Living large in less space…

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Living Large in Less Space

courtesy of Victor Zastolskiy ©

One of the things you learn when selling real estate is that home size is a relative term. A well laid out home can appear much larger than a comparable home with an awkward layout. Making good use of the available space can make less seem like more.

Using space wisely is becoming increasingly important for those of us living in or near urban hubs. As people move nearer to where the employment action is, density increases, square footage decreases, and people are disappointed in what their money can (or can’t) buy.

For home sellers, this is a very important selling point.  Lynn Pineda just wrote an excellent post on how boost the value of your home. She included a section on maximizing the use of available space.

Micro-Apartments have made their way into the  NYC market…

Like it or not, living in smaller spaces has become more than just the fad we see on “Tiny House Nation”. Last year the New York Times had an article about micro apartments  in Manhattan that were between 260-360sf in size. They were renting from between $2446 and $3195 a month.

Naturally, space has always been precious in urban hubs, like New York City. But that space squeeze has extended into the neighboring suburbs as well. If you live in an commutable suburb, chances are you are going to find yourself able to afford less space than you would like.  More and more, people have to make a distinction between the amount of space they want and the amount the need.

Pinterest boards to the rescue…

The good news is that the wise use of space can make a smaller space seem large.  As more and more of my buyer clients became disappointed at what they can afford in terms of space, I decided to collect some ideas for them. I have a couple of Pinterest boards that show how using every square inch of space effectively can create space almost out of thin air.

Nooks and Crannies board…

This is perhaps my favorite Pinterest board. I love adding unique ideas to it. From furniture that does double duty and corner book shelves to clever built-ins, there are ideas galore for making small spaces work harder.

The Large Living – Small Spaces board…

This board takes a look at general layouts. Some are from tiny homes which may be more of a fad, and others are from smaller homes. Fad or not, tiny homes have paved the way for getting a more living out of small spaces. 

Cottages board…

 Some of these are older homes remind us that living in a large home is a relatively new incarnation. Scaling back can be a challenge, but it leads to more sustainable living as well as a lower overhead. Looking at older homes reminds us that this is the way it has been done for centuries.

The bottom line on maximizing existing space…

At the end of the day, home ownership has its advantages. They are both financial and emotional. Prices are continuing to rise, so hoping that that a bigger home is suddenly going to be more affordable, is like trying to win the lottery. You probably need a major upward jolt in income in a fairly short space of time, to make that happen.  If the space you can afford isn’t what you had hoped for, take heart.

  • First, buying something more modest will decrease your carbon footprint AND buffer you against rising energy costs.
  • Second, you are not alone. I have never met a home buyer who got everything they wanted. Most want more than they can afford.
  • Third, there are ways to make the space you can afford work well for you.

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