Most people, at some point in their lives, want to become homeowners. I'm definitely one of those people. Something to think about is how much house you actually need.
I don't need a ton of space, since it's just me, my husband, my cat and my dog. Children are far off in the distant future for me, much further away than I'm hoping home-ownership will be.
When it comes to how much house I want, I seem to be in the minority.
Most people my age seem to want a ton of space (three bedrooms at least) and a nice, updated home (stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops?).
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Of course, these things come at a price, and with the Canadian housing market still going through a soft landing, this usually means the shelling out of a ridiculous sum of money in the form of a down payment, and stretching budgets to the max to make the monthly payment on a huge “dream home”.
Do You Really Need All That House?
Now, I'm biased. I live in a 400 sq. ft., one bedroom house. My little family is comprised of two adults and two pets, and there's more than enough space for us in our little abode.
So, when I see similar sized families springing for a three or four bedroom, several thousand square foot house, I can't help but feel that they are paying for at least some wasted space.
I get it. I grew up in a huge house. There was a lot of us in the family, six people plus innumerable dogs, cats, and hamsters. Still, even with a family the size of ours, we didn't fill my childhood home. There was a dining room, and a living room that we were never allowed in, plus a basement that was used solely as storage. It's nice to spread out, but is it necessary?
Paying For Wasted Square Footage
“Back in the day”, having a huge house was fine. The cost of that house when it was purchased was fraction of what the same home would cost today. In this day and age, however, it seems exceedingly silly to pay an arm and a leg for space that isn't being used.
In most major cities, buying anywhere with a decent location means either paying big bucks, or sacrificing on space. Instead of focusing on how much we can afford, and borrowing to the max to take advantage of historically low interest rates, maybe it's time to spend some time thinking about how much space we really, truly, need.
Some day in the distant future, I plan on buying a home.
I don't want a formal dining room, because I know I'll probably never use it. I also don't want a second bathroom, because keeping one clean is hard enough. I don't want a guest room that is only ever used when guests come around, and I have absolutely no interest in paying for a formal living room.
I only want to pay for the space that I'm actually going to use, every single day.
How about you? Are you paying for wasted space in your current home or rental? Did you buy a big home in anticipation of a family expansion?
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