Bigger Home Costs Are Higher Than You Think

Bigger is always better, right?  People seem to think so especially when it comes to homes.  How many of us were raised by our parents in homes that we’d now consider much too small?  What people today consider starter homes, many lived their lives in.

There can be many costs involved with a bigger home.  The most obvious one is that they cost more.  A bigger home comes with a bigger price tag.  That makes sense.

Some people say this is worth it.  They look at the 500 extra square feet.  They see that it costs them $40,000 more.  Then, if they can afford the payments, away they go!

But, there are a bunch of other costs that come in that many don’t think of.  If you think that the only cost of a bigger house is the price, think again.  Here are a few things to consider.

Higher Taxes

If you pay property taxes, then you’ll pay more in taxes.  These costs will add up over the years.  For most, you’ll be getting the exact same services as those with lower payments.

Upkeep and Repairs

Eventually things wear out in homes.  A bigger house probably has a bigger roof.  There are probably more windows.  There is much more carpet.  More walls and ceilings to paint.  All of these things will cost you more over time to replace versus in a smaller home.


With a bigger house comes more space.  With more space comes more furniture.  All the extra furniture costs more.  And as your styles change, your replacement costs will be more down the line as well.


A bigger house means more space to heat and cool.  This will mean higher bills to pay every month.

Opportunity Costs

Every dollar you spend on your home is a dollar you don’t have to spend somewhere else.  Keep this in mind.  You might be sacrificing an investment opportunity.  Or an annual vacation.  Whatever the case may be, realize that you’ll likely be sacrificing something for your bigger home.

More Space To Fill

Have you ever noticed that when you have more space you fill it?  I remember my first apartment.  My roommate and I each had a bedroom closet and split one storage closet.  That was it.  And we made it work.  Now, I often wander through our house, with stuff in every room.  In the basement.  In the garage.  And I wonder how did I ever make it work in that little apartment?  The fact is that a bigger house will create more space and that leads to more stuff.

All of the things above will cost you money, and they all come from a bigger house.  Now, a bigger house might be just fine for you.  If it is, great.  Just make sure that you plan not only for the purchase, but for the extra costs you’re sure to face.

Readers, have you ever added up the costs of a bigger house?  Did these ever keep you away from buying a bigger house? What costs did I miss?  Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.


11 thoughts on “Bigger Home Costs Are Higher Than You Think”

  1. We downsized in 2014 (same year we retired early) to a house that cost 1/3 of the other and is 1/2 the size. We’ve saved a TON of money with the new place… not to mention being able to pay cash for it versus a mortgage on the big place.

    BTW, I don’t see a way to get notified when there is a reply to a comment on your site. That would be nice. 🙂

  2. Soooo true!! I think a lot of people don’t realize how much more a larger house is going to cost.

    On the other hand, it’s worth considering that some older houses are not adequately weather-proofed and so may cost considerably more than you expect, even if they’re not McMansions. My son has $350 summer power bills in his 1200-s.f. house — he keeps it uncomfortably hot in there and uses the swamp cooler whenever he can. At 1870 s.f., my house costs about $250 to cool into the low 80s when it’s 115 outside (I’m old and can no longer safely tolerate indoor temps in the high 80s and low 90s). Turns out most of the houses in that neighborhood are the same: probably the result of leaky vents and uninsulated walls. Costs for updating electric and plumbing in older homes can be pretty startling, too.

    Before escaping the marriage, I lived in a 3000-s.f. house. I doubt if it cost that much more than my present shack (we had irrigation, so water bills were very low). But the amount of WORK involved in caring for one of those places is just not worth the ego trip. Yes, if you can afford a house like that you can afford cleaning help: that means you have to spend time, energy, and aggravation on riding herd on a house cleaner, and if you want the job done right, half the time you end up doing it yourself anyway.

    Smaller is decidedly better.

    • Well many times people with houses that big can’t afford any help because they sunk all their money into the actual house. So then it becomes a matter of upkeep. And what I’ve seen is that many find the upkeep overwhelming so you end up with nice big fancy houses that end up with junky landscaping and little upkeep because people can’t keep up.

  3. Another problem is bigger houses are typically in richer neighborhoods. The richer neighborhood can lead to lifestyle competition with the neighbors. Your Honda might not look good surrounded by Mercedes, which also can tempt you to spend more on your car.

  4. We moved into a larger home knowing all of the above but we were careful not to seek out extra large homes. We couldn’t afford it anyway! 😉

    We added 300 square foot and it’s a great deal more comfortable, since I spend most of the week inside, and we find other ways to keep the costs reasonable or space them out and are actively working on reducing our possessions a little at a time. My ideal home situation would be half the stuff in this house and the space to stretch out. I do still want that piano, though 🙂

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