- Life & Money
- Family & Work
- Your Home
- Daniel Bortz
- Mar 11, 2021
How a Bigger Home Affects Your Budget
So, you bought a bigger home. Congratulations! Now that you’ve upsized, you’ll have more space to entertain, to store those big items (finally!) and to grow your family.
But with all the benefits of a bigger home, there are bigger expenses. And while you’ve likely run the numbers, it can be easy to overlook some costs. To make sure you’re prepared for your new abode, we’ve put together a list of costs that you can expect to increase. That way, you can be prepared for how a bigger home affects your budget — and then get back to enjoying all that space.
A bigger home obviously means a higher mortgage payment.
What to Know: While you’re likely making larger payments, mortgage rates are at record lows right now. So with each payment, you’re building more equity than you otherwise would have with the same monthly payment in a higher interest rate environment.
If you typically itemize your tax deductions, with a bigger house you may not be able to deduct as much interest as you actually pay (single filers and married couples can deduct interest on mortgages up to $750,000). So you may want to consider whether bunching your itemized tax deductions could help you save on taxes over time.
Whether or not you’ll pay higher property taxes depends on location, but for the most part a larger house will equal a larger tax bill.
What to Know: One thing to be mindful of, though, is that the assessed value of your house can go up or down depending on what you paid for it, the local real estate market and improvements that you make to your home. And if your home’s value goes up, your property taxes will go up, too.
Like with higher mortgage interest payments, higher taxes can give you more to write off come tax time. However, the amount of state and local taxes that you can write off is currently capped at $10,000.
Some experts recommend setting an annual maintenance budget of 1 percent of your home’s value.
What to Know: Depending on the property, you may want to set aside more or less than that amount. An older home is likely to need more maintenance than a newer one. Whether you set the money aside in your emergency fund or somewhere else, make sure you’re setting aside that additional money, because a larger house means more home to take care of.
The typical U.S. household spends $2,060 a year on energy bills, according to Energy Star. Of course, it costs more money to heat and cool a larger home.
What to Know: If the utility bill is a little higher than you hoped, there are potential upgrades you could look into now and in the future. These range from installing a smart thermostat to installing new windows and doors. Another option that can help you keep cooling costs down (and could help with your landscaping) would be to plant new trees to shade the house.
Homeowners insurance premiums are based on the value of your home, so a larger home is generally more costly to insure.
What to Know: While homeowner’s insurance is a given, this is a good time to review other insurance as well. For instance, do you need more life insurance to help cover a larger mortgage payment or other needs for your growing family? The more your costs grow, the more coverage you’ll need to ensure those expenses are taken care of should something happen to you.
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