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Would you / did you buy a bigger house if you didn't "need" one?

(71 Posts)
PineappleChutney Tue 13-Aug-19 17:01:22

DH and I are in our mid/late 30s, one DC aged 7, no more planned, and are lucky enough to own our home - combination of decent paying jobs and being cheap as hell. Bought late 20s (we're in the North where prices are lower) and paid off mortgage a couple of years ago. It's a standard 3-bed semi (2 proper bedrooms so one for us and one for DD, with the box room used as a study), very small garden. Kitchen is tiny but functional. We don't find it cramped day to day but have no spare space e.g. I'd like a food processor but we literally have no space to keep it.

We are in a position where we could afford a larger / nicer house if we take on a mortgage again - realistically quite a hefty one to make it worth our while. Everyone around us seems to be doing this and I worry that I am somehow missing the boat, as house prices in our area have steadily climbed. We are already being priced out of houses that we could have afforded if we'd bought 2-3 years ago iyswim. Money that would be spent on a mortgage is just going into savings and I worry that it will be eroded over time by inflation and so on, rather than perhaps holding value in a house. A new house could be closer to DD's school and friends, give us more breathing space, a bigger garden for her to play in etc - but we don't "need" one.

WWYD? Any thoughts appreciated!

Horehound Tue 13-Aug-19 17:05:20

Yep, me and my husband skipped the whole buy a small place, then a bigger one then a bigger one and just jumped to buying a 5 bedroom house immediately (no kids). The mortgage was 28 years but we've reduced this to 20 on a new rate and overpaying every month.
My uncle's advice to us was to stretch ourselves as much as we can without putting ourselves in a risky situation.
Saves money by all the legal fees and duties, removal costs every time you want to move.

We now have 1 baby on the way so now we are beginning to fill the house :D

Horehound Tue 13-Aug-19 17:06:45

And yes, generally you will always make money on a property even if it's long term. Land and property are usually safe bets.

Mintjulia Tue 13-Aug-19 17:08:25

I spent 10 months hunting for a 3 bed house with a decent sized sitting room & a good sized garden.

I gave up and put a very low offer in on a scruffy 4 bed which had been on the market for 18 months. (In 2011)

It’s worked well but I’ll sell it & move somewhere less expensive when I retire.

You have Brexit to add in the mix so harder to judge.....

probablymaybeperhaps Tue 13-Aug-19 17:10:33

No I wouldn't.

I'd move for a better area where she can walk a pleasant route to secondary school and into town, and if you don't intend to downsize in retirement would choose a house which will be "future proof" in terms of single floor living being possible, wide doorways, single level without steps, wetroom downstairs, a downstairs study that could one day in the distant future be a bedroom, walking distance to shops and services.

However I would definitely not take on a big mortgage for space you don't need, and by the time you've moved you'll have almost missed the boat on a bigger garden for her to play in - she won't be playing in the garden as a teenager.

Invest in a small flat to rent out Nd put it in DD's name if the money's burning a hole in your pocket.

Doje Tue 13-Aug-19 17:11:29

We did too. Had a 3 bed place (DH and 2 kids), mortgage free. We could have managed, but were the same as you - savings just accumulating. We got a much bigger house, seeing it but only as an investment, but as a really nice place that we all love to just spend time. Don't regret it - I love our house!

Bluntness100 Tue 13-Aug-19 17:13:54

Yes, totally. In the long run properly always increases in value, so as long as you're in it not for the short term you will benefit.

So for example. A house worth 200k makes twenty percent increase in ten years. You make 40k gross profit.

A house worth 500 k in the same area makes a twenty percent increase in ten years, you make 100k gross profit.

You could argue it costs marginally more to run a bigger home, and you have your mortgage interest, but you get the benefit of living there and come out on top,. You can then downsize and take your equity out,

Sallycinnamum Tue 13-Aug-19 17:14:46

I wouldn't. I'd love to be mortgage free and the idea of stretching yourself is bad advice in the current economic climate.

For us enjoying life in the way of holidays, socialising and trips out is paramount. I'd hate to not be able to do this because of a higher mortgage payment.

Bluntness100 Tue 13-Aug-19 17:18:30

I'd hate to not be able to do this because of a higher mortgage payment

I think you've misread the op. This is not th case here. Their lifestyle isn't not impacted as you suggest, she's saying should she invest in property rather than just saving it. And the answer is yes, because as long as it's long term then you always come out on top with bricks and mortar, savings is more of a gamble, and uou don't get the pleasure of living somewhere.

Horehound Tue 13-Aug-19 17:19:31

@Sallycinnamum who said anything about not affording holidays? confused
You buy as big as you can without restricting lifestyle. We bought a 5 bed house and still go for holidays, days out etc. It's not one or the other...

SoyDora Tue 13-Aug-19 17:20:43

Yeah I would (and we will). We’re in a property that’s perfectly adequate for our needs (large 4 bed, 3DC) but will buy somewhere bigger in the next couple of years. Partly because I like space, partly because it will hopefully be a long term investment.

SoyDora Tue 13-Aug-19 17:21:09

We will still be able to afford holidays, trips out etc though.

TrumpInflatableChased Tue 13-Aug-19 17:22:54

We've just done this in our early 50s. Leaving a house that's the right size, In fact too big really with no mortgage. Moving and taking on a mortgage to gain a drive, garden and semi rather than terraced.

We can afford it and Like you the money would be going in savings otherwise. We have savings. It needs a bit of work to bring up to date. But it will be s good home till we retire and probably downsize to a city.

Piffpaffpoff Tue 13-Aug-19 17:24:35

Do it! We bought too conservatively first time around (no kids at that point) and had the mortgage paid off within 3 years thanks to a combination of overpaying and a few helpful events. We moved to a bigger, nicer house as we felt it was a more efficient use of our money than it being in a savings account. And it’s been lovely to live in. So yes, do it!

munemema Tue 13-Aug-19 17:28:48

No, I'd love to move somewhere smaller but the rezlst if fhe family seem to think they need their bedrooms.

I would go "nicer" in your position, I'd definitely look to be detached if I could even though I might not gain space, but the food processor would be good.

Crinkle77 Tue 13-Aug-19 17:29:24

If I could afford it without a doubt. I grew up in a large farm house and lived there until my father passed away when I was 25. We were only tenant farmers so had to leave the farm and went to a small bungalow. It felt like absolute hell because it was so small in comparison and having neighbours for the first time was just weird. I still hate the lack of space and privacy from neighbours that comes with living in a normal semi even now 16 years on.

museumum Tue 13-Aug-19 17:29:34

I would hate to have a tiny kitchen. So if we did I’d be looking to move or extend. I mean nobody “needs” a decent sized kitchen but it does impact day to day living and having space to cook and eat is far less stressful than being cramped.

Oldraver Tue 13-Aug-19 17:30:59

We had a htree bed semi slike you describe with one DC and after a few years started to feel it was too small for us.

Moved to a four bed (and double bedrooms) with a couple of ensuites and it has suited us since.

Two bedrooms are downstairs which works really well for us. One room has been a study/playroom since we had it

Mouldiwarp1 Tue 13-Aug-19 17:32:15

We did. Not necessary at all, but we like lots of space.

jackstini Tue 13-Aug-19 17:37:25


There's not a 15-20 year period in the past century where property hasn't increased in value, so definitely makes more sense long term to do this than just keep in savings - as long as you still have spare for emergencies

As dd grows up you might want separate living space - I loved that I had a den for friends coming round growing up

I would also look at big kitchen diner so you can be together for cooking/homework etc.

Detached if possible for the quietness

Spare bedroom for guests/potential working from home

Better area?

PineappleChutney Tue 13-Aug-19 17:37:47

Wow thank you all so much for your replies. Just at the in-laws now so will have a proper read through later but you've given me lots to consider!

NearLifeExperience Tue 13-Aug-19 17:39:09

Yep. I like big houses. Always wanted one. Now I’ve got one. I’m delighted with my house.

LifeOfBox Tue 13-Aug-19 17:39:39

I would in your position. Just the ‘I would like a food processor but have no where to keep it comment’.

You can afford to move and moving would let you have some of the things you quite fancy. I think you would enjoy a new home on a daily basis.

I love a big kitchen, mine has a sofa/reading area where you can look into the garden through french doors and a table and chairs.

Singlenotsingle Tue 13-Aug-19 17:39:43

Yes because you'd get such a lot of enjoyment from it. Just think - you could buy that food processor, a bigger garden... Quality of life is important. And you'd still be saving but putting your money into bricks and mortar instead of a bank account.

MM29 Tue 13-Aug-19 17:45:23

Do it op!!

We have one dc and lived in a nice 3 bed semi big enough with an en suite and 2 good size doubles and another good size room which was the nursery

But DH felt we were "pissing the money up the wall" after we both had wage rises and so moved to a large 4 bed detached with 4 double rooms.

No more kids planned and the house is "big" for just us 3 but so what
Still go on 2 holidays a year and days out whenever we want

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