How Big of a House Do You Need?

Table of contents

Choosing a home isn’t as simple as square footage or a number of bedrooms. When deciding which size house is best for you, keep these important factors in mind.

Key takeaways

  • Consider your values and priorities when looking for a home, not just square footage or number of bedrooms.
  • Being open to a smaller home can provide more budget for a prime location.
  • If space and privacy are important, a larger home may be a better fit.
  • Honesty about your lifestyle and priorities will help you find the perfect balance in a new home.

Will this be yours forever home?

You may feel pressured to think of your next home as the end all be all. But that’s not necessarily true! It’s possible you may want to move after a few years. Think honestly about the likelihood of you staying versus moving. Will you stick with this home for the long term, or is this house good enough for the time being?



Will your income change in the future?

Your income may change depending on what phase of life you’re in right now. For someone just starting off in a career, their income may increase the more they grow in their profession. But someone looking to retire in the next few years will probably see a decrease in their income. You don’t want to set yourself up for financial stress in the future. It’s better to choose a house that’s well under your budget than to spread your finances too thin.

A larger home means higher maintenance and upkeep costs. The bigger the space, the more expensive renovations and updates will cost. Keep your future income in mind when choosing the right home for you.


How will you use this space?

Now’s the time to think about your priorities and values. Are you really going to use a large dining room to host dinner parties? If so, great! But if not, it’s okay to be honest about your priorities. Just because your best friend loves to host dinner parties doesn’t mean you have to! Maybe you value outdoor space more and would rather have a nice backyard where you can garden.

This is your home. You don’t need to feel pressured to throw parties or have family stay over for the holidays if you don’t want to. If sharing your home with the ones you love is something you truly value, then having that extra space is a good idea.


How much privacy do you need?

Every family dynamic is different. Some people really value their alone time and need their own space away from their kids or spouse. On the flip side, a house that’s too big for your family may feel emptier and less cozy. Whether you need more space for yourself or like to feel closer to the ones you love, think about the right size and layout that strikes a nice balance for your family.



Does this home feel spacious enough?

Square footage can be deceiving. A smaller home can feel spacious depending on features like layout, lighting, and decor. Reducing clutter and maximizing your space with mirrors, lighter colors, and open concept designs can transform the perceived size of a home.

Another thing to consider, you may be perfectly happy with a smaller master bedroom if there’s plenty of storage space in your closets. Having adequate storage can help you reduce clutter in the rooms you use the most.


The takeaway

You need to take an honest look at your values to truly visualize your life in a new home. Getting hung up on things like square footage and a number of bedrooms may keep you from finding the home that suits YOUR dream. For example, being open to a smaller home may give you a bigger budget to choose your prime location.

On the flip side, if you value your space and privacy, then a larger home is probably more ideal. As long as you’re honest with yourself about your lifestyle, values, and priorities, then you’ll be able to strike the perfect balance and find the home that’s right for you.

Jacquelyn Sublett
Jacquelyn Sublett

I love teaching and writing on real estate, finance and mortgage topics. I find it fulfilling hearing stories of first time home buyers who we have helped with the home buying process. Writer for the Hero Homebuyer Programs™

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