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Urban and rural property
After Dismal Year, Homebuilders See Hope in 2012
Home Sales Rise to 11-Month High
Report: Foreclosures Down, But Discounts Abound
Home Sales Sunnier as Spring Buying Season Approaches
New Home Sales Dip, But Beat Expectations
Fannie Mae, Facing Deficit, Asks Fed for Another $4.5 Billion
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Real Home Price Recovery Not Expected Until Spring
Home Sales: Rise Reflects Steady Improvement
Economists: Housing Recovery Finally Here
Home Prices Increase in Most Major U.S. Cities
Pending Home Sales Near 6-Year High
Home Prices Rise 6.3% in October, Most in 6 Years
Housing Market 2013: Predictions of What's to Come
Housing Recovery Officially in Full Swing, Data Suggests
Can't Get a Mortgage? Here's Why
Trulia Housing Barometer: Housing Market 52% Back to Normal
Home Prices Post Best Yearly Increase Since 2006
Tom Roeser Buys Up Town's Foreclosure Stock to Keep It Thriving
Housing Is Back! Best Moves for Homebuyers
Trulia: Housing Recovery Marches on in March
Are Real Estate Commercials Skirting Realities of Homebuying?
Trulia: Housing in 'Early Stages' of Multiyear Recovery
Obama Proposes Fundamental Overhaul of U.S. Mortgage System
Lifestyle Choices Affect Bottom Line
When it comes to eventually moving into that dream home you've always wanted, keep in mind that many of the choices we make on a house are really driven by lifestyle desires, rather than lifestyle needs.

More bedrooms means more time to clean, more expensive to repaint and carpet/floor in the future. The bigger the house and the larger the lot, the more you're going to pay for it both in time and financial resources. The main three decision factors are larger lot, more space and more stuff. Each of these come with a price tag.

Larger lot

Depending on the acreage, this is going to cost the owner in regards to acquisition, monthly payment, and upkeep. First is the acquisition. Larger lot means larger price, thus larger down payment and monthly payment. In metropolitan areas, the closer in to the epicenter of town, the more the extra space is going to cost you. If you decide to get it cheaper by moving out of town, then you'll be paying more for gas and be losing the ever elusive minutes of your life.

A friend of mine is dying for a couple of acres. He's moving into the area from a community where houses with 2 acres are common and they are within minutes of the job centers. No problem. In this market, however, it means possibly driving 30 miles or more for what he's looking for. It also means a longer commute -- upwards to 90 minutes -- in morning and evening rush hour. If that's 30 minutes longer per day than what he does now, that's 2.5 hours per week longer on the road -- folks that's 125 hours per year just on the road to work and back per year -- MORE -- than living closer in. (That's three weeks worth of working hours.)

The larger lot also means more upkeep. If you have teenagers, maybe it's not your problem, you think with a wry grin. Nevertheless, the larger lot that is cleared off and landscaped will take longer to mow, require more gas and possibly even more equipment. In addition, there's the landscaping that you may not have needed to fret about before.

Even in a wooded lot, you'll now have to start watching the trees that border your house. A neighbor told me before he was moving that he was spending about $500 per year taking down trees that were threatening his house. Once he did move, the new owners had a tree fall on their home within a few weeks, causing damage to the roof and patio.

More space

For most move up buyers, this is the No. 1 reason they are shopping for a home. The 3-bedroom townhouse isn't cutting it for the growing family and it's time for a yard. Let's get the 4th bedroom, or 4th bedroom with a "bonus" room in the basement.

More space creates more expenses for paint, accessories, flooring, etc., every time the room is repainted, remodeled, etc. It's no rocket science calculation to see that the 1,800 square foot home is going to be cheaper to care for than the 2,800 square foot home. Remember, percentage wise, we're talking 55 percent more home which will interpret into 55 percent more flooring cost, 55 percent more paint, 55 percent more utilities, etc. When purchasing, don't forget to ask the owner for a rundown of monthly or annual expenses for upkeep of the property. (Most likely, it will be an estimate, but a good indicator of your true costs of the property.)

More stuff

Don't forget that once you get a larger place, it usually is compounded with a decision to replace older furnishings or purchase new furnishings to put into your new areas. Movecentral.com's latest home moving survey revealed that:

57 percent of owners and 37 percent of renters bought furniture within the 12 weeks surrounding their move; owners spent an average of $3,500 and renters spent $1,220.

55 percent of moving homeowners purchase at least one appliance when they move, and 57 percent of homeowners buy furniture.

35 percent of owners and 40 percent of renters bought bedding; of these individuals, 72 percent did so within three after their move. Owners spent an average of $420 and renters $240.


  
Shopping for a Home in Winter
Secrets to a Successful Move
Saving the Best for Last
Renting to Own
New House or an Old One?
Make Them An Offer They Can't Refuse
Lifestyle Choices Affect Bottom Line
Inspecting Your Home Inspector
In Love With Two Houses?
How to Track Down Foreclosure Properties
Home-buying With Others
Five Keys to Successful Negotiation
Five Key Areas to Pay Attention to When Buying a Home
Finding a Good Home Inspector
Find the Perfect Neighborhood
Don't Overlook a Home's Potential
Do You Have Buyer's Paralysis?
Debt Reduction Not Required to Buy
Debating Between a Condo or a House
Contingencies Your Home Offer Should Include
Can You Afford to Buy a House?
Buying a Home With Loans from Family and Friends
Buyers, Get an Edge During The Busy Spring Season
Affordability Options for First-time Home Buyers
14 Things to Consider Before Buying a Home
12 Red Flags That Should Raise Concern
10 Summer Moving Tips
Experts Predict Annual Home Value Appreciation to Exceed 6 Percent in 2013
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Housing Starts Rise in July but Fall Short of Forecasts
Giants Masking Billions in Losses for Overdue Mortgages
Home Sales in July Rise to Levels Last Seen in 2009
Rise in Rates Reduces Demand for New Mortgages
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Home Prices Rise in June at Slightly Slower Pace
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Title Insurance: Who Needs It?
Title Insurance
The Hidden Costs of Homeownership
The Art of House Hunting
The Appraisal Contingency
Sometimes Smaller Is Better
Signs That You're Ready to Buy
Should You Pay Discount Points?
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