San Francisco CA bay area downtown

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While most American families search for three-bedroom homes, the allure of an additional bedroom or bathroom can be a difficult temptation to resist. However, making this choice could nearly double a buyer’s monthly mortgage payment, according to a new report released this week by the listing site Zillow.

Nationally, an American family upgrading from a two bedroom to a three bedroom could expect to shell out as much as almost $450 additional per month towards their monthly housing payment. And that comes out to a nearly 50 percent increase on monthly mortgage payments, says Zillow.

While trading up to a four bedroom home from a three bedroom could cost as much as $614 extra per month, and upgrading to a two bedroom home from a single bedroom home might add $192 per month.

Unsurprisingly, bathroom count can increase mortgage payments even more. An additional bathroom in a home can increase monthly mortgage payments from $386 to $838, depending on home size.

Just like home prices, trade up costs vary by city. It will cost homebuyers substantially more to trade up in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose, CA metro areas, where moving from a two-bedroom to a three-bedroom home could cost as much as an additional $1,033, $1,660, and $2,224, respectively, per month. Similarly, just adding another bathroom to a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in San Francisco could potentially add nearly $2,000 per month to housing costs.

Meanwhile, homebuyers in the New York metro area fared a bit better. Homebuyers trading up from a two-bedroom to a three-bedroom can expect to pay about $384 more per month, and moving from a three-bedroom to a four-bedroom might add as much as $568 per month to monthly housing costs — slightly below the national averages.

Homebuyers in Cleveland, OH will have to shell out the least of all the metros in Zillow’s study to trade up, at just $2 to move from a one bedroom to a two bedroom, and only $177 to upgrade to a four bedroom from a three-bedroom home.

“Understanding how certain characteristics like size, location, or number of beds and baths, can impact a home’s price can be hugely important when determining if a particular home is the right fit for you and your family,” says Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell.

And while it comes as no surprise to buyers that larger homes cost more, they could be surprised to learn just how much more — especially in California and coastal markets, Gudell added.

Click here to read the entire report.

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