According the the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 Characteristics of New Housing, of the 738,000 new single-family homes completed in 2016 the median home was 2,422 square feet, nearly 1,000 more square feet than a home built 50 years prior! Homes in the United States have been getting larger and more spacious, but all that space comes with some downsides as well. As the population continues to age and prices on everything from building materials to cleaning supplies continues to rise, if you’re in the market for a new home, it may be a good idea to consider how much home you really need.
Consider: Try looking at different home layouts. If you like the idea of extra bedrooms because it creates a privacy buffer, try looking at a split home design where the bedrooms are on opposite sides of the home. Likewise a split level may offer you the same privacy without adding a lot of costly extra square footage.
Consider: If you’re the type of person who enjoys alfresco dining or reading on the porch, look at homes that make the most of outdoor spaces. You may be able to shave off some space (and the money involved with it) by finding a home that has the shared space you desire in an outdoor or semi-outdoor setting.
Consider: Maintenance is a fact of homeownership. Looking for homes that are well-built and have newer fixtures can help to lower this cost (as will buying a home warranty at time of purchase), but there’s no guarantee you’ll be in the clear.
Consider: In real estate, there’s typically a pick two scenario between home size, location, and price. If you’re wanting a large size in a great location, you’ll have to pay a premium price. If you’re wanting a great size and price, you’ll have to be flexible on the location, and so on. If price is a key decider for you and the location isn’t negotiable, you’ll probably have to consider a smaller home.
Beautiful and functional homes come in all shapes and sizes. By choosing a smaller home you may be able to save yourself the costs and hassles typically associated with large homes.
Curious to see the size of a new construction home the year you were born? Find out with this cool tool!