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A smaller home is a happy home

Tom Purcell on

Houses are getting smaller again — which is going to make many Americans happier.

Americans faced with high mortgage rates and a shortage of affordable homes for sale are opting for new, smaller homes that do not have dining rooms, living rooms, spare bedrooms and even bathtubs, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Builders are building smaller homes partly to give cost-constrained buyers a more affordable option.

But it’s mostly because it’s the only way home builders can turn a reasonable profit, thanks to the high cost of construction materials, which have skyrocketed in the past few years.

Home sizes sure have soared since I was a kid in the 1970s.

According to the U.S. Census, in 1972 the average home was 1,660 square feet.

 

In the 1990s, with the era of the “McMansion” in full swing, no small number of homes exceeded 4,000 square feet — homes so unnecessarily big you need to hail an Uber to get from the living room to the kitchen.

The American home continued to grow until it peaked in 2015 at an average of 2,467 square feet, but now it's fast heading back to 1972 numbers, which offers some good news.

In my experience, a modest-sized home generates more closeness and happiness among its family members.

The suburban house I grew up in was all of 1,500 square feet. Built in 1964, it was a rectangular four-bedroom box with a red-brick façade on the bottom and white aluminum siding on the top.

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Copyright 2023 Tom Purcell, All Rights Reserved. Credit: Cagle.com

 

 

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