How Much Home Do You Really Need?

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In a fast-moving housing market, you may find yourself compromising what you want to what’s affordable and available to buy. Some wish list items you’ll be able to find, but others you can happily do without if you concentrate instead on choosing a home that functions for your household and budget.

Size: Most homebuyers want more space, but square footage can be misleading. A bigger house isn’t better if you’re paying big bucks to heat, cool and maintain space you don’t use.

Layout: As you preview homes, think about your daily activities and whether the layout functions to serve those needs. Does the interior design allow you to pivot as needs change? For example, a little-used formal dining room or living room could become a home office or playroom.

Materials: As suggested by the children’s story The Three Little Pigs, houses made

of brick or stone are the safest, longest-lasting materials, but houses made of siding can be comfortable and affordable. The quality of materials and the workmanship are what matter most.

Comfort: You want your household members to be comfortable and enjoy the spaces that they have. Think about places for family and friends to gather. Privacy is important, so there should be shared spaces to do homework, play games, and converse.

Costs: When estimating your monthly payment, include taxes and hazard insurance, but don’t forget to set aside money in your overall budget for decorating, maintenance and repairs, such as installing curtains and repainting.

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