t plan to have any more kids and you are happy to settle where you are, your needs won’t change that much. However, if you are planning to expand your family in the future or you are considering starting a business from home, for example, your needs will change a lot. In that case, it may be wise to buy a house that is larger than you currently need because you will grow into it eventually.
In many cases, it’s a mistake to buy the largest house you can afford because it is more expensive to run and maintain and it puts you in a difficult financial position. You will often find that the smaller house is the best choice overall. However, if you think that you will need more space in the future, buying a large house may save you from having to move again in a few years.