How big of a home do you need? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

homesize

When it comes to homes, the popular credo is that bigger is better. More square feet = a larger slice of the American dream, right?

Not necessarily. For one, bigger homes obviously cost more, and oversized McMansions can be harder to sell. As such, you’ll want a home that’s neither too big nor too small. But how do you strike that balance?

Here are five questions to ask yourself that will help you determine how much space you really need.

1. Is this my ‘forever’ home, or is ‘right now’ good enough?

While you can’t predict the future (darn those unreliable crystal balls), it is possible to evaluate the likelihood you might be moving in coming years. If so, then maybe you don’t need to buy that perfect “forever home” where you’ll grow old; maybe a “right now” home is good enough.

There’s a common perception that you should be searching for your ‘forever home,’ and that pressure to find a place that has all the space you might ever need often leads buyers to purchase a home that might be too big. It’s OK to know that you’ll only live in a home for the next five or six years, and to buy a home that will serve your needs during that period. You can always re-evaluate and upgrade to a bigger space later.

2. What will my income look like later?

If you’re early in your career, odds are decent that your income will increase over the years. Or, if you’re reaching the end of your career, you may be looking at flattened or declining income. In either case, it’s never a good idea to get a mortgage at the max of what you can afford; it’s better to go small and have some wiggle room. Also, remember more space means more time and money spent on upkeep and maintenance, more rooms to fill with furniture, and higher utility bills to heat and cool the home. Any future improvement projects, like installing new floors or replacing windows, will cost more when the space is bigger.

3. What are my priorities?

Another question to consider is what you’ll use all that space for—and be honest: While you might dream of hosting epic dinner parties in that big formal dining room, will you really? Can you say with certainty that your in-laws will descend on you during the holidays and need a guest bedroom to crash in, or might they be just as comfortable in a nearby Airbnb? Aside from justifying what you’ll use each space for, ask yourself what you’re giving up. If you dream of having a secret “travel fund” so you can see the world, that may be possible only with a smaller mortgage (and house). Or, perhaps you value things other than space, like school district or a walkable location. So make sure to factor in those variables, too—and make sure you aren’t sacrificing them for space you don’t need.

4. How much space do I want from my own family members?

If you absolutely must have privacy—to, say, get work done in a home office or chill out in your man cave—then that extra square footage may be well worth the money. But if you’re more the type who loves having their family members nearby, a large home gives people plenty of alone time … sometimes too much.

Fettke, for one, is glad her home is small because it keeps her in close contact with her kids. “I’ve found that my daughter’s friends who live in large homes rarely even run into their parents,” she says. But since her own home is smaller, her kids are constantly underfoot—just the way she likes it.

“Plus it seems that most of our daughter’s friends hang out at our place, even though it’s tiny,” she says. Sure, the beach nearby may be one draw, but so may be the cozy, close-knit family environment a smaller home forces you to have. “Maybe they like the homey environment and being able to smell the cookies being baked around the corner,” she says.

5. Does this home feel spacious even if it doesn’t have much space?

Keep in mind that even small homes can feel spacious purely based on an open floor plan and lots of light. Meanwhile, large homes can still feel cramped if they’re dark or poorly laid out. So, when shopping real estate listings, know that the little number next to square footage may not tell the whole story.

The total square footage of a house can be deceiving, features like a long hallway may increase the total, but they are spaces you pass through, not a true destination within the home. So instead of homing in on total square footage, buyers should focus on the size of individual rooms where they see themselves spending the majority of their time. Who cares if your bedroom isn’t massive, since all you plan to do there is sleep?

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE HOMES IN YOUR AREA

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11467 La Grange Drive Frisco, TX 75035

$310,000 - 2Br/2Ba -  for Sale in Panther Creek Estates Ph Ii, Frisco
New
$310,000
2 Beds
2 Baths
1,836 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 13988925
Property Type Res-single Family
Great single story home with easy flow for enjoying family or entertaining friends with a fabulous outdoor living space featuring a firepit area and a huge side yard deck! Spacious family room with wood laminate flooring, fireplace and built-ins. The large kitchen with features stainless appliances, center island, breakfast bar, granite counters and an abundance of counter space and cabinets. Split master bedroom with nice master bath and great walk-in closet. Wood laminate floor or tile throughout the home make care a breeze....Roof in 2017, Furnace in 2018, Recently stained board on board fence. Please note: No showings after 4 pm on Fridays and all day on Saturday....

2165 Bristlegrass Road Frisco, TX 75035

$369,990 - 4Br/3Ba -  for Sale in Hollyhock, Frisco
New
$369,990
4 Beds
3 Baths
2,350 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 13988975
Property Type Res-single Family
Built by Landon Homes - Ready in May! A 2-story, 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, and 2 car garage home. Encompasses the open floorplan concept with the family room, breakfast nook, and kitchen in one space. Master suite and guest room on first floor. Second floor has a spacious gameroom, 2 additional bedrooms, and a full bath. Rear entry home. Extended covered patio.

9445 Prestwick Drive Frisco, TX 75033

$359,900 - 5Br/3Ba -  for Sale in Meadow Creek, Frisco
New
$359,900
5 Beds
3 Baths
3,014 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 13988946
Property Type Res-single Family
Incredible .26 acre corner lot! So much to offer in this nicely updated home with fresh paint, carpet and Pergo flooring thru-out. Open living and dining upon entry. Well appointed island kitchen features gas cooking and granite counters. Family room with corner fireplace. Guest suite and full bath down. Upstairs master suite with bay window, 2 walk in closets, and jetted tub with separate shower. Three additional bedrooms, two full baths and large game room or flex space complete the upstairs area. Backyard is unbelievable....plenty of space for a pool, outdoor living, kids and pets play area....the options are endless. This is a must see that is completely move in ready!

2214 Stonehenge Lane Lewisville, TX 75056

$529,900 - 4Br/4Ba -  for Sale in Castle Hills Ph Iv Sec A, Lewisville
New
$529,900
4 Beds
3.5 Baths
3,572 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 13979077
Property Type Res-single Family
Located in the highly desirable Castle Hills Comm, gorgeous 4 bdrm Darling hm is loaded w upgrades!!Grand entry w wrought iron stairway, study w french doors & blt-in bookcases. Separate computer area & guest rm down. Spectacular island & a huge walk in pantry. Kit ofrs built-in refrigerator-freezer, gas cooktop & dbl dishwasher. Incredible wine rm & spacious family rm w blt-ins offers view to relaxing cover patio w a brick pizza-bread oven & Travertine flooring. 3 car garage w updated electric fence that encompasses the driveway, perfect for kids to play. Spacious upstairs w a gmrm, movie rm, lg utility rm w sink. Lg mstr ste, spa-like bath stunning tile work. Whirlpool tub, shower & WIC. All bedrooms w WIC.

12342 Salem Drive Frisco, TX 75035

$349,900 - 4Br/3Ba -  for Sale in Dominion At Panther Creek Ph Two, Frisco
New
$349,900
4 Beds
2.5 Baths
2,827 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 13988351
Property Type Res-single Family
IMMACULATE & BEAUTIFUL with GORGEOUS upgrades. One of Frisco's most COVETED neighborhoods, Dominion at Panther Creek. Community POOL, playgrounds, parks, trails, creeks. Sought after Frisco schools. Walk to top-rated Tadlock Elementary. TONS of natural light throughout. ELEGANT wood floors. Wrought iron stairs. Elegant archways. SOARING ceilings in family area. LUXURY kitchen, island, GRANITE, SS appliances, solid wood cabinets. Master down with fireplace & sitting area that can be a study. Game room up. Well landscaped, STONE elevation. GORGEOUS yard, LUXURY patio cover, perfect for BBQs. Walk to Coyote & Mourning Park. EASY access to Tollway, 380 & Preston Rd corridor for shopping, dining. This will NOT last!

2147 Bristlegrass Road Frisco, TX 75035

$399,990 - 4Br/3Ba -  for Sale in Hollyhock, Frisco
New
$399,990
4 Beds
3 Baths
2,919 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 13988898
Property Type Res-single Family
Built by Landon Homes - Ready in May! Charming 2-story home with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 car garage, study, loft, media, and an over-sized covered patio! Rear entry home. Master suite located on the 1st floor with a large walk-in closet and his and hers vanities.

701 Winehart Street Lewisville, TX 75056

$529,900 - 5Br/4Ba -  for Sale in Castle Hills Ph 8 Sec A, Lewisville
New
$529,900
5 Beds
4 Baths
3,639 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 13983779
Property Type Res-single Family
Built by Highland Homes, LTD - Only 3 years NEW! Pictures are from 2015 when it is new without any furniture. The house is same new condition now. Currently the owners live in the house. Popular floor plan in fast-growing community. Castle Hills master-planned community! Chef's kitchen with granite and built-in stainless steel appliances. Play or study room with built-in cabinets and desks, game room with sitting area and media room upstairs with overlooks into vaulted family room. Hand scraped hardwood floors in all 1st floor, planning desk with cabinet built-ins and many other upgrades. Great location very easy to get to highway 121. Close to world class shopping, entertainment and transportation.

14855 Blakehill Drive Frisco, TX 75035

$415,000 - 4Br/4Ba -  for Sale in Turnbridge Manor Ph Three, Frisco
Open House
New
$415,000
4 Beds
3.5 Baths
3,251 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 13988369
Property Type Res-single Family
Well maintained North facing 4 bedroom home in the sought-after Turnbridge Manor neighborhood! Soaring entry, plantation shutters, crown moldings & an open floorplan greet guests. Formal living & formal dining w-butler x2019;s pantry-perfect for entertaining. Family Room w-towering windows & corner fp opens to the large Island Kitchen boasting an abundance of cab & counter space, gas cooking & breakfast nook with built-in desk. 1st floor private Master Suite w-dual sinks, jetted tub & walk-in shower. 2nd floor features Game Room & secondary bedrms w-WICs. Enjoy relaxing on the open patio overlooking the large bckyrd & mature landscaping. Beautiful tucked away community w-amazing amenities in a great Frisco location!

14049 Wheatfield Lane Frisco, TX 75035

$501,437 - 4Br/3Ba -  for Sale in Prairie View, Frisco
New
$501,437
4 Beds
3 Baths
3,324 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 13988527
Property Type Res-single Family
Wonderful 2 story home with 4 bedroom (2 down), 3 bath, study, game room and media room. There are hard wood floor throughout the downstairs. The family room is spacious and open to the kitchen and dining area. This house has a 3 car tandem garage, and a outdoor living space.

6357 Cedar Falls Drive The Colony, TX 75056

$349,000 - 4Br/3Ba -  for Sale in The Cascades At The Legends Ph, The Colony
New
$349,000
4 Beds
2.5 Baths
2,976 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 13986686
Property Type Res-single Family
An immaculately maintained 4 bedroom 2.5 bath home conveniently located minutes from Legacy Corridor and DNT and endless shopping and dining. This exceptional home boasts two patio areas in a wrap around yard surrounded by gorgeous evergreens. The open concept floor plan is perfect for entertaining, complete with an enormous kitchen, large island, and stainless steel appliances including a double oven! Extremely versatile floorplan with study and bonus living space. Additional features include radiant barrier roof, tinted windows and butler's pantry. Massive master retreat with 11ft by 13ft walk in closet. The subdivision offers a community pool and park. Don't miss the virtual tour link!

14832 Bucklebury Drive Frisco, TX 75035

$478,500 - 5Br/5Ba -  for Sale in Hills Of Crown Ridge Ph One The, Frisco
New
$478,500
5 Beds
4.5 Baths
4,076 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 13987848
Property Type Res-single Family
The perfect home for the growing family. This nearly new, gently lived in Lennar home has room for everyone with 5 bedrooms with master & guest suite down. Three bedrooms, game room, and media room upstairs. Spacious kitchen with HUGE island with granite counters, 5 burner gas cooktop and walk in pantry. Wood floors throughout most of the main areas downstairs. The master closet has a custom closet system already there for you. A study for the at home worker, a great extended patio and large yard for the children and or pets. Vacant and ready for immediate move in.

4437 Tall Knight Lane Carrollton, TX 75010

$569,786 - 4Br/4Ba -  for Sale in Castle Hills Southwest, Carrollton
New
$569,786
4 Beds
4 Baths
3,494 SqFt
Status Active
MLS # 13988464
Property Type Res-single Family
This stunning Shaddock Homes design offers exceptional design & luxury inclusions - such as, nail-down hardwood floors in focal areas, designer quartz countertops in kitchen & trendy light fixtures throughout. This plan welcomes you into the large open concept kitchen-family-dining rooms with a beautiful vintage fireplace mantle, extended white upper cabinets & a 36in 6-burner cooktop. Your eyes are immediately drawn to the 12ft sliding glass doors leading you out to the large covered patio perfect for entertaining & equipped with dual pre-wired openings for speakers. This design has a master suite, guest room, and study downstairs with a game room, media, and 2 bedrooms upstairs both with their own bathroom.