How much house do you need?

How much house do you need?

For more than a decade, Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company has lived in an 89 square-foot home.

His decision to live in a tiny house came from concerns about the effects a larger house would have on the environment, and his desire to not maintain a lot of unused or unusable space.

Obviously Jay's home is at the extreme low end of how small one can go with living space, but it meets his needs and allows him to live the simple lifestyle he was seeking. While it may seem impossibly small to the majority of people, 89 square feet is Jay's right-sized home.

Contrast this with the average American home, which in 2004, was 2349 square feet, up from 1695 square feet in 1974. In 30 years, the size of kitchens doubled, ground-floor ceilings grew by more than a foot, and bedrooms increased by 54 square feet. In 2004, the average family size was 2.6 people. Thirty years ago, it was 3.1 people. Our homes have been getting larger while our families are getting smaller.

But earlier this year USA TODAY reported a change in that trend:

New homes, after doubling in size since 1960, are shrinking. Last year, for the first time in at least 10 years, the average square footage of single-family homes under construction fell dramatically, from 2,629 in the second quarter to 2,343 in the fourth quarter, Census data show.

The average size of a new home is approximately 15 percent smaller than it was just a year ago. Architects and designers believe this trend toward smaller homes was caused by the economic meltdown — but they expect it to be a lasting change.

Too Big, Too Small

I've mentioned that my husband and I will be building a home soon, and we've gone back and forth with our architect on several sketches, trying to find our right-sized home. Most of the designs have been appealing, but some have been bigger than we need, and others smaller.

Buying or building too much home has a lot of drawbacks, including:

  • Environmental effects
  • Higher mortgage payment means more energy goes into paying for housing
  • Higher taxes and insurance
  • Requires more time and money to maintain and clean
  • Higher utility bills
  • More rooms to furnish

Buying or building too small is economical, but can cost in other ways. If your house is too small, you might face some of the following challenges:

  • No room to expand if you have kids.
  • Lack of storage space, even for basic household items.
  • Not enough room to entertain friends and family. (If you enjoy entertaining, that is!)
  • Lack of space for an office (if you work from home) or hobbies.
  • Feeling like you're living on top of your family members, with no personal space.

Finding a Size that is Just Right

Too big is a waste, and too small is a headache. How does one find a Goldilocks house — sized just right? There are many considerations, such as the following:

    • Lifestyle. Do you work from home and need office space? Do you travel a lot? How often do you entertain?
    • Family. Do you have children? If not, do you plan to have kids (and plan to stay in the same home)? Are there elderly relatives who live with you or might need to in the future?
    • Hobbies. Some hobbies require a bit of room, even if it's just a sewing cabinet or a dedicated space for a piano.
  • Future goals. Do you plan to live in the house for a long time? Do you want to travel? What are your savings goals?

Calculating the Size of your Goldilocks Home

Once you have an idea of what you need your house to do, you can calculate your magic number. In the article “Square Feat: Foot Steps”, architect Dan Maginn recommends starting with your current home and following these five steps:

    1. Measure and record each of the rooms in your current home, thinking in terms of the functions of each room. Include cooking, dining, bedrooms, closets, bathrooms, living, storage, circulation, and mechanical/utility space.
    1. Note whether each space feels too big or too small.
    1. Write down how your needs for each function might change in the future. For example, if you plan to stay in the house and have kids, bedroom space is a consideration.
    1. Given how the spaces currently feel and your future needs, adjust the sizes until the spaces feel right.
  1. Add up the adjusted numbers.

Right now our number is around 1800 square feet, with a loft that can be built out later if and when our needs change. That number sounds big to me, but looking at the plans, spaces, and considering our future needs (we don't plan to move from this house), it might just be our right-sized house.

What is the square footage of your right-sized living space? Do you currently live in more space than you need, or could you use some more room?

J.D.'s note: I love the Tumbleweed Homes. I want one.

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RDS
RDS
11 years ago

My wife, 2 year old daughter, and I live in an 1800 sq foot townhouse. We love it. The house was well designed and although there is not much space (at least be modern North American standards) none of it is wasted.

I am a big believer that people (us, anyway) will expand to fill whatever space they have. While an 1800 square foot house is by no means tiny it is not giant, either. Our home gives us the space we need and helps us make sure that we don’t overdo the “stuff.”

Sarah A
Sarah A
5 years ago
Reply to  RDS

I live in a 5900 square foot house with my husband and 5 kids. Even though it sounds huge, we really have the perfect amount of space. We have a kitchen, dining room, pantry, living room, den, office, mudroom, and half bath on the main floor. The basement has a gym and family room. Our second floor is our master suite with bedroom, bathroom, and closet. All our kids have their own bedroom and closet, and we have three bathrooms for the kids. Our third floor is just a large playroom. Our outdoor space is not included in the square… Read more »

Debbie
Debbie
11 years ago

This article came at a perfect time for me. I currently live in SoFL with my family and have lived in my home for 20 years. My neighborhood has changed dramatically to where we don’t really feel safe and our quality of life has changed. It wasn’t like that when we moved here. But my DH got just got a job in a new area. We are looking at 2 things-a bigger new home (no fixer-upper this time) and more land. Our current home is just right, but no yard really. Part of me is really debating about the larger… Read more »

Elise
Elise
11 years ago

My family of four lives in a 1,040 square foot house. It has a full basement and we use that for a play area and a craft area (as well as storage and laundry). While it’s much smaller than most of the homes of other people we know, the only thing I’d change is to add another bathroom. Other than that, it’s great! We can afford it, it’s easy to clean, it’s in a good neighborhood with a good school district, we have a large yard and each child has her own room.

Peter
Peter
11 years ago

I grew up on the West Coast of Scotland, in a tiny wee house probably not even 1000 sq. ft, 5 of us lived there. It was not unusual at all, many families grew up like this, eventually we moved into a fancy 1800 sq. ft or so house when I was around 14. Now I live in Texas and have a 2400 sq. ft house for my wife, 2 daughters and myself. My in-laws are telling me we need something larger to give the kids some more room! What luxury we have and we don’t even realise it.

Kirstine
Kirstine
11 years ago

We are a family of three expecting baby brother to arrive any day soon. We live in a 600 sc feet appartment – no kidding. If you asked us years ago, we would have said we’d buy a house way sooner, say when we had our first child. But now we are just having other priorities: Finishing our education, starting a family, paying of debt, starting a business, adopting a baby. With larger living expences much of that wouldn’t be possible for us. So no, I don’t think it is the ideal size for our family. But I find it… Read more »

Adam
Adam
11 years ago

We (my wife and I) currently live in an two-bedroom apartment that ‘seems too small’. However, I would love it if we could cut down on some of the items that we have in order to free up some space. Heck, we might even be able to get back into a one bedroom if we cut back on some of the things we have. My problem seems to be electronic items while my wifes is clothes. Isn’t that about the norm? 😉

Family Balance Sheet
Family Balance Sheet
11 years ago

I have this battle in my head quite a bit. We live in a house that is 1850 sq. ft. It is me, my husband and our 2 young girls. There are times that it feels cramped and I would love a second garage and a second full bath. But our mortgage is very low and will be paid off within 8 years, our utility bills are also low and we don’t have a lot of lawn work, since acreage is less that a quarter. A bigger house would also mean more housework for me and I hate to clean.… Read more »

realist
realist
7 years ago

So, is a house that is 4834 sq ft with an attached four car garage and detached 1600 sq ft garage/workshop too big…nope its just a comfortable size for my wife and our three boys

EscapeVelocity
EscapeVelocity
11 years ago

I have 957 square feet, which is OK for me and two cats but does feel cramped at times because it’s hard to find furniture that’s not too big for it. I can’t imagine how the previous owners raised four kids in this house. Here, the older, smaller homes, which are centrally located and hence desirable, are being added onto or simply torn down and replaced by newer houses built as large as the zoning allows. I’m glad I got mine when I did. The local condo market is mostly for people who make a lot more money than I… Read more »

Rachel
Rachel
11 years ago

My husband and 2 boys and I (and dog) live in an 1850 square foot ranch in a close-in suburb to a medium-large size city. We love it. We used to live in a significantly larger, 2 story house on the east coast and I could NEVER get to all 3 bathrooms. We always felt overwhelmed. We wanted a ranch in case we stay in one place, they are great houses to age in, and we felt like we would be closer – which we are, and can be an advantage or disadvantage (must be very quiet in the kitchen… Read more »

lostAnnfound
lostAnnfound
11 years ago

When we originally bought our house 18 years ago it was 950 square feet. Five years ago we added on a family room 20 x 20, increasing the total size of the house to 1350 square feet and taking the old family/living room and making it into a bedroom. It’s the right size for us (me, husband & two teen daughters, plus one dog) now, but I can see us downsizing in the future after the kids have gone out on their own. I think it would be to big for us at that point. I am glad that we… Read more »

J Brown
J Brown
11 years ago

I now have 3 kids and we live in a ~1700 sgft house. I think the yard size and ‘extras’ make all the difference. Meaning, if I had a garage, we would have more living space and less storage space. We will be moving and like the older houses, due to the larger size rooms not more unused rooms. I am considering a different floor plan, more of one that is open. This would allow for the usable space vs. just rooms.

Miss Moneypenny
Miss Moneypenny
11 years ago

I grew up in a small 1930s bungalow with my mom and brother, and could not have been happier. We had a living room and dining room. People often opt to leave out these formal rooms today because they “don’t use them”, but I can say if you decide to utilize them, there is nothing like having dinner around a formal dining table with your family every night. Its space utilization, not size, that really matters.

Leslie
Leslie
7 years ago

YES! Space utilization, rather than the amount of square footage, is the key!

cmadler
cmadler
11 years ago

Keep in mind that there’s more to house “size” than just size. For example, when we were house-shopping, we quickly decided that we wanted (relatively) small bedrooms, but more family room/living room space. To us, a large bedroom would be a lot of wasted space, but we love having that extra space elsewhere; if we had the same square footage with larger bedrooms, the house would certainly feel too small!

Ryan
Ryan
11 years ago

“Architects and designers believe this trend toward smaller homes was caused by the economic meltdown – but they expect it to be a lasting change.” Based on what? I think alot of people hope that it will be a lasting change, but I’m not so sure. We’re not a sort of people that tends to, in the long run, reject consumption when we can afford it. And don’t confuse your statistics, April. All these numbers are averages of NEW HOUSES BUILT during that time period, not what the average person is now living in. It only makes sense that in… Read more »

Jenn S.
Jenn S.
11 years ago

My husband and I live in a 950sq ft condo and it is the Goldilock’s House for us. When we were looking for a condo 8 years ago, we were conscious of wanting to live in a smaller space than our 1500sq ft apartment, and smaller spaces are much more affordable in the city. We were also looking to buy a condo that we could easily afford on one income if we needed to, which has come in handy a couple of times already. We’re just two people (and our greyhound), and we didn’t want to heat/cool more space than… Read more »

Beth
Beth
11 years ago

Trying to buy a home for future needs is very difficult when you’re single 🙂 I’ve been putting of the decision to buy until I meet someone, but as I’ve been saying that for the last couple of years I’m starting to lose patience.

Most of the homes in my area — including the new upscale condo developments — aren’t affordable on one income, so I guess that makes the decision for me.

Foxie || CarsxGirl
Foxie || CarsxGirl
11 years ago

I’m hoping to end up in a condo-sized place, probably anywhere from 600 to 900 square feet. I think we’ve got around 1,000 or 1,100 in our current rental, and it’s just way more space than we need! All I really want is a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living room. (Right now, we have what’s supposed to be a dining room and a second bedroom.) Definitely more than necessary! However, the rental agreement I can’t argue with, so as long as it isn’t permanent I’m not so picky. While I’m not a huge fan of Texas, Texas Motorsport Ranch is… Read more »

Jenny
Jenny
11 years ago

My husband, daughter, her fiance and myself live in an approximately 900 sq ft 2 bedroom home that feels too small – but that we knew would feel just right when the kids move out after getting married next year.

We love it!

Kim
Kim
11 years ago

It’s interesting to see what people “need” – when I grew up, children did not have walk-in closets, double bed, or sitting area in their bedrooms. And my brothers grew up 3 in a bedroom (I was a late addition). When we look at houses in DC – overpriced – the easiest way to get into the affordable range in a good neighborhood is to seek smaller bedrooms; it gives you more yard, too.

Lily (capital L)
Lily (capital L)
11 years ago

Wow! 2349 square feet = 218 square meters. Huge. My house in Italy is 80 sm (861 sft) and it is just fine (on 2 floors, big living room, ok kitchen, cabinet, 2 bedrooms and roomy bathroom with tub+shower.) Two people, no children yet… but a cat. Enough storage room and enough privacy. Here 100 sm (1076) is already the size of a quite spacious flat. 130 sm (1400) is a big house. Don’t you Americans hate having to *clean* that much? 🙂 @cmadler Exactly! Our 2 bedrooms aren’t huge but comfy. There’s room for 2 wardrobes and in one… Read more »

Abby
Abby
11 years ago

cmadler makes a good point. We downsized from a 2200 square foot single family home to a 1700 square foot rowhouse and actually gained more usable, livable space for our family of four. Our open plan living/dining/kitchen is just far more functional than separate rooms. There is one hidden cost of small spaces, however – a few other comments mention that it can be tough to find furniture and that is absolutely true. No more hitting the resale shop or picking up garage sale/Ikea As-Is finds and making them work. Now that every square foot counts, we’ve realized that having… Read more »

DeborahM
DeborahM
11 years ago

Presently… relatively cosy 1350 sq. ft. 4-bedroom/1 bathroom home. We’re two, with 1 full-time home office. But we live far from family and friends, so have frequent stay-over guests for days at a time. Right-sizing? Smaller. I think that 3 bedrooms (Master, office and flex-space), 1.5 or 2 bathrooms and even less square footage, would be ideal and even gracious. Perhaps 1200 sq. ft. or something around there. As someone else above mentioned, this seems to be just the right amount of space, as long as no space is deemed “for formal use only”. What a waste a formal living… Read more »

Dasha
Dasha
11 years ago

My husband and I lived with our cat in a 300 sq foot studio for three years. We now upgraded to a 800 sq foot two bedroom apartment and it is incredibly luxurious! Our bedroom is the smaller of the two, and the larger bedroom (adjacent to the living room) is a study. I would not want our space to get any bigger though, because I already spend too much time cleaning it! While we could certainly be happy in a much smaller space, it is very nice to have room to spread out.

Molly
Molly
11 years ago

I live with my husband and two children in a home that is 1100 sq. ft. Space is limited but it has pushed us to make some choices about how to use that space. Last year we got rid of the TV-It dominated the living room. We replaced it with a large art/ project table. The kids don’t miss the TV!
With the exception of a cold winters day we spend time outside; we have a small house but lots of land around us.

Four Pillars
Four Pillars
11 years ago

It’s tough to “calculate” the right size of house. Every house is a compromise and you never really know what you want until you have lived there for a while.

I’ll add that one negative for a house that is “too small” or even “too big” is resale value – that 89 sq foot house likely would sell for land value plus the value of firewood. 🙂

We have 4 people in about 1200/1300 sq feet. It’s not huge but we like the location (close to work) so it’s a worthy tradeoff.

Kevin M
Kevin M
11 years ago

We struggled with this quite a bit when we moved in July. We were coming from a 750 sq ft home – 2br/1bath and definitely wanted to go bigger with 1 kid here and another coming soon, plus 2 large dogs. We were shooting for around 15-1700 but well designed. It was hard to find anything like that in our area though since most supply was the “cookie-cutter” subdivision style homes of the 1970s-current. We eventually settled on a really unique older looking home built 15 yrs ago that is around 2100 sq ft. The style really sold us. It’s… Read more »

Nicole
Nicole
11 years ago

3000 sq feet. 1 husband, 1 child, 2 cats, hopefully someday a second child. What were we thinking? 1. We had been living in tiny apartments for 6 years (first apartment: 100 sq feet, second 300 sq feet, third was less than that with a shared kitchen). We went a little crazy, especially since our mortgage is considerably under the rent we paid for the first two places. 2. We thought we each needed our own office, based on our parents’ experiences. Turns out we miss each other when we’re in separate rooms (and our rooms are, of course, bigger).… Read more »

guinness416
guinness416
11 years ago

100k House blog had a good post yesterday about people buying houses with extra rooms because their parents visit twice a year and couples with no children wanting space for kids that don’t even exist yet. I don’t know what it is about people that we need that contingency. I did a little informal poll in my office a while back to find out if any of my colleagues’ kids share a room with siblings. None of them do! I wonder when that became the norm. Personally, I share about a 1000 sq ft house with my husband and that… Read more »

Jane
Jane
11 years ago

We have a 1920s bungalow that is 1,200 sq ft. With one toddler and a second child on the way, I know that at some point in the next few years, we will probably want to move. The main problem with our house is that it is two bedroom, one bathroom. If we could just add another half bath and about 200 more sq ft., I think we could stay for quite a while. But one bathroom is really the problem. I don’t ever see us moving into a house larger than 2,000 sq ft. Frankly I don’t want to… Read more »

Four Pillars
Four Pillars
11 years ago

Guinness – my two kids share a room. And they will continue to do so for a few years!

My first house was about 750 sq feet – I lived there alone and it seemed quite luxurious (because it was). I actually felt a bit guilty sometimes.

Karen
Karen
11 years ago

I think it’s harder to live in a small house in my area, where it’s bitter winter 9 months out of the year. Whereas living in a small house in San Diego on the beach? No problem! Me and my 2 kids live in a 2400 sq ft 4 BR 3 Bath split level ranch. It seems big to me–I’d be happy with 1/2 the size. However, small houses in my town are designed horribly–tiny cramped kitchens and only a 1 car garage (we only have 1 car, but we need a big garage to store not only the car… Read more »

Ben
Ben
11 years ago

Perhaps this is a chicken or the egg proposition but I think that people would have smaller houses if there were less stuff in them.

The size of houses themselves has increased dramatically but I wonder how much the amount of available space has increased or not.

Giant and numerous pieces of furniture fill peoples’ homes, so much so that there isn’t room for the people who live in it resulting in bigger homes… that they end up just filling with more stuff.

Little House
Little House
11 years ago

I love the idea of the Tumbleweed homes. Last Christmas, I bought my father-in-law Jay Shafer’s Tiny House Plan book for some ideas he was bouncing around in his head.

1700sq ft sounds like a modest, yet good sized home. I currently live in a 1,100 sq ft home and it seems large enough for the time being. My husband and I have talked about building our own home, but it is a bit daunting. I’d be curious to see the floor plan you picked out. (I love architecture!)

Courtney
Courtney
11 years ago

We’re currently in an 864 sqft condo and planning on upgrading in about 2 years. The condo is 2Br/1Ba plus a living/dining room and a galley kitchen. Two people and two cats makes it too small for me (and we are planning on having kids in a few more years). I don’t know what the exact number is but probably something in the 1800-2200 sqft range? I’m less concerned with the actual square footage as I am with my “requirements” list, which is 3Br/2Ba minimum, a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, some sort of porch/patio/deck, and a kitchen that… Read more »

Lulu
Lulu
11 years ago

I live in a 2 bedroom, 2 (tiny) bathroom apartment that is about 800 sq ft and I love it. I only have my cat and a few plants but I love the extra room for guests to stay over. I grew up in a family of four with only one bathroom so I just wanted my own bathroom out of vanity!!!! I think when I am ready to get a house I can live happily with about 1000 sq ft. I love the size of my current bedrooms even though they are not large…I just wish the bathrooms and… Read more »

KC
KC
11 years ago

My husband and I lived in a 1400 sq ft townhouse for 9 years. It suited us well, but if we’d have had a child it would have been cramped, very cramped. But what made this small home work was the storage spaces. We had a decent attic where we could store really long term items. We had a good number of well-organized closets. And we had a one car garage for outdoor tools, lawnmowers, etc. We insisted on being able to park a car in that garage, too, so we kept it tidy. So if you are designing or… Read more »

Karen
Karen
11 years ago

I’d really go for a small house with amenities like wood floors, a fireplace, granite counters in kitchen and baths, a big lot in a nice neighborhood, and decent quality kitchen appliances.

Instead builders of small houses seem to always put them in sketchy neighborhoods, on small lots, and they skimp on finishes and appliances.

I guess if you want a nice small house you have to build it yourself! But then, good luck selling it at a decent price!

Bon
Bon
11 years ago

Ryan — I’m someone who understands statistics quite well and believe that you need to re-read April’s post. She clearly stated the change was a change in trend and related only to new houses (with no implication that people are living in them) No I didn’t see conclusive evidence that this is going to be a lasting trend in the post, but neither did I see April suggest a “paradigm shift”

partgypsy
partgypsy
11 years ago

Before we were married my husband and I lived in a 900 sq feet “shotgun” house (2 bedroom, 1 bath). We called it our spacepod, because no matter where we were in the house we could sense all the other areas of the house. We bought a 1500 sq feet house (3 bedroom, 2 bath). When it is clean we still marvel walking through it at how spacious and nice it feels (2 adults, 2 children, cat and dog). Since it is an old house it does have a lack of closets/storage space so we do have to be conscious… Read more »

Debi
Debi
11 years ago

We’ve lived in our 4 br 2500 sq ft home on 1 acre for 20 years while raising our 3 sons. Quite frankly, now that we’re empty nesters I’d like some time off from cleaning, maintainence, and lawn care to have some fun but there’s not much time left when all that is done. I’m all for downsizing, preferably in town closer to places we could walk to instead of getting in the car to do all errands but my husband works from home and needs the room in the basement for his machine shop equipment. Just this weekend I… Read more »

Cathy
Cathy
11 years ago

Interesting topic! We currently own a home with 1267 sq feet of space. This is my husband, myself, four children and a fifth on the way. We would love an extra 40 sq ft or so on our living room, but it’s not a possibility the way this house is situated on the lot. And really, we do just fine in our amount of space. Most importantly, we can afford it comfortably on a single income, since dh is enlisted military and I stay home and homeschool the kiddos. It always amazes me to watch HGTV shows and see families… Read more »

SusanG
SusanG
11 years ago

This is an interesting question. I realized just this week that our 2 bedroom apartment must be just right for us (two adults, one cat) because we use every room every day. We have just had to rearrange things for a long-term guest who is now in our second bedroom, which has required shifting my office space to our bedroom. While this will work for the short term, I definitely will miss that space. I didn’t realize how much I used it until it was no longer available to me! I think many of the commenters here would love The… Read more »

Lesley
Lesley
11 years ago

We are a family of 4 living in a 1400 sq.ft house and it’s just fine for us, EXCEPT for that fact that it is too many tiny rooms… we’d rather just have fewer, larger rooms. We’re looking into working with a designer to help us figure out a cost-effective way to change that. Someone else posted that furniture has gotten too big, and I agree. Couches and chairs in particular seem to have these monstrously large arms and backs, causing them to take up a lot more space without actually providing extra seating. I hope that if there is… Read more »

Suzanne
Suzanne
11 years ago

@ Dasha (23), I’m glad to hear that you’re still married after living for years with your husband in 300 sq ft! I have 700 square feet for myself in my condo and it feels just right. There’s 2 bedrooms, one of which is an office/guest room for my many visitors. If I had my druthers I’d have a 2nd bath for those visitors, but otherwise it’s perfect. It seems to me that it’s more a question of cost than space. Even though my space is small but fine, and my location is spectacular (Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago), the cost… Read more »

kaitlyn
kaitlyn
11 years ago

I want a house. *sigh* I’m addicted to HGTV, so I have a feeling I’m going to be thoroughly disappointed when I can actually go house hunting for myself. I live in a shoebox-size apt with my boyfriend and our cat. It works for us most of the time, but when we have family visit, it is a mess. We don’t even have space for a kitchen table. Whatever the square footage is, just go with tiny. Although, my sister taught me a smaller house isn’t necessarily cheaper. For a US Dept. of Energy challenge, she built a $650K solar… Read more »

Suzanne
Suzanne
11 years ago

@ Lesley (43) that’s so true. My sister and my best friend have huge homes with huge furniture. My sister’s bedroom set would barely fit in my condo if it was the only thing in there! (That’s not an exaggeration).

Also, attitudes have gotten out of control. My best friend believes that she would be almost abusing her child if the two of them lived in less than 2,000 sq ft. And she doesn’t understand why she can’t get ahead.

Kevin@OutOfYourRut
11 years ago

It might help to remember that a house is a permanent expense. If you buy more house then you can afford there’s no turning back. The only way out will be to sell it, and that can be painful if other negatives are driving your decision, typically a job loss. So after many years in the mortgage industry, here’s my recommendation: figure out the most house you can comfortably afford on your current income, then reduce it by 30%. The reason for 30% is that if you lost your job, you probably could find another that pays 30% less than… Read more »

Paul Havemann
Paul Havemann
11 years ago

I see that while you’re planning your “right-sized home,” you’ve included a loft that could be build out. That’s good planning. You might consider taking an extra step, and plan for a possible addition. Depending upon the building lot, a good architect can design at least one side of the house in such a way that it wouldn’t be too disruptive to build it out (say, for an additional bedroom or two) later. Alternatively, he can design the interior so that you can more easily build UP. A strategically-placed (and -sized) closet could thus be transformed into a staircase, for… Read more »

DeborahM
DeborahM
11 years ago

Suzanne Says: “My best friend believes that she would be almost abusing her child if the two of them lived in less than 2,00 sq ft. And she doesn’t understand why she can’t get ahead.”

I Says: “Whoa! I’ve heard that argument before, from my American SIL. It’d be funny if it weren’t so tragic.”

April
April
11 years ago

@DeborahM and Suzanne–We’ve heard those same kinds of comments as we’ve shared our house plans with some friends and family members, which is what inspired me to write this post!

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