If you are in the market for a new home, size and location are of the utmost importance. An abundance of space is tempting yet it will hike your property tax bill. A large home also requires that much more maintenance to boot. Too little space will make you feel cramped and make it difficult to start a family or even welcome a pet. Here’s a quick look at how to choose a home with just the right amount of space.
Mind the Size of Square Footage
Home size is measured in square feet. If you are a single home buyer without a family or partner, space is not that important. However, there is always the potential that you will add a significant other and/or a pet to the home in due time. The average home stretches across 2,687 square feet. An individual home buyer will be comfortable with less than this amount of space. However, if you err on the side of going too small with your new home, it might prove difficult to sell the house when the time comes to upgrade to something larger. The average couple can enjoy a high-quality of life in a home with as little as 1,250 square feet. The key is to find the right balance between space, resale value and property taxes.
A family consisting of three or more people will likely require a 3-bedroom home. The typical 3-bedroom home has around 1,300 square feet to 1,600 square feet of space. If you plan on adding to your family, look for a home with more than 2,000 square feet of space to ensure your growing family has enough room to play and enjoy at least a modicum of privacy. Those who are planning on adding spacious niceties such as a home gym or home theater will require 3,000 square feet or more.
The Pros and Cons of Spacious Homes
It is awfully tempting to choose a home that is larger than what is currently necessary in terms of space and luxuries. Do not give into this temptation until you have considered the downsides to a large home. For one, the hike in square feet will bump up your property taxes that much more. Additional space will also cost more to cool and heat. Though it is certainly nice to use the extra rooms in a large home for storage, it is comparably cheaper to opt for a smaller home and pay for storage at a nearby facility.
If you were to poll those who moved into homes larger than necessary, most would testify they love their abundance of space. However, these same homeowners enjoying their spacious digs are also quick to complain the extra room minimizes social interaction amongst family members. A home of just the right size forces family members to cross paths and communicate at a fairly high frequency.
How to Choose the Perfect Size: Count the Bedrooms
Those in the housing industry swear by the mantra of “location, location, location.” However, location is only one piece to the real estate puzzle. Home size is just as important as its position on the map. In general, there should be enough dining room and living room space to accommodate two times as many people as there are bedrooms in the home. The bedroom count really is the main determinant of total square footage. If possible, allot some space for family members and guests to interact away from the living room and kitchen to make the house feel like a true home. A home with such “away” spaces for people to congregate in small groups makes the property that much more enjoyable for everyone.