Buying a house can be great. Looking at all of the nice houses out there can be fun also. However, don’t get too ahead of yourselves! Just because you can afford the mortgage payment (hopefully), does not always meant that you can afford everything else.
There are many other things to think of when you are looking at a house: property tax payments, maintenance costs, expected utility bills, home insurance expenses, and so on. With a bigger house, these will most likely all be higher than for a smaller house.
Bigger houses do have their benefits also though. With us, we rent out one of our rooms and our roommate (my sister) pays almost one third of our mortgage payment. The extra income is definitely nice to have. We hardly notice her here. We could definitely afford the mortgage payment without her giving us rental income, but it’s a plus of having an extra room. However, we still have 2 extra bedrooms that sit empty! One is a guest bedroom, but we hardly have guests sleepover to justify this extra room.
Many people choose smaller living areas for many different reasons. These reasons could be more eco-friendly, not needing a large space, and being more efficient with what you have already.
There are many costs to think of when buying a larger than you need house. These extra costs from buying too much house are explained below:
Utility bills will most likely go up. This is for many reasons such as there will be more rooms in the house which will need to be air conditioned, heated, etc. There will also be higher electricity costs most likely. Heating up or cooling down rooms that you don’t use or need is bad for the environment, and also bad for your wallet! I can’t imagine spending money on an electric bill for a house twice our size, as our bill already seems so very high to us.
When you buy a larger home or a home with a lot of land, maintenance costs definitely need to be thought about.
Mowing your lawn might not seem like a hard task, but if you have acres and acres of land, you need to make sure that you invest in a quality lawn mower. I know someone who has 200 acres of land and there is a rotating list of someone who needs to mow it every weekend. Otherwise, your neighbors might not like you, it looks bad, and your local police might give you a ticket.
Other maintenance costs include water heaters, pipes, air conditioning units and other household items that may break. With a bigger house, these items will most likely cost much more than with a smaller house.
Do you actually need that much room?
Do you need 7 bathrooms, 6 bedrooms, or something else along this means? Extra rooms most likely means that you will fill it up with things that you don’t necessarily need. Then you will be spending more money on extra furniture.
Is your house too big for you and your family?
Michelle Schroeder is the founder of Making Sense of Cents and Diversified Finances, a personal finance and lifestyle blog about budgeting, traveling, life, and student loans. Read further on her story and life.