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Do you prioritise bigger house or more disposable income?

(93 Posts)
Pepperwand Mon 29-Jun-20 13:33:07

Firstly, I know we're very lucky to be in a position where this is even a choice but I seem to change my mind on this matter weekly so would appreciate other thoughts and perspectives.

Live with DH and two young DC (preschooler and baby) in a small 3 bed. Love the area and house in general but have niggles which are mainly no hallway....front door opens into living room, no downstairs loo and no option to put one in and small children's is a very small box room. No easy way to extend either because of the plot we're on.

We could afford a bigger mortgage as manage to save a few hundred a month and won't have nursery fees in a few years so part of me feels that it's a no brainer and we should just move somewhere bigger and accept bigger debt. Other half of me thinks that if we like the area and have a house we can easily afford then we should just Marie Kondo the heck out of it and enjoy less "stuff" and more flexibility in terms of disposable income, options to pay off the mortgage early/save for children's future etc.

Did anyone have similar circumstances? What did you do?

OP’s posts: |
user1493413286 Mon 29-Jun-20 13:38:13

We went for a bigger house; we also have a 3 year old and baby and figured that we’d enjoy the space more than the income; during the past few weeks I’m really glad we made that decision.
It’s also meant that before Covid people came to us rather than us having to travel for Christmas etc and friends can come and stay with their kids

sunlightflower Mon 29-Jun-20 13:40:39

We had a similar dilemma a couple of years ago and went for the house. Have never regretted it, not once.

IagoWithABlackberry Mon 29-Jun-20 13:43:57

I went for a small house in a cheap area and haven't regretted it. I could have got somewhere bigger but I'd be paying the mortgage off for years to come and I really don't want that. We don't have masses of income as I'm the sole earner with three young children but it allows us to live well.

Pascha Mon 29-Jun-20 13:45:17

When your preschooler and baby are both older than about six you'll want as much space as you can afford. I'd make the jump now in your position.

DanniArthur Mon 29-Jun-20 13:45:25

I would also go for the bigger house as it's easy to squander disposable incomes but a bigger house is an investment as well as making life a bit easier for you.

AgeLikeWine Mon 29-Jun-20 13:48:35

We prioritised living in a nicer area, then disposable income. It’s just the two of us, so our modest three bedroom barn conversion is big enough for us.

byvirtue Mon 29-Jun-20 13:49:05

Another way of looking at it is are you a family of introverts or extroverts?

Introverts will typically enjoy more space so they aren’t on top of one another and can get some alone time. Extroverts would probably not care so much about the space and would probably appreciate the extra income so they can go out do things and socialise!

stairgates Mon 29-Jun-20 13:49:28

I would go bigger house, the mental relief that came when we went bigger I can still feel, priceless!

JaggedlittlePhil Mon 29-Jun-20 13:59:12

My dcs are similar ages. I rent but our house sounds very similar to yours. I'm hoping to buy next year but I can only afford a two bed flat here so will move away for a house, and one bigger than I rent (or at least a better configuration--I hate the front door opening into the living room). Is moving away an option so you can have a bigger house but similar/smaller mortgage? I have a limit of how much I want to spend on a mortgage each month as it is important to me to overpay/save so I can only do that by moving away.

RockingMyFiftiesNot Mon 29-Jun-20 14:09:56

Pros and cons of both. We didn't move to a bigger house as we'd experienced a redundancy not long after we moved in, luckily we could use savings to cover repayments in the interim. Shocked us out of moving up. Downside was not having spare room for visitors but would put them up in a nearby hotel (way cheaper than additional mortgage repayments) . Biggest plus was being able to retire early with enough money to enjoy ourselves

JustaScratch Mon 29-Jun-20 14:10:58

As long as you can afford house maintenance, space for sure.

ExpletiveDelighted Mon 29-Jun-20 14:17:19

We stayed small and haven't regretted it, we all like going out and have lots of hobbies outside the home, it has meant less worry when our business has had bad patches, I've been able to work part time and the mortgage was paid off around the time the DCs hit their teens. We love our house and the location it's in.

Gremlinpoop Mon 29-Jun-20 14:19:08

Bigger house! We moved end of last year. I am sooo glad we did. Homeschooling 3 children and 2 stressed out parents working from home, we need this space and as can no longer go out or do anything ( although I'm hoping this changes over time) it has really been worth it.
Also interestingly I am a massive introvert and quiet space mattered to me.
So many factors come into it , for us it was the right decision maybe you are good where you are.

PineappleUpsideDownCake Mon 29-Jun-20 14:20:00

Weve stayed small and really relieved as we have had money for the children's sports and will have for driving lessons etc. I would have ideally liked more space but not at the cost of living

Immigrantsong Mon 29-Jun-20 14:20:15

More disposable income. From experience, most people think they don't have enough space, but they own far too much crap.

Apply minimalism and de clutter ruthlessly. It usually makes a massive difference.

Also avoid brand new properties and go with ex council houses. They tend to be big, sturdy and have good sized gardens.

rosegoldwatcher Mon 29-Jun-20 14:20:51

We bought a three bedroom house in a good area, in 1988. I always assumed that we would, like our friends, move on up the housing ladder with our salaries/increase in family size.
But we never did! We briefly considered moving about 15 years ago but were surprised by what would have been a huge jump in mortgage for one more (not large) bedroom and a piddly study downstairs.
So 32 years later here we still are. The area is still lovely, our neighbours are great and we belong to the community.
Mortgage was paid off year ago and as a result we were both able to retire at 57! Yay!

Immigrantsong Mon 29-Jun-20 14:24:38

OP it's also worth considering if you could still afford the bigger mortgage for a bigger house if one of you lost their job.

With Covid and Brexshit economy is as you know unpredictable and job losses may occur. So factor this in for good measure just in case a job loss will drive you to the point of no return.

Stompythedinosaur Mon 29-Jun-20 14:25:23

We prioritised disposable income - holidays and extracurricular activities are really important to us. I don't regret it.

Bargebill19 Mon 29-Jun-20 14:26:58

Personally I would stay where I could afford on one income - recession will hit, and I would prefer to know I can afford a roof over my head and naked beans on toast rather than trying to scrabble to downsize or worse go bankrupt.
But I don’t have kids........ and that makes a huge difference - how much of one is up to you!

Zenithbear Mon 29-Jun-20 14:45:31

Bigger house gives you so many options. It was great when dc were growing up but we still could afford lots of holidays and days out as well. When we split up the dc grew up so fast and left home early and I ended up divorced in a big house with so much more equity in it, which then enabled me to sell it to buy a home and holiday cottage with dp and a rental property for income.

rosegoldwatcher Mon 29-Jun-20 14:53:03

I should add that, for us, some of the benefits of not being overstretched by a huge mortgage were me being able to take a couple of years career break when the children were tiny, work part-time off and on, not feel guilty about my shoe habit (and his golf habit) and latterly being able to pay for DS2's university accommodation.

A downstairs loo, though, is almost a necessity with little ones OP?

Beatrixpotterspencil Mon 29-Jun-20 15:09:10

My modest 10 bedroom chateau is enough for me. It allows me to free up expenses for my coach and four.
DH’s colossal inheritance keeps me well stocked in luxury goods.
Several holidays per year.

What’s not to love? 😁

EddieVeddersfoxymop Mon 29-Jun-20 15:13:28

We went for smaller house, better lifestyle. 2 new cars every 2 years, camper van, 2 holidays, expensive hobbies for all 3 of us. Out house is adequate in that we have a spare room, built an extension, massive garage etc. Sometinms it does feel a little cramped and we think of selling up but would find the lifestyle hard to give up to be honest.
It really depends on your priorities, OP. Lifestyle over bigger house won for us!

EddieVeddersfoxymop Mon 29-Jun-20 15:14:25

Oh, and ditto the above poster......I was able to be a SAHM for 9 years!

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