Is Bigger Really Better When Buying A Home?

Dated: March 10 2022

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Is Bigger Really Better When Buying A Home?

Article by Megan Cooper for Bates Realty Blog

So, you’re ready to buy a home. You have your family on board, and you know exactly where you want to be. But, before you start browsing the MLS, you’ll need to decide between a starter home and a “forever” home. What’s the difference? A lot, actually.

Today on the Bates Realty blog, we’ll touch on a few things that you should keep in mind when you’re trying to decide to take baby steps or jump right into the housing market.


Just Enough Or Room To Grow?

When you’re just starting out, it’s easy to think that all you need to worry about is your immediate needs. But, if you plan to start or grow your family (or know that you will have a major life change coming soon, such as having an elderly relative move in with you) you may need to look for the future.


Pros and Cons Of A Larger Home

There are many benefits of spending the extra money on a larger home now. Aside from having room to grow, when you have a larger investment, you’re more likely to want to stay within a community. This is beneficial to both you and your children, as having a stable environment where your children can put down roots promotes positive mental health. Further, since you will likely plan to stay in an upgraded home for longer, you can feel good about spending money on personalization.

On the downside, you can expect to spend much more on a larger home, meaning you have to come up with a bigger down payment. You also are on the hook for more expensive upkeep, and you stand to risk more should the housing market take a sudden plunge. This is when it pays to research the amount you can actually afford without straining your budget. You can look online at home prices throughout your preferred area, which can help you identify neighborhoods within your budget. 


The Argument For Less Is More

When you decide on a starter home, you can expect to be out of pocket considerably less. This is especially true if you’re purchasing a newer home with a small yard that’s less likely to have significant upkeep issues. A smaller house may also lead to future income, whether through renting to tenants or for use as an income-producing vacation property. Perhaps the best reason to buy a smaller house: less cleaning.

None of this means that you should not also do your research, and ensure that you’re in a stable housing market. Smaller houses can come with big problems if you’re not diligent. They can be harder to sell; according to Apollo Technical, the vast majority of workers prefer to work from home, so an office is non-negotiable for many buyers. This feature may be missing in a basic 3 bed, two bath layout. 


Home Buying Process

It doesn’t matter if you’re buying something bigger or smaller, the process is the same. It starts by taking a look at your finances to make sure that there is money available for your purchase. If your credit score is below 620, you’ll want to work on raising that before you apply for a mortgage. Next, you’ll have to determine how much you can afford and spend some time researching the closing process, which can take 30 to 60 days after you’ve made an offer that’s been accepted.

If you’re still not sure what works best for your family, talk to your realtor. They may be able to point you in the direction of the house of your dreams within your budget. Your agent can also walk you through the process and help shed light on perks and pitfalls of either type of home.

Whether you’re ready to invest in your forever home or would rather have a more affordable starter, the team at Bates Realty can help you through the swift-moving market.


Image via Pexels

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Kay Bates

Specialties: Buyer's Agent, Listing Agent, Short-Sale, Property Management Kay Bates has worked in the Real Estate industry since 1992. Her 20+ years of experience in commercial and residential Real E....

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