A few years ago, I moved my family from a 1,500 square foot, 3 bedroom home in the suburbs to a 700 square foot midcentury ranch with just two bedrooms and one very small, very pink bathroom. People thought we were crazy (sometimes we agreed), but choosing to downsize made a lot of sense to us. We aren’t alone. The “tiny house” movement is gaining popularity, and there are lots of good reasons for going small. Here are 6 you may not have considered.
1. You’ve Got an Empty Nest
The most traditional time to downsize is when your family has changed. If your youngest went off to college this year, maybe it’s time to move someplace that fits your new needs. Going smaller can give you more financial breathing room so that you can afford other things…like your kids’ college bills.
2. You Care About the Planet
Smaller homes are generally easier on the environment. Less energy is necessary to heat and cool a small house. It can be cheaper to add newer, greener technology in a smaller space. This goes for big changes like solar panels, and smaller ones like replacing light bulbs with LED ones, or beefing up the insulation in the attic. Downsize your house, downsize your carbon footprint!
3. The Neighborhood You Love is Out of Your Price Range
When we were searching for a house, we really wanted to end up in Clintonville, one of Columbus’s most desirable neighborhoods. Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford a three bedroom home there. Homes were getting multiple offers on their first day on the market, so we knew we’d have to get creative to get into our dream neighborhood. The way we made it work was to downsize our square footage requirements and buy the smallest house there! Not only did we get into our #1 choice neighborhood and school district, we also ensured a strong resale value by buying in such a great location. All we had to sacrifice was about 1,000 square feet!
4. You Like to Experiment
Trying out new decorating trends is a lot less risky in a smaller house. First, the cost of materials and time is low. With one gallon of paint and a few hours, we could drastically change any room in our house. When we painted our dining room navy blue, we loved it, then repainted it white a year later. No sweat! Also, our kitchen was so small that tiling the floor and backsplash took about an afternoon each, and very few tiles. And I went ahead and painted over the original Formica counters, since I knew I could completely replace them for just a few hundred dollars if it went terribly wrong. It was so freeing to know that nothing I could mess up would cost that much to fix!
5. You Spend Lots of Time Outdoors
One huge benefit to our house was that there was a front porch, an attached sunroom, and a giant deck out back. These outdoor areas dramatically increased our living space for about 9 months out of the year and helped keep us from ever feeling to cramped. If you enjoy sitting on your porch, or having dinner out on your deck, then your tiny house won’t seem quite so tiny.
If you’re on the fence, or need some advice on how to make downsizing work for you, there is a free seminar here in Columbus on September 11th out at the Hilton at Easton. Find out more info here. Check it out, and call Century 21 Excellence Realty if you want to start your small house search!