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What is a reasonably sized house?

post #1 of 106
Thread Starter 
I firmly believe, as most people in this forum do, that the trend of giant houses even as families grow smaller is ridiculous. I firmly believe that a smaller house, a smaller mortgage or rent payment, less stuff, and more simplicity leads to a happier, more fulfilling life.

But I still think my house is too small.

I don't plan on moving, but if I could have whatever I wanted, I would want a bigger house. Our house is 680 square feet with three people living in it--sometimes four when my mom is here, and would be four if we were to have another kid. If I could have whatever I wanted, I would want a house similar to this one but at least 800 square feet. I even think 1500 wouldn't be completely unreasonable.

How many square feet per person do you think is reasonable for a house?
post #2 of 106
There are four of us in 1000 sq ft., 2 bedrooms 1 bath. This size would be fine if we could convert some space into a third bedroom (we have opposite sex kids and I am sure at some point they will want/need more privacy). I'd love to have a bit more space - not more than 1500 sq ft - since we do often have guests and like to entertain.

I like that we use all of our house everyday. I know too many people with big houses that have rooms that never get used. What a waste.
post #3 of 106
This is something I struggle with. Our apartment is 750 square feet and we have 3 or 4 people living here (dh was a truck driver and is now living in another city for a job, so he doesn't really live here much), and another on the way. I definitely like that it's easy to clean up our place, but I also would like more space.
post #4 of 106
It depends on the number of people and their ages.

I think that, for an average family of 4 or 5 people, it would be difficult to live in 1000 sq. ft. or less.
post #5 of 106
We are 3 people living in a 950 sq ft house and I want to go smaller. My DH disagrees with me. He wants a larger space. The way I see it, smaller = less stuff. less stuff=less cleaning=happier mom.
post #6 of 106
sorry...but 680 square feet for three people sounds outrageously small to me! the house i used to live in was 1200, and that was okay for 4 of us. now i've moved into a 1000 sq ft apt, and baby makes 5, and it feels horribly tiny. i am all about minimal stuff, but i like to have empty floorspace and places to retreat to other than just *couch-bed-kitchentable*, yk? maybe i'm spoiled...?
post #7 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenenlightened View Post
The way I see it, smaller = less stuff. less stuff=less cleaning=happier mom.
But for most clutter-impaired people, smaller = more stuff packed into less space = FAR more difficult to clean = insane mom!
post #8 of 106
I think 1500 is the bare minimum. But I might be in the minority. We have a 3500 sq foot home with a couple of acres of property, but it is really too much space. We can't bear to move though because what we bought it for 12 years ago would not even buy a shack here anymore! We would now pay the same price or more for something with 1200 sq feet, higher taxes, and no yard. So I guess it makes sense to stay.

I think 1500 is about right for 4, if you want the bare minimum and still to have storage space.
post #9 of 106
Interesting.

We lived in a 1,000 sq ft home with 5 people and 2 dogs. It was too small. Much or our stuff I had in our storage shed so we wouldn't have clutter. It was only a 2 bedroom house.

We live now in a 1,700 sq ft house and its good. Though I feel the floor plan stinks.

I think floor plan makes a house livable. Some small house work due to great floor plans.

I am a person who just cant have stuff crammed into ever corner, I need bare space other wise its too claustrophobic for me.
post #10 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliacat View Post
How many square feet per person do you think is reasonable for a house?
How long is a piece of string?

If you are using the space, it is reasonable.

It is not less reasonable for a family of 4 to live in a 2500 sq foot home than it is to live in a 1000 sq ft if they have a grand piano and a pool table and regularly host 30 people for thanksgiving dinner.

Everyone has a different amount of stuff, and different scheduled. Maybe you can do with one hall bathroom if everyone doesn't use it at the same time. But if everyone needs to leave the house at the same time in the morning, you might need two or three bathrooms.

Depending on your climate, you can spend a lot of time living outdoors, but not everyone can do that.
post #11 of 106
We are moving here: www.newberryplace.org, where we'll have about 1000 sq ft for the (soon to be) four of us. I think it will be plenty of space since we'll have other common areas for us to hang out in if we get too cramped. I'm excited about downsizing.
post #12 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by ani'smommy View Post
We are moving here: www.newberryplace.org, where we'll have about 1000 sq ft for the (soon to be) four of us. I think it will be plenty of space since we'll have other common areas for us to hang out in if we get too cramped. I'm excited about downsizing.
Oooh, I'm jealous of you. If only I could convince DH to move to GR (I grew up there).

We just downsized from a 950sqft apt to a 650sqft one. We have an unconventional setup to make it work for us and I like it so much better in the smaller space. 1000sqft is way too much for just the two of us. Once this baby is two, the apt complex requires us to move to a 2br (about 1000sqft I think) which is where I intend on staying until we can get our own place. Ultimately, we'd like either a yurt or tiny house of no more than 700-800sqft. More than that just attracts clutter.

As for our setup, we don't have a dedicated bedroom, sleep on a mattress on the floor that rolls up during the day, our only table also folds up, our only "couch" is a futon. Because so much of our stuff can be folded up and tucked away, I never feel like we have "stuff crammed into every corner."
post #13 of 106
Honestly, I think to be more accurate you have to include your basement size if you have one.

It makes a HUGE difference. I have a friend who "says" she has an 1800 square foot home. Well, in reality she has an 1800 square foot first floor and a 1800 square foot FULL basement.

Honestly, that's 3,600 square foot of space. She has her laundry room, a full pantry, a "bar area" and TONS of storage down there.

Compare that to our home. We have 1800 square feet total. No basement (here in FL it's a rarity...see it's a little swampy : ). The attic gets hot, so you can't really put anything, other than some Christmas stuff, in there.

So, in my book, down here in FL you can't keep a lot of stuff. But, for us, 1800 is just fine. I think, as we get older and my DS doesn't cosleep anymore it will work out just fine. Right now, our extra bedroom will be his when he's older.
post #14 of 106
I think that apart from floorspace, the division fo the space matters, too. I would hate 750 sq ft divided into six rooms, but into four (incl bathroom) it's great for three people.

We're in a 750 sq ft 2 bed apartment, and it's just a tad too small for us, and two kids. It's fine for us and one kid. I think we need another 100-150 sq ft room to be a second bedroom, and to house a couple of the bulkier kids toys (rocking horse, dollhouse). We currently have 2 x 150 sq ft bedrooms (one is a 'grownups room' and one for sleeping). Our kitchen and living space is all one (about 350 sq ft), and feels plenty big enough.

I like to have a space for the computer, bookshelves, craft box that's away from the main area, so I don't need to supervise closely while we're in our main living space. It also is our guest room, and since we have guests for a month at a time, we need the room! Actually, I'd also like the third room/second bedroom so that I can get away from people when we have guests.

So, my answer would be that I need about 600 sq ft in at least bedroom, kitchen/living and bathroom, plus another 100-200 sq ft room per extra person. If my kid/s were teenagers I'd like a bedroom per person (my husband and I would share, and we'd have a study/library). 1000 for 4 would be great.

Quote:
It is not less reasonable for a family of 4 to live in a 2500 sq foot home than it is to live in a 1000 sq ft if they have a grand piano and a pool table and regularly host 30 people for thanksgiving dinner.
Not if they're heating, cooling and cleaning the space those thirty people use once a year all year round. And it's not just the time but the resources that cleaning uses.
post #15 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
Not if they're heating, cooling and cleaning the space those thirty people use once a year all year round. And it's not just the time but the resources that cleaning uses.
I didn't say that you needed to build specific rooms for entertaining and use them only for that purpose. But if you have the space and use it, then there is nothing wrong with it.
post #16 of 106
I think it depends on the layout. Bedrooms can be small. Entertainment rooms aren't needed. So you're left with needing a largish living room.

I personally feel like my 800 sqf place is really spacious for the 4 of us because we have a large living/dining room. The tv and computers are in a small room to the side, and the tiny kitchen is separate. The layout makes a big difference.
post #17 of 106
We just moved from an 840 square foot mobile home to a 2600 square foot (I included the finished basement! We're 1500 up and 1100 down.) house.

Honestly, we could get by with just this 1500 up, maybe even less since this living room is huge and long. So 200-300 square foot per person is a good 'guesstimate' for me.
post #18 of 106
We just bought a 1700 square foot house. It is VERY reasonably sized. In fact, I consider it to be small and cozy.

Anything under 1000 square feet for a family sounds unreasonably small to me. We are moving from a 750 square foot apartment to our new house. It will be quite the change. I have been feeling a bit cramped.
post #19 of 106
We just bought and moved into a 1200 sq.ft. house and it seems huge for the three of us (two adults and a toddler). We are still not using one of the rooms at all. However, we do have a baby on the way. I think this house will be a good size for a family of four when the kids are a little older. In the meantime we'll need some extra room for my mom (who wants to come stay for a few months and help with the new baby), and it will be nice to have room for other guests, too.
post #20 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by klg47 View Post
But for most clutter-impaired people, smaller = more stuff packed into less space = FAR more difficult to clean = insane mom!
:
Our current flat is maybe 750 square feet (good sized by London standards). it's too small. I need at least 1500, I think. Enough for a nice big kitchen and, oh yes, dream on, a utility space with washer and dryer! I'm a pack rat--we've got hundreds of books crammed in here. (DH isn't much better: when we moved from our old flat there were stacks of Star Trek magazines and boxes of Amiga bits under the bed.) I can't live without books; giving them away/selling them is not an option. When I was in my early teens I decided I was too "grown up" for all my kids books and put them in the basement. Eventually, of course, they got dumped. When I got older I realised how monumentally stupid that was and as a consequence I now hoard.

I don't need one of those 4000 square foot monstrosities, especially since they seem to have so much wasted space (some of the rooms are pointlessly large and the space just doesn't seem to be efficiently used in general). But I need some space.
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