Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Smaller houses

I probably love a cottage style house because that's what I grew up in and that's what I live in now. When we first moved back to Mt. Pleasant a few years ago, I was really hoping to buy a little bit bigger of a home. Ours now is roughly 2000 square feet--just a tiny bit bigger than our first residence in Atlanta. When we bought this house, we thought "Oh, it's a great neighborhood, a good investment, and we'll stay here for a couple of years." Now with the downturn of the economy and the crash of the housing market (I don't think we could get what we paid for this house right now), we are staying longer and maybe forever. I read recently that for the first time in thirteen years, the average size of the American home has shrunk to 2,200 feet. It seems that the desire for bigger and better McMansions has waned and that we have realized that sometimes less is more. Often with more house comes more headache especially when you think about cleaning it, paying the utilities, etc. Our neighborhood is an example of what is happening--the builders who built bigger houses in the last phase of development have struggled to sell. House after house sits unoccupied and sometimes even unfinished. The next phase of development, however, will focus on smaller "cottage style" homes. The developers are really trying to promote this idea.
I will say, a smaller house has made me stay on top of clutter (we don't have space for it!) and organizing. One day we hope to build a house to our specifications and with my husband's design skills and experience but it probably won't be much bigger than ours is now. It's all in how you use the space, and I can say that we use every square foot of ours right now.

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