Most people can perfectly visualize the dream home they'd like to own one day. Maybe you have unique aesthetic preferences, but no matter what your personal tastes are, the bottom line is that your home should serve both your unique family and individual needs.
Perhaps the most important of those needs is for the home to fall within your set budget. Then, after deciding how much money you can set aside, the next most essential aspect to consider is the size of the home. Be sure to ask yourself, "how much space will I get for what I'm willing to spend?" Remember, the objective is to get the most value for your money based on your needs.
You don't want to end up in a home too big with empty rooms that will burn holes in your pocket. At the same token, you don't want a house that will be too small for you in 5 years if you plan to grow your family.
Here are some questions to ponder over in determining your personal needs:
1. Will my family expand within the next 5 to 10 years?
One thing to consider is how your family will grow. One of the reasons that most first-time homebuyers make the decision to move into a new home is because they need more space to fit their expanding family. Having the foresight to think about how many kids you plan to add to your family over a certain time span will help you in determining how much space you'll need not just for now, but for the years to come.
On the flipside, if your children are in college, they may only spend time at home during the holidays. Also, the probability of them moving out after college is higher, hence you may be looking to downsize as you don't need to account for those extra heads anymore.
Apart from children, if your senior parents might join you in less than 10 years, consider a bigger house that can accommodate them.
2. How big is my current home?
Does the size of your current residence serve you well? Is there anything you wish to add to your existing home? If you feel you don't have an appropriate amount of space to keep everyone comfortable, or you cannot accommodate guests that you wish to have stay with you, consider a larger space.
Downsizing should also be taken into consideration if you have too many empty rooms that are being underutilized. If your children have grown up and flown the coop and you have no use in converting their rooms for your personal space, then maybe it's time to look for somewhere smaller.
3. How much time do you spend at home?
Since the emergence of the pandemic early last year, work-from-home and hybrid workplace models continue to expand. Therefore, if you're one of the many people worldwide who are working fully or partially remote, you may need extra space to set up your home office and maybe a gym room.
Otherwise, if you and/or your partner/family spend most of the time out of town, a small 2-3 bedroom space might be a good fit for you.
4. What type of space would you like to create?
This question applies to a wide array of elements you need to take into consideration, especially if you're the type to entertain. Do you like outdoor structures like patios and pools? If you hold frequent family gatherings or weekend/holiday parties, you'd want a home that can house your visitors comfortably - both indoors and outdoors for warm weather months. How about the yard requirements? If you have kids, odds are you'll want to provide them with a backyard to play in.
5. How much for O&M?
Naturally, after you purchase a new home, you'll be paying for recurring operational and maintenance (O&M) costs on a regular basis. Therefore, it's in your best interest to assess your current income and how much in addition to a mortgage that you'll be capable of spending to keep the home functional. Otherwise, owning a home that you'll find a hassle to maintain doesn't make sense.
Today's Key Takeaway
Realistically determining the size of the home you need is not a walk in the park, especially if you're not an expert, or you're buying for the first time. The bottom line is that the size is heavily tied to the amount of money you can afford. That is why it's crucial for you to get in touch with a First Savings Loan Officer during this process to help you decide the kind of mortgage you need based on your family's situation.