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Buying slightly smaller than planned - will we regret it?

5 years ago
last modified: 5 years ago

Hi All,

My husband and I are looking to buy in a hot seller's market. Our initial plan was 1200-1500 sq ft, 3 beds/1.5 baths (this is a pretty standard size for the town we are buying in, with most houses built around 1900). We have a wonderful local buyer's agent who lives in the town and has touched pretty much every single home in her 30 years of experience. She reached out to us to see if we'd like to view a smaller, 1078 sq ft home this weekend, saying that it was just too nice of a house to ignore. We took a look yesterday and now I'm just so torn!


  • We would be well under budget - around $80K under what we had hoped to spend (which is great, since we're expecting and plan to go down to one income for a bit)
  • Unless the inspection uncovers something, the house is completely move in ready
  • It has so many features that we love - taller ceilings, beautiful trim, hardwoods everywhere, new (large!) wooden Pella windows, forced hot air (easy to add central AC), fantastic yard, great location, "old home character" etc. etc. etc.
  • The layout is great and it actually felt roomier than some 1250 sq ft houses we had visited
  • It's the first home that we visited that "felt right" - both my husband and I were instantly arranging furniture and discussing what would be planted in the yard and where his pet project, the outdoor pizza oven, would go


  • Size - the master bath appears to be a bit smaller than what we have now in our condo, the kitchen is roomy but isn't laid out to have a breakfast nook which we like, the first floor has a mudroom (where we could put a small standalone wardrobe) and door to the basement but no built-in coat closets
  • There have been very few houses available for viewing this season, so we'd pretty much be jumping on the first one we like, not knowing what else comes on the market in the months ahead
  • The cement basement floor smells of cat urine - this appears to be a tricky one to remedy without sealing it in

Basically, we love the house and the neighborhood. We are due in November and would love to buy this season, since our incomes and savings would allow us to buy before selling our condo. The sellers have a contingency on finding suitable housing, and I think our flexibility with not having a set date when we need to move in would help our offer stand out.

But I just don't know if we'll regret not having the extra space. Is it wise to buy smaller than you had planned? We'd hope to stay in this house for at least 10 years, and I'm in full on analysis paralysis trying to figure out what our needs then will be. Is it perfect for us now? Pretty much. Is it a smart purchase, or will we wish we waited and got that extra 400 sq ft? That I just can't figure out. Any input is welcome!

We will be viewing the house once again today, and offers are due Monday, so we have to act fast.

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