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Thoughts on a house

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  • #16
    Will you be able to afford a 4 br house in your current neighborhood, or will purchasing one require moving o a less affluent neighborhood?  Which do you value more:  remaining in your current neighborhood, or a larger house?  I'd think on those questions for a bit before making a decision.  There's no right or wrong answer to either question, but you and your wife probably will have a preference.


    • #17
      I'm generally not a fan of lowballing on primary residences unless you are willing to be disappointed or the place is grossly overpriced in which case the sellers rarely get it until the home has been on the market for months and is basically stigmatized. What about saving up and then adding an actual addition at some point if you decide you want more space? Would the lot accommodate that without pricing you out of the neighborhood comps? I would also do everything in my power to find a suitable tenant so I wasn't stuck paying the lease.


      • #18
        A 4 BR would price us out now and almost certainly even if we waited until the spring. Maybe with an extra 0.5-1x salary we could afford it.

        Adding on wouldn’t price us out of the neighborhood. It’s the cheapest house on the block. The problem would be that it would probably require adding an extra story.

        Our tentative plan would be to live there as is (+/- making laundry room into play room) or move into a bigger home in the area in 5-10 years once we’ve accumulated enough equity to afford something bigger if desired at the time.


        • #19

          Our tentative plan would be to live there as is (+/- making laundry room into play room) or move into a bigger home in the area in 5-10 years once we’ve accumulated enough equity to afford something bigger if desired at the time.
          Click to expand...

          If the home doesn't fill your current needs or you're already planning on moving out in 5-10 years, I would just continue to rent and save while you find something that meets the needs of your family as well as your financial needs.


          • #20
            I am in a very similar situation with my work and family status.

            We bought a home in the neighborhood we really wanted, for the some reasons you like your rental and this prospective purchase.

            Same as your situation - there is rarely a right size/well maintained/affordable home in our neighborhood, so we ended up with something bigger than we needed.

            I do not value the extra space that much at all.  What I do value is the neighborhood and the fact that the house is in good shape.  I would trade the extra bedroom for a lower mortgage any day.    We use the extra space when we host family, but they would be fine to sleep on couches too so it's a luxury, not a need.

            Hope that helps.


            • #21
              Honestly, OP, it sounds to me like you've fallen in love with a neighborhood you really can't afford to live in.  The problem with falling in love with a very affluent neighborhood is that you either have to be very affluent to live in it, or be willing to be house-poor.  The latter is not fun.  I think you may need to broaden your house search to include less affluent neighborhoods where the average home value is not 6x your annual salary.


              • #22

                My question is this: those that have extra space/bedrooms, how much do you value it?  Those that don’t, how much do you regret it?  How much does location go into your happiness vs. the house?
                Click to expand...

                Extra space/bedrooms have negative value to me.

                We have lived in 3 BR house with 2 kids for the past 17 years, no regret, and glad that we did.

                Location (distance to work/school) is the most important factor.  I would not live more than 20 minutes away from work, even if, it would be in heaven.

                I would not get 4 bed room if I need to pay more (X2 income is my max).

                Personally, I would choose this house over a more expensive, 4BR house that is further way, anytime!


                • #23
                  1. It is just not the number of bedrooms for the number of children, it is also the extra costs like college education that you have to save for.

                  2. If you go with the 3 bedroom and have an extra child one of them has to share the bedroom with a sibling and you won't have a guest room.

                  3. Even if you don't have another child you would have no guest room if each of the kids get a room and don't want to share a room temporarily when guests arrive.

                  I think you are buying too small, too early, in a neighborhood you really cannot afford a house of your needs. Something has to give. I would wait it out till May and see what happens. Something always comes up just when you have finalized something you truly do not love and made compromises to get it.


                  • #24
                    I guess the people in favor of a guest room must have normal families that don't include siblings with 4-5 kids per family. I'd need an entire extra house just to have my brother and his family stay comfortably with us;-)


                    • #25
                      With additions, adding on an extra story is often actually cheaper than bumping out the square footage/adding to the foundation. You just would want to make sure the house can structurally handle this and that there are no neighborhood restrictions (e.g. Historic district status) that would block you from doing so in the future.

                      Personally, I would also vote for the smaller house that you can afford in the neighborhood that you want over a larger house in a less desirable neighborhood or a larger house that makes your finances too tight. I think sharing bedrooms probably depends on personalities of your kids--my nephews are so close currently that they won't not share a room. I spent more time in my brother's room as a kid than in my own.

                      How often do you have guests? If you have people visiting for weeks at a time or at least monthly that's one thing but many guest rooms are way underutilized.


                      • #26
                        If you currently had a 3rd child or your wife became pregnant next week, would you be buying this house?   Would that change your mind about  how you feel about room-sharing, having a guest room, or doing additions?   The "maybe we aren't done having kids" would be the biggest factor for me in deciding about this house and if it fits your needs.


                        (my statements are meant to have you think from a different perspective, not tell you what to do in family planning =)    ) I've seen people get super offended  on here on comments about kids and that's not my intention.


                        • #27
                          what will make your wife happy?



                          • #28

                            what will make your wife happy?

                            Click to expand...

                            Above question has served me well over the past 23+ years. 

                            It's all your family dynamics that will drive your ultimate decision.  We loved having an additional 'guest/study/fun' room.   It's a luxury for sure.  Did we starter home in a 3BR  1yr out just like you're thinking?  yep.   We also moved 2 years later into a 4BR when #2 came close behind and in-laws came visiting a lot more.


                            • #29
                              I have 3 kids and we have 3 bedrooms. Our 2 girls share a room. In the past they all used to end up in our room anyway (they were scared of sleeping on their own). I think if your kids are 7 or younger, their own bedroom is not essential.

                              We were looking at an extension but might partition part of the living room, which is too large.

                              We also have around 2500 house. We could expand a second floor into the attic but that is expensive. We were thinking of adding on 2 rooms for 200k on a ground floor extension but it may not be needed.

                              If you buy a small house and there is land to expand, that’s often not a bad option. Build when you need to. Buildings depreciate so I tend to prefer to put it off.

                              The problem of lease is always going to be there. We settled/bought the house and stayed in our rental for a further 5 months so the kids finished daycare/school year there. We used the time when we had the new house and the old rental to do renovations on the purchased house (wardrobes, floorboards, shutters, deck repairs and repainting) and we had a very leisurely and stress free move that went for 2 months.

                              I can’t think of anything more stressful than trying to exactly time finishing a lease and settling on a property or selling and simultaneously buying another one. 3-5 months leeway is ok and it means you are in a more relaxed, less pressured buying situation when you negotiate it. Good luck with it.