The Bigger-House Mistake: Choosing the Right Size Home
By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
This cultural ideal generally leads us to seek a home that is "bigger" than our previous home. More bedrooms, bigger spaces, more features. This makes perfect sense when you are moving from your roommate situation to a solo apartment, from that apartment to a starter home, and from that starter home to a more spacious 3-4 bedroom. But after that? It is time to ask yourself who is using the extra space - and who is cleaning it.
A Realistic Look at the Bigger-Home Mentality
A home should reflect the needs of the residents, and the use they put to the house itself. For example, celebrities need those venue-sized mansions to host their numerous public events with hundreds - sometimes thousands of guests. Your home probably has other uses. It might be your personal studio; it might be home-base to a hive of growing kids.
Eventually, a home is too big for what you can or even want to use. The bigger-house mentality only works until you reach your ideal home size and up-sizing too fast can cause its own problems. So how do you choose a home that feels luxurious but is not too big for you and the family?
Determining Your Perfect-Sized Home
- Family Bedrooms Plus One
How many bedrooms should your dream-home have? If you're not a celebrity or the head of a big family, you probably only need enough bedrooms for the residents and maybe one additional. Having one guest room is fantastic for flexibility and, of course, guests. One guest room is easy to maintain without adding a whole extra wing to the house. If you tend to have more guests, consider also designing one of the rooms with a fold-out couch or adding bunk or roll-out beds to a bedroom design.
- All the Stairs You Can Climb
Sweeping staircases and multi-story homes may look elegant, but they are not always practical. If you (or other family members) are not so great on stairs or wear out easily, then consider a practical one-story home, apartment, or condo instead. It is more important that your home be comfortable than that it be tall.
- Realistic Living Costs
Sometimes our eyes are bigger than our stomachs or, in the case of homes, our wallets. The desire for a bigger house can sometimes result in unexpectedly bigger costs. The cost of heating or cooling a larger home, for example, can be hundreds more due to the increased square feet of air to fill. Buying a bigger house also means bigger property taxes. Take into consideration that you could be spending your income on more active fun than mere square feet or unused bedrooms.
- Furnishing a Much Larger Home
Up-sizing very quickly can also result in another unexpected cost: furniture. We seldom realize how empty a large home can be if we do not have the furniture to fill it or how costly new furniture can be when bought all at once. If you need a home significantly larger than your current place, remember to budget for furniture.
- Energy vs Budget for Home Maintenance
Consider your own ability and willingness to keep up with a big house. The more space, including outdoor deck and landscaping space, takes effort to clean. How much time do you have? How much energy? How much actual desire to spend hours each month cleaning the house, doing minor repairs, and manicuring the lawn? The perfect house for you is one that is carefree to upkeep because it is just the right size for your lifestyle, energy, and desire to clean.
- Spend on Luxury Instead of Space
Finally, do not be afraid to indulge. If you want a home that makes you feel successful, try luxurious items or fixtures instead. Reward yourself by splurging on a whirlpool tub, an entertainer kitchen, or a well-equipped den. Choose a place with a perfect room for your home office or hold out for a skylight because that is your dream. If you have extra budget to spend on your next house - make it perfect for you instead of just bigger than the last.
Is bigger always better when it comes to an enjoyable home? Only up to a point. You want enough space to feel spacious, but not enough to get lost in or overwhelmed by the property. You want a space that feels like home but also makes you feel successful. Happy house hunting, and when you find your next perfect home, give your local professional movers at A-1 Freeman Moving Group a call.
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