Profile picture for srd77

Home Purchase? Size Dilemma

Hello,

We are first time home buyers that are facing a dilemma on the selection of a house in an upscale community. Below are some of our facts

- are a professional couple with one toddler. Expect to have one more kid
- will have extended family visiting us from time to time and will stay with us 4-6 months in a year
- Good credit scores (720-730)
- Decent Pay (250 combined family income)

We are looking at a certain plan with the upgrades that we need at $$$K range. The square footage of the home with upgrades is about 4200 sft. However, we found another plan that pretty covers everything we want at the same price point and even gives more. However that house is 4900 sft. We really don't need 4900, even 4200 but the plan that works is that.

Our current dilemma is if we should buy the bigger home as it gives more for same price OR buy the home we customized at the same price. Some of the considerations we are going through are

- Bigger house mean more property tax
- Bigger house mean more energy costs (heating/cooling)
+ Bigger house may be easier to sell at same price point (??)
? Will bigger house with not many options be a problem (??)

Please post your comments

  • November 13 2013 - Northville Township
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Answers (7)

Profile picture for srd77
Thanks for the comments everyone. We weighed pros and cons and did some number crunching with various scenarios of a downward market from here and decided to go with the smaller home with upgrades that we want.

On a totally separate note - looking at the real estate trend over last 5 months - May'13 through now - it seems very likely that we have a bubble building up in the real estate. Just hoping we are wrong on that, but only time will tell.
  • November 14 2013
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From personal experience with having extended family living with me, you want the house that has the best floorplan that gives the other family members a seperate living space. Not necessarily a seperate kitchen, entrance, etc.; but a living/family room area that they can claim as their own while they are there. As much as you might love your family members, everyone needs an area to call their own--especially during the Michigan winters when everyone is restricted to the indoors.
  The decision is as much a personal one as it is financial.
  That probably didn't help you much, but I couldn't resist responding to that question :)
  • November 14 2013
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Obviously you are very intelligent, wise, successful buyers who I trust have done spreadsheets, etc. to get this all figured out.  I would have, too  :-)

That said, make sure your spreadsheet has a column about enjoyment and quality of life as at the end of the day it is where you live, make memories, etc.  Of course the financial component is important ... but in this case I think it would take a backseat to getting the house that best suites wants, needs, lifestyle, etc. ... if it were me, anyway.

If I were you, I would not get hung-up on the price per SFT, for instance, if the house completely fits the bill for everything else ... especially if it does even moreso than the larger home.

You will make the right decision for you.  Enjoy the new home!
  • November 14 2013
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I think you need to figure out what your family's needs are.  But you also do need to consider that a bigger house means more bills for rooms that you may not be using.  When you want to sell the buyers are going to also consider that.  At this size home, some buyers will see this as "This is just too much home".
  • November 14 2013
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srd77 I have to agree with wetdawgs. I don't think that the bigger house with fewer options will be easier to sell. They will be thinking the same thing as you; higher taxes, more to heat/cool, less custom items. Does 700 sq. ft,. really make that much difference to the rooms available? The only reason I would consider the larger home would be to give us more space when the extended family comes for the long visits. 

Hope this helps. Good luck!
  • November 14 2013
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You know, srd77, I think you have to live in the home before you can sell it, and if you're going to live in it, then only you can decide if it's too small or too expensive to maintain. There's no use in guessing what the market will be like for one house in a development compared to another. 

All the best,
  • November 14 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
The general trend towards smaller, rather than larger.   Therefore, a larger house may be harder to sell.   It costs more to heat and cool. It costs more for maintenance.  It costs more for insurance.  It takes longer to clean the toilets and everything else.    It costs more to furnish, clean the carpets, replace the carpets etc etc.

4200 is  big(double US average) even if your extended family visitors are there several months per year.   Buy what works for you.


  • November 13 2013
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