If you have more than a couple children or an extended family that likes to visit frequently, then owning a large home may be a good match for your lifestyle. While some people immediately assume that a large house would be too expensive, that’s not necessarily the case. There are several factors which influence price — including location, market conditions, and, of course, the house itself. An experienced real estate agent can provide you with the guidance to determine what type of house is best suited to your family’s needs, your budget, and your goals.

Advantages of a Big House

If you love to throw big holiday parties and host family gatherings, then a spacious house can be the perfect setting for that kind of lifestyle — especially, if overnight guests are part of the plan. Having extra bedrooms also provides space for things like home offices, exercise rooms, and children’s play areas.

Big homes are ideal for large families because they enable parents and children to pursue separate activities in different parts of the house without disturbing each other. Lots of bathrooms come in handy when you have a houseful of company or just a big family all wanting to use the bathroom at the same time!

Side note: A challenge for some home owners is resisting the temptation to use spare rooms as repositories for obsolete electronics, out of date clothing, outgrown toys, old magazines, and other things of questionable value. (I’ll reserve that topic for a future blog post!)

Are Big Houses “High Maintenance”?

The first potential disadvantage that comes to mind when discussing the pros and cons of a spacious home is the monumental task of keeping the house clean. If your budget allows it, a good residential cleaning service is an expense that’s well worth the cost. As is the case with all professional services, there’s a lot of variation between prices, guarantees, quality, and personalities. That’s why it pays to get at least two or three estimates to help ensure you’re receiving the most value for your money.

Another set of costs to keep in mind when eyeing a large house is heating, cooling, and maintenance. If you’re thinking about buying a big home, those things should be factored into your decision. Other details to notice when checking out homes for sale is the amount of insulation in the attic and the energy efficiency of the windows and doors. A knowledgeable home inspector can help you make sure the house is well insulated and energy efficient. Otherwise, you could find yourself saddled with enormous energy bills that could have otherwise been avoided.

Ideally, a spacious home should have a climate control system that enables you to regulate different ‘zones’ individually. That way, you don’t have to waste energy heating or cooling parts of the house that are essentially unoccupied at certain times. Programming your HVAC system to accommodate changing energy needs at night and during the work day is another way to help control potentially high utility bills in a large house.


Whether you’re 25 or 65, one thing’s for sure: Home ownership, raising a family, and having enough money to retire comfortably takes a lot of money! Surprisingly, a high percentage of people of all ages have not accumulated a sufficient nest egg for their future needs.

What many homeowners (and aspiring homeowners) don’t stop to realize is that there are many opportunities to save money, reduce expenses, and keep more of your hard-earned cash where it belongs: in your pocket, bank account, or retirement plan. While it may seem like your money flies out the window as fast as you can earn it, you may be overlooking some key strategies for holding on to more of it. One of the most powerful tactics for saving and making more money is learning how to negotiate effectively.

Practicing the Art of Negotiation

Virtually “everything is negotiable,” especially in real estate transactions. Fortunately, you can rely on a good real estate agent to look out for your interests and get you the best deal. However, it is generally to your advantage to have a basic understanding of negotiating principles and the possibility of winning concessions from the other side.

Perhaps the number one thing to keep in mind when attending an open house or touring a home you’re considering buying is to choose your words carefully — particularly if you’re in the presence of the seller’s agent or the home seller, themselves (Note: If you’re just viewing the house with your buyers’ agent, you don’t have to worry about weighing your words or being too effusive.) As an example, if you blurt out “This house is absolutely perfect!” or “This is exactly what we’re looking for!” then you’re putting yourself at a strategic disadvantage when it comes to making an offer on the house. It pays to “play things close to the vest.” That expression, of course, originated from the game of poker, in which it’s a tactical error to let your opponents see your cards.

There are dozens of situations in life where negotiating skills can help you gain hundreds, if not thousands of additional dollars from a transaction. Examples range from negotiating a raise or a starting salary to buying or selling real estate or automobiles. By developing your negotiating skills and practicing them at every opportunity, you’ll find yourself gaining financial and other advantages that wouldn’t otherwise be available to you. As the poem “My Wage” by Jessie B. Rittenhouse reminds us, if we bargain with life for pennies, then that’s exactly what we’ll get in return.

By negotiating the best possible deal in real estate transactions, automobile purchases, home improvement contracts, employment opportunities, credit card interest rates, and dozens of other situations, you can build up a larger retirement nest egg, help your kids pay for college, and achieve a greater measure of financial security.

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