Smaller Homes are in Vogue

In this economy a new trend is emerging. Smaller homes are becoming more desirable. The Associated Press headline said ” Tiny house movement thrives amid real estate bust”. The article goes on to talk about very small homes that are being built. Such as 500 sq ft homes. Very small. However it is a trend that has been spoken of Nationally. I had to laugh, one person on a morning news show said folks should downsize to smaller homes. When pressed for the size of the home folks should downsize to she said they should move into a 4,000 sq ft home. Smaller is in the eyes of the beholder.
I did some checking, In Ada County there are 291 single family homes for sale 1200 square feet or smaller. 194 are not a short sale. 57 are banked owned. The highest priced bank owned $164,900. The least expensive $39,900. So far this year in Ada County 585 homes 1200 sq ft or smaller have sold. 498 were not short sales. A little more than 53 per month are selling. Which means there is about a 5 month supply of these homes.
Darn near a normal market for inventory. I say about a 6 month supply is normal. If we look at the non short sale homes about 45 per month are selling in Ada County. Which means there is about a 4 month supply. Now that is hot!
A second part of the downsizing is the overall cost of a home. I looked at a home that was truly a mansion. It had a RV/Pool house that I could have lived in quite comfortably let alone the main home. My friend and I agreed this was definitely a Million Dollar prize. He asked what I thought the upkeep would be. I said I did not believe I could pay the maintenance on this place. Bigger costs more. Period. More for taxes, upkeep-paint, carpet, cleaning etc. Larger homes cost more to heat and more to cool. Not to mention the yard care, the swimming pool, in ground hot tub and water features. So as folks trim their budgets they also trim monthly expenses. Another reason why smaller is in fashion.
Another appeal of smaller spaces is that it encourages green living. A smaller foot print on the earth if you will. It slows urban sprawl and builds communities. As a kid I grew up in NYC. I saw accommodations that would fit a single bed and a dresser. That was it. And people lived there. I grew up in a four room railroad flat. I had three brothers, my Mom and Grandma, two dogs. I thought that was tight living until I saw the space above. I believe a jail cell would have been larger. So the idea of smaller, more efficient spaces is not a new one. Just one that is being revisited.


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