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What is a reasonably sized house? - Page 3

post #41 of 106
Originally Posted by lucyem View Post
I think layout is very important, as is your clutter and lifestyle, more so then the actual square footage. What is reasonable to me is not necessarily going to be reasonable to you. We have 2 home offices for example as both my husband and I work out of the home. Thus we need more space then the average family where people work outside of the home. I do agree that houses seem to get bigger and bigger these days with a lot of wasted and/or unused space which eventually gets filled with stuff.

ITA w/this. I live in a 3000 sq. ft Victorian and at times it feels small. In part because there are very few closets (2 to be exact) and if it were not for the attached barn/garage we'd have very few places to put stuff. Also in our case, dh works from home so out of the 4 bedrooms, 1 is a office; plus 3 of the bedrooms are attached with no hallway seperating them and with a 15 yo and a almost 2 yo, I realize that we really don't have as much room as we originally thought.

So a poorly designed house with more space can be worse than living in a smaller but better designed house/apt with closets, etc. A good layout is key.

post #42 of 106
My ideal would be 1000 square feet well designed for a family of 4-5 plus pets. For more people in the house, then I'd add a few hundred per person. But... I'm coming from an urban apartment-dweller perspective where I can't imagine over 2000 square feet for even a big family.

We live in about 700 with 3, soon to be 4 plus pets. We could not manage with this space if dh still worked from home, and my WAH business has a storage locker for all the products I sell. Err... and I'm typing this from our "master bedroom" which is literally the size of a queen size bed with niches for alarm clock, etc. in the wall. Somewhere between 1000 square feet done well in layout and 1500 with average layout seems reasonable to me.

My parents who probably have 2000 square feet and 4 adults living there just seems cavernous, cluttered, and isolating, but that's the people and hoarding of stuff moreso than the space I suppose.
post #43 of 106
We are a family of four living in a 900 ft sq 2bd 1 bath house. I would like just a bit bigger, mainly another bedroom since we have a boy and a girl and will eventually need it, but mainly I would just like to make use of the space we do have. I don't think a 1200 sq ft house is too small if you plan out your storage areas.
post #44 of 106
It's all about the layout and your family's specific needs. Also, to be fair you must count unfinished basements as well as finished, because you can still stash junk down there.
I say this because I live in 1300 sq ft with no basement (slab on grade) and no attic (flat roof) and no garage so we REALLY only have 1300.
post #45 of 106
We have a 2000 square foot colonial (5 bedrooms, 2 full baths, partial unfinished basement, no attic) and part of the reason we're selling it is that its just too large for the four of us. Right now we're only using 2 of the bedrooms and we don't ever use the upstairs bathroom or the formal dining room. We're going to be looking for something between 1000-1500 square feet, and that should be plenty for us. I don't think we could go any smaller, though, because we want to have at least one more child AND we have two huge dogs (they should probably have their own room, come to think of it...LOL) who are always underfoot already.

Edited to add: Square footage doesn't include the basement...the only thing we have down there are two washers and two dryers. Can't use it for storage because it gets too wet...gotta love those old houses!
post #46 of 106
The three kids sleep in the half bedroom
They wouldn't have fitted in some of the full bedrooms I saw today! or most of the main bedrooms, either, actually.
post #47 of 106
We have been debating the "right" size house for our family for the past 6 months. In the end we decided to stay put. Right now there are 3 people and the house does seem a bit excessive, but it is laid out perfect for us. I mean literally the floor plan is ideal in room configuration and also sunlight (this is a huge deal for me). Our house is 1650 SF plus a full basement (unfinished) and an attic for storage. I usually host several holidays and didn't want to sacrifice that by downsizing, so instead of starting from scratch we are going to tackle the house like we just moved in and finally paint and decorate it to our likes.
post #48 of 106
We have 1700 square feet. It's alternately too big and too small. We have 2 and a half baths, and we don't use one of the bathrooms (the baby just takes baths in our bathroom). One bedroom is ours, one is the baby's, and one is a guest room/office. My dh works from home, so he's in that room the most.

Where it is odd is that our master bedroom is tons bigger than our living room. We play in the bedroom, because it's so big. We don't need that much space. I'd love more in the living room, though. And, we have a dining room, which we use, well, to dine. That leaves wasted space in the kitchen, though, where there is a really small (too small for a decent sized table, too big for anything else) eating area.
post #49 of 106
We live in a 1280sf townhome in an area surrounded by McMansions.

Someday we would like either a bit more space, a better layout (could easily downsize with a good layout), or a garage or solid storage shed for storage.

In driving around our area DH and I have come to conclusion that the line between reasonable and irresponsible is crossed when a home intended to house a single family requires more than one central air conditioning unit for cooling.
post #50 of 106
To me a reasonable size home is one we can support on one income or less that way we have more time together as a family and the freedom to pursue other interests.
post #51 of 106
Originally Posted by momuveight2B View Post
To me a reasonable size home is one we can support on one income or less that way we have more time together as a family and the freedom to pursue other interests.
Perfectly stated.
post #52 of 106
I cannot IMAGINE living in a house smaller than at least 1800 sq ft, and that would be a tight squeeze for me and my family of 5 (me, DH, teen son, 10 yr old dd1, baby dd2).

We currently live in a 2100 sq ft house, and we use every square inch. We have a 4-bedroom, 2-bath house, so everyone has their own rooms (even though the baby sleeps with us right now, she does have a nursery).

I am in a constant state of decluttering and trying to "live simply", so we're not over-stuffed, but we sure do use all of our space and sometimes wish for more. I suppose that the individual rooms could be smaller and still functional, but I really, really appreciate my space. At this point, I think that if we sold this house and bought anything smaller, we'd really have a hard time adapting.
post #53 of 106
We live in an 1100 sq ft raised ranch/split foyer type house (about 1500 if you include the unfinished space downstairs). There are supposed to be 2 full baths, but for at least the past 6 years the shower has not worked in the master bath and right now there aren't even walls (lol, blame it on a DIY husband who has no time to DIY )

In Sept we will be 7 people living there, and while we are making it work, it is poorly laid out for us and we feel we will need to move within 3 years or so. Part of the problem is we homeschool and there are only so many books/school items/projects I can declutter, and part of it is we have 4 girls and the next is a boy who we want to have a separate room eventually. Fitting 4 girls in any of the bedrooms will be difficult, even with bunks (poor layout - windows/closets, etc in bad places).

I really think we could make 1500 work with a different layout, and a garage would be nice. I love to have "private spaces" though, so my *ideal* for a family of 7+ would probably be 1700 or a little bigger (only if my kids would help clean )
post #54 of 106
I have a 1400 sqft home with 5 people in my family. I would really like it to be closer to 1600 sqft that way when our next sweet baby arrives (currently TTC) he/she would have a room and the boys would have somewhere to play.
post #55 of 106
We are putting an offer on a 936 sq foot house today!!! But it has a great layout 3 bed and 2 bath fenced yard and 1 car garage. It also has 2 porches that we can expand. I think that it will be great for a couple of years or until we have 2-3 more kids!
post #56 of 106
i really liked reading about everyone's different living situations.

dh+baby+me are in a 2000sf+unfinished basement+walkup attic, 4 bed, 1.5 bath house. we got a great price on it because the previous owner was building a new place and needed cash.

-the rooms are huge which is great for entertaining-kitchen alone is 300 sf!
-we have a nice sized home office (154 sf) which is also an exercise room and ebay room. i used to work at home so it was nice to have a large area for all my design crap.
-enough room for 2 separate bedrooms for kids upstairs (we are planning 1-2 more kids).
-laundry area is behind louvre doors in the kitchen so I don't have to go in the basement come laundry time
-loads of storage (though we are pretty decluttered)

-lacks a downstairs coat closet. Didn't people wear coats in NJ in the 1930's?
-sucks to clean
-heating and cooling costs are ridiculous (we also have high ceilings)
-instead of a huge master bedroom which we really only use for sleeping, I would love a reasonably sized bedroom and another full bath. the only bathroom on the upstairs floor is barely big enough to turn around in.

in conclusion, DH loves this house so we are staying a while. (it has a bar with working beer taps and TVs. I will never convince him to move ) I would prefer to downsize because I don't like leaving such a big footprint ... I feel we have much more than we need. a smaller home=a smaller mortgage=pay it off sooner. I think a smaller mortgage would be just great, worth more than having a lot of space considering I am a sahm and it's not easy getting by on one income. Also, I am lazy and cleaning this house is a major job.
post #57 of 106
We are a family of three living in an approx 1500 sq ft 2bed 1ba home with no basement and no attic. It's plenty of space for us. The house has lots and lots of closets so that certainly helps. We could go somewhat smaller but we have no interest in going larger! We love our reasonable mortgage & utilities!
post #58 of 106
we (dh + dd + me) live in a 850 sq ft 3 bed 1 bath ranch w/ full unfinished basement. we love it, for now, but know we will only be here 3 more years (till school is done). i wish the dining room (really just an extension of the kitchen) were bigger...our table for 6 is a really tight squeeze.

i also agree that layout is EVERYTHING. i don't mind the small bedrooms...tons easier to keep clean and neat. but i wish the kitchen/dining room/family room were more 1 open, connected space. we could, and may (during residency - - prob in a big city) go smaller but a better layout is a must. i'm not convinced dd needs her own room (at 6 mo, she sleeps with us) it more so just holds all her nursery stuff.

what a great (and tough) post. i am constantly thinking our home is too big, then too small, then we have too much stuff and so on. all of our family live out of town, but come to visit lots, so a dedicated guest room is something that truly gets a lot of use.

i would love a slightly bigger kitchen/eating area, so comfortably seat 6 - 8 (we have people over for meals several times a week) and a second bathroom. other than that, we love it.

my sister and her husband have a 1900 sq ft 3 bed, 2 bath w/ a separate office and in some ways, it feels much smaller. there is tons of wasted space and little storage. i would not trade it for my house in any way.

thanks for sharing...i love hearing (and imagining) where you all call home.
post #59 of 106
one thing that people didn't mention is outside space... how much you have and how usable it is can make a big difference. If you don't have a garden, or you live in a cold/wet climate and can't use it much, your inside space feels even smaller.
post #60 of 106
I'm really enjoying reading everyone's situations...

We just moved from a 650 sq ft apartment, (which was adequate, but sometimes I felt like it was a bit cramped) to a little one-room cottage with a loft bedroom, which is a bit smaller, but is on several acres of land with rainforest. We are just 2 adults with one preschooler, but we both work from home, and I find this amount of space to be just fine.
Of course, we dont really have much stuff, all of our posessions fit in one van-load.

So though we've moved to a smaller space, we have a lot of outdoors, so it feels bigger. and its still a big move up from the last 9 years, which were spent travelling and living out of a backpack!
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