How to Decide on the Ideal Home Size for Your Family
By Anica Oaks
Making the choice to purchase a new home is a major decision for anyone. Once you've settled on the idea that you do want to buy a home, there are many more options you'll have to face; one of the most important is the ideal size of a home to best fit your family and lifestyle. Here are some tips so that you can choose the right size home to meet your needs:
Realize That Bigger Isn't Always Better
You may initially start your home search thinking that size doesn't really matter. As long as it seems big enough to live in, you don't care how large it actually ends up being. The truth is that bigger isn't always better. A large home requires more money—and time—to maintain. Unless you're using the space, you could just end up wasting your money on maintaining a big house for no reason.
Know Your Maintenance Budget
A crucial aspect of your home purchase decision is to determine what your budget is going to be for home maintenance. A bigger home requires more time and money to take care of, particularly if you're looking at homes with substantial front and backyards. As for the interior, there are cleaning, repair and energy costs for heating and cooling. Discuss your budget with your partner and your real estate agent to decide the square footage you can realistically handle.
Identify the Number of Rooms You'll Need
If you really don't know what amount of space is ideal for your family, then you need to start simple. This means counting the number of rooms that you'll need. Consider your main rooms like your kitchen and living room, and then move on to counting the number of bedrooms and bathrooms that you need. This will give you a good starting point to identifying how much space your family will require. Keep in mind if you plan on expanding your family, if you frequently have guests visit and if you may need to have a family member, like an aging parent, live with you in the future.
Tour Different Homes in Varying Sizes
Once you get an idea of the size range that will fit your needs, it's time to take some tours. Search for homes that are in the appropriate size range that you determined. This isn't so much about evaluating potential purchases as it is about determining if that size range will fit what you have in mind. Home tours will give you a better idea of what you want the square footage of your home to be and how you want those square feet distributed throughout the bedrooms, common areas and exterior.
Determining the right size home for your family may be challenging at first. Start by breaking down your budget versus what you think you'll need and begin looking at sample homes from there. After all the work, you'll be able to choose the perfect home size for you and your family!
Anica Oaks is a freelance writer who hails from San Francisco. When she's not writing, she's enjoying her time outside with her dogs. Keep up with her on Twitter @anicaoaks.