When buying a house, how much importance should you put on size when it comes to hosting out-of-town family and friends? Here are some things to think about before investing in extra guest rooms and bathrooms.
Season of life. Are you still raising children or are you empty nesters? If the kids are grown, how much extra space do you really need? Do any of them live nearby or would you need to house all of your children for a holiday gathering? What about significant others and grandchildren? Also, be realistic about how often your out-of-town children will visit. Life is busy, and those dreams of frequent get-togethers don’t always come true.
Guest room or flex space? If you have frequent visitors, you might find it more comfortable to have a guest bedroom and bath set aside exclusively for visitors. But if guests are a rarity, you might consider a flex space, such as a second living room or office with a pull-out sofa or murphy bed that can be quickly converted to guest quarters.
Do the math. Does it make sense to pay the mortgage, taxes, insurance and maintenance on a larger place just to entertain occasional overnight guests? It would likely make more financial sense to put them up in a nearby hotel.
Children versus adults. Many grandparents want their homes to be large enough to accommodate visiting grandchildren but that doesn’t mean you’ve got to have multiple empty bedrooms. Twin beds in a single guest room, trundle beds, cots, inflatable mattresses and sleeping bags are all options that cost far less money.
Beyond bedrooms. Besides sleeping quarters, think about the size of your kitchen and dining area. Do you have enough space to sit comfortably around the table with guests? Do you want or need extra space for a folding table for holiday dinners? Can you convert a kitchen island into a second seating space for family gatherings? If you opt against the extra space, consider altering your traditions going forward. Buffet-style dinners or hosting a meal at a restaurant are two good options.
Don’t forget to think about your entertainment space. If you opt for a small space with limited seating, consider ottomans and comfy pillows for guest seating. Nesting tables are also a good space-saving option that come in handy when guests come calling.
Outside spaces. Do you need a yard for guests? If you like to grill out and entertain, a yard is nice. But even small townhouses typically have a patio space suited for outdoor cooking and dining. Beyond that, check out the amenities your neighborhood and community have to offer. Visiting nearby parks and indoor entertainment venues is far less expensive than owning a larger home on a bigger piece of land than you need on a daily basis.
Keep things in perspective. Don’t fret too much over size and amenities and lose sight of the fact that your guests, be they friends or family, are coming to see you.