Houses are a bit like your kids’ shoes – before you know it, they don’t fit anymore.
And, while we never hear folks say they regret having children, we often hear people say that they wish they’d bought a bigger home.
While a growing family is one good reason to think about moving up to a bigger home, there are other aspects to upsizing that offer bonuses you may not have considered.
Larger Homes Offer More
That sounds a bit like a “well, duh” comment, but bear with me.
I’m not just referring to the extra square footage here. Think about roomier closets, glorious amounts of storage space, the ability to comfortably house out-of-town guests and more elbow room in which to find a bit of privacy when you need it within your bigger home.
If you made a priority list to refer to when you shopped for your current house, you no doubt ended up making compromises. When you upsize, however, you’ll find that both of you (and maybe even the kids) will finally get some of the options you dreamed about but had to give up.
Finally, a bigger home offers the option of growing into it. You may not be currently thinking of having another child or offering a room to an aging parent, but isn’t it nice to not have to consider moving again should either of these come to pass?
The financial benefits of a bigger home
Depending on the equity you have in your current home, you may be able to keep your house payment quite close to what you’re paying now by buying a bigger home. After all, that equity will go a long way to cutting down on the initial cost of the new, bigger home.
Then, consider this: money has rarely been cheaper to borrow than it is right now! If you make the move to a bigger home now, before interest rates increase, you’ll save significantly when it comes to your monthly mortgage payment.
Then, consider the resale value of the new, bigger home. In 2016, for instance, the average American home included 2,400 square feet of living space, according to the Census Bureau.
And a National Association of Homebuilders survey finds that most older members of our largest generation, the Millennials, prefer living in a home with at least 2,475 square feet of living space with either three or four bedrooms and a minimum of two bathrooms.
So, look to the future, because it looks quite rosy for owners of bigger homes. Demand should be high enough to mean more money in your pocket when you decide to sell.
Upsizing: Get clear on your goals
You already know you want a bigger home, but it’s important to understand your other goals. As discussed earlier, the amount of room you need right now will change if you plan on growing your family or take in an older family member.
And, if you have children, consider how close you’ll need to live to schools.
Other goals to consider include:
- Your commute time to work
- Desired nearby amenities
- The type of floor plan you’ll need to accommodate your family’s lifestyle
Need to save money? Shop strategically
The more move-in ready a your home is, the more competition you’ll encounter when shopping for new, bigger homes, and competition drives up home prices. If you’re on a tight budget, overlook those turnkey properties and search for a bigger home that many need some simple upgrades.
Once you’ve settled on a neighborhood or two, buying one of the worst homes on the block can be a good financial strategy. It’s the old “rising tide” adage – the surrounding homes will lift the prices of all the homes in the neighborhood.
If a home is sitting on the market because of cosmetic issues, and priced accordingly, consider looking at it to see if it meets your needs.
Sure, there’s a lot to consider about upsizing. But, take the process one step at a time and you’ll not only get rid of some of the stress, but find that moving up to a bigger home is one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.