Buy large colonial...OR stay in small ranch?

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  1. #1 Feb 23, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2010
    My DH and I have been living in our little 1,200 sf ranch since 1998 -we have a pretty much private yard but not much land - it's only the 2 of us for now w/2 cats and a german shepherd :smile: We've always wanted a colonial with 2 floors and lots of land...we've considered several over the years but none seemed quite right.

    Now that the market is turning, I'm wondering if we should make a move. The only thing is, if we stay in the ranch we're in now, rent is very low and our house will be paid off in 8 years (and we could survive on one income if we had to and still live comfortably). If we move to a larger colonial house w/land, likely we'd have to go back up to 20/30 year mortgage, we'd be further from work, about 45 minutes (vs. now where I'm about 15 minutes) as the areas we can afford larger homes are further out.

    I'd love any thoughts - I keep hearing Susie Ormond in my head saying "do you really need the big house?" Yet I still want one just the same :graucho:

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. Personally, I'd stay in the ranch. Just think about how much quicker it'll be paid off, and what you could do with the extra money. I'm thinking purses and traveling! My parents live in a ranch and my mom always said she never needed a bigger house because it just meant more cleaning :P
    It really boils down to is what the two of you want though. If you've always wanted a colonial now is the time to do it because of the way the market is. If the longer commute, larger house, and fulfilling the dream you've always had is important then I say go for it.
  3. We moved from a large colonial to a ranch. One of the advantages of a two-story colonial over a one-story ranch is that it costs about half to heat in the winter because heat moves upward.

    Among the advantages of a ranch over a colonial is that if it's one-story it's easy to climb up on the roof to make repairs and remove snow, and it's easier (read cheaper) to clean windows, siding and gutters than it is with a two-story.

    I know some who have purchased colonials that have developed back problems as they grew older and can no longer deal with the stairs. Know some who avoid raised ranches for the same reason.
  4. I think the extra space would be fabulous, but all I can think about is all those stairs the second level. Who the heck will be lugging up the vaccuum to clean that staircase. A colonial must have at least 10 or 11 stairs. That would be my downfall. I like to clean a one story home. You just have to think about these things......unless you have a housekeeper.
  5. It really is a measure of pros vs cons. It would also depend on whether you found "the" house and your future plans.
  6. I think the extra drive to work would be the problem for me. But that would be it. I am not a fan of ranch style houses, so I would put up with the other things to live in the colonial.