Are You Over-Housed?

Are you among the over-housed in America?

It’s been said that we only use 40% of our living space. Yet, Americans carry high mortgages and the stress of financial burdens. More is not always better. A small home is typically less expensive, easier to maintain and faster to pay off. Over-housing is the concept of paying too much money for housing in relation to one’s income. It happens when people stretch to buy what they can afford, rather than what they really need. Some buyers deplete their emergency funds in order to get a down payment together. A bigger home often means higher costs for utilities, maintenance, insurance, property taxes, HOA fees, and on and on. If the income of both husband and wife are needed to cover expenses, then the loss of a job or an unexpected illness can create havoc. The stress can get ugly.

Now if you’re wondering whether you’re over-housed, answer these questions: Are you giving and saving regularly? Are you paying down debt and not accumulating more? Have you purchased adequate life insurance and created a will? Are you losing sleep or arguing with your spouse about finances? Do you hope to have children or adopt? Will you possibly be caring for your parents, adult children, or grandchildren? What other expenses do you anticipate? Maybe you need to rent temporarily or buy a smaller, less expensive home. In time, buy only what you need, not what you can afford and give yourself the gift of financial freedom.

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