Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

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tyrion
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by tyrion » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:22 pm

scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:10 pm
thatme wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:04 pm
How many kids? What ages?

I've got ~5200 square feet finished (including the basement; about 3800 square feet above grade), but have five kids and two big dogs. It sometimes feel ridiculously oversized (particularly if I happen to be home alone) but when everyone is doing something in different parts of the house, it feels just right. We came from ~2000 square feet so it was a big adjustment, but we definitely grew into the house pretty quickly.

I agree with everyone else about considering how to repurpose your existing space or possibly doing the addition. I think the moving to a different house/neighborhood just to make the friends jealous or whatever is a recipe for constant dissatisfaction/moving every two years. I wouldn't want that.
3 kids - 9, 7 and 5. No pets yet but kids keep asking for them so we will probably have a dog or cat in a year or two. We definitely use all 4 bedrooms upstairs because each kid has taken one bedroom and left the master for mom/dad. The only rooms we don't use much are the formal dining and living rooms.

Actually now that the kids are taking music classes at school, they have setup their musical equipment in the living room. So that leaves only the dining room unused for now.
I would reconfigure the 1st floor (get rid of formal dining, create an open great room) and finish the basement. Those kids are going to get older and need more space. Put in a pool table, or a home theater, or whatever your wife wants for an alternate entertainment space.

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GoldStar
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by GoldStar » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:25 pm

You lost me at 6000 sq feet being too small.

michaeljc70
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:32 pm

GoldStar wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:25 pm
You lost me at 6000 sq feet being too small.
It's only 1200 sq ft a person!

delamer
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by delamer » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:43 pm

vineviz wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:34 pm
corysold wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:21 pm
Just to be fair to the OP, not all square footage is created equal. It sounds like he is including a lot of non-livable space in the 6000.

A well planned out 1800 square foot house can feel bigger than a poorly planned 3200. I've seen big houses where all the square footage was in enormous master closets and master bedroom sitting rooms, wasted space essentially. These same houses had very little actual living space on the first floor.

It's really neither here nor there, only that I can understand how a large home can feel small if the space isn't utilized correctly.
It's true that many modern houses have rooms that go unused: formal living rooms that get abandoned for the family room, dining rooms that are ignored in favor of the kitchen table, etc.

I suspect that the OP might find with some creativity that repurposing the existing rooms (possibly even taking out some interior walls) might open things up enough to make a difference, and maybe at much less expense than either moving or adding the sunroom.

For $150k, you could basically throw a wedding-sized party at the country-club three or four times a year and STILL come out ahead of building a room for "entertaining".
I agree that reconfiguring the current space is a good option. A design/build firm can give you ideas.

Does your wife really want to relocate your kids for some square footage?

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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:49 pm

scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:12 am
Yes. I agree completely with you. In fact, that is how we have always been. We came from nothing. She studied to be a doctor (which we took massive private loans for while living like bachelors) and I am an engineer. We saved aggressively by renting single bedroom apartments and a small house (after our kids were born) in order to pay off her student loans in 5 years. We did this while her friends were buying big houses right after graduation. Only after we paid off her loans and kids came to school age did we buy our house in the great school district. We are now comfortable in our financials having saved enough and her own practice is doing very well.
Although the particulars are different, this sounds like the life my wife and I started. We each paid our own ways through college through co-ops and selling everything each of us owned. We lived like students as she went to her shifts as a nurse and I went off to do my engineering design stuff.
But now that she is seeing her other non-doctor friends buying bigger and nicer houses than her (which I am pretty sure they are doing to outdo her), she is getting these feelings. But she is very reasonable and understanding and listens to me in all matters financial (even though she makes 3 times what I do :) ) so I am sure this will pass too.
This is where we diverge. Although we lightened up a bit on our savings once we paid off all debts including the mortgage, we could care less what our friends or our kids friends waste their money on. When my kids would come home and ask why we don't have a home theater like their friend's house, I'd wise crack "you mean the bank's home theater at your friend's bank owned house?". Sure enough....friend's dad gets into trouble in his lawyer job and is fired. Friend's mother is all of a sudden working as a cashier at the local supermarket to make minimum mortgage payments. My comments.....mortgage? What's that?

The Jones's are stupid. Don't try to keep up.
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michaeljc70
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:56 pm

Another way of looking at this is adding a 320 sq ft room will add a little more than 5% square footage to the home for about 20% of the market value of the house. Since the land has some value, the actual % of home value is actually probably much higher.

jehovasfitness
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by jehovasfitness » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:08 pm

scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:54 pm
One issue could be that we have this 2000sqft unfinished basement that is simply never used so it feels like we only have 4000sqft in reality. My wife does not want to climb down and up from the basement so finishing it may be throwing money down the drain.
Stairs. She doesnt want to walk up and down stairs as a doctor? It's the healthy thing to do :)

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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:11 pm

jehovasfitness wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:08 pm
scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:54 pm
One issue could be that we have this 2000sqft unfinished basement that is simply never used so it feels like we only have 4000sqft in reality. My wife does not want to climb down and up from the basement so finishing it may be throwing money down the drain.
Stairs. She doesnt want to walk up and down stairs as a doctor? It's the healthy thing to do :)
I think she walks up stairs to get to the 2nd level based on what I've read (seems like 2000 sq ft/level). I took it to mean she doesn't want to go down stairs to entertain. Meaning you have to push people from the kitchen/family/dining down to the basement.

As others said, I'd look at reconfiguring the existing space for entertaining. I'd also look into maybe partially finishing the basement for the kids if they need more space.

scorp_pccorp
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by scorp_pccorp » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:29 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:11 pm
jehovasfitness wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:08 pm
scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:54 pm
One issue could be that we have this 2000sqft unfinished basement that is simply never used so it feels like we only have 4000sqft in reality. My wife does not want to climb down and up from the basement so finishing it may be throwing money down the drain.
Stairs. She doesnt want to walk up and down stairs as a doctor? It's the healthy thing to do :)
I think she walks up stairs to get to the 2nd level based on what I've read (seems like 2000 sq ft/level). I took it to mean she doesn't want to go down stairs to entertain. Meaning you have to push people from the kitchen/family/dining down to the basement.

As others said, I'd look at reconfiguring the existing space for entertaining. I'd also look into maybe partially finishing the basement for the kids if they need more space.
Yeah. Exactly. Even on normal and non-entertainment days, my wife almost never goes to the basement (possibly because it is unfinished). But even if were finished, we probably won't have a regular reason to go down there often. I have a pool/TT table there that the kids and I use infrequently. We have our home theater setup in the master bedroom on the 2nd floor (separate space off the room exists for just that purpose).

Its a walkout basement so I think if we have outdoor parties in the backyard in Summer, it makes sense to partially finish it so the party can spread from indoors in the basement to outdoors in the yard. We have not done any such parties yet but may in the future.

Otherwise, I have to see if the kids start using the basement more as they grow older and bring their friends along.

timmy
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by timmy » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:36 pm

If you don't like the house, sell it and move.

If you like the house, want to stay, and are willing to live through some construction, I would invite a few architects to tour the house. If you hit it off with one or all, I'd suggest paying them to concept ("draw up") options that stay within the current footprint or offer modest bump outs.

It's shocking what a competent architect can do with existing space.

To find an architect, ask around. You could also Google "AIA **your location**". Check out their websites and see if any feel good to you (like a looking through a magazine).

Good luck.

Jags4186
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Jags4186 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:41 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:32 pm
GoldStar wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:25 pm
You lost me at 6000 sq feet being too small.
It's only 1200 sq ft a person!
Only 60 sq ft per finger and toe!

jehovasfitness
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by jehovasfitness » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:47 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:11 pm
jehovasfitness wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:08 pm
scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:54 pm
One issue could be that we have this 2000sqft unfinished basement that is simply never used so it feels like we only have 4000sqft in reality. My wife does not want to climb down and up from the basement so finishing it may be throwing money down the drain.
Stairs. She doesnt want to walk up and down stairs as a doctor? It's the healthy thing to do :)
I think she walks up stairs to get to the 2nd level based on what I've read (seems like 2000 sq ft/level). I took it to mean she doesn't want to go down stairs to entertain. Meaning you have to push people from the kitchen/family/dining down to the basement.

As others said, I'd look at reconfiguring the existing space for entertaining. I'd also look into maybe partially finishing the basement for the kids if they need more space.
Ahh, that would make sense

scorp_pccorp
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by scorp_pccorp » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:49 pm

timmy wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:36 pm
If you don't like the house, sell it and move.

If you like the house, want to stay, and are willing to live through some construction, I would invite a few architects to tour the house. If you hit it off with one or all, I'd suggest paying them to concept ("draw up") options that stay within the current footprint or offer modest bump outs.

It's shocking what a competent architect can do with existing space.

To find an architect, ask around. You could also Google "AIA **your location**". Check out their websites and see if any feel good to you (like a looking through a magazine).

Good luck.
Timmy, Thanks a lot. This is very helpful.

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greg24
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by greg24 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:02 pm

tyrion wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:22 pm
I would reconfigure the 1st floor (get rid of formal dining, create an open great room) and finish the basement. Those kids are going to get older and need more space. Put in a pool table, or a home theater, or whatever your wife wants for an alternate entertainment space.
I like this advice.

Finish the basement, and the kids will use it a lot. Then your wife will find a reason to trudge down the stairs. And its a walkout!

thatme
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by thatme » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:08 pm

scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:29 pm


We have our home theater setup in the master bedroom on the 2nd floor (separate space off the room exists for just that purpose).

This sounds awesome, I would really like that. We like to spend time upstairs but the only real option is to sit in bed and watch TV.

scorp_pccorp
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by scorp_pccorp » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:15 pm

greg24 wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:02 pm
tyrion wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:22 pm
I would reconfigure the 1st floor (get rid of formal dining, create an open great room) and finish the basement. Those kids are going to get older and need more space. Put in a pool table, or a home theater, or whatever your wife wants for an alternate entertainment space.
I like this advice.

Finish the basement, and the kids will use it a lot. Then your wife will find a reason to trudge down the stairs. And its a walkout!
I think this is a good idea as well. We have not thrown any parties that use our fantastic yard because of the unfinished basement. And of late we have noticed that all our friends are setting up parties in their yards with tents and such.

ResearchMed
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:41 pm

scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:15 pm
greg24 wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:02 pm
tyrion wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:22 pm
I would reconfigure the 1st floor (get rid of formal dining, create an open great room) and finish the basement. Those kids are going to get older and need more space. Put in a pool table, or a home theater, or whatever your wife wants for an alternate entertainment space.
I like this advice.

Finish the basement, and the kids will use it a lot. Then your wife will find a reason to trudge down the stairs. And its a walkout!
I think this is a good idea as well. We have not thrown any parties that use our fantastic yard because of the unfinished basement. And of late we have noticed that all our friends are setting up parties in their yards with tents and such.
If you've got the money, and you really need to reconfigure the space, point out to your wife that moving some (non-structural) walls might mean that a brand new kitchen is needed. :happy
Then, she can have the best kitchen in the group... until the others place "Catch Up And Exceed" endlessly.

I'm being partly serious. IF you can *absolutely* afford it, and if the kitchen isn't brand new, and the "best" floor plan would include changing the kitchen, then you (both) would have a dynamite space, both for entertaining and also for convenience of cooking/clean up/etc.
Note that a large and very high end kitchen could gobble up much of the budget that you already mentioned...

While you are at it, how about an outdoor kitchen in that back yard, and perhaps an inside bar in the finished basement?
Make it something suitable for teens (lock up a separate liquor area, etc.).
(Note: Make it "THE" gathering space of the neighborhood, including another theatre set up, etc., and you'll often have a better idea where your kids are, compared with the other kids' parents :wink:

If it turns out that it would be cheaper to buy/build something else, try really hard not to switch the children's schools.

[I was among those who was moved in early teens, and more than half a century later, I'm still trying to recover. Okay, not really, but it truly was a horrible experience at the time and for a while after. Part of it was the fact that it was cross country, so no easy visiting with old friends, and part was my parents' bizarre choice of a very poor school where there wasn't a chance I'd fit in. End rant. But *try* to keep the children where they are happily adjusted if at all possible. Those years can be difficult enough no matter what.]

RM
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scorp_pccorp
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by scorp_pccorp » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:57 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:41 pm
scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:15 pm
greg24 wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:02 pm
tyrion wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:22 pm
I would reconfigure the 1st floor (get rid of formal dining, create an open great room) and finish the basement. Those kids are going to get older and need more space. Put in a pool table, or a home theater, or whatever your wife wants for an alternate entertainment space.
I like this advice.

Finish the basement, and the kids will use it a lot. Then your wife will find a reason to trudge down the stairs. And its a walkout!
I think this is a good idea as well. We have not thrown any parties that use our fantastic yard because of the unfinished basement. And of late we have noticed that all our friends are setting up parties in their yards with tents and such.
If you've got the money, and you really need to reconfigure the space, point out to your wife that moving some (non-structural) walls might mean that a brand new kitchen is needed. :happy
Then, she can have the best kitchen in the group... until the others place "Catch Up And Exceed" endlessly.

I'm being partly serious. IF you can *absolutely* afford it, and if the kitchen isn't brand new, and the "best" floor plan would include changing the kitchen, then you (both) would have a dynamite space, both for entertaining and also for convenience of cooking/clean up/etc.
Note that a large and very high end kitchen could gobble up much of the budget that you already mentioned...

While you are at it, how about an outdoor kitchen in that back yard, and perhaps an inside bar in the finished basement?
Make it something suitable for teens (lock up a separate liquor area, etc.).
(Note: Make it "THE" gathering space of the neighborhood, including another theatre set up, etc., and you'll often have a better idea where your kids are, compared with the other kids' parents :wink:

If it turns out that it would be cheaper to buy/build something else, try really hard not to switch the children's schools.

[I was among those who was moved in early teens, and more than half a century later, I'm still trying to recover. Okay, not really, but it truly was a horrible experience at the time and for a while after. Part of it was the fact that it was cross country, so no easy visiting with old friends, and part was my parents' bizarre choice of a very poor school where there wasn't a chance I'd fit in. End rant. But *try* to keep the children where they are happily adjusted if at all possible. Those years can be difficult enough no matter what.]

RM
Yes. That is my main concern as well - not to disrupt the kids' friendships. That is why I am leaning and trying to convince her toward staying here and updating whatever we need right here even if it makes our cost in this house close to a million. The thing is there is 1 high school and 2 middle schools for the whole area of 7 townships so even if we move to the other wealthy neighborhood, the kids will end up back in the same middle schools/high school in a couple years anyway after attending the other elementary school. Besides its an awesome house and we both love it (at least she loved it until now).

fourkids
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by fourkids » Mon Sep 17, 2018 4:58 pm

agree with those who say finish (or partially finish) the basement. much cheaper option. make a music room for the kids, rec room for the kids. xtra bedroom for guests. this is a cheap option, $50k tops all in- just don't add a kitchen down there.
then you can reclaim your living room/dining room as adult space.
- this is what we've done in our house for our 4 kids. they spend hours in the winter down in the basement with all their toys.

HereToLearn
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by HereToLearn » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:24 pm

I would finish the basement first, however, I think it will cost more than $50K. I spent that much finishing the basement nearly twenty years ago, although the total included a full bathroom and a wall of built-in cabinet, and a lot of closets. You might have to upgrade the heating system to allow heating three floors at the same time.

The basement was essential while my children were younger, and is still used periodically with friends when home from college.

The cost of the sunroom is troubling me because I don't think you will get that money back at resale (too high a percentage of total home value), whereas finishing the basement for less will provide a lot more usable space.

I would not move, for all of the reasons voiced above: sale & purchase transaction costs, new furniture and window treatments, and ridiculously higher property taxes. I think the SALT cap will cause more people to focus on property taxes that are no longer deductible.

Clueless
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Clueless » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:51 pm

I am not going to comment on the expense of what you are considering; however, I am going to comment on a huge issue I don’t think you have considered. Security. I assume you and your wife work full time. Who is doing the background checks on the crews that are going to be in your home when you are not there? Let me tell you, the crew members will constantly change without notice. Do you know you are going to have massive holes covered with tarps in your home for an extended period of time? Anyone off the street can walk in when you are not there. Even worse, what if a criminal walks in while your wife and children are home without you? This is a risk I would not take.

afan
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by afan » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:38 am

Even if OP can easily affordable it, this is too little an upgrade for far too much money. Working with an architect to make the most of the space you have is a far better idea. Finish and use the basement. The kids, at least, will be happy with a basement hangout.
With your budget you do not have to limit yourselves to non load bearing walls as you contemplate options for the first floor. If you have space you barely use, repurpose it to something valuable for you.

With the same budget that would get you a small additional room you could make the house much more like what you want.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama

Leemiller
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Leemiller » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:14 am

I would just move. Your wife is never going to be happy in your current house, in your current neighborhood. Not sure it makes financial sense/ how affordable it is. Renovations always cost more and take longer than you think. I don’t really go down to our basement either, and that is about 1/2 of our 4,000 sq ft. 200k would be a bargain to trade up like that where I live. I don’t think some of the comments are fair - just because you want nicer things doesn’t mean it’s always about other people and OP none is buying a home to show up your wife. Sounds like they are buying a premium home for your area in a top neighborhood, which can be a very good investment.

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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:34 am

corysold wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:43 am
I'd look for other quotes.

$150,000 for a 300 foot sunroom seems astronomical to me.
Agree. Personally I’d buy a new house, after having lived through a house renovation and contractor nonsense, I have had enough. Oh, and that quote for $150,000 - insanity. Is that before or after cost overruns?
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

afan
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by afan » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:01 am

We have a partly finished basement that I use every day.

The broader issue is whether this makes financial sense. There is a big gap between "we could borrow the money and make timely payments on the loan" and the much more stringent "we can afford it" .

You clearly have an expensive life style. Not a criticism, just an observation. A doctor and an engineer are going to have lofty educational goals for their three kids. Have you finished funding college and grad school for all three of them?

Given your income and life style, the amount of money you can put into tax favored retirement accounts will be nowhere close to enough for your retirements. Are you putting away much more into taxable accounts earmarked for retirement? A rough rule of thumb might be to maximize what you are allowed to put into retirement accounts and on top of that put away the same amount in taxable accounts for retirement.

If you have fully funded education x3 and are doubling your annual contributions to tax favored retirement accounts then the question is whether you can accumulate enough cash to cover the renovation without taking on more debt.

If so, then at least the idea of spending that much in your house is reasonable financially. Spending that much for 320 sq ft is crazy.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama

JGoneRiding
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by JGoneRiding » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:20 am

This sounds like a very sad case if happy wife happy life. And while it will only temp make a material girl happy the addition is cheaper than moving would be.

Both ideas are crazy and you should focus more on all the great things in your life so your wife stops comparing.

Shallowpockets
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Shallowpockets » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:28 am

This is a dilemma when you have too much money and a wife.
It is as if you are in some sort of reality show and you need a problem to chew on.
A 100-150k 320 square foot room verses buying a new house because 2000 sq feet on the first floor is cramped.
You need to read that sentence a few times. Like a comedian repeats the lead in on a joke before the punch line.

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Cycle
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by Cycle » Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:03 am

What's the walk score in this 6000sq/ft home neighborhood?

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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by scorp_pccorp » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:56 pm

Cycle wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:03 am
What's the walk score in this 6000sq/ft home neighborhood?
Walk score is 0/100 from Redfin :)

scorp_pccorp
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by scorp_pccorp » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:57 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:28 am
This is a dilemma when you have too much money and a wife.
It is as if you are in some sort of reality show and you need a problem to chew on.
A 100-150k 320 square foot room verses buying a new house because 2000 sq feet on the first floor is cramped.
You need to read that sentence a few times. Like a comedian repeats the lead in on a joke before the punch line.
Yes. Sounds very funny when you put it that way :)

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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by scorp_pccorp » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:06 pm

afan wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:01 am
We have a partly finished basement that I use every day.

The broader issue is whether this makes financial sense. There is a big gap between "we could borrow the money and make timely payments on the loan" and the much more stringent "we can afford it" .

You clearly have an expensive life style. Not a criticism, just an observation. A doctor and an engineer are going to have lofty educational goals for their three kids. Have you finished funding college and grad school for all three of them?

Given your income and life style, the amount of money you can put into tax favored retirement accounts will be nowhere close to enough for your retirements. Are you putting away much more into taxable accounts earmarked for retirement? A rough rule of thumb might be to maximize what you are allowed to put into retirement accounts and on top of that put away the same amount in taxable accounts for retirement.

If you have fully funded education x3 and are doubling your annual contributions to tax favored retirement accounts then the question is whether you can accumulate enough cash to cover the renovation without taking on more debt.

If so, then at least the idea of spending that much in your house is reasonable financially. Spending that much for 320 sq ft is crazy.
Afan, Thanks for those comments.

We do save quite a bit, maximize my 401k (she has no 401k being an independent small business owner with employees), do 5.5K backdoor Roth IRA every year, invest 20k combined per year into kids' 529 plans (max. state tax deductible amount) and crossed the 1 million net worth about 6 months ago (not including home equity which is very low anyway). We paid off a total of 310k in her student loans in 5 years after her graduation so that was a major deficit we had to make up before we could even think of buying a house. We also built our own practice after buying our house and it is doing pretty good as well. The only debts we have are the mortgage and the practice loan. Our cars are paid off. My wife still drives a 2005 Honda, I drive a 2011 Toyota. So I think overall, we are in good financial shape and can definitely afford to do this.
Last edited by scorp_pccorp on Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.

ResearchMed
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:07 pm

scorp_pccorp wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:57 pm
Shallowpockets wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:28 am
This is a dilemma when you have too much money and a wife.
It is as if you are in some sort of reality show and you need a problem to chew on.
A 100-150k 320 square foot room verses buying a new house because 2000 sq feet on the first floor is cramped.
You need to read that sentence a few times. Like a comedian repeats the lead in on a joke before the punch line.
Yes. Sounds very funny when you put it that way :)
Right, but isn't it really a case where the Doctor has money, an unsatisfactory house, and a husband?

:twisted:

RM
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mnecon
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by mnecon » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:12 pm

No judgment here. If you spend a lot of time at home and entertaining, the house is worth altering within your budgetary constraints to be more enjoyable. I would point out one other thing you may not have considered.

When we were finishing our basement, we also had a porch on our main level (which was the small level of our house)that we never used and were interested in turning into a sunroom so we could utilize the space. We would have had similar foundation issue. The cost is high because you have to pay for the 2 most expensive parts of the room - the foundation and the roof. The marginal cost of adding the same amount of space to all three levels at the same time may be smaller than you think. So we finished the basement and an addition with a full room on all three levels.

My husband also really wanted a movie room. A real one, with no windows and that he could design the advanced (for the time) sound system. So below the sunroom - we have a movie room. You could also make it an exercise room, mother in law suite, etc. I thought adding a 3rd bathroom on the second floor would come in useful with 2 girls so that went above the sunroom ( along with a study nook for one of the bedrooms.)

While $150,000 seems ridiculous for 320 sq ft. $200,000 for 900 square feet may give you the opportunity to add some additional items you wish your house had.

veindoc
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by veindoc » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:50 pm

I would just buy the other home. Just because a house is big doesn’t mean it functions well.

We live in a 5000sq foot home and it sometimes feels too small because of the size of the rooms. The entry way/hallway is way too expansive. It looks impressive but is just not practical. The entry way itself is about as large as the size of our dining room- totally useless space except for Thanksgiving when we set up a kids table. The living room and dining room (which we don’t use) are much larger than the kitchen and family room (that we do use). :oops: Having said that we just make it work.

If it was more of a pressing problem like in your household where the kids are using a major room of the house as a music room, that might be a reason to move. I’m curious why the dining room wasn’t converted to the music room. My kids have turned my dining room into a lego creation/display center. I don’t mind because we don’t use the room that often and I like having them on the first floor with me as opposed to disappearing in their rooms or th basement.

Again, we just make it work. I moved well over nine times post undergrad and really don’t plan to move again until kids are out of the house in 15 years or so. But if you are up for a move and can afford it without impacting the kids or work, why not?

finite_difference
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by finite_difference » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:28 pm

If you want to really out do the neighbors, you need an elevator: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=258653

As an added benefit, your spouse doesn’t need to worry about stairs :beer

Also, don’t forget the home theatre and gym in the basement.
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phantom0308
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by phantom0308 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:31 am

If floor-plan is the problem, then maybe you should work with someone to design a better floor-plan and decide how you'd change your current space to get rid of that small feeling. I was recently looking at houses. None of them were as big as this, but houses that had a lot of rooms and a lot of space felt smaller than the houses with fewer rooms even with less space. The extra rooms made the layout seem choppy and I had no idea what I would ever do with all of those rooms.

IGWT
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by IGWT » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:42 am

I can empathize with your problem. Sorry you are having such a tough time deciding. :shock:

BTW, this looks like a brag troll thread! :shock:

baap re :confused

bstewie
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by bstewie » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:19 am

OP,

Entire houses in your region cost as much as the 300sq ft room you want to add. I suggest you simply entertain more if you want to entertain more. If your friends show up to complain about your cramped floor plan, get new friends. If your friends show up to complain about going down some stairs, get new friends. If you like your house, keep it. If you don’t like your house, find one you like. One of you is an engineer, be logical.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by unclescrooge » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:51 pm

scorp_pccorp wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:10 pm
thatme wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:04 pm
How many kids? What ages?

I've got ~5200 square feet finished (including the basement; about 3800 square feet above grade), but have five kids and two big dogs. It sometimes feel ridiculously oversized (particularly if I happen to be home alone) but when everyone is doing something in different parts of the house, it feels just right. We came from ~2000 square feet so it was a big adjustment, but we definitely grew into the house pretty quickly.

I agree with everyone else about considering how to repurpose your existing space or possibly doing the addition. I think the moving to a different house/neighborhood just to make the friends jealous or whatever is a recipe for constant dissatisfaction/moving every two years. I wouldn't want that.
3 kids - 9, 7 and 5. No pets yet but kids keep asking for them so we will probably have a dog or cat in a year or two. We definitely use all 4 bedrooms upstairs because each kid has taken one bedroom and left the master for mom/dad. The only rooms we don't use much are the formal dining and living rooms.

Actually now that the kids are taking music classes at school, they have setup their musical equipment in the living room. So that leaves only the dining room unused for now.
Move the kids music lessons into the basement.

Knock down anything with the word "formal" in it and create on open space for living, eating and the kitchen.

I just did a major remodel. We knocked down a bunch of walls and have a 1,000 sq ft living/kitchen area. The kitchen is about 45% of that with a 50 sq ft island.

My office is adjacent to the kitchen, and I put in large double doors with opaque lamiglass. we open them up when we have guests over, so that adds another 280 sq ft.

We've thrown parties with 85 people with no problem. We also have a small patio for any spill overs.

If you're creative you should easily be able to reconfigure your layout for about $100k. And probably get a new kitchen out of it too.

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celia
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by celia » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:02 am

Have you considered making the current first floor feel bigger by re-decorating? Can you put in a sliding glass door so the outdoors is part of the house, tear down a non-loadbearing wall to combine two rooms into one, or use a wall of mirrors to "double" the size of a room? Even a wall covered with a mural of an outdoor scene might help. If you have a "dense" room such as a library or study on the first floor, you could move it upstairs or into the basement.

Or if there is nothing in the basement yet, turn that into a huge party/entertaining room and finish the stairs. You could even put in some kitchen appliances there if entertaining revolves around food.

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randomizer
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by randomizer » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:20 am

Sounds like a case of keeping up with the Joneses. Be very careful, because it may never be enough.
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dekecarver
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by dekecarver » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:32 am

Contractor friend told me to buy the turnkey house that meets your needs; after one expansion you will learn why.

kjvmartin
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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by kjvmartin » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:26 am

If material things make you happy you'll never be happy for very long.

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Re: Dilemma: Add room to current house or buy new house?

Post by London » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:11 am

kjvmartin wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:26 am
If material things make you happy you'll never be happy for very long.
Yawn. Plenty of people have "material things" like family heirlooms (etc) that make them happy and they manage to live happy fulfilling lives. Pious internet talk in my view.

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