Profile picture for togglebob

Salt Lake City- Is it better to buy a bigger house or a small one?

My wife and I have been looking for a home in the Salt Lake City area since January.  It's been very frustrating for us, and we haven't had many options show up that we are excited about.  Our ideal would be a house with 3 beds upstairs, two baths, a two car garage, and somewhere to plant a garden.
  We could buy a 4 bed house in Taylorsville that is bigger than we really need right now (We have no kids, but plan to soon).  It would be pushing the top of our budget, but it would be a great location.  It also has a potentially great yard (with some work) and a nice, safe, quiet neighborhood.  The house may not be as nice cosmetically.
   We could buy a slightly less expensive house with an inferior layout.  It's cosmetically immaculate and very pretty looking.  However, it's slightly smaller and has only two beds upstairs.  The yard is really small, and it has a great big retaining wall in it.  I don't love that part.  The neighborhood seems nice, but it's a longer commute.
  Or, we could hold out and try to find something decent at an even lower price.  We'd likely be giving up a two car garage, and end up in a less nice neighborhood.  It's also been hard to find any cheap houses that have a good layout, though.
   Really, the market in salt lake it pretty rough for buyers right now.  I would be happy to have a smaller, cheaper, not as pretty house if I could still get a good layout and location, but I haven't seen much of anything that fits that description...  For reselling at a more difficult time to sell, would it be worth buying something at the top of our budget for things like extra square footage, 3 beds upstairs, a nice yard, a two car garage, and a shorter commute?  How important are those things?  Is it easy to sell a cheaper house even when things are not good for sellers?

Thank you!
  • March 25 - Salt Lake City
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (1)

Hi Toogblebob,

In my opinion I would go for something that makes financial sense for you but also meets your family's needs. Taking into consideration that when you have kids if your spouse stops working, can you still afford that mortgage payment. If the budget is not an issue I would recommend to get into a bigger house now to lock down a lower interest rate. As a general rule of thumb, if you plan on stating in that first house 3-5 years then the appreciation (assuming the market doesn't correct again withing that time frame) then you should be fine to sell and cover your costs of selling (settlement fees, RE commissions, taxes-at roughly 7-8% of the sales price). But if you will need to move into something bigger sooner that that, then your cost to get a mortgage (origination fees) and then your cost to sell that house and get a new mortgage might put you in a tight equity position.

If you found my answer helpful please be sure to rate it, that helps me in return, thank you!
  • March 27
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.