How Many Bedrooms Do You Need?

Jun 3, 2024Buying Basics, First-Time Home Buyers, Homebuying Process, Real Estate Tips

Shared Bedroom

As soon as you consider house hunting, the question comes up, “how many bedrooms do you need?”

When you are buying, you will be happiest purchasing something that you will not grow out of in less than ten years. When you think about how many bedrooms you need, think about the size of your family over the course of the next ten years. Home ownership is a longer time commitment than renting. Renters generally stay in their apartments for two to three years. The median time that homeowners stay in their condo or house is thirteen years.

  • Do you plan to have children?
  • Will the children be teenagers eight years from now?
  • Will your teenagers be leaving in the next few years?
  • Is there a reason to expect that you may have long-term visitors, like parents or grandparents?

One bedroom per child?

Whether every child needs their own bedroom is parental choice. Cultural background and the gender, age, and personalities of your children inform your decision. So does your budget.

If you are buying with children, you know those children and can decide for them. If you are buying to house your future children, here are some considerations:

Bonding and Boundaries

Generally, children sharing a room before they are ten can increase their bonding. It can be a good experience for both children, until they develop more need for privacy in early adolescence. It is good for children to learn how to set boundaries, even young children. Sibling roommates learn to negotiate about what is shared and not shared. They learn to honor one another’s need for company and need for alone-time. These skills will help them, later in life, when they have roommates in college or choose a life partner. If the house you are choosing is one that will house you with children who are newborn to age ten, your family may be happy with fewer bedrooms than one-per-child.

Adolescents generally need their own space. Parents need to plan on that.

If your budget can’t accommodate separate bedrooms, here are some options:

  • Divide an existing bedroom into two bedrooms. This can be done with a permanent wall, or by furniture placement that designates separate areas.
  • Divide an existing bedroom into three smaller bedrooms. Then create a play or study space outside the bedrooms that is shared.
  • If your older children will only be home for another few years, use finished attics or basements that can be converted into social space later. This keeps costs down and also doesn’t leave the parents with too much space, once the children have grown.

Personal Storage Space

When looking at bedrooms for you and your family, also consider the storage space within the bedrooms. If bedroom closets are too small, locate other storage spaces, so that every family member has a private place for their things. This increases comfort and the feeling of safe belonging. It also reduces clutter, since everyone’s things have a place where they belong.

Discuss bedrooms with your agent. An exclusive buyer’s agent can help you figure out how many bedrooms will work for you and your household. Sometimes fewer bedrooms might work, and save you some money.


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