Shopping for a home means you should know how big of a house you need. Typically, a larger home will provide more bedrooms, more bathrooms, and additional rooms, such as a home office or home gym. However, smaller homes are more affordable to heat and cool.
There are tradeoffs when you go from small to large or from large to small. Finding the right size home for you doesn’t have to be so difficult. Here’s a look at how you can figure out how much square footage is right for you.
Consider the Usage of Space
A 3,000-square-foot house doesn’t do you much good if it only offers 3 bedrooms and you need four or more. While square footage is relevant, it’s also important to consider how space is being used.
Some smaller homes use every inch of space wisely and feel larger than they really are when looking at just the square footage. Families used to live in smaller spaces, but homes were also designed differently decades ago.
The average new house in the United States in 1973 was 1,660 square feet. By 2015, that average had grown to 2,687 square feet, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s a difference of more than 1,000 square feet.
Is it that we really need more space today or does the design of newer homes not use the space as wisely?
How Many Bedrooms?
Before worrying about the overall size of the home, you have to determine how many bedrooms you need. If you have two children and you prefer they don’t share a room, you need at least three bedrooms in your new house. However, if you plan to have a third or even a fourth child, you may need four or five bedrooms.
Once you determine the number of bedrooms, it’s important to consider the size of the bedrooms. How much square footage do you need for a child’s bedroom compared to the master bedroom? Older children may require more space than younger children, but you also have to consider what you plan to do as they grow.
No Real Rule of Thumb
Since the design and layout of a home can vary greatly, there really isn’t a rule of thumb for how much square footage you need. Every family is different, as well. Some families can live in a smaller house and be perfectly content, while others require more space.
When it comes to figuring out how much square footage you need, it’s best to start with the number of bedrooms you need. Once you have an idea of the bedrooms, you can start looking at homes to get a feel for the layout. You may find that a 2,500 square foot home with 4 bedrooms feels larger than a 3,000 square foot home with 3 bedrooms, or vice versa.
Every house is different and finding the right one for you cannot be based solely on the square footage. Instead, it needs to be based on what you need for your family today and into the future. Make sure you take into account the way space has been used and how your family will grow when buying a new house.