Woman to Women
Smaller spaces lead to living larger, easier lifestyles. Bye-bye, McMansions
I wish I could say gone was the era of larger equals better, but I think as Americans we still have a ways to go. McMansions have boomed over the last decade. Everyone wants their piece of the pie. Growing up in a small home, I never felt cramped or deprived. There were five of us, and we lived in 1,850 square feet.
I have seen many friends purchase larger homes, some up to 5,000 square feet. I wonder what for? Are you running a hotel here or starting your own colony? Of course, the answers are they just need space. Space for what, I wonder … from each other?
It looks like the McMansion days are coming to a halt, though. It may be temporary, but let’s hope not. Over the last year, housing sales have dropped drastically throughout the country, and McMansions seem to be in high inventory. Not only are the large mortgages deterring potential buyers, but so are the high maintenance costs!
I recently read that cottage communities may be on the rise. It appears that, for reasons of being green or simply leading an easier lifestyle, buyers are willing to pay premium prices for smaller spaces that are made to live large. Cottage homes are built on small lots, most of them facing a center communal court, and are between 800 to 1,500 square feet. These homes are built with all the extras – hardwood floors, built-ins, high-end cabinets and crown moldings galore. Sounds like heaven to me!
What could be better than a home built for the way we live, rather than the way we wished we lived? I currently live with my spouse and three children in a home that is a bit over 2,700 square feet. By many people’s standards my home is not large, but to me, when it comes time to clean, it’s a sprawling estate! I notice there are many spaces that are underutilized, and we live in only a few communal rooms. Most days I wish for a smaller but more efficient home that worked better with our lifestyles.
I can see why cottage communities are catching on. What could be better than to own a home that is not only beautiful but functional? Smaller homes leave less of an imprint on the planet and require less maintenance, which saves on energy costs. The idea of living in exactly what you use and not a speck more becomes more appealing to me every day.
Jill Coury is a married mother of three who lives the suburban dream: carpools, volunteer work and loads of dirty laundry! Please visit her blog at www.jillcoury.com.