I’m not sure if it’s a keeping up with the Jones’ need or what, but houses seem to be a lot bigger these days. It’s not like the size of the family has increased either, so what do people do with all that space? How much is enough? Just having a bigger house isn’t the only expense either. You have to pay taxes on it, insure it, put furniture in all of those rooms, heat and cool them, clean them, etc. As it has become painfully obvious in the recent housing collapse, many people bought their houses by extending themselves to the limit. Now they can’t make the payments, and they can’t even sell their house for what they owe on it.
Of course, the problem with housing is related to the problem with credit cards. Many people feel the need for instant gratification, and have trouble waiting for something they want, but don’t necessarily need. For smaller items, if you can’t pay for it with cash, don’t buy it until you can. By then, you might find that you really don’t want it anymore. The same goes for houses. If you have to borrow money to make your down payment, you can’t afford to buy the house.
Starting out with a small house that you can afford, or even renting is much less expensive. If your goal is to have a larger house someday, you can save for it. Maybe by the time you have enough money to buy it, it won’t be so important to you.