Convince me - for or against bigger home

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m@ver1ck
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Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by m@ver1ck » Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:46 am

Our 2000 sqft home seems small now - we’re 4 and regularly have in-laws or parents visiting.

Home was purchased for 550K in 2010 and is now worth about 1-1.1M. Moving into a bigger home means additional commute - and would realistically be in the 1.2-1.5M range.

Ouch!

Fool hardy to make that move?

OTOH -
Only live once - being cheapskate for no reason? Good for kids to have more room.

Currently earning around 350K - but who knows how long the good times last. Also: want to retire early at 55. It’s fine if the home pushes the date an year or two out. I’m 44.

And then there’s the Corona timing...

[For local guys - this would mean a move from Redmond to Sammamish]

Assets etc:
Retirement 1.2M, Taxable: 300K, 529s: 70Kx2.

Biggest Risks: Single earner.
I could write a check and pay the current house of. Not looking to start another mortgage. Also don't really want to be tied to this area for the next 6-8 years - which would be probably necessary - if the market tanks and takes that long to recover.

We have probably not used the space adequately:
The current home is 3bedrooms + 1 den (10'-11').
Kids currently sleep with us in our room - their bunk-bed is in the master bedroom and kids use our closet for their clothes.
The other bedrooms are a guest room (in laws come every week for the weekend, and my parents visit for a few months a year) and a room that's a prayer room (not my idea) and has an extra Futon/Bed in it.

I've got a den for my home office.

The living room is tiny.
Last edited by m@ver1ck on Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:01 pm, edited 7 times in total.

runner540
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by runner540 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:48 am

In normal times would need more info on your overall assets/debt.
In these times, no way would I sign up for that unless that income is from bankruptcy work.

AlexanderTheMediocre
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by AlexanderTheMediocre » Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:51 am

I have a 2000 sqft home if you include the finished basement and find everything about maintaining it obnoxious. The idea of signing up for more of that appalls me and I intend to never increase the size of my 4 bedroom/1.5 bath house.

student
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by student » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:02 am

So I assume that you are a couple and two kids. So you need 3 bedrooms. How many bedrooms do you have? With 2000 sq feet, I assume it has at least 3 bedrooms. If it has 4 bedrooms or you also have a den, then I think you can already accommodate guests. With your income, I think you can afford a bigger house (based on my 3x annual income rule of thumb). But the added time for commute is bad. So I would suggest not moving, it is cheaper to furnish the basement, add an addition, or put guests at a hotel (depending on the dynamics between you and your parents).

Topic Author
m@ver1ck
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by m@ver1ck » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:13 am

Added more details - to question above.

Home is L1: Home office + Open Floorspace [Living/Dining/Kitchen], L2: Three Bedrooms.

avidlearner
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by avidlearner » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:22 am

Bigger house is a lot to maintain and long commute is the biggest disadvantage. If I were you then I would see if I can repurpose the other rooms for kids. How often do you use den? How often do you use prayer room, can you move office to master bedroom if you use it sparingly? As you are a single earner doubling the mortgage is a bigger risk even if you can afford it. After Payoff of my mortgage stress has gone down significantly for me and my DW so you may want to consider it in the near term.

quantAndHold
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:29 am

I would never suggest anyone do anything that increases their commute. Especially a move from Redmond to Sammamish. Yikes. We humans can get used to anything (hedonic adaptation), so you’ll quickly get used to having more space, and in the long run, more space won’t make you happier. But hedonic adaptation doesn’t really work with commutes. A bad commute is always a bad commute, because each day’s commute is bad in its own special way.

Unless they’re sharing a bedroom, kids don’t need more space. Usually, they just need less stuff.

Right now with everyone all at home at the same time, it’s easy to think we need more space. I have to admit, we’re 2 empty nesters in a 2300 sqft house, and I’m mighty happy to have the space right now. But once this is over, I’m sure I’ll go back to not really wanting to pay for and take care of such a big place.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.

bding
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by bding » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:33 am

I think buying the bigger, more expensive home is a mistake. I did that early in my career and it is very overrated and a big headache to upkeep. Your current house sounds like it's big enough to accommodate your family of four. The weekend parents can spend their time at a local hotel or you can squeeze tighter during the weekends. For the parents spending a few months visiting should get a short term rental close buy. Keep your eye on the prize and live below your means. I recently retired at 55 yrs old and it is fantastic.

BogleBoogie
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by BogleBoogie » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:38 am

We just downsized significantly (2300 to 1500) and have similar size family. We enjoy less spaces to clean and having the family in closer proximity. I would think long and hard about upsizing.

bloom2708
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:40 am

Look, shop, dream.

Then stay put. The shopping is often better than the doing.

I was looking at a 6 bed/5.5 bath in AZ with a huge pool yesterday. It was 17F and snowing at the time. Got my "pool time" in.
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iamlucky13
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by iamlucky13 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:48 am

Hosting relatives is great for encouraging visits, but it sounds like you're significantly compromising your family's use of your current home to maintain a lot of space dedicated to people who don't live there. Kids sleeping in the master bedroom after they're old enough to handle a bunk bed seems to me like a really big compromise.

While it may mean fewer visits, I can almost guarantee it would be more cost effective for guests to stay in a comfortable hotel or vacation rental than to buy a house large enough to have dedicated space for both your kids and guests. In fact, considering how long their stay is, your parents may even find they prefer a small vacation rental over merely a bedroom.

Also, many people keep a prayer space in their master bedroom or their family room. If it were me, I'd definitely prefer to set up a shrine in a corner of my bedroom than a bunk bed.

So my recommendation is to change how you use your current home to reflect how your immediate family's needs have evolved before spending more of your money on a bigger home for your extended family's convenience. Also, before giving up more of your time and sanity to a Sammamish-Redmon commute.
student wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:02 am
So I assume that you are a couple and two kids. So you need 3 bedrooms.
It can be easier to get kids of different ages on the sleep pattern you want with them sharing a bedroom, but in this case, the kids already are sharing a bedroom - with mom and dad! Most kids seem to do fine, even thrive, sharing a room with a sibling until they approach adolescence.
student wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:02 am
I think you can afford a bigger house (based on my 3x annual income rule of thumb).
I don't think that's a bad rule of thumb in many parts of the country, but in high cost of living areas, recurring housing costs tend to be a much higher percentage of your income than the average. I view this as a decision worth the extra rigor of budgeting housing costs along with all your other living and desired discretionary expenses, then making sure that leaves you with ample to save for retirement and other long term goals. As I see it, the OP could pay the mortgage, taxes, and insurance on a $1.5 million house, and still have more after-tax cash flow left over than my family's gross income. It looks to me like they could easily afford it, although some concern was noted about income security.

Nowizard
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by Nowizard » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:50 am

Two of us who are much older than you recently downsized to a smaller home that is still considerably larger than yours, so it probably depends more on psychological factors once you have determined the finances support a move. We would never live in a 2,000 sq. ft. home. We live in a low cost of living area, and it is very common for people who are empty nesters to live in 3,800 - 4,000 sf homes, even larger when children are growing up. Such homes would cost about 550 - 600K here, so homes are going to be much smaller where you live. Obviously, it is financially more likely to be recommended you stay where you are. Does larger house make up for longer commute, more maintenance, etc.? Other than that, you only live once, as has been said.

Tim

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lthenderson
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by lthenderson » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:01 am

Family of five here which includes a year round living in-law and we have an 1800 sqft house now. Although I can see the attraction of having more space at times, especially now with four of us home all day everyday (Thanks Covid), it is more practical to just make more efficient use of the space we have. More space requires more time and money to clean, maintain and update it every so often. I have an office with a murphy bed for those weekend visits. I built a mother-in-law suite in part of our basement for the permanent in-law in residence. You mentioned a prayer room. Couldn't any room be turned into a prayer room temporarily during the hours used daily? Best of all, in another ten years when the kids are gone and the mother-in-law deceased, I won't have so much house that I feel I need to sell it again and move to something smaller.

rich126
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by rich126 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:06 am

I don't think there is a single answer for this question. It greatly depends on the person.

I'm firmly in the camp that I only want a single story home. I had a 3 story townhouse decades ago and recently sold a house back east that was 2 stories plus a basement and hated it. Steps, steps, steps.

I also don't care to spend more and more money on larger homes. Roof replacement is more, electricity, redo flooring, kitchen, baths, etc. Everything is significantly more money for space you generally don't need.

At times I watch those house hunter shows (international one) and people often want an extra bedroom for guests and end up paying significantly more for rent just to have a spare bedroom. It would be cheaper to save the extra money and use it to pay for a hotel when guests arrive. Obviously that isn't always ideal but you get my point.

I'm a single guy with a 3bed/2bath 2,000 sq foot home and I feel like I generally only use 1/2 the space or less most of the time but buying and reselling a 1-2 bed place is tough so I end up paying for largely unused space.

But if you can afford it, and don't mind cleaning it or have the money to hire people to do everything for you, then maybe it isn't an issue. Just don't be one of those "house poor" people. My uncle (long retired) used to wonder why most of his coworkers lived from paycheck to paycheck or were always complaining about money even though they had solid paychecks. Then he realized most of their money went to a large, expensive house. That has always stuck with me (along with an ex-manager who told me it is best not to judge people until you walk a mile in their shoes).

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by jabberwockOG » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:07 am

Right now you need to conserve savings and cash. And minimize contact with other folks to keep family safe and healthy. This is absolutely not the time to buy a significantly more expensive house, sell your existing house, or deal with any part of moving household to another location. Save and invest your money and wait till we are in the clear, not likely till a vaccine is widely available to make any big moves.

delamer
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by delamer » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:13 am

I don’t think that you mentioned how old your kids are.

But having the kids share your bedroom is going to be untenable when they are teenagers for many reasons.

Actually — and I’m trying to be polite here — but how is it tenable now?

EnjoyIt
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by EnjoyIt » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:15 am

We have an almost 5,000 sqft home. The maintenance on this monstrosity is a huge pain in the rear. It is too much house for our family and we regret the purchase. Yesterday the water heater on our pool broke. That will likely be $3k to replace. Sure we can afford it, but I don't want to and we will likely be selling soon enough and get a little extra freedom doing so. Something smaller would have suited us much better. Spending the extra money is one thing. It is the extra time out of my life which is what bothers me the most.
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willardx
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by willardx » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:26 am

Do you have a large lot? Can you fit an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on it? Cities have been more receptive to them and might be a good fix for your situation.

Arabesque
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by Arabesque » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:31 am

I have 1600 square feet, 3 BRs, close to work. I always liked eavesdropping on the kids when they were little; small spaces are good for intimacy and sharing.

Now that they're grown, I'm planning on moving to a 600 sf condo in a HCOL city: less to maintain and clean, more time for fun.

FeesR-BullNotBullish
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by FeesR-BullNotBullish » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:33 am

It's just DW and I, and we love our 2700 sq ft house. The space is especially nice during this pandemic because we both have nice offices in completely separate areas - hers is upstairs and mine is in the basement. There's plenty of space and stairs to exercise the dog inside. We do love being outside, but the dog really loves sprinting up and down the stairs. We have a guest room, and entertaining people is a breeze.

Downsides: To use all the space, you've gotta furnish it. It adds up, but it never feels crowded as a smaller house would. It's more to clean, but fortunately we only have two bathrooms. I'm sure it costs a lot more for improvements like flooring and paint than a smaller space would.

As much as we enjoy our space, I wouldn't want a larger house if the trade off was a longer commute. Right now Redmond to Sammamish is only 11 mins but maybe it's worse in traffic? Also, if you don't want to be tied to the area for the next six to eight years, why not consider a big move sooner rather than later? You can change locations and get a bigger house at the same time.

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m@ver1ck
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by m@ver1ck » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:35 am

delamer wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:13 am
I don’t think that you mentioned how old your kids are.

But having the kids share your bedroom is going to be untenable when they are teenagers for many reasons.

Actually — and I’m trying to be polite here — but how is it tenable now?
It's not. :-)
They are 2 and 8. Older one rotates between sleeping in the bunk bed, sleeping in the guest room (which is his room - his study and books are there) and sleeping in my bed - at which point I'm relegated to the bunk bed or guest room.
The 2 year old will go to the bunk when he's ready. He in the middle.

I often am sleeping on 6 inches of bed (when the older one decides to jump in the middle in the middle of the night).

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m@ver1ck
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by m@ver1ck » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:39 am

lthenderson wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:01 am
Couldn't any room be turned into a prayer room temporarily during the hours used daily?
Yeah - not the best use of space, tbh. There's an additional bed in there as well - so that's the second guest room.

Just writing this up clarifies a bunch of things - we're not using the space well - and don't really NEED a bigger place.

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Voltaire2.0
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by Voltaire2.0 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:32 pm

WRT timing, you probably have to wait to see if your house will sell at the anticipated value. Houses are selling, especially if you are in a desirable school district. You could list and see what kind of offers you get. No mandate to accept.

WRT the choice, I would find 2,000 sq feet tight for four people. It will feel tighter when your kids become teenagers. If they go off to college you don't "recover" that space: kids come home.

delamer
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by delamer » Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:34 pm

m@ver1ck wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:39 am
lthenderson wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:01 am
Couldn't any room be turned into a prayer room temporarily during the hours used daily?
Yeah - not the best use of space, tbh. There's an additional bed in there as well - so that's the second guest room.

Just writing this up clarifies a bunch of things - we're not using the space well - and don't really NEED a bigger place.
Well, then you have a problem with your spouse — not with the house.

arsenalfan
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by arsenalfan » Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:41 pm

Consider a Murphy bed for the prayer room, or a nice sofa bed.

We have a 2nd floor bedroom we use for yoga/reading.

5-6 times per year we have weekend visitors, and we just pull down the Murphy bed from the wall.

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Raymond
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by Raymond » Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:51 pm

delamer wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:34 pm
m@ver1ck wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:39 am
lthenderson wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:01 am
Couldn't any room be turned into a prayer room temporarily during the hours used daily?
Yeah - not the best use of space, tbh. There's an additional bed in there as well - so that's the second guest room.

Just writing this up clarifies a bunch of things - we're not using the space well - and don't really NEED a bigger place.
Well, then you have a problem with your spouse — not with the house.
Agreed.

You and your spouse need to get on the same page regarding where the kids should be sleeping (hint: not in your room.)

If you buy a new house, not only will you have a worse commute, you've only transferred the issue to a new location.

Also, if your in-laws stay every weekend, is the eventual long-term plan for them to live with you all? How about your parents?
"Ritter, Tod und Teufel"

Isabelle77
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by Isabelle77 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:19 pm

Until I had a houseful of teenagers doing online schooling and my husband also working from home, I would have told you that I hate my big house :) Right now it's pretty great though, we have a pool too and assuming school doesn't start back up, I'll also be grateful for that as well.

Absent a pandemic though, we regret buying a large expensive house. We went from 2600sq ft to around 4200sqft including a finished basement. My husband makes a little less than you, about 320K this year, and our house was 900K. The mortgage payments are fine. The upkeep, utilities, furnishing, yard and pool maintenance, decorating, etc. are a pain. I clean it myself, with the kids' help, and it's a big job. And now that we are going to try to sell this summer, I wish I had a house a little cheaper to be in the sweet spot for buyers.

You can afford a bigger home. It's up to you really if you think it's necessary.

ETA also, get the kids out of your room. There's no reason for that.
Last edited by Isabelle77 on Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

quantAndHold
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:20 pm

m@ver1ck wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:35 am
delamer wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:13 am
I don’t think that you mentioned how old your kids are.

But having the kids share your bedroom is going to be untenable when they are teenagers for many reasons.

Actually — and I’m trying to be polite here — but how is it tenable now?
It's not. :-)
They are 2 and 8. Older one rotates between sleeping in the bunk bed, sleeping in the guest room (which is his room - his study and books are there) and sleeping in my bed - at which point I'm relegated to the bunk bed or guest room.
The 2 year old will go to the bunk when he's ready. He in the middle.

I often am sleeping on 6 inches of bed (when the older one decides to jump in the middle in the middle of the night).
This is a family issue, not a financial issue. A larger house is unlikely to solve the problem.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.

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Watty
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by Watty » Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:25 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:29 am
I would never suggest anyone do anything that increases their commute.
I would keep looking a better solution that does not involve a bad commute.

One thing to keep in mind is that your commute will likely get worse over time, I ran into this when I bought a house with about a 30 minute commute, 13 years later when I retired the commute was at best 45 minutes and often over an hour when there were any problems. I ended up having to get up at 5:30 AM to have a workable commute and I am not a morning person.

Living Free
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by Living Free » Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:38 pm

I would not buy the bigger more expensive house with the longer commute. That is basically the complete opposite of what I want (well, I don't want a tiny house either, but our 2300 sq ft house with a family of 4 honestly feels too big most of the time).

OnTrack2020
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by OnTrack2020 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:48 pm

m@ver1ck wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:46 am


We have probably not used the space adequately: Kids currently sleep with us in our room - their bunk-bed is in the master bedroom and kids use our closet. The other bedrooms are a guest room (in laws come every week for the weekend, and my parents visit for a few months a year) and a room that's a prayer room (not my idea). I've got a den for my home office. The living room is tiny.
Shell out the money and have them stay in a nearby hotel. Your income would certainly allow for this to happen. I cannot even imagine having in-laws staying every weekend and parental visits for a few months out of the year. :shock:

Rus In Urbe
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by Rus In Urbe » Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:59 pm

+1
This is a family issue, not a financial issue. A larger house is unlikely to solve the problem.
Get serious about apportioning appropriate space to every family member fairly.
Kids need their own space; parents need a bedroom that is not ever shared.
Perhaps build a small shed out back for the prayer room?
Make a budget; hire an architect to make up a plan about how to maximize the space in the house----cheaper than moving and you will feel like you have a larger home for less money.

Given your assets and 2 kids, I would definitely not plow more money into a larger house that will have more expenses (and everyone underestimates the costs of selling/moving/refurnishing).

The biggest issue on location for you should be school district. That is key.

Good luck to you! :beer Rus.
I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money. ~Pablo Picasso

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m@ver1ck
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by m@ver1ck » Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:08 pm

Yeah - doesn’t seem to make sense.

Home was purchased for 550K in 2010 and is now worth about 1-1.1M.

200K outstanding on 15yr/2.75% mortgage ending in 2028.

Moving into a bigger home means additional commute - and would realistically be in the 1.2-1.5M range - and would push Out another 15yr realistically.

Too much risk - should really start derisking...

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:21 pm

You are inefficiently using space.

Home office: You said the word "commute". You don't need an office. Convert that back into a bedroom.

Prayer Room: Have you a temple/church/synagog near you?

In laws/parents: I already have that covered personally. When my mom comes, she stays at the doubletree. She's mid 80's and when she's in the north (snowbird), I go to her house and drive her to us (90 miles) and home. She loves the doubletree. It's a hotel. You're not a hotel, stop acting like you are.

2000 square feet is quite adequate if you use the rooms for their most important use. 3 bedrooms. A common area. A kitchen. You don't need an office (you have a kitchen table?). You don't need a prayer room. You don't need a room filled with train sets. You don't need an exercise room. There are a million uses for spare rooms. But first, you need to use rooms for things that are not spare.
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as9
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by as9 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:26 pm

Step 1 is the kids need their own room in your current house. Whether that is the guest room or prayer room is for a discussion with your wife, but the four of you deserve your own spaces.

Step 2 is coming up with a solution for whichever room you just lost (prayer or guest). Depending on which one...

- do you have a basement you can finish?
- do you have a garage you can finish?
- do you have an attic you can finish?
- do you have room on your property (and the right) to build a small structure (something between a fancy shed and a pool house type building)?
- do you have room to build an addition (out or up)?

Even though none of these would be cheap they would be far cheaper than moving without the pain of a longer commute and given the appreciation on your house it seems unlikely you'd be pricing yourself out of the neighborhood.

runner540
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by runner540 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:28 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:21 pm
You are inefficiently using space.

Home office: You said the word "commute". You don't need an office. Convert that back into a bedroom.

Prayer Room: Have you a temple/church/synagog near you?

In laws/parents: I already have that covered personally. When my mom comes, she stays at the doubletree. She's mid 80's and when she's in the north (snowbird), I go to her house and drive her to us (90 miles) and home. She loves the doubletree. It's a hotel. You're not a hotel, stop acting like you are.

2000 square feet is quite adequate if you use the rooms for their most important use. 3 bedrooms. A common area. A kitchen. You don't need an office (you have a kitchen table?). You don't need a prayer room. You don't need a room filled with train sets. You don't need an exercise room. There are a million uses for spare rooms. But first, you need to use rooms for things that are not spare.
Here’s another twist that may work for a couple years:
You have living room, kitchen, den and 3 bedrooms:
1 bedroom for parents
1 bedroom for both kids
1 dedicated guest bedroom (since you have visitors so often)
Den: flex space with your desk, sofa bed or prayer room (don’t know what particulars are needed for that).

SheReadsHere719
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by SheReadsHere719 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:53 pm

delamer wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:34 pm
m@ver1ck wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:39 am
lthenderson wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:01 am
Couldn't any room be turned into a prayer room temporarily during the hours used daily?
Yeah - not the best use of space, tbh. There's an additional bed in there as well - so that's the second guest room.

Just writing this up clarifies a bunch of things - we're not using the space well - and don't really NEED a bigger place.
Well, then you have a problem with your spouse — not with the house.
+1.

runner540 wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:28 pm
Here’s another twist that may work for a couple years:
You have living room, kitchen, den and 3 bedrooms:
1 bedroom for parents
1 bedroom for both kids
1 dedicated guest bedroom (since you have visitors so often)
Den: flex space with your desk, sofa bed or prayer room (don’t know what particulars are needed for that).
I would update slightly:
1 bedroom for parents
1 bedroom for both kids
1 combo home office (weekdays) and guest bedroom (weekends)
Den: flex space with prayer room

DaftInvestor
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Apr 15, 2020 2:59 pm

Re-purpose the guest room for your extra living space.
In-laws can stay home and your parents can stay at a hotel.
You can pray in your bedroom instead of dedicated room if you need more space.
Problem solved and many thousands saved.

il0kin
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by il0kin » Wed Apr 15, 2020 3:04 pm

You don’t have a house problem, you have behavioral problems. Your kids should not be in your bedroom, period, unless they’re invited for a morning cuddle. And a whole room devoted to prayer? I don’t think God decides who gets into heaven based on square feet of space used to pray.

You’re trying to solve behavioral issues with more space. Regulate the children’s behavior, talk some sense into your spouse and enjoy your incredibly lucky equity and short commute.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by jabberwockOG » Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:44 pm

il0kin wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 3:04 pm
You don’t have a house problem, you have behavioral problems. Your kids should not be in your bedroom, period, unless they’re invited for a morning cuddle. And a whole room devoted to prayer? I don’t think God decides who gets into heaven based on square feet of space used to pray.

You’re trying to solve behavioral issues with more space. Regulate the children’s behavior, talk some sense into your spouse and enjoy your incredibly lucky equity and short commute.
Agree - Issue is not house size.

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Crustus
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by Crustus » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:17 pm

Addition to the house?

If you have the acreage, this might be better than a longer commute. The effective change in your mortgage would probably be about the same as the new house (depending on what you add 2BR/1BA??)
And . . .

rivendell
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by rivendell » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:31 pm

This is not a good time in terms of the economy to take on the expense of a bigger house. The future is always uncertain but now it is unusually uncertain and you are the only one in your family with an income.
We lived for many years with 3 kids in a 2000 sq ft home and were just as happy as when we moved into a 4000 sq ft home. I agree with the other posters about changing the room functions to give each child their own bedroom. Your older child can learn to sleep in their own room with patience and persistence on your part about returning to their own bedroom every time they come to yours. This may take months-ask me how I know! :happy
There is a lot of value to having a shorter commute in terms of your time at home and happiness!
“On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.” | ― Chuck Palahniuk

averagedude
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by averagedude » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:33 pm

My living space is around 1500 square feet for 2 people. We spend 90% of our time in about 600 square feet. We could have a 5000 square foot home, but I know it wouldn't increase our happiness. Actually it would decrease our happiness due to more to clean, maintain, and subtract the time of our desire to be financially independent. If you love your jobs and your commute and you know it will increase your happiness, I say you should do it.

mortfree
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by mortfree » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:37 pm

Sorry to hear of your dilemma.

It’s a shame that the kids would sleep in what is considered a guest bedroom.

Good luck

You definitely do not need a bigger house.

Cycle
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Location: Minneapolis

Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by Cycle » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:53 pm

Walkable neighborhoods are nice. I never have to use the car, which reduces my odds of dying early and/or killing children.

We have 1000sqft for four people. I have all the space I need.

Inflatable mattress or four seasons for guests. We rented a couple houses for a baptism weekend once.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

retire57
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by retire57 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:12 pm

EnjoyIt wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:15 am
We have an almost 5,000 sqft home. The maintenance on this monstrosity is a huge pain in the rear. It is too much house for our family and we regret the purchase. Yesterday the water heater on our pool broke. That will likely be $3k to replace. Sure we can afford it, but I don't want to and we will likely be selling soon enough and get a little extra freedom doing so. Something smaller would have suited us much better. Spending the extra money is one thing. It is the extra time out of my life which is what bothers me the most.
Thank you for saying this! I'll save your words and reread them the next time we are tempted to go larger and fancier. Like you, it's all about free time versus money at this stage in our lives.

(Plus it's much more fun to donate a sum like 3K to our favorite charity rather than spending it on the next big repair.)

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bottlecap
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Location: Tennessee

Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by bottlecap » Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:43 pm

The problem I see is that you have too much house and too little retirement and savings for the income you make.

Perhaps this is common for California. I presume that's where you are.

Something has got to give. You shouldn't be sleeping in the same room as your kids.

Give up the office or the prayer room, stop inviting parents (pay for their hotel?), down grade to a crappier part of town, or spend the dough on the bigger place. But get the kids their own (even shared is okay) room!

JT

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m@ver1ck
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by m@ver1ck » Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:47 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:43 pm
The problem I see is that you have too much house and too little retirement and savings for the income you make.

Perhaps this is common for California. I presume that's where you are.

Something has got to give. You shouldn't be sleeping in the same room as your kids.

Give up the office or the prayer room, stop inviting parents (pay for their hotel?), down grade to a crappier part of town, or spend the dough on the bigger place. But get the kids their own (even shared is okay) room!

JT
Lol! The situation isn’t that dire - the kids' clothes are in the closet - not the kids. We're in Redmond, WA - near Seattle - Microsoft area.

Also - read up on cosleeping: Just a few top hits - http://www.cosleeping.org/ https://kellymom.com/parenting/nighttime/cosleeping/
but yeah, the old one has to go now. It's time.

As far as the $$ goes - base is less than 200K and the bonus has been doubling every two years since the last 4-5 yrs (and vests over 4 yrs) - so the pay hasn’t been this forever...
Last edited by m@ver1ck on Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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calmaniac
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by calmaniac » Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:00 pm

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62 yo, 1-3y til retire. AA 70/30: 30% S&P, 16% value, 14% intl, 10% EM, 30% short/int govt bonds. DW & my Fed pensions now ≈60% of expenses. Taking SS @age 70--> pension+SS ≈100% of expenses.

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UpsetRaptor
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Re: Convince me - for or against bigger home

Post by UpsetRaptor » Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:10 pm

I’m probably in the minority on this board of thrifty people (didn’t read other replies) but you need more space. Do it, and you won’t regret it. Financially, you’re doing fine.

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