How much house do you really need? Here’s how to find out


A large house can impress other people, but the “right” house is one that makes you comfortable, physically and financially.

If you are planning to move, you may already have a wish list in mind, as well as an idealized version of your next home. But what about the size? Have you decided how much space you want or need? Here, we take a look at how to determine how much home you need and whether it’s worth buying more.

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Reduce the size of houses

In 2015, the average size of a single-family home in the United States was just under 2,500 square feet. By 2019, that number had declined by about 200 square feet. The economy was on a solid footing and the stock market was doing well, so it’s hard to draw a direct line between square footage and the economy. But it is possible that Americans are simplifying their lives by downsizing.

How many houses do you use?

At 3,000 square feet, our home looked perfect when we first saw it. One could imagine family reunions and parties with friends. the idea to have enough space for people to move around appealed to us.

The reality is that our families tend to visit us on a rotational basis. And before the coronavirus pandemic changed our social life, we got used to meeting friends at restaurants. In short, we never needed all the space.

We only fantasized about how we would use the house. Unless we are sleeping, my husband and I are usually in the office, in the den or in the kitchen. In real terms, that means we have about 2,000 square feet more than we need.

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What do you think? How many coins do you use each day? If you have children at home or a relative living with you, your answer may be different from mine. Nonetheless, think about which rooms in your home are seeing the most activity.

If you are planning to move soon, do yourself the favor of identifying the space that will allow you to live comfortably without wasting your financial resources. Knowing the space you need not only makes it easier for a real estate agent to help you focus on homes, it can also keep you on budget.

Determine the space you need

Let’s say you have a family of four. The amount of space your family needs may be different than another family of the same size. The decision should be up to you, depending on how you want to live.

Be careful what you believe. The people who offer house size recommendations are usually the people who sell you a house. Ask yourself these questions to help you determine how much house you need.

  • How many bedrooms do i need? While you can expand or reduce the size, the average master bedroom in the US is approximately 225 square feet. The average additional bedroom is approximately 135 square feet.
  • How many baths do I need? The average master bathroom in the US is approximately 160 square feet. You can count about 40 square feet for a three-quarter bath and 20 square feet for a half bath.
  • Do I want a large single room? If so, the average size is around 550 square feet.
  • How much space do I need in the kitchen? The average size in the United States is around 225 square feet. Another 40 square feet will give you a walk-in pantry.
  • Do I prefer to have a dining kitchen or a formal dining room? The average size of the dining room is approximately 220 square feet.
  • Are there any other spaces I want to add? The average laundry room is around 100 square feet (although you can save space by having one built into a closet), and the average fireplace is around 100 square feet.

Run the numbers

Here is an example of estimating the area you need based on your lifestyle:

Now that you have a basic number, but before you take out a mortgage, it’s time to investigate. Find out how much homes are selling for per square foot in your ideal area. For example, if homes sell for an average of $ 150 per foot, a 1,885 square foot home will cost $ 282,750. If it’s above or below your budget, add or subtract square footage.

You know you’ve found the right home when it has enough space to move around comfortably without stretching your budget.


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