I like a house that's about 2,500 sq ft with a good floor plan. There are 4 people in our family plus a bunch of pets.
For a while we lived in a 4,000 sq ft home. It was just TOO BIG! One of the kids would loose a shoe and and it would take me ages and ages to find it! After dinner, the kids would go up stairs to their playroom and my DH would go to the basement and I would clean the kitchen completely alone -- unable to even hear them. It was seriously weird.
We can (and sometimes do) live someplace much smaller, but about 2,500 sq ft is the point where we can leave projects out, easily host sleep overs, etc. It might sound silly, but I love having a house that's big enough for the kids to spread their homework out on one table and leave it there while we eat dinner at a different table. It's just easy. We don't *need* it, but we enjoy it.
We move a lot for DH's job so we've got to try lots of different things. In addition to sq. ft. and floor plan, I like:
- a park/playground within walking distance
- a community pool
- fenced yard
- quiet street for riding bikes
- private patio area with a fire pit
After the kids grow up, Dh and I want an urban condo with lots of funky resturants within walking distance.