Owning a house, for most people, is the ultimate dream. However, you can own a home and barely get by or you can own a home that you can reasonably afford. Taking on too much house can become dangerous. You could end up losing that house you worked so hard to own if you're not careful.
One report by Trulia on "home buying trends" shows homebuyers are spending much more these days on purchasing homes. And, individuals in the U.S., on average, are spending around 37% of their paychecks on housing.
How you Could Be Wasting Money With Too Much House
There are a number of ways you could waste money by owning too much house, including:
1. Paying a Higher Mortgage
According to the experts, your house payment should be around 25% to 30% of your take-home pay, if you don't have any other debt outstanding.
You want to keep your basic housing expenses as low as possible to ensure there's enough money for other things like:
- Retirement savings
If your basic housing costs are over 30% of your take-home pay, it's a sign you have too much house.
2. Paying Higher Insurance Premiums
Homeowner's insurance is unavoidable when you're a homeowner and it comes with homeownership. It protects you in the event of theft, fire, or other high-risk situations you don't want to gamble on. The amount you're going to pay for your insurance premiums will depend on the age of your house, the location and, of course, the size of your home.
3. Paying More for Utilities
Another unavoidable expense you'll have to deal with is utility bills. Obviously, the bigger the house, the more it's going to cost to heat/cool it, power all the appliances, lights and more. If you find yourself with big utility bills, it's likely an indication of too much house.
4. Paying Higher Maintenance Costs
Bigger properties will also take more work and cost more money to keep them maintained than smaller properties. If you notice your maintenance costs continuing to climb each year and you can't keep up proportionately with your salary increases, you might be heading for trouble. So, if you only have a budget that allows for $300 in maintenance and upkeep, but the actual costs continue rising, you might want to rethink the size of your home.
5. Accumulating Credit Card Debt
If you have high housing expenses that cause you to rack up significant credit card debt, this is a sign your finances are unstable and you might be in more house than you can actually afford. Even if you're not paying housing expenses directly with your credit cards, if you use them because your mortgage payment and home maintenance expenses don't leave much wiggle room in your budget for other costs, it's an indication you need to make a housing change.
Downsizing your house to a less-expensive or smaller one might be a good solution for you and could have a large impact on spending and debt. When you successfully downsize, you'll not just reduce your monthly mortgage payment and maintenance costs, but you'll also have enough money left over to deal with your other needs and pay off debt.
If you are burdened with high amounts of credit card debt and are struggling to make your payments, or you’re just not seeing your balances go down, call Timberline Financial today for a free financial analysis.
Our team of highly skilled professionals will evaluate your current situation to see if you may qualify for one of our debt relief programs. You don’t have to struggle with high-interest credit card debt any longer.