Buying your own property is probably as big a decision as getting married is for most people. Well, not as important, but it’s definitely up there. Anyways, what I’m simply trying to say is that buying a house is a monumental decision.
Recent studies from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) revealed that age affects people’s preferences in choosing the size of their homes. According to this study, older people consistently show a preference for small houses, while younger ones prefer bigger ones(it’s inversely proportional).
Let’s see if this inverse proportion of preference applies to you as well in the current state of your personal finances.
1. Monthly Cost
The cost to maintain a property should not be overlooked when calculating the large amount of money you need to buy a house or any other property. Young professionals who are at the top of their game will be able to sustain such costs because they have monthly income to look forward to.
If you were to live in a big house, just imagine how much electricity you’re going to consume. Not to mention the air-conditioning you direly need and cannot live without in the blistering summer.
Add in the soaring energy costs – young people usually forget to factor these in and you have a recipe for high bills. Some young people tend to just want the big house so that they can show it off to their friends. Older people tend to be a bit wiser. They’ve already experienced the high monthly costs so they revert to a smaller house.
2. Cleaning and Hiring A Maid
I doubt anyone would want to live in a messy house. So unless you’re a hoarder of, I don’t know garbage maybe, you’d like a very well-kept house.
Again factoring the age and finances, older people wouldn’t want to clean a ridiculously large house. And even if they could afford a housekeeper with them, they’re not into the idea of having “other” people around. A young couple, however, are more open to hiring a maid. And since the two of them are financially capable, hiring people to clean for them is a good use of money.
3. More $$$ = More Breathing Space
When you carry the vitality of young age, you may feel like a gazelle running into the open forest. When you’re old, you are content with a nice pillow and a small table to play chess on (just to save money). In a more “mature” age, you don’t want to walk an entire hallway just to cross from your dining area to the living room (Buckingham Palace must have drove Queen Elizabeth crazy).
4. Cheaper Neighborhood Lifestyle vs. High-Profile Neighborhood Lifestyle
More $$$ = Bigger houses = High profile neighborhoods.
Older people, in their wisdom, choose smaller neighborhoods because it has a more close-knit community. This is especially beneficial to older homeowners because if there are emergencies (knocking on wood), it is easy to ask for neighbors’ help without having to superhuman-jump to their 10ft. high wall (is it just me or does having a ridiculously high wall and security camera actually give away that you’re filthy rich?). On the other hand young people are into high-profile neighborhoods so they can show off their Camaro without fear of it getting stolen.
5. The Smaller, The Simpler
The smaller, the simpler, the cheaper – that just says it all and I don’t think I need to elaborate further, so let’s just leave it at that.
What is your take on this study? Is it consistent given your age and your ability to pay monthly mortgage? Let me know.
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+Lara Seers is a real estate agent for properties in Queensland. She presents buyers with several options and describes each property in full detail to make it easier for them to make the best choice.