My Household Income Has Doubled Since Buying My Home. Here's Why I Won't Upsize

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  • My husband and I earn twice as much as we did when we purchased our home.
  • While we've been tempted to move to a larger home, we're staying put instead.

It's a matter of being financially cautious and spending my money on the things that matter to me the most.

When my husband and I bought our home about 13 years ago, we first made sure we were financially secure enough to do so. That meant making certain we had ample emergency savings, and making sure our mortgage and other housing costs would fall below 30% of our income.

Before we embarked on a house hunt, in fact, we set a home-buying budget based on that criteria. And we ended up purchasing a home that was actually at the lower end of our budget rather than the higher end.

Meanwhile, at this point, my household income is twice what it was when we purchased our home. Granted, we've taken on other expenses in the interim, like having kids, but all told, we're at a point where we can afford to upsize to a more expensive home. Not only do we have a lot of equity in our home that we can put toward a down payment on a new one, but our income would likely qualify us for a much larger mortgage.

Despite having that flexibility, my family has no plans to move anytime soon. And it's not just because today's housing market is utterly berserk. Here are the main reasons we're staying put.

1. I'm a firm believer in financial security

Although we can afford to double or even triple our mortgage payments, doing so scares me. Right now, we have a lot of wiggle room in our budget for unplanned bills. And to be clear, we're not strangers to those bills.

Over the past three years, we've spent roughly $20,000 on home repairs. We've also had some surprise medical bills, vet bills, and auto repair bills that have eaten into our income and savings. But because we've kept our housing costs low relative to our income, all of those costs remained manageable. My fear is that if I take on larger housing payments, we'll end up squeezed financially and will have less leeway to manage unplanned bills.

2. I like to spend my money on other things

Although I live in a comfortable home, there are certain things I'd love to change about it. My main issue is that my backyard is an odd shape and it backs up to several neighbors' yards, so it's not the most private. Also, part of my backyard is on conservation land, which means it's wooded and not that usable (though my dog loves to run around in the woodsy part, so that's a plus).

A new home on a larger lot could solve for these issues. But ultimately, I don't think it's worth it to add to my mortgage payment and have to cut back on other things my family loves, like travel, outings, and dining at restaurants. The way I see it, having more flexibility to pay for all of those things is worth making a few compromises and staying where I am.

Should you upsize your home?

If your income has increased since you purchased your home, you may be tempted to upsize. But before you do, think about what you'll be giving up. For me, it's peace of mind and the ability to spend more on the things that bring me and my family joy. And because of that, upsizing just isn't worth it.

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