I need more space. What’s next?

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By nbkc bank

Need a new home office? Expecting a new addition to the family? Or simply want more square footage?

Sounds like you need more space in your home. While that’s easy to answer, the question that follows is tougher: should I add on or should I buy a bigger house?

We may not give you an exact answer, but we can definitely offer up our expertise so you can make the right choice for your current situation.

Let’s get you more space at the best bargain for you and your family.

Option 1: Buying a new home


It’s easy to immediately jump to the conclusion that buying a new home will solve your space issue, but there is a lot to consider. It’s a big decision that has tons of financial implications. Let’s take a look at some pros and cons.

Pros of buying a new home

The obvious pro that comes to mind is having more space. A bigger kitchen, guest bedroom or more storage space could be in your future — but you can get that with either option. Let’s get a little more specific.

Shopping around

One definite benefit of buying a new home is that you can move on your timeline. Take the time and be picky. It’s your future home we’re talking about. Search around and find a house that fits your needs.

Find a home you love? Make sure it fits your budget with our mortgage affordability calculator.

A fresh start

A new home with more space holds so many opportunities to grow into. You can set up the space exactly how you want from the moment you move in. You don’t have to worry about reorganizing or construction to maximize your space.

Cons of buying a new home

Having a new, bigger house is exciting! But there’s always concessions that you’ll have to make with buying a house. Let’s look at some cons for buying a bigger house.

Buying a house is expensive

Crazy, right? Although it seems obvious, there’s a lot of expenses to keep in mind. It’s not just your mortgage that will be more expensive. A bigger house usually means more expensive property taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance costs. Not to mention that the buying process is expensive, too. Closing costs typically range from 3-6% of the loan amount. These fees can change depending on your state, loan type and lender. Play close attention and keep these fees in mind when making your decision.

Determine how much your new mortgage payment could be with our free mortgage loan calculator.

Making tough sacrifices

You might have to make some sacrifices in order to buy a larger home. It could be leaving the neighborhood you love, making a longer commute to work or the kitchen might not be everything you’ve always dreamed of. Like buying your first home, everything won’t be exactly to your liking.

Selling before buying

While selling your current home before buying a bigger home isn’t exactly necessary, it could help with the purchase. It all depends on your financial situation and what you can afford or qualify for. Let’s run through some quick tips to consider when purchasing a new home.

Contingency and lining things up

A contingency means that the sale and purchase of a home will only happen if certain conditions are met. In this case, it means that you’ll purchase the house as long as someone buys yours.

If your offer contains a contingency clause, we recommend making sure the closings happen on the same day.

Selling your home in the morning and buying in the afternoon typically works best. It will be less stressful for everyone involved. The paperwork for your sale can be finalized in the morning to ensure the funds are available to purchase later in that afternoon.

Option 2: Adding onto your home


Let’s run through pros, cons and considerations for adding onto your home now that we’ve talked through purchasing a bigger home. Again, there’s a lot to keep in mind. Let’s see if this is the right option for you.

Pros of Adding Onto Your Home

Like buying a bigger home, the obvious pro is all of the space you’ll get. But that’s the case for both. Let’s look at some pros that are more specific to making renovations.

Increasing the value of your home

Another big reason people decide to add onto their home is to increase its value. Adding square footage can definitely increase your home’s value IF you do it right. Especially in a hot market or if your home is one of the smaller ones in the neighborhood.

WARNING: Don’t over-improve your home. Keep in mind that the value of your home is closely associated with your location. Stay within range of the average home size in your neighborhood. Find the price range of the homes in your area by taking a look through real estate sites like Zillow.

Creating the space you want

An enticing benefit of adding onto your home is that you can make it how you want — within reason, of course. You can design the new space how you like. Remember that finances, the overall size of the property and any zoning restrictions can create some constraints.

Have equity built up with your current home? You can finance your expansion with a home equity line of credit. Learn more.

Staying put

If you love your neighborhood and don’t want to leave, adding on probably makes total sense. You don’t have to worry about moving expenses AND you get to stay in the place that feels like home.

Cons of Adding Onto Your Home

There’s a lot of hoops and hurdles to jump through when you renovate your home. Let’s take a look at some common headaches.


If you are already short on space, construction will make it even worse while the additions are being made. Part of your home will be out of commission and you can expect lots of construction workers, tools and dust flying around.

Also, you may have to move out temporarily if the construction is simply too much.

A mismatched house

Be careful when making additions. Shiny new rooms added onto an older house may feel out of place and could potentially even lower the value of your house. Try to keep things consistent.

Our advice

Have a plan and stick to it — first and foremost. Do your research before you even start. Set a clear budget, hire trusted professionals, apply for a building permit and decide how you’re going to fund the project.

Made your decision yet?

It’s okay if you haven’t yet. It’s a big, big decision with a lot to consider. Take your time and do what’s best for you. We hope this helped and gave you a better idea of what’s in play. If you have further questions or want to speak to an expert, contact one of our mortgage lenders for more information or advice.

Still need some more time but want to start somewhere? Check out our mortgage calculators. All free. All helpful. Take a look and see what you can afford, what options you have and different ways to finance.