How Big of a Home Do You Need?

When buying a home, especially your first home, you may not have any idea of how big your home should be. To make sure that the property you purchase is the right size for you, here is a list of considerations to help you in your decision-making.

General Considerations

  • Is this your first home?

  • If you already have a home, are you upsizing, downsizing or merely changing locations?

  • Do you have school-age children?

  • Do you want non-standard amenities on the property such as pools, workshops, detached buildings, etc.?

  • What size lot are you looking for?

  • Do you want to live in a gated subdivision?

  • Do you wish to live in a neighborhood with a Homeowners Association?

  • Are you looking for a community with shared amenities like a pool or sports courts?

  • Are you looking for a townhome, condominium, duplex, or detached single-family home?

Number of Bedrooms

When determining how many bedrooms you will need, ask yourself these questions:

  • How many adults (or couples) will occupy the property?

  • How many children of each gender will occupy the property?

  • How many offices will be needed?

  • How many guest rooms are desired?

  • How many "bonus" spaces are desired?

In general, one bedroom for parents, at least one bedroom per gender of children (i.e., girl's room, boy's room), one for each office, and at least one guest room. Of course, there are budgetary concerns, and offices can serve as guest rooms with the right furniture (think Murphy beds). The age of your children is important too, as toddlers should not share a bedroom with a teenager.

Number of Bathrooms

The optimal number of bathrooms is one per bedroom plus a half bath on your main floor near the living spaces. Children can easily share bathrooms by gender, but guests probably should have their bathroom, as well as a master suite for parents. All of this depends upon your family situation, of course, and how many generations are living together in the home.

Equipped with the answers to the questions posed above, it's time to engage a realtor who is familiar with the local area in which you want to buy. They will be able to offer additional information based on your preferences and may make additional suggestions for you to consider. Armed with the right information and the right agent, you'll be able to find the dream home that you're looking for.


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