The median home size is now a bit over 2,000 square feet, which is down from 2,309 square feet in 2007. But even 2,000 square feet is more space than most families need, and homeowners should understand that size matters: You obviously pay more upfront for a bigger home, and huge, sprawling houses are also more expensive to heat, cool, keep electrified, and maintain. Another perk of going small: You don’t have to feel guilted into hosting every big family event—because you simply don’t have the space for it.
These are among the 10 reasons a small home is better, according to a Washington Post story. Smaller homes are not only less costly in all sorts of ways, they’re easier to clean (because there’s much less to clean, and there’s less possibility for clutter), and, chances are, the tradeoff for less space was a quicker commute, which is a tradeoff many homeowners are happy to make. There are some more offbeat perks to opting for tiny, including:
You have a bulletproof reason to graciously decline Aunt Laura’s offer of her lime-green, fake leather living room set that might have looked good 40 years ago. You’ll have no place to put it; you won’t even have room for all the stuff you have now.
A LiveCheap post also praises the minimalist approach for many of the above reasons and more. Here’s an argument for going small in the form of a condo:
Consider the advantages of condo living – especially if you don’t have children. You can just walk away and go to Paris for a month without worrying about the yard or the pipes. Your neighbors look out for your property because it will preserve the value of their property.
Jeff Yeager, in his new book The Cheapskate Next Door, notes that self-proclaimed cheapskates—who, unsurprisingly, are way more likely than average to pay off their mortgages ahead of time, and who opt for homes that are less expensive than what lenders say they can afford—buy smaller homes. Their homes are 1,650 square feet, which was the average home size in the late 1970s. Writes Yeager:
The cost of U.S. housing per square foot has increased only by roughly the rate of inflation since the 1950s, but we spend almost double (in inflation-adjusted dollars) today than what we did in the ’50s, simply because most Americans now want twice as much house.
If you go big with your home purchase, I hope you enjoy it—because you’re paying for it in more ways than one.