by Andi B.

My husband and I have been informed that we could start the journey to become homebuyers, well, today. I’ve been looking at many different homes and one of the things that has struck me is the lifestyle choice that occurs along with a home choice.
Currently, we live in a 480 sf studio. While this has been fine for quite a while, it is not optimal for our family. We don’t get to have friends stay with us, and if we have a “happy accident” we’re in real trouble. We are very excited at the prospect of additional space, but we’re running into two very different options.
The first option is the one we automatically thought we would go with. There are a wide variety of 650-850 sf homes, some with cosmetic fixes needed, but nothing major. It’s at the bottom of our budget and we would be paying the same or less as we do for rent. The positive is it’s a great entry point into the market. The negative is it would be classified as a starter home; there is a high likelyhood at some point that we would need to “upgrade.”
The second option is a multi-family home or one that has a basement style apartment. It would be a larger home at the top of our price point. However we could easily rent out the other apartment, covering most of the mortgage. Any funds not paid out would go towards savings for vacant times. The positive would be the fact that we’d probably never have to move. The house we like is in the right neighborhood and would provide us with the space we need. It would also make us instant landlords. While we have a few potential renters we could pull from, eventually we might have to pull from the general public, or leave it vacant.
So what would you do if you were faced with these two options? If you’ve rented a portion of your house out before, would you do it again?