When it comes to buying a home, size matters. In addition to the impact it makes on your overall cost of living, it can affect your comfort, ability to work from home, and future lifestyle plans. If you are starting to house hunt, it is best to think about what size house you need not just right now but also down the road.
Your Current Home
The space you have in your current house can help you determine what you need in your new home. Start by analyzing the number and type of rooms, then assess the square footage. Where do you need more space? Where do you need less space? Your answers will depend on your current situation and life stage but will go a long way in helping you figure out how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need to look for.
Your Future Plans
Now that you have a solid understanding of your current needs, think about your future needs. If you are just married, you might only need a bedroom or two right now, but think about any future children and kid-friendly spaces, like a mudroom or playroom, which may play into those plans. Empty-nesters should consider if their adult children or aging parents might move in to live for a while. Although It can be difficult to predict the future, it never hurts to plan ahead when figuring out what size house you need.
What have you always dreamed of having in a home? Maybe it is a front porch with a swing, a finished basement with a wine cellar, or a large movie room. Even if they all aren’t attainable, your list should include spaces that would be the “cherries on top” of your new home purchase.
A few other areas of the home that are good to think through before starting your house hunting process are:
- The Yard
For many, the yard is almost as important as the house. Outdoor living continues to grow in popularity, making it more desirable to have a bigger yard. Also, if you have, or plan to have children, you may want space for a swing set or an area where they can run around. If you have a green thumb, space for a garden may be another important consideration. Don’t forget maintenance, though. A larger yard means more work and costlier upkeep.
Storage is an often-forgotten necessity that needs to be added to your list. When you move into your new home, you’ll be glad you thought about where to keep your holiday decorations, tools, and all the other items you want to store away, just in case you need them one day.
In tornado-prone areas, a basement comes standard with most houses. In other areas, it is a wish-list item that adds more living space. If you decide you want a basement, consider all the different options you have for finishing it.
Analyze Your List
Based on the above considerations, make a list of all the rooms you want, along with the estimated square footage needed in each. Then, organize them in order of priority and divide them into “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.” Add up the square footage of the “must-haves” first. This will give you the basic size you need in a home. Next, calculate in the “nice-to-haves” to get a range that fits your current and future plans.
House hunting can be a lot of fun, especially when you have a solid understanding of how much room you need to meet your current and future lifestyle plans. When you’re ready to start your search, check out TollBrothers.com, where you will find a full range of beautifully designed homes built in the best locations across the country.