How Much House Should You Buy? 3 Steps To Helping You Plan For Your Future Home.

Sure that house is manageable but are you positive you will have the time to mow all that lawn?

I’ve noticed a trend the past year with my clients. Many of them are young single people purchasing their first home. I’m so impressed by the amount of twenty-somethings that are making their first purchase without the motivation of marriage and children. Decades ago, you would never see something like that happen. My how things change. But I digress, I had a point. Oh yea, so on top of being investment saavy, these clients of mine tend to want something smaller as opposed to something bigger. I hear a lot, “this may be too much house for me.” What? Too much house? I thought everyone wanted the biggest house they could afford!? Trends have changed. Many people now are opting for smaller more manageable homes versus the sprawling mc-mansions of yesteryear.

Buyer’s are being realistic in terms of what they can handle and what might be too much square footage or too much yard for them to take care of on their own. So when you’re preparing to buy that first home, there are a few things I want you to think about in terms of how much house do you need.

1. What are your marriage and career plans? Even if you are single at the moment, things can change quickly and you could find yourself walking down the aisle in no time. You laugh, but trust me, it could happen. If that were the case, would you have enough room for your sweetie? And lets say that marriage did unexpectedly happen, would you plan to be having children soon after? If so you would definitely want to make sure that your new home could potentially accomodate your new family. And then there’s career. Do you have the type of career that could require you to move to another city? Most homeowners live in their home for an average of 4 years. But a smart homebuyer will make decisions to accomodate living in their home for 7-10 years to offset any major life changes that could occur.

2. How much maintenance and or home repair are you alone capable of doing? Every home will have maintence that will be required inside and out. Likely the home doesn’t sit on a lot comprised of all concrete and if it’s in Portland you likely have grass at the very least and probably and handful of garden beds. If this is the case, in the spring be prepared to mow that grass at least every week as the grass will be knee high in no time if you don’t. If you have garden beds, be prepared to do some weeding and watering to just maintain what you have. What if your furnace stops working? Do you have the funds to replace that? There are lots of little things and lots of big things that go into homeownership. Even if you are not looking for a “fixer” type property, you could still end up with some unforeseable repairs that need fixing. Having a smaller home on a smaller lot will make maintence and general upkeep easier to do. Repairs, be them small or large, should always be planned for, even if you are buying a new or newer home.

3. How much a month can you afford? A bigger home costs more a month in utilities. A bigger home with little to no insulation, an old furnace and old windows will cost a lot to heat. Every homebuyer must weigh out the pros and cons of each home. What may seem to be a good deal now could end up costing you more down the road. Preparing to purchase and deciding on how much house you should purchase is really all about knowing yourself, your budget, your limitations and the sort of lifestyle you want to live for the years you own your home.

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