Buying a House and Not Owning a Car

A car note, car insurance and vehicle fuel combined easily cost more than a monthly homeowners’ insurance payment. Money spent on a car note could cover unexpected house repairs and help pay for homeowners’ association fees.

Other prices that you wouldn’t have to pay for if you were car-less homeowner are parking fees, general maintenance and auto repairs. There may be no way to price the tension and frustration that you’d save from not having to get stuck while driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Going car-less to save money after buying a house isn’t for everyone

Yet, you can’t just ditch your car. Going car-less to save money after buying a house requires forethought. You need to live near public transportation that is within reach of your job, grocery stores and other shops like clothing boutiques.

Should you not own a house that’s near public transportation, you could still go car-less to save money after buying a house. Going car-less without living near public transportation is possible if you live near relatives or friends who could drive you to faraway places. Other options include:

  • Colleague car pools – Some major cities operate city-wide car pools. You could sign up on a car pool with other travelers by logging into a website. If there isn’t already a car pool where you work or live, you could start one.
  • Taxi – In addition to taking a traditional taxi, you could travel using Uber or Lyft.
  • Walking or bicycling – Live near work and other places that you frequent and you could simply walk or bike ride to and from home.
  • Motorbike – You won’t get up to top speeds on a motorbike, but you can travel 10 or more miles in less than an hour on a motorbike.

Ongoing savings for car-less homeowners

Large heavily trafficked cities like Chicago and New York City are home to many adults who have a driver’s license but no car. Public transportation is so efficient in these major cities that it’s possible to get from home to work, the store, entertainment spots and to visit relatives on a subway, bus or train using public transportation.

Gone are struggles to find a parking spot. Gone are traffic headaches. In these situations, going car-less to save money after buying a house is a no brainer to some homeowners. What these people may not realize is how much money they maybe giving themselves to put toward their house.

If this is your first time trying to go car-less to save money after buying a house,compare cost on different forms of public transportation. Also, see if your employer offers discounts on monthly public transportation passes.

Of course, if your house is within walking distance of stores, schools and work, you could ride your bike from home to these locations. You could also walk or run, giving yourself the chance to save money and get in healthy exercise at the same time.

Choosing a Home Size That Makes Sense for You

When you drive through a new housing development does it seem like all of the homes are enormous compared to when you were growing up? You’re not alone. In fact, over the last 40 years, average home sizes have increased by over 1,000 square feet. In other words, you could fit an entire small house inside of the amount homes have grown in size.

Why do Americans love huge houses?

It’s counter-intuitive that home sizes should keep growing larger. Bigger houses mean higher prices, more maintenance, and more expensive utilities. To understand why, we need look no further than the automobile industry.

In spite of the fact that larger vehicles cost more to buy, use more gas, and do more harm to the environment, people still buy bigger and bigger trucks and SUVs. There are a few reasons why. One is that they can afford to (or they can at least afford the payments). Another reason is cultural. For the most part, bigger meant better in American culture–until recently.

Recently, many Americans have begun saying they would prefer smaller sized houses. That desire hasn’t entirely caught up to the people building the homes, however. And even as simple living trends and the “tiny house” phenomenon gain traction, building contractors still stand the most to gain from large houses and the people with the money to build houses continue to build big to stay aligned with the other homes in their neighborhood.

There are other obstacles in place for people who want a smaller house. Some counties around the U.S. now enforce minimum square footage requirements to uphold the building standards of the area. So, people hoping to move to a particular suburban area but don’t want a huge house might be out of luck.

How big of a home do I need?

There are a lot of things to consider if you’re buying a home. Size and cost often go hand-in-hand, but even if you can afford a larger home, do you really need the space? Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine how large of a house you really need:

  • Do I or will I have a family?
    Kids need space. They need bedrooms and places to play. The size of your family is going to be a huge factor in choosing the size of your home.
  • Do I need all this stuff?
    Many people use their homes like storage containers. Think about the last time you moved and what you brought with you. Now determine how often you used the things you brought. Odds are you have a lot of items just sitting around taking up space that you don’t really need.
  • Do I have hobbies that take up a lot of space?
    Woodworking, working on cars, playing drums… these are all examples of hobbies that call for some leg room.
  • Am I a dog person?
    Just like kids, pets tend to take up some room. Larger dogs and energetic dogs require more room, both outside and inside the house.
  • Do I have time to keep up with the maintenance?
    Bigger houses means more windows to clean, more toilets to scrub, more grass to mow… you get the idea. You might find that you’d rather have a beautiful and well-kept small home than a hard-to-maintain huge one.