Despite the tiny house movement, a great majority of home buyers still gravitate towards bigger homes. It’s not difficult to understand why; a huge home symbolises prestige and success, the concrete sign that someone already ‘made it’. Sometimes, the desire comes from a place of perceived need. ‘What if another child comes along?’ or ‘What if my in-laws decide to move in?’.
There’s nothing wrong with these motives. But more often than not, that sense of pride or anxiety can get so blown-up that you overestimate your need for that extra square footage. In the end, you will realise it’s not a need. Here are other reasons you shouldn’t buy a bigger home than you need:
You’ll spend less time with your kids and partner.
A larger house means a lot of spaces, with more rooms other than the kitchen-living-room-bedroom basics. It’s nice to have the extras, a playroom and a library here, a home theatre and a wine cellar there — but if you’re not too aware, these could quickly become retreat areas that can prevent your family from interacting more with each other.
You’ll find yourself busy in the kitchen. Your husband is tinkering using his tools in the basement. Your daughter in her bedroom, trying on different lipstick shades. Your son in the media room, playing with video games. What happens is what you do in the house takes the place of who you should be with. Of course, you can always set house rules to improve bonding time, but isn’t it better that you come together naturally?
You will hate the upkeep and maintenance over time.
When you have so many rooms in a big home comes with responsibilities, a long list starting from the simple dusting, sweeping the floors, to the repairing of broken ACs or re-caulking windows. You’ll grow tired of this routine eventually (and the heavier costs that come with it), especially when those rooms you’re cleaning are used only once in a blue moon, like when your in-laws are visiting for Thanksgiving or when you just welcomed a new baby.
So consider these reasons as you go to look for houses to buy: don’t just look at the aesthetics of the rooms, ask yourself the practical question: am I willing to clean up (and pay for) all this? If you’re not into getting your hands dirty, go for just the right size of a home. There are places in Australia like Truganina where there are modest houses and land properties for sale.
You’re less likely to connect with your neighbours.
When there’s a sprawling lawn around your home, likely, you won’t be able to greet your neighbours as warmly as you can if you’re just a fence away from them. Without the simple waves or smiles, it’s hard to build rapport with them. You’ll all the more be cooped up in your own little (or big?) world.
Your interaction with neighbours is important as it influences your feeling of being ‘at home’ in a community. It affects your sense of security. If you don’t belong or you don’t trust the people around you, you’ll find yourself jumping from one location to the next. That means more costs, more life changes, with no sense of permanence.
The Right Home
When buying a house, size does matter. The perfect home for you is one that’s ‘just enough’, no more and no less.