My household income has doubled since I bought my house. Here’s why I won’t change size
When my husband and I bought our house about 13 years ago, we first made sure we were financially secure enough to do so. That meant making sure we had plenty emergency savingsand ensuring that our mortgage and other housing costs would fall below 30% of our income.
Before embarking on a home search, in fact, we established a home buying budget based on these criteria. And we ended up buying a house that was actually on the lower end of our budget rather than the higher end.
Meanwhile, at this point, my household income is double what it was when we bought our house. Sure, we’ve taken on other expenses in the meantime, like having kids, but all things considered, we’re at a point where we can afford to upgrade to a more expensive house. Not only do we have a lot of equity in our home that we can put toward a down payment on a new one, but our income would probably qualify us for a bigger good. mortgage.
Despite this flexibility, my family has no plans to move anytime soon. And it’s not just because today’s housing market is completely crazy. Here are the main reasons why we stay put.
1. I strongly believe in financial security
While we can afford to double or even triple our mortgage payments, that scares me. Right now we have a lot of wiggle room in our budget for unexpected bills. And to be clear, we are no strangers to these bills.
Over the past three years, we have spent approximately $20,000 on home repairs. We also had surprise medical bills, vet bills, and auto repair bills that ate into our income and savings. But because we kept our housing costs low relative to our income, all of those costs remained manageable. My fear is that if I take on larger housing payments, we’ll run out of resources and have less flexibility to deal with unexpected bills.
2. I like to spend my money on other things
Even though I live in a comfortable house, there are some things I would like to change about it. My main issue is that my backyard is oddly shaped and joins several neighbors’ yards, so it’s not the most private. Also, part of my garden is on protected land, which means it’s wooded and not very usable (although my dog loves to run in the wooded part, so that’s a plus).
A new house on a larger lot could solve these problems. But at the end of the day, I don’t think it’s worth increasing my mortgage payment and having to cut back on other things my family enjoys, like travel, going out, and eating out. From my perspective, having more flexibility to pay for all these things is worth compromising a bit and staying where I am.
Should you expand your house?
If your income has increased since you bought your house, you may be tempted to expand. But before you do, think about what you’re going to give up. For me, it’s peace of mind and the ability to spend more on the things that bring me and my family joy. And because of that, the increase in numbers just isn’t worth it.
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