When you begin your house-hunting journey, you are looking for a home that you feel comfortable in. You want a home that gives you plenty of space to grow in and provides a substantial amount of room for your entire family. But how large of a home do you really need?
The Average Home
Today, homes are significantly larger than they were several years ago. In Canada, the size of homes has almost doubled. Back in 1975, the average home in Canada was 1,050 square feet. Thirty-five years later, the average home size is now 1,950 square feet. In the United States, it is no different. In 1983, the average home was approximately 1,725 square feet but in 2013, 30 years later, the average home boasted a spacious 2,598.
Why are many Markham home buyers, and others across the country, looking for larger homes? Unfortunately, it isn’t because there are more people living in these homes. In the United States during 1960, the average household had 3.33 individuals living in it. In 2016, that number dropped to 2.53 individuals.
Despite the smaller households, there are several reasons why homebuyers are looking for bigger and more spacious homes.
- People are making more money.
- The people who typically look for smaller homes — first-time homebuyers — are having a difficult time receiving approval for mortgages or they prefer renting and avoiding the stress of homeownership.
- People own more stuff. Many individuals want larger homes so they have more space to store all their material possessions.
But How Much Space Do We Really Need?
The answer to this question depends greatly on your own lifestyle. If you have a large family, you will need a bigger home than those with just one or two children. Also, if you work from home or run a business out of your home, you will need additional space for your career.
One study found that despite having numerous rooms in the home, such as guest bedrooms and dining rooms, that a family spends approximately 68% of their time in the kitchen area and the family room — if it was near a television set. Many of the additional rooms in the home received very little use and very small amounts of time were spent in each one.
Having a large home isn’t particularly a necessity for many individuals and smaller homes have many benefits including helping you save money on utilities, maintenance costs, and even decreases the overall purchase price of the home. You can also reduce the clutter in your home and you are less apt to buy more due to space restraints. Furthermore, you can still live happy, productive lives even without all the extra square footage to pay and care for.
Your own personal preference and lifestyle needs will greatly affect how much square footage you need, and want, in a home. If you are in the market for a new home, work with a Markham real estate agent who can help you find a home with the size requirements that you want.