Part of the American Dream is buying a home, and then, eventually, “upgrading” to a larger house. There’s a lot of emphasis on home buying in our culture, since it is a major milestone that carries with it the idea of adulthood and financial stability. Trading up for a bigger house is considereda sign that you’re expanding.
However, moving into a bigger house might not be the best financial decision for your situation. Even if you can afford the larger mortgage payments, it’s important to understand the hidden costs of moving into a bigger house. You might be surprised at the regular costs that come with a larger home.
A lot of homeowners are surprised when they take a look at their first utility bill after moving into a larger home. But the reality is that a bigger house takes more energy to heat and cool. Depending on the size of the home, you could see a major increase in your utility bills.
You also have to consider whether or not you are moving to another area. Moving to another town might mean higher rates as well as increased energy usage. It’s a good idea to check into energy usage if you are considering moving to a bigger house.
Don’t forget to consider property taxes. If you move into a school district or state with higher property taxes as you upgrade your home, this could mean higher tax bills. Even if you pay the same tax rate when you move into a bigger house, you are still likely to pay higher property taxes. A larger home, on a larger lot, is going to have a higher value, and that means a bigger property tax bill. Take that into account as you plan your move.
Don’t forget about moving expenses. You are going to have to move your stuff from one house into a bigger home. Depending on how many things you need to move, and what you use to move your stuff, you could see a large cost. If you move across the country, and you hire movers, it’s going to be quite expensive. On the other hand, if you are just moving across town, and you can rent a small truck to take care of it, it’s going to cost you less.
Another moving expense that many people don’t consider before they move into a bigger house is outfitting the bigger home with new furniture. When you move into a large house, you probably think that you need to purchase another couch or chairs, or maybe you need other pieces of furniture to fill up the space. Once you move in, and start thinking that you need a few things, it can quickly balloon out of control.
Maintenance and Repairs
Finally, you need to consider that the maintenance and repair costs that come with a larger home are going to be bigger. If you have a bigger yard, it’s going to cost more to care for it. From the time and effort you put into maintaining the yard, to the amount of water it takes to keep the lawn green, you are going to spend more.
Additionally, other maintenance issues, from replacing roofs to cleaning out gutters, to replacing flooring, are all going to be more expensive because there is more space to take care. Repairs and maintenance are going to be costs that are bigger than what you pay in your current home.
As long as you are ready to pay the higher overall costs of moving to a bigger house, it makes sense to move, if you are interested in upgrading.