I often get this question- Cathy when will you move into a bigger house? Please bear in mind, I am not offended by this question, but it did help me evaluate and think to myself if I should move or stay put. Just to fill you in, here is our current situation.
My husband and I live in a 3 bed/2 bath home of about 1700 square feet and we have 3 kids. Depending on your geographical location, 1700 sq ft might be considered a large home or small. Here in South Florida, I believe it’s an average size (but probably on the smaller side). We’ve been living here for 9 years which is a long time. According to the national average, families live in their homes for 5-7 years. Two of our girls share a room, while one has their own.
My husband and I can easily upsize to a bigger house consisting of at least 4 bedroom and 2-2.5 bathrooms. Of course, we would have to go through the process of getting pre-qualified, looking at homes for sale, and going under contract. But because we got rid of our consumer debts, upsizing wouldn’t be so tough…financially.
So what’s the deal? Why aren’t we listing our home already? Well, let me tell you a few reasons why.
We have small children
You’re probably thinking what does that have to do with anything? Well for one, kids are small. They don’t take up so much room in the house. Now if I had teenagers that were about as tall or taller than me, then I know it would be time to upsize. Also, this house being our starter home, I would rather it take the abuse of my little minions than a bigger more expensive home.
We don’t need more underutilized spaces
I currently have 2 spaces in the house that are severely underutilized- my back patio and my living room. Sure I appreciate those spaces when we are entertaining and such, but it’s literally collecting dust most of the time. I recently updated our back patio hoping to use it more, and we were but then the humidity and heat were getting overwhelming. My family (and guest) always migrate to our den which is where the entertainment centers are located. With any home, there may be areas that are not used much, which is understandable. The negative for me is using up more energy to heat and cool those spaces (patio is fine, it uses little to no energy).
Usually Bigger house = bigger bills
Speaking of heating and cooling, if we move into a bigger house, then our taxes, mortgage, water, light, and sewer goes up as well. Oh, and for big repairs, like replacing the roof, the cost is higher for a larger home. Remember, your house is not an asset unless it brings money to you. It’s a liability because it’s taking money away from you. I’d rather have a small liability than a bigger one. And when we do have a bigger liability, I expect we have more passive income streams to cover most of the cost. We could move into another county or state that has bigger houses for less cost, but we would have to be led by Peace to consider it.
We want to fix up the starter home a bit more
We are big advocates of leaving things better than how we found it. And trust me, this house improved so much since we’ve been living here. I know we don’t have to, but we want to see the transformation of how this house could be. It’s like starting a project and wanting to see the finished product. We plan to do most of the work ourselves and hire some out.
It currently doesn’t align with our goals
We want to travel more, give more, and possibly work from home. Getting a bigger mortgage delays the plans. Yes, if we sell our home and put some of the proceeds into the new home, our mortgage would be slightly higher than it is now, but an extra hundred or two can add up over the years. Our goal is to be debt free (or low debt) for the long run so we can enjoy life to the fullest and not pour so much money into what you call an oversized storage house. I know it sounds a bit harsh, but we spend more time at work than at home, so home essentially becomes a storage warehouse with our belongings. It’s time for a change.
I’m not knocking anyone for wanting bigger and better. I say go for it! For our household, our stance is being fruitful and then multiplying, meaning as we build our business, finances, and personal selves- we will then build our estate as well. It’s a process for us and we are enjoying the journey.
So how about you? Are you planning to upsize or maybe downsize? What are your reasons for doing so?