When you’re driving around new housing developments, you’ll see lots of variations of the typical American dream home – which very often are called McMansions by detractors. These grand homes certainly do have loads of space, room to grow and show how prosperous the owner is, but are they really right for your family and lifestyle? Today’s family is smaller than that of previous generations. There are fewer persons per household unit, and yet we are demanding larger and larger homes. According to the US Census, our homes grew from less than 1000 square feet in 1940 to nearly 2,400 square feet by 2010. But that trend is reversing. Here is some information on why it might be beneficial to exchange your big home for a small cottage, and why it may be a great idea to build a small timber frame home.
If you’re ready to opt out of the McMansion mindset, there are plenty of reasons to get busy and make it happen. Whether you’re just starting out with your first home, need to make lifestyle changes because of financial considerations or are downsizing as your kids fly the coop, many folks are deciding that smaller can be better.
1. Less Expensive To Build Or Buy
Obviously, building smaller means you’re saving money on building materials, labor costs and perhaps the amount of land you need to purchase. Cutting back on all that square footage really adds up to a greatly reduced loan and mortgage. Your insurance and property taxes will also be less than that of McMansion owners.
If you’re buying, there’s loads of smaller homes available almost everywhere. These modest homes are great buys and often overlooked gems just waiting for a smart buyer.
2. Reduced Decorating And Furniture Costs
Do you feel as though material goods have taken over your life? If you don’t have the space for a lot of stuff, you will tend to not buy unnecessary stuff.
With fewer rooms and square footage, you can spend less to decorate your home. With smaller rooms, you need to make sure the furniture you purchase will fit your space. A lot of furniture today is jumbo-sized, so don’t be fooled by the large showrooms. The great thing about a small timber frame home, though, is that even though the footprint is small, the space can be open and feel larger than it is.
Since you’re buying fewer objet d’art, you might be able to splurge on a few really nice pieces. Regardless, you’ll save a bundle by not furnishing a bunch of extra rooms.
Fewer windows mean less money set aside for window treatments. We all know how pricey blinds, drapes, curtains and hardware can be when you’re furnishing an entire home.
3. More Energy Efficient
Less square footage means less space to heat and cool, so you’re automatically going to be more energy-efficient and have smaller energy bills. Your home cools down more quickly and heats up faster, so you spend less time being uncomfortable. A smaller house does not need as much electricity, gas or water, so you will see huge savings on your bills.
4. Less Impact On The Environment
Every person living on this Earth leaves some sort of carbon footprint. With a smaller home, you will have less impact on the environment. With its smaller footprint, your new home made less impact on the environment while it was being built, and in the future it will require less energy for heating and cooling.
Both of these go a long way in doing your part to reduce your ecological footprint.
5. Less Maintenance
With a smaller house, you’ll have reduced maintenance and chores. A smaller yard means less raking and mowing. A smaller house means less feet of gutters to clean, fewer windows to wash and fewer square feet of walls that need repainting.
You still have all the same tasks to complete – they’ll just take less time.
6. Less Cleaning
When a person has a huge house, sometimes it takes them quite a bit of time to clean it up and keep it clean. Sometimes a house is just too big for one person alone to take care of. If you get a small cottage, you can cut your cleaning time in half, and you may also cut down on the amount of rooms that need to be cleaned.
Just like the aforementioned maintenance, you’ll have less housework. Just think of all the time saved by not vacuuming four bedrooms, a living room, family room and dining area. All those daily and weekly chores associated with keeping a house will be reduced in direct proportion to the size of your new home. Small is a good thing, just for that reason alone.
7. More Free Time For Personal Activities and the Family
With all the time you’ve saved with reduced maintenance and cleaning, you can finally take up that hobby you didn’t have time for in the past. You’ll have more time for the kids, and you might even get to have a regular date night with your spouse.
When you have a smaller house, no one can disappear up the stairs or to other parts of the house. With less space, the family will see each other more and this will make them all socialize. Take advantage of this forced togetherness and get out a board game! You and the family can have a lot of fun playing games or watching a movie together.
8. Cuts Down On ‘Packrat Mentality’
If you or your spouse is what we gently may call a pack rat, you’re automatically limiting the amount of hoarding being done in your home.
If you’re moving from a larger house to a smaller space, use this time to weed out – no, eradicate – all that needless clutter.
9. Ability To Live In A Nicer Area
If you’re dreaming of living in an area that has a higher cost of living than you’re accustomed to, purchasing a smaller home might allow you to move to that great location without breaking your budget.
The smallest home in a great neighborhood is always a good investment.
10. Broader Resale Market
The largest percentage of the population is looking for more affordable housing. Your small home will be right in line with what a lot of folks will be looking for when you’re ready to put your house on the market. When housing prices rise, your smaller home will be more attractive.
Many people who live in huge homes are now downsizing to small cottages. Smaller homes are much easier to maintain, easier to clean, and cost a lot less every month with utility bills. Thinking of moving into a smaller place? It may take some time to get used to a smaller home, but the benefits to a smaller home are endless!