When we first put our house on the market, we mentioned to our realtor that we loved the size of our current house but wanted more land in the country on a quieter street. We weren’t looking for much more square footage. However, I don’t think neither Tom nor I ever thought we would actually buy a house that was smaller than our last house. But that’s exactly what happened!
Our last home was 1684 square feet. It wasn’t a tiny house by any means (our first house was only 864 square feet!), but definitely not large by today’s standards. The house we now live in is 1608 square feet. So while we didn’t downsize an extreme amount, we definitely were nervous about the shift in square footage. We gained a lot of space in some rooms, but completely lost our second living space.
What I was most concerned about when moving to this house was the loss of our laundry room. We went from having a small, narrow laundry room with a good amount of storage and hanging space to a “laundry closet.”
I believe the layout can make or break a home. When we were walking through homes on our search for a new house we saw houses that were 2500 square feet that felt smaller than our now current 1608 square foot house. Layout really is key in how your house can function for you. So deciding what kind of layout you want in your home is essential before starting the home buying process.
2. Land & Location
When we started looking for our forever home, we had already purchased two homes previously. We knew what we liked and what we didn’t like. And after two homes we discovered the great importance of the three L’s when it comes to purchasing a home.
Layout, land, and location.
We cared much more about the size of the land and the location of the home than we did about the actual size of the house itself.
A larger house takes more of your time. It takes more time to maintain and more time to clean a larger house. It’s just a fact. We didn’t want to spend all of our free time trying to maintain the inside of the house. We were looking for more land in a more private location so we could spend more time outside as a family. Time is precious and finite. Living in a smaller house means we have more time to do the things we really love.
More house obviously costs more money. You can generally see this by simply looking at the price per square foot average in your area. But it’s also costs much more to maintain, more in electricity, higher taxes, and more things that can go wrong.
We wanted to set ourselves up in a house that would fit us both now and in the future when we retire. So many people from the baby boomer generation are now choosing to downsize because after retiring they can’t afford the amount one property taxes and upkeep on their larger home. Or maybe they would just like to spend that money elsewhere on things like experiences. We didn’t want to have to make that decision down the road. We are fine living in a modest size home now and in the future.
Purchasing a smaller house has already provided us with a lot of flexibility. We will probably be able to put in a pool in the next few years and go on more vacations. A smaller house is providing us with flexibility in both our time and our budget to do these things.
6. Less Clutter
A smaller home means less space to store clutter or stuff probably don’t need anyway. Tom and I have had multiple conversations since moving into this house about losing our “playroom.” When we moved we lost about 80 square feet. Our main living space definitely increased. However, we did go from two living spaces to just one.
And you know what?!
We could be happier! We discovered that we were keeping a bunch of stuff just to “fill the space” in our small playroom/family room. All of the furniture we didn’t particularly like went into this space. And because of that, we didn’t spend much time in this room. Sure our boys played in that room. However, they have plenty of space to play in their bedrooms.
And since when do children need an entire room dedicated to toys?!
7. More Quality Family Time
Now our boys play in our main living space frequently and we are spending more time together as a family. With less separation in our home, we are able to be together more. I love the lyrics to the song Little Houses by Doug Stone:
Love grows best in little houses with fewer walls to separate. Where we can eat and drink so close together, you can’t help but communicate. Oh, and if we had more room between us think of all we’d miss. Love grows best in houses just like this.