Buy for now or future / how many bedrooms?

posted 1 year ago in Home
  • poll: How many bedrooms should we buy right now?
    2 : (2 votes)
    2 %
    3 : (66 votes)
    80 %
    4 : (15 votes)
    18 %
  • Post # 16
    Member
    9226 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    I’m in Silicon Valley (so similar market to NYC) and the difference between 2-bedroom and 4-bedroom homes is huge. So we started smaller because the difference in our mortgage would’ve been at least $10k a month. It made (and still makes) the most sense for us to invest our non-mortgage income in vehicles that have a greater ROI than real estate does, especially since we haven’t needed more space for the 3 years since getting our place and don’t anticipate needing more for another 5 years or so. And especially since we don’t even know if we’ll want to still live in this area at that point…

    It’s really hard to give advice without knowing the specifics of your financial situation. I’d talk to a financial planner and your real estate agent, they’ll advise you far better than any of us could.

    Post # 18
    Member
    283 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2018

    Darling Husband and I just bought a huge 6/1 fixer upper Victorian.  There are 7 upstairs rooms, but generally the various listings put the house as having between 4 and 6 bedrooms, depending on how they define a bedroom vs. a “bonus room” or whatever.  It’s just the two of us now, with kids on the (distant) horizon, but for the time being, we have uses for all those rooms (two dedicated guest rooms – we frequently have people stay, our bedroom, TV den (we don’t want the TV in the living room), office for him, office/studio for me, and a library/sitting room).  We want two kids, so each could have their own room, or we could be dicks and make them share a room because “builds character” and keep all our offices and shit.

    We get some quips about our family planning intentions with all the bedrooms, but seriously, we could stuff at least four kids in this place (we don’t plan to, but we could).

    We moved from a huge three-bedroom apartment, which we found to be ideally sized for us – our bedroom, shared office, and guest room/weight room.  The living/dining room area was huge, so it was great for entertaining.  I think we would have felt cramped in a two-bedroom.

    Also, we looked at several four bedroom houses that were pretty small (like sub-1800 sq ft) and when the sellers still occupied them, you could feel how tight and small they were. When we asked the listing agent why they were selling, the answer was usually that they needed more space, especially when they started having families.  I think in some cases, a better laid out 3-bedroom with larger rooms might serve you just as well as a 4-bedroom because the rooms will be more useful and you’ll feel less cramped. Really depends on the house though.

    Post # 19
    Member
    359 posts
    Helper bee

    Our first home had 4 bedrooms and we used 3 of them. We liked having a dedicated guest room and separate office space. The 4th bedroom was just my ‘extra’ closet / storage space. I think 3 berooms will give you enough flexibility that you could stay in the home for many years. 

    Post # 20
    Member
    359 posts
    Helper bee

    And….I would NEVER buy something that forces you into a potentially difficult income/work situation. Never buy more than you can comfortably afford. Kids, especially young kids, can share space and you can figure out where to keep their toys, etc. 

    My husband and I bought a house that is significantly cheaper than we can afford because I want the flexibility to be able to stop working for a while and we want to be able to pay for kid ‘extras’ like camps, sports, college tuition, etc. 

    Post # 21
    Member
    14967 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    – Do kids need their own bedrooms? Nice to have? Yes. NEEEEED?  No.

    – How much storage do you end up needing with kids stuff?  The less storage you have, the less crap you keep imo!!

    – Do we need a playroom, or some way to keep the kids’ mess contained?  I thought that’s what their room was for.

    – If you start with a lot of spare rooms, do you get used to it so you need to upsize again with kids?  Not if you dont want to, then you learn to purge and work with what you have.

    – Do people tend to stick to plans to have x kids in y years? I’m afraid of, for example, getting a 2-bed and then immediately deciding I actually want kids much sooner, or getting a 4-bed and then never filling it up…  Yep, it’s possible… we bought the 4 bed, and may only end up with 1 kid (not by choice).  In that case, we’d still have a guest room and gym room.  No regrests still with going with the 4 bedroom.

    Post # 22
    Member
    8151 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    ducktales :  

    – Do kids need their own bedrooms? I grew up in a 5×5 windowless den, hubby grew up in a huge house as an only child, so we can’t agree on this. No. It’s nice, but not necessary. 

    – How much storage do you end up needing with kids stuff? As much or as little as you want really. Kids don’t NEED that much. A week’s worth of clothing (they grow out of stuff so fast even a week’s worth of stuff will only get worn 15 times or less), some toys, diapers, etc. We have tons of toys and my daughter’s current favorite thing is a freaking ping pong ball. 

     – Do we need a playroom, or some way to keep the kids’ mess contained? Nope! 

    – If you start with a lot of spare rooms, do you get used to it so you need to upsize again with kids? Yes and no. It depends on you really. My husband is a “collector” so he needs the extra space and it will be hard for him to give up his office when we have a second kid and need the room, but without his crap it would be fine. 

    – Do people tend to stick to plans to have x kids in y years? I’m afraid of, for example, getting a 2-bed and then immediately deciding I actually want kids much sooner, or getting a 4-bed and then never filling it up… This also varies wildly. I thought I’d be on my second kid by now, but infertility messed with that. I also originally wanted 3-4 kids, but will probably settle at 2-3. 

    Post # 23
    Member
    4060 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

     Do kids need their own bedrooms? I grew up in a 5×5 windowless den, hubby grew up in a huge house as an only child, so we can’t agree on this. No. They NEED food and water. Their own bedroom is a nice-to-have, particularly as they get older, but kids all over the world survive sharing a room.

    – How much storage do you end up needing with kids stuff? In my experience, a lot more than I thought. Not so much because we buy a ton of toys, but more so because we plan on more than 1 kid. So I can’t get rid of say the baby swing, eventhough my son has grown out of it, because I need it for the next baby. Depending on the age difference or sex of your kids you’re going to want to keep clothes as they grow out of them too, because why would you buy a whole new snowsuit or a whole new 2t wardrobe for you second son?

     – Do we need a playroom, or some way to keep the kids’ mess contained? Do you need it? no. Is it a nice to have it contained in one space? hell yes. Are you going to want a space where they can say go with their friends to play and not be in your hair as they get older? probably.

    – If you start with a lot of spare rooms, do you get used to it so you need to upsize again with kids? Another yes and no. We’re expecting our second so we now have 2 kids rooms, a spare room and our house has an office on the main floor. Adding one kid was NBD, but the second has meant getting creative with storage because frankly the other bedroom kinda became a dumping ground of stuff the first kiddo grew out of.

    – Do people tend to stick to plans to have x kids in y years? I’m afraid of, for example, getting a 2-bed and then immediately deciding I actually want kids much sooner, or getting a 4-bed and then never filling it up… In my expereince, no. Everyone I know who had a plan of when they’d have kids did not see it happen that way because of anything from infertility to finances to realizing one kid is actually really hard and we’re done with one.

    That being said though, having a bigger house (assuming you can afford it) and realizing you don’t need that extra bedroom and can downsize will probably put you in a better financial position as in theory you’re going ot make money selling a 4 bedroom for a 3.

    Post # 24
    Member
    116 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: December 2013

    – Do kids need their own bedrooms? I grew up in a 5×5 windowless den, hubby grew up in a huge house as an only child, so we can’t agree on this–Yes and no, it’s totally nice to have them have their own room, but it’s not gonna kill them to share.

    – How much storage do you end up needing with kids stuff? Depends on how much you buy. We tend to buy a few too many toys and need storage for rotating stuff, plus we still have all the baby stuff in case of baby #2 because I don’t want to rebuy.

    – Do we need a playroom, or some way to keep the kids’ mess contained? It’s nice to have one. In our old house we split the living room in half (it was huge) so play room was on one side, our stuff on the other. New house we have a living room and family room so one became the playroom. Until they are older you are going to need play space in your general vicinity I found her room is just becoming an option at just over 3. 

    – If you start with a lot of spare rooms, do you get used to it so you need to upsize again with kids? We started in a 3 bedroom house and had the office, guest room and our room. Then we had our first we made an office/guest room combo and the nursery. Now we have a 4 bedroom and we have an office, guest room, toddler’s room and ours. When we have number 2 we’ll ditch the guest room, it’s rarely used anyway.

    – Do people tend to stick to plans to have x kids in y years? I’m afraid of, for example, getting a 2-bed and then immediately deciding I actually want kids much sooner, or getting a 4-bed and then never filling it up… — We didn’t. I know many who did. That is totally an individual decision no one else can answer.

    Post # 25
    Member
    517 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    – Do kids need their own bedrooms? I grew up in a 5×5 windowless den, hubby grew up in a huge house as an only child, so we can’t agree on this. It really depends on how close they are in age and what sex. If same sex, they can share until they’re teenagers. If opposite sex, I’d say they can share the room to a certain point but once they’re old enough, it could be weird and you’d want the sexes separated. 

    Skipping the next two questions as we actually don’t have kids yet. 

    – If you start with a lot of spare rooms, do you get used to it so you need to upsize again with kids? For us, this would have been hard if we did not upsize to keep the spare space. We just upsized from 3 BR to 4 BR (with a spare den in the master so technically 5) for this reason. In my old house, we had a guest room that could have become a kids room and an office/gym/mancave. Now, we have a guest room, an office/gym, a mancave and a den in the master that will be a nursery. Had we had 2 kids in the 3 bedroom, we wouldn’t have space for all of my office/school books, gym equipment, guitars, PlayStations, etc. These are items we are not willing to purge so for us, the spare bedrooms are a necessity. Not willing to throw away 9 guitars, 6 PlayStations, >100 books & textbooks, and gym equipment for a baby! But as one PP said above, you can always purge items we just weren’t willing to. 

    – Do people tend to stick to plans to have x kids in y years? I’m afraid of, for example, getting a 2-bed and then immediately deciding I actually want kids much sooner, or getting a 4-bed and then never filling it up Of course, plans always change. Twins happen, infertility happens. But of the two, I’d rather have a bigger house with an office, gym, mancave, etc. than a smaller house with too many kids to fit and have to decide to donate/sell our belongings. 

    Post # 26
    Member
    9977 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: City, State

    ducktales :  

    You need ALL THE STORAGE. We have baby stuff everywhere and our house is short on storage to begin with.

    I don’t think you need a playroom because the kids will be wherever you are most likely. Our baby hangs out in the living room in her swing or in our bedroom in her bed/on our bed. We do go to her room to play though and she enjoys being in there but for now she’s too small to leave us and be on her own. 

    We’ve always said we wanted two kids and that was the plan. Then we got engaged a couple of months after buying the house, got married one year after getting engaged and then started trying for a baby four months after getting married. Now that we’ve had our first I immediately started thinking I want three kids now (if we can afford it) and I want to start trying for a second in a year. But since our current house can’t accomodate a second child and especially not a third if we decide that means I have to either put plans on hold to have a second child or hope we can afford to buy a bigger house in the next year.

    Post # 27
    Member
    9516 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I would buy as large as I could comfortably afford. 2 bedroom homes around here are total crap for resale, but that may be different in NY.

    Moving sucks and costs a lot of money, not to mention closing costs, realtor fees etc for a new house. It’s not something I’d intentionally plan to do if I could avoid it.

    – Do kids need their own bedrooms? Personally I think it could be uncomfortable for opposite sex teens/tweens to be sharing a room, but it’s not a need.

    – How much storage do you end up needing with kids stuff? So much. Soooo much. Dd just turned 3 and we have SOOO much crap, but I don’t want to get rid of it yet because we plan to have another child soon.

    – Do we need a playroom, or some way to keep the kids’ mess contained? We have a two story house and it’s not realistic to send a young toddler up there to play alone, IMO. So yes, a playroom is super nice to have IMO. We use our unused formal dining room space atm.

    – If you start with a lot of spare rooms, do you get used to it so you need to upsize again with kids? We have a 3 bedroom house with 1 child. Ideally we’d like 4 bedrooms so we could have a “spare” room when we have another kid. Currently we basically use the extra for storage (see above about extra baby shit!!)

    – Do people tend to stick to plans to have x kids in y years?  Idk we pretty much stuck to our plans so far. That’s really hard to say depending on the person though.

    Post # 28
    Member
    2188 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I voted for 2 bedroom. It sounds like that’s all you’d need for 5-7 years and the costs savings per month would have a real impact. I also find that the more space you have, the more you feel you need. I don’t know anyone who has stayed in the same place once they had 2 kids, even when they bought a kid-friendly house. You end up filling up those empty rooms and then when it’s time to convert the gym/guest bedroom, etc to a kids bedroom, it feels like you NEED to keep that extra space. 

    Post # 29
    Member
    1513 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2016

    I’ll just say that we bought a 3 bedroom 4 years ago and ended up having to move to a 4 bedroom last week because I’m now pregnant with my second child who is the opposite sex of my first child (so no sharing rooms) and we also needed a separate office/guest room. The 3 bedroom was not manageable. Another factor is that our financial situation 4 years ago didn’t allow us to buy our current home, so it’s also a matter of what you can comfortably afford. I voted 4 b/c of our situation but I think you could do 3 for now. Just be prepared that you may have to upgrade in the near term if you plan to expand your family and moving is not fun. I’m also a huge fan of play rooms and ample storage. You’ll wish you had both. Good luck!

    Post # 30
    Member
    1944 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre

    When we bought our house, we wanted to buy our forever home. I can walk to work and he has a 15 minute commute to work. We are close to our families and we decided that’s where we wanted to live.

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