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    Default Small House or Big House?

    I can't quite decide what I want to do right now. I can purchase a smaller size house arond 1500sq.ft in the price range of $250K which would be suitable for my current needs as I don't plan to start a family or get married for another 5 years or so. Or I can just outright go for a 2000sq.ft home in the range of $310K and won't have to upgrade later when I start a family.

    I'm sure a lot of you probably go through the same thing when searching for a home, what do you think?

    In either scenario, I'll most likely have 1 roommate to help offset some of the costs.
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    Personally, when I was looking last yr, it seemed like a better idea to start smaller so its a nice upgrade when you do decide to start a family.

    Like yourself, I get bored very easy lol
    The reason I havent purchased yet is im very picky and I dont know how long I could stay in one place. Id like to wait until I can settle down a bit more

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    I would definately say go for a bigger house (but nothing tooo big.. 2000sq ft sounds about right) and do more upgrades. The house sells better when there's evident upgrades. Obviously, the location, the condition of the house blah blah blah is a main factor too, but upgrades such as granite tops is the way to go.

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    But then hes spending 300+ and having to add more into that, if you start with a nice smaller house and do upgrades, youll get more in resale IMO, young people such as ourselves want the most for their dollar.

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    Depends really. I think I would buy small because when you sell it you will make a nice profit, and then can move bigger, but prices are going to go up anyway. Hmmm... I don't know now haha.

    Actually if you want profit, buy big now, by the time you want to sell or move you would have made some nice cash, better to settle infor a while rather than moving twice. It all depends on the person really.

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    the bigger your house, the more likely people are going to want to party there, and thus the more money you will have to spend on entertaining in the long run hahaha
    right now, I would get the house on the more valuable lot with the brightest future, so one in a rapidly growing neighborhood situated on or near a road that is having significant infrastructure work done soon (the better the roads, the more appealing it is to commuters... along this reasoning, the NW is a very good place to get a house right now, although the ring road in the south will also help). investing early is always a good idea, and while houses inflate in value, the land they are on inflates in value even faster.
    that's just my advice, from an investment standpoint. the real estate market all over Calgary is going through a boom right now. Cochrane is going through a huge boom too, right now would not be a good time to buy a house here. If you don't mind commuting a long way every day, and want a house in Cochrane, you should wait awhile because there are currently plans to add a LOT of homes (3,500 over the next "x" amount of years, I forget how long) and if that plan goes through, house values should drop a good amount around here. Right now, everything is inflated in value here pretty severely, our house is worth almost 30% more now then what we paid for it.
    plus, a 1500sq ft house is still a reasonable size. You could easily live with a wife and one baby in that house and then move up to a larger house down the road, if need be, but since Calgary isn't going to stop growing any time within the next ten years, it would probably be a good idea to get the bigger house right now just to save your money and not have to pay the premium you will be looking at in however many years to upgrade from the 1500ft^2 house to the 2000ft^2 house.

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    I bought a 1400+ sq ft house for just over $200k a couple of years ago. Me and the wife arent planning on having kids so the extra bedrooms and space wasnt that much of an issue. The one thing I did though was upgrade it as much as possible. I was thinking about a place that was around $280k at the time but really didnt want to have to worry about interest rates changing or having a big bill sneak up on me and cause me problems. If my wife wasnt still in school I am sure things would be different. However I have yet to be frustrated with a lack of space. In fact, there are rooms in my house that I rarely use.

    I am assuming that if you are going to build a smaller house, you will want to think about resale (since it will probably happen inside 5 years for you). Here was my mentality when building...

    The design I had gave me a 2 bedroom option, which gave me 2 master bedrooms each with their own walkin closet and en suite. It also added a computer nook at the top of the stairs. This will probably be good for resale as a number of people in my area buy their house and rent a room to friends to help with the mortgage (like you plan on doing). It is a much more appealing layout without kids since I really dont need two small bedrooms. I would just end up storing junk in them anyways.

    I also got a HUGE lot. For an extra $6000 at the time I was able to more than double the size of the lots normally found in my area. The lot itself is over 7500 sq ft which is ample space for a nice comfortable backyard and should make resale easier than the guys with the postage stamp lots in the area.

    Hardwood floors and tile are important. Carpet shows wear much quicker and generally speaking hardwoods are more appealing to someone who will eventually buy your house. They are also easier to clean and look better.

    The house is on a laned backyard with no garage. The one thing I regret is not getting a garage built right away and adding it to the mortgage. I am not a huge fan of front drive double garages as they are generally only 20x20 and barely fit 2 cars comfortably.
    Last edited by sputnik; 05-18-2005 at 04:27 PM.

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    Since your not looking to start a family anytime soon, I suggust buying a small house. If you are fairly young, I'm pretty sure that you want to enjoy your life before you settle down and that extra money you would save could go to leisure/hobbies/trips etc. Then when you are ready to have a family, sell the house and buy a bigger one with your significant other

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    Financially, it would make more sense to buy the smaller (cheaper) house and build up your equity faster. The criteria mentioned above (partying, family, hobbies etc) are not something i'd consider if I were buying a home with the intentions of relocating within 5 years.
    Original Post NAZI Moderated


    Originally posted by r3cc0s
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    hmm.. good points indeed. Well.. if you plan on moving somewhere down the road, then the smaller home is the way to go.. upgrade, but dont spend a fortune if the community itself isnt worth upgrading.. like, you'll see this shabby neighborhood, and some guy decides to dump $400,000 into renos... in the end, the house wont be worth as much because the houses next door are only worth $200,000.

    However, I moved last summer, and after that move, Im not about to move again!! I think Im gonna build, and build it the proper way and live there for awhiles before I even consider moving again!!

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    id go for the smaller home, why burden yourself with a higher payment for space your not gonna use. With the way the market is in calgary your gonna do well on either....Also depends what area your gonna buy in.

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    Default Re: Small House or Big House?

    Whatever you decide to do, make sure to buy so that you are happy for 5-10 years minimum. Whenever you buy/sell, you transfer a large portion of the equity of the home into the hands of realtors, which means that if you buy right the first time you will have a larger portion of your own money going into the long term value of the house.

    The smallest house I've bought was 2000sq ft, and I wouldn't buy smaller.

    Originally posted by max_boost
    I can't quite decide what I want to do right now. I can purchase a smaller size house arond 1500sq.ft in the price range of $250K which would be suitable for my current needs as I don't plan to start a family or get married for another 5 years or so. Or I can just outright go for a 2000sq.ft home in the range of $310K and won't have to upgrade later when I start a family.

    I'm sure a lot of you probably go through the same thing when searching for a home, what do you think?

    In either scenario, I'll most likely have 1 roommate to help offset some of the costs.

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    i personally preffer a smaller house, simply because its easier to clean

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    It's not just the square footage, but the usable space the house has. Does the extra 500 sq ft mean you have a formal dinning room and slightly bigger bedrooms? Does that matter?

    Despite what people say, you don't need a 2000 sq.ft home the moment you have your first kid. Baby's are small, and they take a while to grow.

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    I dont think you should buy it based on financial reasons. The market could very well go down, its risky.

    I think you should buy a house that you like now and is good for you now then when the time comes, buy something bigger, maybe you'll profit, maybe you'll lose, maybe you'll break even, who knows?

    You also need to take into account the not-so-obvious expenses of a bigger house, that you may not be ready for.

    For example, like someone mentioned, if you have a bigger house, you might throw alot more parties. Thats a pretty big expense. If you dont want to clean, and you hire a cleaning lady, your have to pay her more than in a small house because she's cleaning more.
    You dont need all the extra space, I see it as a big risk.

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    Originally posted by Carfanman
    I dont think you should buy it based on financial reasons. The market could very well go down, its risky.

    I think you should buy a house that you like now and is good for you now then when the time comes, buy something bigger, maybe you'll profit, maybe you'll lose, maybe you'll break even, who knows?

    You also need to take into account the not-so-obvious expenses of a bigger house, that you may not be ready for.

    For example, like someone mentioned, if you have a bigger house, you might throw alot more parties. Thats a pretty big expense. If you dont want to clean, and you hire a cleaning lady, your have to pay her more than in a small house because she's cleaning more.
    You dont need all the extra space, I see it as a big risk.

    You have no idea of the housing market in calgary or the surrounding areas. Calgarys housing prices have steadily gone up for the last 20 years, and are not stopping any time soon.

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    Thats definatly something to take in to consideration, but thats no garantee. You think it will go up for ever? It may or may not change. And maybe something specific will happen in that neighborhood. I just dont think its worth it if he doesnt need it.

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    Originally posted by Carfanman
    Thats definatly something to take in to consideration, but thats no garantee. You think it will go up for ever? It may or may not change. And maybe something specific will happen in that neighborhood. I just dont think its worth it if he doesnt need it.
    The ENTIRE Calgary housing market has jumped. With all of the big oil companies relocating to Calgary from out east, plus other industries, it is only going to go up, because there are not enough vacant houses around. Our housing markets may be forecasted to slow down, but seeing as they are red hot right now, that will still be better than most cities in north america.

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    The housing market in Calgary does not show any indications of slowing down at the moment, but it was not so long ago that this "oil rich" city was devastated and people were walking away from their homes.
    Original Post NAZI Moderated


    Originally posted by r3cc0s
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    All, I'm saying is if he takes it as a given and takes no caution, then in the chance that it goes down, hes in trouble. Maybe just the value of that particular home or neighborhood will go down due some nearby problem (new nearby highway, recent thefts, damage that he cant afford to fix and insurance wont take care of, ect...)

    And he doesnt even make any money till he sells it, while he has it the value doesnt mean squat, and then soon after he sells it, it doesnt mean squat either. He should buy what he needs and can comfortably afford, even with not-so-obviouse or unexpected costs.

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