A smaller home. Have you ever considered downsizing?
While it’s nice to have a home with plenty of elbow room, especially if you have a young or large family, there are a lot of benefits to living in a smaller space.
Over the last couple of generations, the size of new homes have increased while the size of families have decreased.
Why do we need all that extra space?
Is it just so we’ve got somewhere to keep all our stuff?
Maybe modern life is so stressful that each member of the household needs their own space to cope?
Or, is it that we’ve just bought into the slogan that bigger is better?
I don’t know the answer and I’m guessing there’s more than one anyway.
What I do know is that too many of us over-extend not just our finances but our energy, too by choosing the live in massive homes.
How big? Well, according to this data, the size of the average new home has roughly doubled in the last 60 years. The average size in the United States is 2164 square feet, in Australia it’s even bigger; 2303! Apparently, the average new build home size in the US has actually reduced since the Global Financial Crisis.
To be honest, I’ve never understood this trend toward bigger and bigger homes. Sure, it’d be nice to have a room for everything, but how often would those rooms site idle? And, let’s face it, even a well-built and well-maintained house just sits in the garden eating money.
That doesn’t mean I think we should all live in a tiny home. They’re cute and all, but even the best designed tiny home is really only practical for single occupation – unless the weather is conducive to being outside all day.
Are you ready to downsize to a smaller home? Here are some smart reasons to consider it.
1. A smaller home means less to maintain
It’s logical right? A larger house means more roof to replace, more walls to paint, more gutters to clean. It also means more to clean inside, too. Even those rooms sitting idle need to be cleaned regularly because dust has a way of getting everywhere. Less to maintain also means more time for you to enjoy life. And, it doesn’t matter how rich you are, you can’t buy more time.
2. A smaller home (usually) means a smaller mortgage
All things being considered: age; neighbourhood; construction type; and quality; a smaller home should also cost less and therefore your mortgage will be less. Regardless of your income level, little to no mortgage is always a good thing.
3. A smaller home uses less resources
Regardless of the type of home you build or own, the smaller it is the less resources are used in its construction. That includes the resources you don’t think about like water and electricity. So, a smaller home can help reduce your carbon footprint right from day one of construction and on through the life of the home.
4. A smaller home costs less to heat
And cool. And insure. It also has, by the simple expedient of being smaller, less opportunities to drain electricity for lights, electronic devices, and security systems.
Standby power for things like TVs can have a huge impact on your electricity bill. If you have TVs in multiple rooms, you’re multiplying that impact.
5. A smaller home requires less furnishings
IKEA is great and their furniture is reasonably priced but if you’ve got more bedrooms than you need and multiple living areas, even with IKEA furniture, the initial outlay for furniture will be large and mostly wasted. Having a smaller home means you can choose to spend less on furniture or buy better quality (which will last longer meaning you spend less money).
6. A smaller home means you own less stuff
True, you could rent a storage unit but that would defeat the purpose. If your house is smaller, you have less places for stuff to accumulate. And, as we all know, clutter is like a cancer in your home. It sucks your energy and it creates a stressful environment.
If you have a smaller space, you’re usually more discerning about how you fill it. The constraints of space force you to consider which items you love or need and which ones are just clutter.
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Is it an option for you?
Have you considered whether you currently own too much home? Would you consider downsizing to a smaller home?
If you’re feeling the pain of a mortgage that is higher than is comfortable or feel like all your downtime is spent either cleaning or maintaining a larger home than you need, it might be time to consider the benefits of living in a smaller space and spending that time and money on the things that really add value to your lifestyle.
A well thought out design with decent ceiling heights, plenty of windows, clever storage and not too much stuff, a smaller living space can be very comfortable.
Do you think you could live in a smaller home?
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