For most Americans, bigger is better when it comes to buying a home. But is it really? Bigger homes cost much more initially and over the long haul. So you have to ask yourself how much space you really need when buying a house in Northern Virginia. And to answer that question, you will need to answer the questions below.
Is This a Forever Home or Just a Step?
No one can predict the future, of course, but most of do have at least a vague idea of our future plans. So the first question you’ll need to ask when buying a house in Northern Virginia is this: How long do you plan to live there?
If it’s not going to be your “forever” home and you plan to live there only a few years, you may be able to get by with a lot less house – that is, just a “good enough” home. If you intend to live in the house just four of five years, then you probably don’t need a lot of space. You can always upgrade in the future.
What Are Your Priorities?
How much space you really need when buying a house in Northern Virginia also depends on your priorities. Do you plan to have more children and/or do a lot of entertaining? Or will the house just be a place to eat and sleep when you’re not at work? If it’s the latter, then you don’t really need a lot of space.
You also need to determine what is more important to you – owning a big house or other things like travel or more education. You really don’t want to sacrifice your important goals and priorities for more square footage, do you? Buying a smaller house will allow you to work toward those other goals.
What Is Your Income Trajectory
A very important consideration in determining how much space you really need when buying a house in Northern Virginia is what your income will look like in the future. That will determine, in large part, how much space you need by letting you know how much space you will be able to afford.
If, for example, you are young and just starting out on your career, your income will likely do nothing but increase over the years. And in this scenario, you likely need and can afford more space. But what if you are nearing the end of your working life and are ready to live on Social Security and your retirement fund. In that case, you will likely be able to afford less space. And do you really want to spend most of your time and money on the upkeep and repairs that go along with more space?
Does the Home Feel Like It Has Enough Space
In addition, how much space you need when buying a house in Northern Virginia depends on the feel of that space. A smaller house can feel larger and roomier than a bigger house depending on the floor plan. A large house with dark, small rooms can feel like it has a lot less space than a smaller house with an open floor plan and good lighting.
Total square footage can be deceiving when it comes to livable space. Lots of long hallways, for example, will add to the square footage but don’t really contribute to the living space. A more important consideration in determining how much or how much more space you’ll need is the size of individual rooms.
Do You Have a Good Agent?
The final question you need to ask to determine how much space you really need when buying a house in Northern Virginia is this: Do I have a qualified local real estate agent? A good agent can help you assess your needs and priorities and income trajectory, as well as the suitability of a house, and can then guide you accordingly.