There are many reasons for upsizing your home. One of the most common reasons is a growing family or simply needing more room. Certain people decide to upsize to their dream house when they get older and more affluent.
Before making that final decision on upsizing your home, there are several factors to consider. A larger home on more land isn’t a cosmetic change. It’s a commitment of time and resources and can cost more than most people realize.
Larger Homes Cost More to Operate and Maintain
The more square feet there are, the more it costs to heat and cool the home. It’s a simple concept that while not overlooked, can end up not being fully considered. Over the years, it is an extra expense that can add up to some serious money.
General upkeep will cost more money and time. Mowing a nice sized yard in the suburbs is a minor afternoon chore. Mowing a yard that covers a few acres is a weekend spent working. The same goes with cleaning a house (the bigger the house the more there is to dust and sweep), and there is more to fix and maintain.
How Old is This Newer, Bigger House?
When some people upsize their home, they often seek out an older and much larger home. Maybe they want something nice and quaint that isn’t another carbon copy ranch style house in the burbs. Maybe they think that getting an older house for a song and fixing it up, is more cost effective than buying a new one.
Older homes can have some serious problems. General issues like foundation and the roof are potentially huge money sinks. Hidden problems like wiring that needs to be redone, or a plumbing system one fleck of rust away from leaking everywhere, are others.
More pitfalls can come up, if the new buyers decide they want to remodel. If the house is old enough, some of the original paint or tiles may contain lead or asbestos. There could also be a slew of additional work in addition to the basic remodeling to get the house up to modern building codes. And don’t forget about special zoning or other protections. If the house is in a historical district, new owners may be limited in what they are allowed to do.
So you can afford upsizing your home, but can you afford to enjoy it?
Upsizing your home to a bigger place is many a homeowner’s dream come true. Let’s assume that the new owners have figured out how to afford it, but how much money will they have left over once the mortgage is paid and other bills met? Will they have enough money to not only have their dream home, but also afford to enjoy it? Being asset rich, but cash poor is no fun, and can lead to severe levels of stress and even negatively impact an otherwise strong marriage or relationship.