Many people look to the time when they can get a bigger home.
Sometimes you just need more space. Some just want the bigger place. I see homes being torn down and re-built into much larger houses.
Thing is, when you buy a bigger house you aren’t just paying a bigger mortgage. With a bigger house comes some other expenses and costs that increase.
The question is, should you buy a bigger house?
If you have weathered the current recession and have the funds, those beautiful, large houses that were built just fifteen to twenty years ago may be tempting. Even if the price on a larger house is one you can afford, think carefully before upsizing.
With an upsize comes many other upsized costs. Keep reading and see why buying a bigger house may be more than you expected.
Here’s What You Can Expect to Go Up If You Buy a Bigger House:
While prices have dropped on larger homes, they have also dropped on smaller homes, making the latter much more affordable, especially when you figure in the taxes.
Typically, the larger (and nicer) the home, the more you pay in taxes. More square footage for both your property and the house itself will translate into more you pay in taxes. And if you’re looking to move somewhere with a great school system you can see your taxes skyrocket!
Depending on the area of the country where you live, you could be paying several thousand more dollars per year in taxes by upsizing your home.
Unless you are moving to a super energy-efficient house you will probably be paying more for utilities in a bigger house.
More square footage means more space to fill up with air conditioning and heat. More bathroom mean using more water. A style I’ve seen a lot in the past years is to have these high ceilings that go up two floors. They look wonderful! But they also mean a lot of space to fill up with air and heat. A LOT of space.
Oh, let’s not forget the bigger lawns that require more water as well.
Even if the price of larger homes is currently affordable, the utilities could cost several hundred dollars more per month for a big house versus a smaller one.
Simply put, there are more expenses in a larger home because there is more space.
Roofs don’t last forever. Gutters need to be cleaned. Air and heating systems need maintenance and will need repairs. Floors will be re-sanded. Decks need re-finishing. Because most appliances and utilities are larger to accommodate a larger kitchen in a bigger home, they will cost more to replace.
You get the point.
With a bigger house it means all the things you need to do for the house will probably cost you more.
Most bigger houses come with more land. Yay!
This means more to take care of as far as landscaping. Now you can take care of your landscape yourself but you still have to buy supplies and equipment (if you don’t already have) to cut costs from hiring someone to take care of it for you. Even so, you may find yourself upgrading to a high-end mower before long if you lawn is spacious. Things like seed, fertilizer, plants, and such all add up. And if you hire someone, the bigger your landscape, the more you are going to have to pay.
And again, the base of what you pay may be higher if you are moving to a more expensive neighborhood. You don’t want to be the one with the nice house but the bad lawn.
When you have more rooms you are going to want to furnish them.
The furniture you have from your previous house may no longer be adequate in the new house. Furniture tends to be expensive (and what you buy cheap tends to be…cheap).
For us, having a basement means a whole room that needs new furnishing. Or rather we update what’s on the main floor and move the old stuff to the basement.
Buying new, depending on the amount of furniture you need, can easily cost several thousand dollars or more.
While some minimalists love blank white walls, most of us don’t.
Many people like to put their own touches on a home when they move in. If you want to renovate and buy new carpets or hardwood floors or even just paint the walls, expect to spend more money to do so because it is a larger space. There are also more windows to cover and more wall décor to buy.
Now that you have these nice size rooms, basements, dens, etc… you may find yourself upgrading your entertainment systems. Flat screens, sound systems, gaming systems…they all cost money.
If you are so inclined, you can choose to clean a 1,200 square foot home and get it done in a few hours. If your home is 3,000 square feet or more, it could take you quite a bit longer to clean.
If you choose to hire a housekeeper, you are adding on yet another expense.
Home insurance is going to be more expensive for a bigger place. An insurance company needs to figure out the cost of replacing your home should disaster hit as well as replacement costs for the contents of your home. More square footage means more money.
Limited growth potential
If you move to a large house that is the nicest one on the block, you may experience limited growth.
The housing market has been down for a few years now; no one knows when there will be a rebound or if there will be a full rebound.
One thing is sure though, if you moved into the nicest house on the block, you have limited the potential increase in your home’s value.
Stuff in general
I’m not knocking moving to a bigger house.
We bought a house because we needed more space with all our kids running around. You just need to understand that covering your mortgage isn’t enough when you are calculating how much house you can afford. All sorts of expenses creep up besides what I’ve listed and you need to be prepared for them. Make sure you have emergency funds set aside for the surprises that creep up. Figure in an increase in your general maintenance when moving to a bigger place. Knowing what expenses to expect now will help you prepare and save you from trying financial times later on.
While it is tempting to upsize into a nice, large home that may have previously been out of financial reach, think carefully about making this purchase.
The home price is only one consideration. There are many other expenses that come with a larger home.