Bigger Homes Are No Longer Better Homes
Historically in America, success has been measured by the saying “bigger is better”. As a society, we were conditioned to believe that we should buy big homes because that’s “what you are supposed to do” when you start making money… you buy nice big stuff.
However, the classic picture of a big home with a white picket fence and a sprawling yard may be a thing of the past. Over the past decade, there has been a mindset shift in our society towards minimalism and sustainability. And, no we’re not just talking about the tiny house movement, though if you can fit your life into one of those homes, more power to you!
Smaller Homes Are More Affordable
Now you might be thinking, “okay Captain Obvious”, but this is an important point to make. Alongside this mindset shift towards minimalism, the cost of living has continued to rise and wages have not been keeping up, which means that many home buyers are increasingly thinking smaller.
The thought of owning a four-bedroom home on a large piece of property may have been appealing 15 years ago, but many Americans (especially amongst the younger generation) no longer wish to carry the financial burden of owning a large home. And, home builders are catching on to this trend.
According to data from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), more developers across the country are beginning to think smaller.
National Association of Home Buiders data shows the average size of new houses fell for the third straight year in 2018. Median square footage of single-family houses decreased to 2,320 last year after peaking at more than 2,500 square feet in 2015.
Smaller Families = Smaller Homes
Young Americans today are having fewer children and waiting longer to settle down, so the idea of owning a sprawling property in the suburbs with enough space for a growing family is no longer the dream for many. Instead, they are looking for modest-sized homes in an urban setting that better suits their needs.
A Smaller Footprint Is Better For The Environment And Your Wallet
Sometimes, less really is more. As homebuilders, we believe there is much we can do in the real estate development industry to address the rising cost of living that wages are not keeping up with. We can accomplish this by building smaller energy-efficient homes that are more affordable and have a smaller environmental footprint. Building homes with a smaller environmental footprint requires fewer resources to build and maintain. And that benefits all of us.
Besides the fact that we know this is the right decision for our planet, we also know that it is what our home buyers are concerned about as well. In fact, 61 percent of Realtors indicate that consumers they encounter are interested in sustainability, according to the National Association of Realtors’ REALTORS® and Sustainability 2018 report.
The benefits of owning smaller homes are numerous, both in terms of economic and opportunity costs.
A Few Benefits Of Owning A Smaller Home
- Everything costs less. Utilities and home improvement projects will cost less. Taxes and the cost to insure your home are less. The fewer square feet that you have to factor into the equation the more money you’ll save.
- Smaller homes are easier to maintain. With a smaller home, each room is more accessible and convenient to clean, maintain and move around in.
- The money you save can be put to other great uses. When you save money on the purchase or construction of a smaller home, you’ll be able to spend more when it’s time for updating – which means higher quality upgrades.
- There’s less space to declutter. No matter how big of a space, people have a tendency to fill it. With a smaller home, you have less space to work with which forces you to create more functional and liveable spaces in your home.
- Less risk and less debt. 28%… This is the standard number used to calculate how much house you can afford based on 28% of your net income. But, what if 28% isn’t really a one size fits all calculation? For example, maybe you can be more financially stable and happier by only spending 15%. This gives you more expendable income to do fun things like traveling, saving for your child’s education and earlier retirement.
So, Are Smaller Homes Really Better?
At the end of the day, the only right or wrong when it comes to the size of your home is how it affects you. For some, living in a large home is the right move (literally). While for others, living in the tiniest of dwellings provides them with the freedom they crave to live a more enriching life both inside and outside the home.
As home builders, we feel that it is our responsibility both to buyers and to our planet to focus primarily on building homes with a smaller footprint and ensuring that every aspect we can control is sustainable and environmentally friendly. This empowers our homeowners to feel good about the sustainability of the home they live in while also giving them more financial freedom with a lower cost to buy and maintain.
At KDA Homes, our mission is to be pioneers in smarter home design leading the way for sustainability in residential development and green building. If you’re interested in being a part of a sustainable community in Ashland, Oregon please contact us today to learn more about KDA Homes currently on the market.