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How to Do It: How to know the right-size house for you

For first-time homebuyers and seasoned homeowners alike, the size of your next residence should be at the forefront of your considerations. While the splendor of a large home might be appealing, it is a great idea to consider the amount of space you will actually use in a future house, whether you are building one or buying one.


Homes are, in fact, getting bigger

The average size of new homes in the U.S. had been falling slowly but steadily since 2015. But, now the average new-construction home is rising again, from about 2,300 square feet to more than 2,500 square feet, according to a 2022 report from the National Association of Home Builders. There are several factors contributing to this increase, including a desire for home offices, exercise rooms and more space for multiple generations to live in one home. One thing is certain: Buyers are more carefully considering their individual needs. Even at the luxury level, thinking about the spaces and room sizes you really will use is key to a smart purchase.


How big a house do you really need?

This simple guide will help you assess the amount of space you will use regularly, so that your next home can best suit you. Factoring in the number of residents, the high-use areas and your current and future budgets is critical for determining how big a house you need.


1Consider your current home

To start, think about your current residence. What do you love about it, size-wise? Are there high-use areas that you will also need in your future home? Are you considering expanding your family in the future? Might someone move out in the foreseeable future? Understanding what you have now will help assess what you need later.


Along with considering the positive aspects, it is also important to think about what you are missing or do not enjoy about your current residence. If some rooms or areas receive little use, eliminate those similar spaces from your search.


2Calculate your ideal size

After making a list of what your current space possesses and lacks, it’s a great idea to list out your desired rooms and even the ideal layout of your future home. Knowing the typical sizes of the rooms you want in your next home helps. 


Once you have settled on how you want your home laid out, with furniture in mind, you can add up the square footage of all the rooms you hope for and get a sense of the total size. This survey is an intriguing look at home sizes in the U.S. (Can you guess the biggest? It's not Texas.)


3Factor in your budget

Before running off with your dream-home plans, the final critical step is looking at how your budget plays a role in how big your next home will be. Do some research on the market or neighborhood you are targeting, or, better yet, connect with qualified agents in your market to learn how much square footage you will get for your money. Once you have decided how much house you can afford, you can adapt the square-footage limits.


How to find the perfect-size house

Knowing that houses are trending downward in size, there is no better time to assess your individual hopes for a home. Many people realize what is right for them only after they have too little or too much space in their house. Get ahead of that curve and discuss how big a house you need with a Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty agent. They can help find the perfect-sized home for you. In the meantime, have fun looking at what’s available!


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