Once upon a time, a widely-used rule of thumb among real estate experts and home buyers alike was to buy as ‘much’ home as you could qualify for, as soon as you could qualify for it: even if you didn’t need the space or extra expense. Back then, big homes were en vogue, mortgage money was free-flowing, and all homes increased in value so rapidly that it was seen as foolhardy to buy something smaller and lose out on the potential appreciation you’d get for every extra bedroom or square foot you coulda, woulda or shoulda bought.
Fast forward a few years, and it’s pretty obvious that this rule of thumb has definitely changed with the real estate market. The housing market crash turned McMansion-villes across the nation into slumburbias full of huge, vacant, foreclosed homes. Smaller homes closer in to urban job centers have become more desirable than ever, due to their relatively recession-resistant values, and lower associated costs of operating, maintenance and commuting. At the same time, the zeitgeist has definitely moved toward buying a less expensive home than your maximum approved mortgage amount. And everyday homeowners are more and more concerned with the carbon footprint their daily lives are leaving on the planet.
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