How Much House Do You Need?
Why do people buy houses that are far too large for their needs? They end up with rooms that never get used, which means heating and cooling unused spaces. They pay more in the long run and they spend a lot more time cleaning as well.
While there are McMansions everywhere, remnants of the now defunct building boom from a few years ago,where many people bought bigger and bigger homes often 4000 square feet and up, there are many other more reasonably sized homes in the 1800 – 2500 sf range. Actually, the average US home is 2300 sf, so if your home is considerably larger than that, you might ask yourself, how much house do you really need?
Ultimately, home buying is typically an emotional response to values instilled in us either by our upbringing or by our society, not to mention some people’s need to “keep up with the Jones'”.
At Edict, it’s important that our clients get exactly the home they want but we also want to understand how you and/or your family will use the house and guide you to a home that meets your needs and is within your budget.
Here are a few reasons to buy a home that is just large enough rather than far too big:
- Easier to maintain. Anyone who has owned a house knows the amount of time, energy, and effort to maintain it. A smaller home requires less of your time, energy, and effort to accomplish that task.
- Less time spent cleaning. And that should be reason enough…even with a housekeeper, it will save your money.
- Less expensive. Smaller homes are less expensive to purchase and less expensive to maintain (insurance, taxes, heating, cooling, electricity, etc.).
- Less debt and less risk. Just because you can technically afford a $500,000 house doesn’t mean you have to buy one. Perhaps a $300,000 house will suit your lifestyle, and needs equally well in an equally nice neighborhood. Just think of what you could do with all of those extra thousands you would save a month.
- Mentally Freeing. As is the case with all of our possessions, the more we own, the more they own us. And the more stuff we own, the more mental energy is held hostage by them. The same is absolutely true with our largest, most valuable asset. Buy small and free your mind.
- Less environmental impact. If you care about the Earth and climate change, a smaller home requires less resources to build and less resources to maintain. And that benefits all of us.
- More time. Many of the benefits above (less cleaning, less maintaining, mental freedom) result in the freeing up of our schedule to pursue the things in life that really matter – whatever you want that to be.
- Encourages family bonding. A smaller home results in more social interaction among the members of the family. And while this may be the reason that some people purchase bigger homes, I think just the opposite should be true.
- Forces you to remove baggage. Moving into a smaller home forces you to intentionally pare down your belongings.
- Less temptation to accumulate. If you don’t have any room in your house for that new treadmill, you’ll be less tempted to buy it in the first place.
- Less decorating. Which generally ( but not always) means less money you have to invest.
- Wider market to sell. By its very definition, a smaller, more affordable house is affordable to a larger percentage of the population than a more expensive, less affordable one.