2012-03-11

We like a small space

Inspired by this post on the Zero Waste Home blog, I wanted to say that we love the idea of having a small home.

We aren't looking for a tiny house; though we admire the movement, with two cats and eventual plans for one to two children, it's just not practical for us. Something like this 650 sq ft house might be nice, though where we could easily find land to build such a thing in the city I do not know, and it would be nice to add a basement.

We currently live in a 936 sq ft two bedroom apartment, but we're starting to look at the idea of buying a house. We're looking for a home that we would be in indefinitely. Generally speaking, we're looking for what folks would call a "starter home", with the intention of staying there permanently. As we consider options for buying a house, our size-based criteria are:
  • Preferably two, no more than three bedrooms. This is a complicated choice, because the choice sort of depends on kids. If there is only one, or if both were of the same gender, two bedrooms is fine. But we don't know about making a boy and a girl share a room. The complication here is, of course, that we have no children yet, nor are any presently en route.
  • We'd prefer the majority of the space to be concentrated in the living areas of the house. It'd be nice to find something with relatively small bedrooms. Nothing ever happens in there.
  • No more than two bathrooms, though we'd be fine with just one. This probably won't be an issue because of the bedroom count.
  • No extraneous rooms. That is, no formal dining or living room, and no "office", except if you count a currently-unused bedroom.
  • Overall, I think we'd prefer a maximum size of around 1000 sq ft, though it's possible if we went for three bedrooms we might have to go a bit bigger. I personally would like something closer to 650, which appears to be possible in the area where we want to live; we really like this house, but we just aren't quite ready to purchase anything yet.
So, why a small house? That Zero Waste Home post pretty much summed it up, but the most important reasons to us are:
  • A smaller house can't contain as much stuff, and what stuff there is is easier to keep organized.
  • Maintenance and cleaning go a lot quicker.
  • Smaller spaces are cheaper to power.
  • Smaller houses are typically cheaper.
  • Family closeness and general coziness: there's nowhere you can go inside the house that's out of earshot.
  • People do not need a big house, unless your last name is Duggar.
Smaller living means simplicity and more conscious, sustainable living.