Which is Better: A Big House or a Small House?
Some of us grow up dreaming about raising our families in a big house, with plenty of space for everybody and room for all our hobbies and interests. Some of us grow up wanting a smaller home, just big enough for our needs – cozy, but with a place for everything.
A big house can offer a growing family room to expand, accommodating each member’s changing needs and allowing them their own space. A small house, on the other hand, can be ideal for an older family or for a couple who wants to downsize.
What is the Average House Size?
It’s no lie that, overall, people like their space. In 1970, an average house square footage of 1,200 was considered normal in Canada, with 1,600 square feet being seen as extravagant.
Over the last 52 years, the size of the family home has almost doubled. In 2022, the average size of a newly constructed home is 2,200 square feet.
Naturally, the actual range of house sizes varies. After all, the tiny home movement has a devoted following, and of course people still grow up wanting to live in larger homes.
Factors for Choosing a House
Whether you are looking for an existing home or having one custom-built, buying a home can be a complicated process. Without even considering the steps involved in purchasing the home, settling on a house that suits your needs means first identifying exactly what those needs are and finding a place that matches.
No matter what house size you are looking for, there are a few other factors you will need to think about before buying, such as:
- The buying price
- The taxes
- The purpose of the house
- The affordability of the house
- Access to amenities
- Access to hospitals and other medical care
- Location of neighbourhood schools
- The quality of the neighbourhood
- The appeal of the floorplan
Ultimately, a potential home, no matter the size, must suit both the present and future needs of the potential buyer.
Pros and Cons of a Big House
Big homes can offer several potential benefits, but they do come with some drawbacks as well. Here is a quick look at the pros and cons of living in a big house.
Big House Pros
- More personal space. The most obvious point behind choosing a bigger home is that it can accommodate everyone, which means that all the members of your family can have their own personal space.
- More storage space. Aside from additional floor space, bigger homes also tend to have more cupboards, closets or shelving space to store your belongings.
- Room for visitors. Bigger houses often have additional rooms, allowing you to offer a comfortable bed to your out-of-town visitors, so they don’t have to worry about booking a hotel.
- Home office or workshop space. For creative people or those who work from home, an extra space that can become a workshop or an office might be required.
- Bigger yard. There’s a good chance that the big house you choose will also have a big yard or garden area. Big yards are great places for kids to play or for families and friends to gather together to have fun and make memories.
Big House Cons
- Higher costs. Aside from a higher purchase price, a big home will have higher taxes and higher operating or maintenance costs.
- Greater time investment. Looking after a bigger home requires a greater investment of your personal time, whether it’s for cleaning, making repairs or conducting home renovations.
- Location. Bigger homes require more space, which can mean that they are sometimes located in the suburbs, in a small town or out in the country, rather than being closer to the heart of a city.
Pros and Cons of a Small House
A small house is great for people who want to downsize, those looking for a starter home or for those who need a more affordable option and don’t mind living in close quarters. Here are some of the pros and cons associated with living in a small home.
Small House Pros
- Lower operating costs. Due to their size, smaller homes have lower utility bills.
- Lower mortgage and property taxes. The mortgage for a smaller home will offer more manageable monthly payments, not to mention lower property taxes.
- Easier cleaning. Since there is less home to clean, your chores won’t take as much of your time and energy to complete.
- Cheaper to renovate. Since smaller homes have less surface space, renovation projects require less material and thus, less time to complete.
Small House Cons
- Less space. If you have a family, there may not be enough living space or bedrooms to comfortably accommodate your family and their belongings.
- Lack of privacy. Privacy can be hard to come by in a smaller home.
- No room for guests. Hosting guests when you have a small house is a bit of a tight squeeze. If you have family and friends who live far away and require a place to stay when they visit, this can be a problem.
How Do I Decide What House Size is Right for Me?
Buying a home is a big undertaking and it’s never one that should be done lightly. Choosing the right home for you and your family will have a profound impact on the future, whether you opt for a big home or a smaller one.
There is a happy compromise, though, if you don’t want a big house but can’t cram everybody into a smaller home: consider a medium-sized house. This way, there is enough room to live in and grow, without having to give too much more of your time and money to look after the place.
Build The Right Sized Custom Home of Your Dreams with LIDA Construction
Take time to think about what you need, and what sort of house square footage your budget can handle. Then, once you’ve got a list of wants and needs, contact LIDA Construction to start the conversation about your custom home design and build process.
At LIDA, we’ve been building and renovating homes in the Victoria, BC area since 1998. Get in touch to get the ball rolling on your perfect-sized home.