Author Topic: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?  (Read 6415 times)

Mutton Chop

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How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« on: August 03, 2015, 01:44:44 PM »
Hi Everyone,

Does anyone have good advice about how to talk to your significant other about not wanting to move up in home (saying "no" to buying a bigger, more expensive home")?

We live in a 2002 built home, 2,050 square feet that is worth a little less than $500,000.  We paid $345,000 for it in 2012 and never plan on selling.

My wife has brought up moving into a bigger, more expensive home down the road when we have kids.  We make about $160,000 per year. 

In my opinion, we live in a mansion!  It even has a pool.  I've brought up the opportunity costs involved with moving into a larger home (bigger mortgage, more maintenance, more cleaning).  I don't want to kill her dreams but at the same time we've got it about as good as it gets.

Anyone been here? 

Mutton Chop

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How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2015, 01:46:38 PM »
Hi Everyone,

Does anyone have good advice about how to talk to your significant other about not wanting to move up in home (saying "no" to buying a bigger, more expensive home")?

We live in a 2002 built home, 2,050 square feet that is worth a little less than $500,000.  We paid $345,000 for it in 2012 and never plan on selling.

My wife has brought up moving into a bigger, more expensive home down the road when we have kids.  We make about $160,000 per year. 

In my opinion, we live in a mansion!  It even has a pool.  I've brought up the opportunity costs involved with moving into a larger home (bigger mortgage, more maintenance, more cleaning).  I don't want to kill her dreams but at the same time we've got it about as good as it gets.

Anyone been here? 

sokoloff

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2015, 02:41:34 PM »
My best advice would be to see if you can get her to agree that it's worth starting your family in the house you've got. 2050 ft^2 is pretty good sized house and, unless horribly architected, should be suitable for at least a couple kids.

Once you have kids, your time tends to evaporate, so time for cleaning a larger house may become even more of an issue. You may also find that once you have 1 or 2 kids that what you value in a house may change as well.

I hear (and applaud) your desire to not kill her dreams, but if she's reasonably happy with the house now, I'd see if you could focus on the family and associated financial planning for that and make the decision on a house upgrade later, after the need is reasonably obvious, not well in advance. I hope it's not the case, but for all you know, you may have trouble having kids or something and it might be even more depressing to have moved into a house specifically for that reason and then have that not work out.

Us2bCool

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2015, 02:52:20 PM »
Yeah, we did that once. Never again. Ended up moving from a 2300 SF house to a 3600 SF mcMansion. What a waste that was. In the eight years we lived in that house I never enjoyed it once, all I ever did was clean it. All the parties we planned to have never really panned out, and when we did have parties, all our guests felt bad that our house was so much nicer than theirs and never reciprocated.

And the repairs! Oh, the repairs. Once when times were tight we all slept on the livingroom floor for a week because the upstairs AC went out.   But the kicker is that we never saw each other. Everyone would come home and retreat to their corners every night.

We abandoned that life of luxury when we moved to California and ended up in 1500 square feet. We are much happier now.  I will never, ever live in a house over 2000 square feet again.

KCM5

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2015, 02:56:45 PM »
Is there something she wants other than size? Like a different location or improvements like floors, kitchen, garden or something?

It's kind of foreign to me that someone would just want something larger. So I'm assuming that she actually has things she wants (breakfast nook?) that the larger space will provide. Narrow it down a bit and then work on being happy with what you have.

Mutton Chop

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2015, 07:46:25 PM »
There is a distinct style and type of home that she wants.  She is not un-happy in our house, but mentioned if we end up having a large family that we might outgrow the home.

There's also no point in putting the cart before the horse.  Right now we don't have any kids, and our 2,000 square foot home does not get fully utilized (hence why I feel like I live in a castle). 

I'll just wait and see how things go.  We're doing some small improvements to our home but nothing crazy.  I'm very leery of anything that feels like lifestyle creep, and this feels bad.  My wife is supportive of our frugalness and is reasonable.

sol

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2015, 07:58:43 PM »
We had two adults and three kids (and three pets) in 1650 sqft quite comfortably, but that house was really well laid out.  Our current home is 2250 sqft and luxuriously spacious for three kids.  They each get their own room and they almost each get their own bedroom.

But I do understand the desire to upgrade, eventually.  I look at our stash, our savings rate, and our jobs and think to myself irrational things like "working five extra years would let us buy a million dollar mansion with a water view and live like kings!" when really, our current home will already be too big for us once the kids leave, and my mountain view is pretty awesome too.  That money is better spent elsewhere.

zephyr911

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2015, 01:21:24 PM »
Hi Everyone,

Does anyone have good advice about how to talk to your significant other about not wanting to move up in home (saying "no" to buying a bigger, more expensive home")?

We live in a 2002 built home, 2,050 square feet that is worth a little less than $500,000.  We paid $345,000 for it in 2012 and never plan on selling.

My wife has brought up moving into a bigger, more expensive home down the road when we have kids.  We make about $160,000 per year. 

In my opinion, we live in a mansion!  It even has a pool.  I've brought up the opportunity costs involved with moving into a larger home (bigger mortgage, more maintenance, more cleaning).  I don't want to kill her dreams but at the same time we've got it about as good as it gets.

Anyone been here?
Gah! What the hell for? We left behind 1900SF because it was a horrendous waste with just the two of us. We'd keep our 3BR / 1144sf if we had one kid, maybe even two. Buying more house is just buying bigger bills. You should be looking to buy smaller bills by improving the place you have. Want a nicer house? Make your house nicer... that is more than enough space for any reasonable family, unless you plan on raising a whole basketball team.

lifejoy

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2015, 06:18:28 PM »
Can't help but say:

It's not the size, but how you use it ;) ;) ;)

Haha jokes aside, find out why she wants a bigger place and go from there. Do you have too much stuff? Does everyone you know have a bigger house? Is there something she doesn't like about your current home, and she's using size as an excuse?

MoonShadow

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2015, 06:22:29 PM »
My wife & I have five kids in a 2200 square foot home.  Yes, it can be done.  We even have one bedroom that is dedicated to a homeschooling resource room (i.e. a library, mostly).

These are expensive, but you will never need more beds...

http://thebeanbagstore.com/bhpicksix.htm

GFPchicken

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2015, 07:19:08 PM »
Kids really don't need that much space. We have 654 sqft with one child and another to be born in March, and it's plenty. If we only ever planned on having two kids, we could keep this house forever. As it is (we hope for many kids), we figure we'll buy a bigger place once we're up to 3 or 4, but it really would be fine here with even two teenagers and the two of us. And there's so little cleaning! And the energy bills are tiny.

cheddarpie

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2015, 03:25:26 PM »
Yeah, we did that once. Never again. Ended up moving from a 2300 SF house to a 3600 SF mcMansion. What a waste that was. In the eight years we lived in that house I never enjoyed it once, all I ever did was clean it. All the parties we planned to have never really panned out, and when we did have parties, all our guests felt bad that our house was so much nicer than theirs and never reciprocated.

And the repairs! Oh, the repairs. Once when times were tight we all slept on the livingroom floor for a week because the upstairs AC went out.   But the kicker is that we never saw each other. Everyone would come home and retreat to their corners every night.

We abandoned that life of luxury when we moved to California and ended up in 1500 square feet. We are much happier now.  I will never, ever live in a house over 2000 square feet again.

Yes. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

DirtDiva

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2015, 04:39:26 PM »
Yeah, we did that once. Never again. Ended up moving from a 2300 SF house to a 3600 SF mcMansion. What a waste that was. In the eight years we lived in that house I never enjoyed it once, all I ever did was clean it. All the parties we planned to have never really panned out, and when we did have parties, all our guests felt bad that our house was so much nicer than theirs and never reciprocated.

And the repairs! Oh, the repairs. Once when times were tight we all slept on the livingroom floor for a week because the upstairs AC went out.   But the kicker is that we never saw each other. Everyone would come home and retreat to their corners every night.

We abandoned that life of luxury when we moved to California and ended up in 1500 square feet. We are much happier now.  I will never, ever live in a house over 2000 square feet again.

Thank you for sharing a truly helpful life experience.  I have personally experienced the reluctance to invite friends over to my house when they live in a fancy spacious home and we don't. 

grettman

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2015, 07:10:07 AM »
I make about 160K annually and my wife is a stay at home mom.  I have convinced my wife to go in the OPPOSITE direction and down size.  Like the previous poster, we have McMansion (4.5K sq feet) and I want to reduce the size of the house and the mortage.  I convinced her by focusing on the big picture:  Reduce house cost = more opportunities to invest for our future + more money set asside for travel + less work + better schools.  I can't wait to pull the trigger.  Now we have to get this large ass money sucking place on the market....
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 08:17:23 AM by grettman »

waffle

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2015, 11:26:13 AM »
I have two kids and live in a 1800 square foot house. I can tell you the house is plenty big. The thing I'd most want to change is the yard. I would love a large yard for the kids to play in. There are parks nearby, but that doesn't help when you are cooking dinner and the kids are underfoot. It would be nice to have a large yard where we could send the kids.

crispy

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2015, 01:24:28 PM »
We are also heading in the opposite direction and are in the process of selling out 2800 sf 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home in a fancy neighborhood.  We like the house we are in, but we waste a ton of the space.  We have two bedrooms we never use because our girls insist on sharing a room, we have a bathroom that never gets used, we have a gigantic playroom/bonus room that is rarely used, and we have a formal dining room that never gets used.  We have a pretty lot, but it slopes so most of the time our girls play in the front yard which isn't necessarily safe on our street.  The costs associated with it are also pretty high - increased repair bills because everything in the house is expensive, increased taxes, increased utility bills, and HOA fees.

I started wanting to downsize a few years back, but it took longer for my DH to get on board and even longer to find the right house.  We are closing next month on an older, 1500 sf house with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  It does have a bonus space that we will be finishing off that we will turn into a small playroom (we won't spend a ton of money to do this, but it will up the value of the house quite a bit).  The best part is that it has a full acre lot that is flat which is hard to find in our area. 

The move will save us $11,000 to $12,000 per year for the next 12 years (based on our current mortgage pay off dates)  which we plan to invest.  I think our quality of life will increase exponentially.  I look back and realize we made a ton of unnecessary sacrifices over the years for a HOUSE which makes me want to kick myself.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 01:26:56 PM by crispy »

MayDay

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2015, 10:42:05 AM »
We started with a 60's ranch, and did not appreciate it enough.  Then we moved and could not find a medium sized house after a year of looking.  We could find really old houses with a lot of charm and not a lot of insulation, and we could find newer construction larger houses.  Meanwhile during this we were renting a 760 sq ft. 2 bedroom house.

We gave up the search and settled on a newer house.  2700 sq ft, 4 bed, 2.5 bath, plus unfinished basement.  Some parts were great- I loved the kitchen pantry (never had one of those before!  highly recommend.)  The kids used the huge unfinished basement as an indoor winter playground (bikes and scooters, etc).  We definitely loved having a guest room.  Etc. 

But in the end, it was just a waste.  We used the formal dining room 3 times (Christmas and Tday).  We used the office to hold the office-y stuff, but didn't need a whole room for that.  Etc. 

2 months ago we sold it for a small profit (probably about broke even over renting when you consider we had to do maintenance, which, yup, way more expensive on a big house!).  We are now renting about 2000 sq ft house with its own set of issues, but its cheap rent.  The filing cabinet and computer are back in the dining room (which we actually eat in since the kitchen is not eat-in).  The world has not ended. 

Our kids are 7 and 5, btw.  If I had 3-4 kids maybe we would have found the larger house worth it.  I definitely like the option of each kid having their own room, for my sanity. 

We plan to buy again at some point, but after sampling both sides, we have a very specific wish list.  Ranch house with simple roof line (cheap to replace roof, can paint yourself unlike multi-story houses).  3-4 bedrooms, 1.5-2 baths.  NEVER MORE THAN 2. CLEANING BATHS SUCKS. We either want that 4th bedroom, or a "den sort of room", or a dry basement.  Basically we need somewhere to put the treadmill, which H uses for an hour every day.  This will double as playroom, office, guest room, etc. 

crispy

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2015, 11:49:01 AM »
We started with a 60's ranch, and did not appreciate it enough.  Then we moved and could not find a medium sized house after a year of looking.  We could find really old houses with a lot of charm and not a lot of insulation, and we could find newer construction larger houses.  Meanwhile during this we were renting a 760 sq ft. 2 bedroom house.

We gave up the search and settled on a newer house.  2700 sq ft, 4 bed, 2.5 bath, plus unfinished basement.  Some parts were great- I loved the kitchen pantry (never had one of those before!  highly recommend.)  The kids used the huge unfinished basement as an indoor winter playground (bikes and scooters, etc).  We definitely loved having a guest room.  Etc. 

But in the end, it was just a waste.  We used the formal dining room 3 times (Christmas and Tday).  We used the office to hold the office-y stuff, but didn't need a whole room for that.  Etc. 

2 months ago we sold it for a small profit (probably about broke even over renting when you consider we had to do maintenance, which, yup, way more expensive on a big house!).  We are now renting about 2000 sq ft house with its own set of issues, but its cheap rent.  The filing cabinet and computer are back in the dining room (which we actually eat in since the kitchen is not eat-in).  The world has not ended. 

Our kids are 7 and 5, btw.  If I had 3-4 kids maybe we would have found the larger house worth it.  I definitely like the option of each kid having their own room, for my sanity. 

We plan to buy again at some point, but after sampling both sides, we have a very specific wish list.  Ranch house with simple roof line (cheap to replace roof, can paint yourself unlike multi-story houses).  3-4 bedrooms, 1.5-2 baths.  NEVER MORE THAN 2. CLEANING BATHS SUCKS. We either want that 4th bedroom, or a "den sort of room", or a dry basement.  Basically we need somewhere to put the treadmill, which H uses for an hour every day.  This will double as playroom, office, guest room, etc.

Your wish list sounds exactly like ours. I don't mind a fourth bedroom or a den/playroom, but we didn't need both.  I also wanted a separate laundry room (hate a laundry closet where I can't actually put dirty clothes) and a pantry (gotta love a good pantry!).  It took us a long time to find the right house in the area we wanted for the price we wanted to pay, but we finally did it. I will be so glad when we finally close and get moved.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 12:36:40 PM by crispy »

Alchemilla

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2015, 11:55:55 AM »
My wife & I have five kids in a 2200 square foot home.  Yes, it can be done.  We even have one bedroom that is dedicated to a homeschooling resource room (i.e. a library, mostly).

These are expensive, but you will never need more beds...

http://thebeanbagstore.com/bhpicksix.htm
Just showed this to my kids. They LOVE it and agree we only nedd a 2 bed house now.
DH says its a youth hostel!

Bearded Man

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2015, 12:48:39 PM »
Don't do it, I wouldn't. I've bought three houses in 5 years or so, and each one bigger than the last. Right now easily 50%, if not 65% of the house I live in now goes unused. I will be moving from here in a year when I can rent it out and sell in 3 years of renting without capital gains taxes. I'm either moving back into one of my rentals or buying a new place (leaning toward buying a new place) that is the right size and location.

One of my tenants lives in a 3 bedroom 1 bath house less than 1K square feet with her husband, sister, and 3-4 kids! It can be done, just have less stuff. De-clutter. This is much harder to do when you accumulate a bunch of stuff for each bigger house.

jooles

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2015, 01:45:12 PM »
I did it.  Moved to 3000 sq feet on 1.5 acres.  The maintenance costs and holding costs were way above the enjoyment we got out of the property.  It cost almost $50k / year to live there.  I did not get 50k worth of enjoyment out of the house. 

Our culture teaches us to always want more.  The bigger, shinier, newer, better will make us happier, make us feel like "we've made it".

Know what it would cost, down payment, closing costs, mortgage payments, maintenance costs, insurance, taxes, commuting, etc.  Then compare that number to what you spend now.  Be absolutely sure that what you are getting for your money is EXACTLY the way you would choose to use those resources.

Ask yourself, have your wife ask herself, why do I really want to bigger house?  What does having a bigger house mean to me?  Are my feelings telling me the truth?  Or are these lies I've believed that really benefit someone other than me?     

Today I would much rather keep my hard earned dollars.  I called the lesson I learned on that house purchase and all the money I wasted "STUPID TAX".  I spent $200k in stupid tax on that one house.  Please go to school on my mistakes.  Don't do it.

MoonShadow

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2015, 06:57:57 PM »
My wife & I have five kids in a 2200 square foot home.  Yes, it can be done.  We even have one bedroom that is dedicated to a homeschooling resource room (i.e. a library, mostly).

These are expensive, but you will never need more beds...

http://thebeanbagstore.com/bhpicksix.htm
Just showed this to my kids. They LOVE it and agree we only nedd a 2 bed house now.
DH says its a youth hostel!

I sent that bed to my husband with the subject heading: THIS IS YOUR FUTURE, EMBRACE IT.

Yes, embrace it.  It is a $6K set, but that is still way cheaper than paying an extra $60K per bedroom for a new house.  And that doesn't count the extra costs of 1) insuring it, 2) additional property taxes, 3) heating the extra space and 4) air conditioning the extra space.

sol

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2015, 08:14:08 PM »
Yes, embrace it.  It is a $6K set, but that is still way cheaper than paying an extra $60K per bedroom for a new house.

$6k seems a bit excessive.  I'm pretty sure I could build it for about $2k in lumber and parts, plus a week of my time.  Suddenly I'm wishing I had more kids.

MoonShadow

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2015, 08:17:38 PM »
Yes, embrace it.  It is a $6K set, but that is still way cheaper than paying an extra $60K per bedroom for a new house.

$6k seems a bit excessive.  I'm pretty sure I could build it for about $2k in lumber and parts, plus a week of my time.  Suddenly I'm wishing I had more kids.

If you have the skills and the time, the cost of new furniture is always excessive.

Goldielocks

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2015, 02:20:57 AM »
For consideration...

The peter principle apparently applies to home size.

If you stop your share of the cleaning, she may feel that you have reached your maximum size.

SnackDog

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Re: How to Avoid Unnecessarily Moving "UP" in Home?
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2015, 04:07:21 AM »
How about just telling her "No". Tell her you are not on board with ever selling the current house unless it is to down size, even after all the kids arrive on the scene.