Al and Cal Homes and Community: You Can Never Be Too Thin or Have Too Big A House

You Can Never Be Too Thin or Have Too Big A House

You Can Never Be Too Thin or Have Too Big A House

Well, this is at least what my good friend was famous for saying.   I wonder though, is this the way people feel?   

I work with a lot of first time buyers.    They are all encouraged to talk to my go to mortgage guy before we set them up for an on line search and begin our actual hunt.   This tends to be an eye opener in either direction.  too thin

Many times these buyers can "afford" more home than they thought they could especially today with interest rates at such an affordable low.   This translates into one of two things.   A higher priced community or a larger, possibly newer home than they were thinking of.  

Let's talk about that larger home.    Is it true that everyone would like a larger home?    It does seem to be the case for many.   But I wonder would it be nicer to have a smaller home with more money in your pocket?    Would one have a better quality of life if they didn't feel the need to max out on their house payment?    

Looking ahead to the future, it may very well be the wise move to make the largest purchase with interest rates this low.    Or, is it wise to just look at one needs and make the choice on that.  

Either way, it's a personal choice, and one that I respect. 

My thoughts after selling hundreds of homes to local families is to really think about what your needs and wants are.   Just because the mortgage guy says you can "afford" a certain payment doesn't mean you have to.   Those guidelines are meant to be a guide for an affordable home based on your current and past income and what people project will be the way you will spend your money.    

You might want to consider,

  • Will your income change one way or another in the future?
  • Will you want to change your job in the future?  Key word being want.
  • Will your family needs dictate a need to stay home to take care of children or older parents?
  • Will the size of your family change one way or the other?
  • Do you have large expenditures that will be coming up in the future, or will you be paying a large bill off?
  • Will you be looking to purchase a vacation home sometime in the future?

There are many things in life that we can't predict, but many that we know might or will happen.   The day you are looking for a mortgage might be the day that you want to consider these.      If you think that your income may change, or you wish to live a life style that will include having payments outside the norm, then you might want to consider a smaller payment.

Remember, just because they say you can afford something, doesn't mean you have to!

So, can you be too thin?  or have too big a house??   I say yes to both.    Eat responsibly and do the same with your home purchase.   

Oh wait!    Maybe having a very big a home will keep you thin!!  

  (Just kidding folks!)


About the author

Carol-Ann PalmieriCarol-Ann Palmieri,   (very much not too thin and owns a very modest size home)

a full time Real Estate professional in Massachusetts for the past 25 years along with Al Mussi have helped hundreds of families find, sell or purchase new places to live.

 A former US Marine, she grew up in Walpole, MA...  is committed to the serving the community through various volunteer opportunities.   She attended MA Bay Community and Suffolk University and is committed to constantly updating her Real Estate education. 

 Licensed in MA and RI...

 Al and Cal's primary areas of service Franklin, Bellingham, Medway, Millis, Medfield, Norfolk, Wrentham, Plainville, Blackstone, Walpole, Milford, Holliston, Hopkinton, Mansfield, and Foxboro, North Attleboro, Hopedale, Mendon, Millville but have resourses to help anyone, anywhere....

 Her mission....  To exceed your expectations!


Carol-Ann Palmieri

Al and Cal Realty Group

Remax Executive Realty




Comment balloon 18 commentsCarol-Ann Palmieri • October 25 2012 04:45AM


carol ann, great things to think about and I have to say all my buyers (except maybe 1 or 2) always tell me...I know what my mortgage broker says but I want less in payments.  So important to have the right backup plan!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Good advice Carol Ann.  Buy what you know you can afford and if/when your circumstances change down the road you can always downgrade or buy a larger home.

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055) over 6 years ago

Carol Ann, I do think the home buyers will often buyer to the max of the so called comfort zone.  Then, as you say something occurs in their life....change of jobs, children leave home, people don't visit like you thought they would and there they are...big house to worry about.  Personally?  I'd rather accomodate myself to a smaller house and less worry.

Posted by Mona Gersky, GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate. (MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC) over 6 years ago

Good morning, Carol Ann.... hmmmm.... whichever one of your friends tried to instill those thoughts into your mind was right on the money....and that's another thing.... you can't have too much money!!!

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 6 years ago

Hi Ginny.   Reasonable Buyers.  Back up plans are most important.  

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Anita.  Everyone's circumstances seem to change these days.   Thank you.

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Mona.   One less thing to worry about is my motto too.  Thanks!

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Barbara.   Hmmmm, I wonder.

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Good morning Carol Ann  - great post! Big homes aren't great for many lifestyles, and buyers are smart to take your advice and determine if they really want as much house as they can afford.

Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Samsel & Associates) over 6 years ago

Buying a home is no longer a lifetime investment like it was for our parents and grandparents Cal, nice post.

Posted by Al Raymondi, Ormond By The Sea Florida - Home and Condo Sales (Ocean View Realty Group in Ormond By The Sea Florida) over 6 years ago

I wish more people would only buy what they need right now - too much space, and most people want to fill it up with things they don't really need.  Carol Ann, you post really lays out what people should think about when purchasing their home.

Posted by Peggy Hughes/pha logistix, inc., SF NYC LA (pha logistix inc) over 6 years ago

Very nice post with some great info.  People tend to move every 7 years for the most part.  It amazes me when someone says they've lived in the same place for 25.

Posted by Chris and Dick Dovorany, Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty ( Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida) over 6 years ago

Carol Ann, Great thoughts and advice.  I think that the days of more more more are gone and a lot of folks are considering living below, not above their means.

Posted by Christine OShea (Christine E O'Shea Real Estate Broker) over 6 years ago

You definitely can be too thin or have too big a house!  I don't have either problem! LOL!  As for the house, it amazes me sometimes how much space one couple with one child think they need....but as you said we all have different reasons for what size house we want to buy.

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - over 6 years ago

Carol Ann -- clever post title!  Finding the right fit takes a lot of things into consideration but only a buyer knows what will be the right size for them.   Good post.

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 over 6 years ago


Words of wisdom from you and many folks should seriously read your blog . maybe some of these folks would finally live within their means.

take care and be careful with this monster storm approaching. We will pray for you folks and all our AR virtual friends. Let us know how you are doing..

Posted by Robert Bob Gilbert, Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties) over 6 years ago

Many of us are challenged with our efforts to be thin and some of us surely wish that we could downsize our homes.  Both objectives are more easily stated than accomplished.

Happy Halloween!

Enjoy the day and be sure to have your camera in hand to capture the special moments.

Busy Bee at Brookside Gardens

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) over 6 years ago


I have a client right now that has 6 children and supposedly a tight budget especilly when trying to find a big enough home. I found one that will work but the wife added 33 % of the base cost as options to this new build and now complains it is too expemsive. I told them they need to look at wants and needs and try to prioritize.

I hope lla is well with you and your fam.

Posted by Robert Bob Gilbert, Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties) over 6 years ago