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More Americans want to downsize their homes than supersize them

Scorpio

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#1
More Americans want to downsize their homes than supersize them

By Alessandra Malito
Published: Mar 1, 2017 6:28 p.m. ET



The number of compact townhouses being constructed rose by 13% last year



Getty Images
Many people with large homes would be interested in trading in those houses for smaller ones.
The American Dream of owning your own home remains. But the home itself appears to have gotten smaller.

As American homes grow larger in size (and higher in price) many people say if they decided to move, they’d want to downsize. More homeowners would rather have a smaller house than a larger one (37% compared to 23%), according to research from real estate site Trulia.Here’s how it breaks down: Some 60% of people living in large homes of 2,000 square feet and over said they’d rather pick a smaller one next time around; 69% of people in the smallest of homes under 800 square feet said they’d like to supersize their accommodations.

Older Americans, more of whom are homeowners, are obviously more likely to want to downsize than millennials. The same percentage of baby boomers (37%) said they plan to move at some point in their life, and 42% of that number said they would prefer to live in a smaller home, according to a separate study released last December by the Demand Institute, operated by the research groups, The Conference Board and Nielsen.

But there are bigger forces at play too. “Those living in the biggest of homes know what the downsides are of living in those homes,” said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia. The expenses are large — utilities, taxes, maintenance and furnishing — in those homes and there’s greater potential for something to go wrong and need repairs. In theory, anyway. Older homes are more likely to have problems regardless of the size, like this California couple who moved to a 1929 home that was sinking and had rotten foundations.

Small homes are gaining in popularity, and are showcased in television programs like HGTV’s “Tiny House Hunters,” which pairs people with homes of about 600 square feet. Small homes can also offer homeowners big and fast returns, likely due to increased demand and proximity to city centers. Tiny homes can also be the right move for retirees, too, what with the lower costs in building and maintaining.

And the number of townhouses being built — often closer to public transport, smaller and less expensive than detached homes — also increased by nearly 13% last year to 97,000, according to a National Association of Home Builders analysis of Census Bureau housing starts and completions data released last week.

What’s more, people are getting less bang for their buck. In the fourth quarter of 2016, 29% of U.S. county housing markets were less affordable than their historic affordability averages, up from 24% of markets in the third quarter and 13% of markets a year ago, according to recent data published by the housing-research firm ATTOM Data Solutions, the parent company of real-estate website RealtyTrac.

For decades, FICO has used big data and mathematical algorithms to calculate people's three-digit credit scores. Now it's using the same technology to predict whether a consumer's likely to buy a product in-store or click on a link online.

But not everyone likes the idea of downsizing. Income plays a part in the size of a home someone wants — for people making under $150,000, the desire is to upsize (65%), while more than half (53%) of those with a household income of more than $150,000 would rather move into a smaller home, Trulia found. And those who lived in the smallest of homes surveyed (under 800 square feet) said they’d like to upsize too.

Almost half of millennials (46%), on the other hand, want to upgrade — even if they were already living in 2,000-square-foot homes. This is evident even among first-time homebuyers, who are choosing to skip the starter homer and opt for a big house in the suburbs.

Still, homes have been growing in size over the past four decades and the average size of a new home these days tops 2,700 square feet, about 1,000 square feet larger than in 1973, according to Washington, D.C.-based think tank American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. People interested in moving and finding the right size should tap their social networks to see what works for them and consider what they’ll want in the next three, five or 10 years. “Getting it right the first time will save you a lot of money in the long run,” McLaughlin said.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mo...ze-their-homes-than-supersize-them-2017-03-01
 

platinumdude

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#4
I'm in a 2,300 sq ft home. It's about the right size for me. I don't want to upgrade and then pay more taxes and utilities and everything else they mentioned in the article. Plus I don't want to deal with the hassles of selling and moving. I even drive a 2002 vehicle even though I can buy brand new with no payments. I just don't see a need unless it costs too much to repair something. I guess I'm easily satisfied and content.
 

Ensoniq

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#5
I'd rather have the McMansion
 

Goldhedge

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#6
Hey GH,

Starting a project this spring of Twins that will be aimed at the move up, move down buyers. 1400 ft, 2 x 2 1/2's

The little snowflakes get their on suites and the granite tops
tiny houses or mobile homes? or Stick built on foundations?
 

dacrunch

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#8
It's all in the sizing of the rooms, and the layout...

Compared to Europe, there a HUGE amount of "wasted" space in US homes. It might "look grand" to have enormous rooms to walk through... separate dining-rooms & living-rooms, as well as eat-in kitchens... 3 full bathrooms... huge walk-in closets...

I'm currently living in Paris in a 600 sq ft 2 bedroom that "feels" twice the size of my 1000 sq ft 1 br condo I used to have in FL.

Smart use of wall cabinets & closets - more like "ship-building" or "RV-building" to minimize "wasted volume". Avoidance of "oversized living-room furniture".

------

In "snow country" or "flood zone", I'd be content with a 2 story - ground floor garage big enough for a small RV, a van and a workshop - utility room, Upstairs apartment 2 br 1 1/2 bath (if 2 people need to use the toilet at the same time). Probably 800 sq ft on the footprint. (And potentially a 3rd floor for a rental unit - with outdoor staircase.)

something along this idea (but not style, but with an extra story)= I guess the term is "carriage house"?





 
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gringott

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#9
I live in a small house and sometimes wish it were smaller. As I get older I need less to clean, less to maintain and less to pay taxes on.
 

Scorpio

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#10
Yep dac,

many builders are still stuck on 1 level mansions that take up a lot of land, and wasted space gallore.

The avg home is now supposedly 2300 sq ft...........are you kiddin' me? Insanity

What I have designed is a 2 x 2 1/2 baths with a expansion into bonus room over garage for 3rd bdrm. Keeps your impact on environment smaller. Then I pushed them together, 2 to a building to decrease the impact even more. This allows less trees cut, more natural space, etc.

I am going 2 story, smaller footprint, but the 2 car garages take up a great deal of space. They are necessary (relative) though in the north country.
 

Uglytruth

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#11
I want a 2400 sq ft shop 40' x 60' with a 800 sq ft 20' x 40' living quarters on the end. With high enough ceilings I could have a 800 sq ft loft above the living quarters. Man's got to have priorities.
 

southfork

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#12
Guess it boils down to what you can afford really, taxes do eat up a lot, plus ins, elect ect, downside is if you sell and buy you incurr around a 7/9% loss in commisons , fees , titlework and all that crap so if your in a 300k house your out over 25k or so in equity, we have 2200 sq under air, for the 2 of us since kids are gone, but cant see paying all those fees to downsize a bit.
 

dacrunch

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#13
Guess it boils down to what you can afford really, taxes do eat up a lot, plus ins, elect ect, downside is if you sell and buy you incurr around a 7/9% loss in commisons , fees , titlework and all that crap so if your in a 300k house your out over 25k or so in equity, we have 2200 sq under air, for the 2 of us since kids are gone, but cant see paying all those fees to downsize a bit.
Paying room-mates to cover taxes & insurance? -Might not fit the life-style though... Gotta be selective...
 

nickndfl

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#14
I don't want a big home as much as want a big shop to wood work in...
I hear you. I don't want the maintenance associated with big acreage, but I do enjoy my 3-car garage. A 4-car would be even better. FYI, once you had 3 bathrooms, you never want less.
 

Zed

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#16
Less is more, design is everything! It is nice to see the trend reverse from large crappy homes to smaller quality homes. Hopefully the tide is turning down here as well, while we never get to US extremes we certainly follow many US social trends.
 

nickndfl

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#19
exactly, grew up in a 950 sq ft hse with 9 of us in it.

what people consider 'adequate' now is far different

We had a 1300 sq ft. 3/1.5/1.5 for a family of 4 with grandparents that would visit twice a year for a few weeks. I never had any privacy and never want to live that cramps again or share a toilet with so many people.
 

Montecristo

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#20
Maybe I'm a spoiled American, but I likes my own space and am willing to pay for it.
If my wife and I moved into one of those "tiny houses" we would be divorced within the year.