How Much Home Do You Actually Need?

Among all the factors that need to be considered when buying a home, size is obviously one of the more important ones. After all, you want to make sure you’ve got enough space for your needs, but you also don’t want to pay for more square footage than you have to.

So, the question is, how much space do you really need?

Here are some considerations to make to help you accurately answer that question.

What Will Your Family Look Like in the Future?

If you’re currently single, what are the odds of finding a partner to share your home with you in the near future? If you’re already married, will you be starting a family sometime soon? How many kids do you think you’ll have? Will there be any more pets in the picture that need space to run around?

While it can be nearly impossible to accurately answer these questions, having some sort of idea will help you determine the amount of space you might need in the future.

Of course, these questions are more relevant if the home you plan to buy is your “forever home.” If you’re just looking for a starter home to use as a stepping stone to get into the real estate market, you can always upsize down the road when the number of family members (pets included!) increases.

How Will You Be Using Your Space?

Your lifestyle is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a home of a certain size. Consider how you will be using your space and how you want your home to accommodate your lifestyle.

For instance, do you frequently have large parties? Is your home the usual gathering place for the holidays? Do you often host overnight guests? Do you have any hobbies that require a lot of room? If you can justify the purchase of a larger home, then it may be worth serious consideration.

But what if you’re low-key and prefer to spend your time at home reading a book? What if you’re hardly ever home because of work or travels? Be honest with yourself about exactly how space will be used. Deciding how much room you actually need before you buy a home starts with an in-depth and accurate assessment of your lifestyle and what role your home plays in it.

How Much Time Can You Dedicate to Maintenance?

Bigger homes usually mean more space to clean. That includes more vacuuming, window cleaning, dusting, and even yard work if the lot is also oversized. Of course, if you need all that space, then a big home might be required. But maintenance should certainly be something to consider when buying a home of a certain size. Even if you hire someone else to take care of all the cleaning for you, that’ll come at a cost.

How Much Privacy Do You Want?

If you live by yourself, you’ve got all the privacy in the world, regardless of how big or small your home is. But if there are other family members sharing the same space, you might want to think about how much privacy you’ll be getting from each other.

If you’re the type who seeks privacy even from your own family members, you may want to consider a larger home. A property that’s on the small side might not give you all the privacy you crave if it’s not laid out appropriately.

Would the Layout of the Home Make a Difference?

Some homes that are short on square footage still feel rather spacious thanks to the savvy floor plan laid out. By the same token, large homes can actually feel small if there isn’t a lot of light or if it the layout is sub-par. When you’re looking around for a new house, keep the floor plan in mind in addition to the actual square footage before deciding that a bigger house is the better way to go.

How Easy Will it Be to Sell in Future? 

Look around at all the homes on the block. The home you buy should be somewhat in line with what the neighborhood calls for. An oversized home on a street full of much smaller homes might not be easy to sell if you ever choose to move in the future. The same can be said for smaller homes that are overshadowed by much larger homes on the block.

Ideally, you want to buy a home that offers some resale promise. While thinking about selling before you’ve even bought anything might sound silly, it’s a valid consideration to make. Anything can happen in the future, and you don’t want to find yourself stuck with a home that’s a tough sell.

The Bottom Line

Many factors come into play when deciding on the right size home to buy. Your lifestyle, needs, budget, and future plans will all play key roles in your ultimate decision.

Buying a smaller home to save on maintenance and money might leave you with an inadequate space. On the other hand, purchasing a large property just because you believe you need more room than you really require could leave you spending and cleaning more than necessary. Spend some time thinking about all the factors involved in your decision about how much home you truly need before making such a significant purchase.