I must admit, for far too many years I originated loans and guided my clients by the philosophy to “buy as much home as you possibly can afford” believing that most people ended up “growing into their mortgage payment” as they continue to improve their employment skills and subsequently their income levels. While this might be true for some younger buyers, often that this is not the case. In addition, when you buy “maximum” house with your money you also get “maximum” utility bills, insurance, and property taxes that go along with that maximum mortgage payment.
The meaning of “Less is More” is the notion that simplicity leads to better things. In the case of homeownership, not being strapped to into a large mortgage payment leads to having more money to do other things in life. After interviewing allot of millenials (newest generation) lately, I believe this generation understands this concept very well. They’ve seen the results of their baby boom parents trying to “live the dream” with a large home, nicest cars, fancy clothes, etc., etc., by with both of their parents working 50-60 hour weeks, being tired and burned out at the end of the week, all for what? So you can have a bigger or best house?
Today in the wake of a recession, 10% unemployment, and much uncertainty about what the future holds, I have changed my tune about how much house is too much. I believe that you should buy a home that “meets your needs” in terms of size, location, and budget (smaller is better). I think that the days of focusing on what the maximum house you can afford are over. There is allot more to life than being house poor.