Big or Small?? A Versailles Mansion or a Wee Cottage?

VersaillesOur family had the good fortune of heading to France for a week over Spring Break – mainly as a meeting place of kids (and their kids) spread outaround the world.  Some of the things we saw certainly drew my attention and I gathered some good insights on the US Marketplace to share with everyone.  Our trip to the opulent castle of Versailles yesterday really got me thinking about home sizes – so here goes:

 Four things to consider when deciding on the size of home you should buy or rent:

1.  Initial Price:

Of course a mansion the size of Versailles might be out of reach for almost everyone in the Grand Rapids area – but there are homes that are big and imposing and command a top price.  No matter how much you might like a mansion – make sure you have a down payment and qualify for the monthly mortgage payments (including taxes).  Seems like an obvious observation but many folks don’t stop to think about the price before forging ahead.

2.  Maintenance:

The bigger the home – the more the maintenance on that home will be.  Figure in the cost of yard upkeep, snow plowing (if you are in the snow belt), general maintenance like painting and decorating.  If you are handy figure in your labor costs – if you have to hire it all done – rethink how big of a commitment you are making.

3.  Utility Cost and Taxes

Generally speaking both of these will be higher if the price is higher for your home – simply due to size of home and valuation for tax purposes.  Here is where buying a huge house cheap – maybe a foreclosure that needs fix-up or re-do – might end up costing you way more than if you had bought one for a little more money that had been maintined and kept up by the previous owner.

4.  Pleasure

Prioritize what you want to spend your time doing.  If decorating – working in the garden – and/or generally putzing around at home is your thing – buy a huge fixer-upper and go for it.  If you want to spend some of your time doing other things than working on your house and don’t want to spend all of your money on house related items (like monthly payments, taxes, etc) – then buy something a little less in money and size but something that has been kindly cared for over the years.

Your Realtor is uniquely qualified to help you figure out where you might want to be in this scenario and can help you find just the right house that meets your needs.  We do this every day in the Grand Rapids,  Michigan market and would be happy to walk you through some of the decisions that a new buyer might have to make to decide if you want to live in Versailles or another house of your dreams – so contact us!