Perhaps you bought your current house when you were single and working all the time–you really only needed a place to sleep and change clothes. Perhaps you bought when you first got married and it was only the two of you. Perhaps you bought when your first child was born and all of those little clothes and little toys hadn’t given way to multiple kids, sports equipment, pets, and more. In any case, if your circumstances have changed, you may be thinking of upgrading to a bigger home.
Buying a bigger home used to be an automatic rite of passage, in a day where yearly cost of living increases and huge benefits packages were the norm. In today’s economy, it’s not always taken for granted that bigger is always better, and the languishing McMansions of yesterday aren’t nearly as popular as they were pre-2008.
But buying a bigger house can be a good fit if your wallet and your lifestyle allow it. And even if it’s a little out of your reach, there may be some options that make it work in your case.
When a bigger house makes sense.
Generally, as your family grows, you’ll probably find yourself looking for some elbow (and storage) room, so a bigger house will become key. Additional bathrooms, outdoor space, and other considerations may drive you to look for a larger home. The market may also drive this, since a move to the suburbs usually means more square footage on average.
In addition, a bigger home may be in the cards in the event that your job and financial circumstances change significantly. A major promotion, for example, might be accompanied by an upgrade to a larger, more luxe estate. Such a change might be driven not only by a desire to show status but by the need to entertain and host more for networking purposes.
Finally, a major move can also mean upsized space. If, for example, you’re moving from a smaller, more expensive in-town neighborhood to an area further out, the lower home prices may mean you can buy a lot more house for the money. This may inspire you to look for a little more square footage inside and a bigger outdoor space as well.
When a bigger house might not make sense.
While many financial experts encourage people to put their money in real estate, that doesn’t necessarily mean buying bigger as an investment. As the dropping value of oversized pre-2008 homes proves, over-the-top homes aren’t necessarily a good investment. And the buying power of Baby Boomers and Millennials in the current market suggests that home values for oversized houses will continue to decline since both of these groups tend to favor smaller, more manageable homes.
If you’re buying real estate for investment purposes, you’ll do better to invest in a right-sized place for yourself and a separate rental property that generates income (and a little profit). This will allow you to generate ROI in real estate much more reliably than an oversized personal residence.
The best of both worlds? An oversized residence that also works as a rental property, either for a reliable tenant, a friend, or a family member. A home with a carriage house or lower level walkout with separate entrance can create a perfect apartment and help generate income to pay that oversized mortgage. Have a parent who needs a little more help or a friend or sibling who rents? This type of rental situation can keep them close by while still giving each of you the privacy that keeps the relationship pleasant.
Whatever size home you’re interested in our Eng Garcia Grant real estate agents have options you’ll love. Sign in at our website and let us create a custom home search for you with all of your preferences taken into consideration. We know DC and we can help you find the home that’s not too big, not too small, but just right for you and your family.