Finding the right home can make you feel a little like Goldilocks. This house is too small, that house is too big – where is the house that’s just right? Here are some questions you should ask yourself when determining what size house is best for you.
Do you need all that space?
The average size of a newly built home in the United States is 2,687 square feet – the largest it’s ever been. Americans seem to have a hunger for larger and larger homes. But do you really need all that space? Take into consideration how many people will be living in the home, both now and in the future. Although it’s nice to have a spare bedroom for guests, do you really need more than one? And will you really use a formal dining room if you have a large eat-in kitchen?
How much space can you afford?
Another question to ask yourself is how much space you can realistically afford. Remember – you’re not only paying a mortgage on the house, but also the utility bills. How much extra per month will it cost to heat those large, open spaces in colder months? Will that extra expense make it tough for you to save money or splurge on dinners out or a yearly vacation? How much are you willing to sacrifice in order to have a larger home? The added stress of making those payments may not be worth it.
Do you have time for maintenance?
Perhaps you love the idea of being able to entertain at your home, or let your kids have massive birthday parties. While it’s nice to have the extra space for these kinds of activities, you’ll be living in your home every day. And larger homes require more time for maintenance. How much extra time are you really willing to put into chores? If vacuuming and dusting isn’t your thing, you might want to think twice about a larger home.
What kind of layout is right for you?
Right now, open floor plans are very popular among homebuyers. Some people prefer larger homes with open spaces that allow everyone to be together. However, some people prefer a more traditional layout, with smaller rooms that are separate from each other. When shopping for a new home, take the layout into consideration.
Do you need storage?
Are you a collector? If you have a collection of large items, like antique cars or Midcentury Modern furniture, you may need a larger house that has more storage. When you look at homes, find out how much square footage is allotted to storage, like the attic, basement and closets. Will it be enough to house your collection, or would you need to downsize your belongings?
What feels right?
In the end, how much space is needed is often dictated by what feels good for you. Do you need room to spread out? Or do you prefer quiet, cozy spaces? Take some time to define your priorities before you begin your house search to find the home that’s just the right size for you.