When it comes to buying a new home, bigger is better, right? If you look around you, the latest trend in homebuilding seems to be a larger home, one with more bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, larger living space and bonus rooms. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average size of a new home built in the United States jumped from 1,660 square feet in 1973 to an amazing 2,687 square feet in 2015, a whopping 62% increase.
Many buyers are attracted to the “elbow room” a larger home can give. Other advantages to a larger space include more room for storage, multiple dining area options and less stress among family members when they have to share spaces such as bedrooms or bathrooms.
However, there are downsides to a larger home. Initial cost, certainly, is a big issue. You also need to keep in mind that larger homes are more expensive to heat and cool, require more furnishings and of course, are harder to maintain and keep clean. Not every family finds a larger home to their liking.
So how do you determine the ideal size home for your family?
The answer often lies in combination of lifestyle and functionality. A general rule of thumb for many homebuilders is the ratio between bedrooms and living space. Many new homes are built to provide two places for a person to sit in dining or living areas for every bedroom. If you have three bedrooms in the house, you can expect to find seating space for a minimum of six people. The more bedrooms a house has, the larger the living and dining spaces need to be to establish a comfortable ratio of space.
It’s also a great idea for each generation living in the home to have their own “away space”, that offers privacy from other family members. Most suburban homes are built to accommodate this ideal, with rooms set aside as playrooms, craft rooms, home gyms or offices, or even libraries.
The design and style of the home also comes into play when you’re deciding how much space you need. The layout and flow of the home can maximize or diminish the functionality of the space. A smaller home may actually be more practical if the floorplan allows for maximum use of the square footage. For example, smaller homes that successfully combine kitchen and dining areas save on space without sacrificing efficiency or style. Fewer, but larger bedrooms can also serve this purpose; use part of your master suite for a reading corner or small office, or put a gaming center in your extra bedroom, furnished with a sleeper sofa for occasional overnight guests.
There are some considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a new home. If you’re currently satisfied with how the house you’re living in now fits your lifestyle, you’re golden. Look for a house similar to the one you currently have in the number of bedrooms and square footage. More than likely, however, one of the reasons you’re looking for a new home is that it’s too small or too large for your family. If you need to make a change, here are some things to keep in mind.
How do you use your space? Do you work from home and need office space? Are you away from home often because you travel frequently? How often do you entertain, and for how many people at a time?
What are your goals when it comes to family? Do you have children? If not, do you plan to have kids while staying in the same home? Are there other relatives who live with you or may in the future?
Where does your family spend most of their time? If certain rooms see little “face time”, you can make better use of square footage elsewhere. Not every family uses a dedicated dining or living room; many use seating in the kitchen and a comfortable family room instead of these more formal spaces.
Look to your future – Do you plan to stay in this house for many years? What are your savings goals?
This may sound daunting, but really, it isn’t. It can even be fun to sit down and figure out exactly how much space you really need. Just ask Dan Maginn. He put together a great exercise called Square Feat: Foot Steps that makes it easy. See what he did, and give it a try!
At Ernest Homes, we know that every family is different, and there’s a perfect house for each one. We’ve put together a wide variety of floorplans at almost every size to meet the needs of families looking for a new home in the Savannah, GA area. Whether you want to upsize, downsize or comfort-size, we have the ideal home for you. To learn more about our homes, call us at (912) 756-4135 or send us a message today!