39 answers

Small or Big Home

We are looking to buy a home. We have 3 young children. Do we buy a small home that isn't so glamorous and would allow us to have a lot of extra money each month so we could do a lot of activities with the kids, nice family vacations, college fund, etc, and never have to worry about money issues. Or do we buy the glamorous house that would give us a little spending money to do some activities and cheaper family vacations and not much money for college fund. We want to make this next move permanent since we do not want the kids to have to transfer schools. What did you end up choosing and how do you feel about it? Both homes are in the same town and school district.

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So What Happened?™

Thanks for all the wonderful advice! The small/cheaper homes that we've looked at is @1500-2200 sq ft and older home sort of plain looking but over time we can update and make it ours. While the "glamorous" homes we saw are newer, lots of brick, lots of curb appeal, large eat in kitchen, 3 car garage, just gorgeous, and @3000 sq ft. I am keeping my eye out for foreclosures. We just starting looking so we'll see! They are all in the same area. Exact same schools. I am leaning towards older home that is a bit bigger and maybe we can even find that at a foreclosure price... It is hard not to go for the nicer homes, but we have kids now and you guys are right with all their activities and such it will add up.

Featured Answers

I'd go with smaller in a nicer family neighborhood.

As long as the house is good QUALITY, size doesn't matter too much to me. Less to clean!

5 moms found this helpful

I traded the big house(4800 Sq ft) with the little yard for the Little house(3000 sq ft) with the HUGE yard and never looked back- the kids and dogs need to be able to be outside the yard is more work but well worth it

3 moms found this helpful

I think a nice neighborhood and good schools would be a top priority. If the smaller house gives you enough space it could be a good compromise.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

We have stayed in our smaller home. We could easily afford double the mortgage payment we pay now. We bought a brand new motorhome and travel the country every chance we get! Just this past weekend we loaded the kids up for some camping by Lake Michigan, dune climbing and kite flying. Go middle ground like the others are saying, comfortable but not more than you need. Having that extra money to do stuff as the kids grow is more important than keeping up with the "Jones" - I heard they are bankrupt and divorced!! LOL!

7 moms found this helpful

I don't care about or need glamour. And I certainly don't want to be house-poor. I want a home that I feel good in and that I feel good about. The space has to work for me, and I need to be able to afford it, as well as some of the other things you mentioned. You need to consider how the home meets your needs. Personally, I'd try to find a middle-ground. Something between the 'small' home and the 'glamorous' home... but again, the MOST important thing to me is feeling like the space WORKS. There are many cases where a smaller house has more usable space, or is configured in a way that just feels better than a much larger home...

7 moms found this helpful

Smaller home. It's the things you do in that home and around it that create important childhood memories, not the size or luxury within that home.

In the long run, the stuff we have doesn't matter. It's the memories we have that do.

6 moms found this helpful

My choice would be a smaller home w/ the perks and niceties that bring a more fully-rounded life and college education for my kids. Now I wouldn't want my kids crawling all over themselves in a teeny home, either, but there should be a good compromise. Don't be house poor! Good luck in your choice!

5 moms found this helpful

Go with a middle range house. I say this because your kids will get bigger and you will need some more space. You have three children now but you could have a 4th that is why the middle range. But the house won't be sooo big that once they move out your will rattle around in it and need an intercom to find everyone.

Now days you have to think frugal with what you buy. In this time a house should not be considered an investment as in the old it should be a home. We don't know if the values will go up or down and cannot put all our eggs into that basket. Look at what you want out of life and then plan your priorities (retirement, school, travel) I say retirement first because you can't take a loan out for that. Check with the city for their projected 10 year plan and the school for the same.

No matter how much money a person has/has not you will not fill in all the holes in what you want to give your child(ren) in life. You may love the area you are in that you may not want to move and if that is the case you don't want to hire a cleaning crew just to clean the house for the holidays and such.

As others have said buy what you need with a little extra. Do keep it on the lower side of what you are approved for. I always wanted to have "the next house" and kept thinking bigger but God gives you what you need. The extra space would have meant more "junk" in closets and in the garage to sort through and give away.

Take your time and good luck with your home search. Remember you are going to be in this house for a long time so don't rush. Do you like to cook, do you like to do crafts, do you all spend time in the back yard? Ask yourselves these questions as well.

Remember neighborhoods do change over a 10 to 15 year period as people come and go.

The other S.

PS Always get what you need and don't try to impress anybody. No keeping up with the Joneses.

5 moms found this helpful

I'd go with smaller in a nicer family neighborhood.

As long as the house is good QUALITY, size doesn't matter too much to me. Less to clean!

5 moms found this helpful

In this economy, you should be able to get a great deal on a "bigger" house. My kids are pre teens and we live in 2000sf and its WAY too small. Prior to my divorce I had a house that was 3000sf and it was perfect! So when my hubby and I buy in the next couple years, we are hoping to find the biggest house we can get for the lowest price...even if we have to fix it up a little. I personally am not fond of moving often so I plan to live in our next house at least until retirement, if not longer. Good luck to you!!!

5 moms found this helpful

always plan for the future.....allowing for the loss of one income if you both work ....OR for the loss of your sole income.

What's more important - having it all now & running the risk of losing it during an emergency OR having a nest egg to feather your nest later in life?

4 moms found this helpful

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