When it comes to housing in the U.S. there are two primary trends: going huge and going tiny. On one side of the scale we have new homes averaging a thousand feet more than they did 40 years ago, and on the other we have the micro-home movement. But how much home do you really need? There are a variety of factors that go into answering this, including personal preference, number of people in the home, budget, future and current space needs.
Calculating Your Square Footage
When getting down to determining what will work for you and your family, consider these questions:
- Do I plan to have (more) children?
- Are there elderly relatives who may need to move in?
- What kind of room will I need for hobbies, home gym or office area?
- Will I have enough room for guests and entertaining if I chose to?
- How much storage space do I need?
- Do I plan to travel a lot for work or pleasure?
Architect Dan Manginn recommends looking to your current living space to determine what your needs are. Which rooms feel too large or too small to you? Measure the square footage of these and calculate based on what your ideal space would feel like.
For example, new homes have nearly doubled the kitchen size over the past few decades. If you love to cook but live with a kitchen that can barely house an oven, then this could really work out for you. However, if you live with a huge kitchen that you can’t stand cleaning, you’ll likely want a smaller one in your new home.
It’s also important to consider your personal preference and needs. While there are people who live in under 300 sq. feet tiny homes, this simply isn’t for everyone and you may find yourself spending even more time and money trying to make your home livable.
Pros and Cons of Smaller homes
First of all, a small home is not the same as a tiny home. Tiny homes measure around 300 sq. ft. or less. A small home plan, in contrast, is often defined as anything under 2,500 sq. ft., which is around the average square footage for a new home. Some definitions even consider anything under 3,000 sq. ft. a small home.
Pros: The primary pros of a small home have to do with cost. There will be a lower initial cost, lower taxes, utilities and expenses associated with upkeep. Environmentally conscious homebuyers will also like that a smaller home will create a smaller carbon footprint. Additionally, you are likely to find that a small space takes less time and effort to clean.
Cons: While smaller spaces can save you money, they may also cost you more in the long run. For example, if you go too small you may find you can’t buy in bulk anymore so you’ll have to forfeit savings from big box stores.
You may also find you don’t have room for a home office or gym which will force you to commute more or pay for a monthly membership as opposed to setting up a workout area in your home. Entertaining guests, doing hobbies at home and a variety of other activities may also be more difficult in a small house.
Pros and Cons of Larger Homes
Larger homes basically have the opposite pros and cons of a small home. They tend to be more expensive, but offer a host of other advantages.
Pros: Space for everything from a home office and gym to storage and entertaining is likely the biggest advantage of a large home. This can help you achieve a better work life balance and allow you to spend more time at home while still being productive. Additionally, if life circumstances change and you need more room, it’s there. This extra room could even be used to rent out and bring in income.
Cons: Cost is, obviously, the biggest disadvantage of a large home though some of this can be offset if you spend more time at home cooking and going on “staycations” versus eating in restaurants or going on trips. You may also find yourself needing to work too hard to maintain the home or to pay it off.
Getting the Home That’s Right for You
Often, the only way to get the features and size that you need, is to build from scratch. At Arbor Creek Homes, we work with you to create the home of your dreams, taking into account your budget, needs and preferences. Our selection of existing floor plans can be modified in a variety of ways to make them ideal for any home buyer. To learn more about what we can do for you, call us at 866-462- 6526.