Thursday, February 11, 2010

Home Downsizing

I’ve got a little secret to share. I am in love  obsessed intrigued by the small house movement. I visit small house websites, I read about not so big houses, shoot, I even draw my own small house plans. What is it that has me so enamored?

Family - My grandmother grew up in a small house with no indoor plumbing and a shared bedroom for the kids. Mr. DFx40 and Cousin DFx40 both shared bedrooms with their older brothers. In a small home if it is going to work you have to learn to communicate with your family, which is definitely a good thing. You can’t have good relationships without good communication.

Sustainable - It doesn’t take much common sense to realize that a smaller house uses less material and causes less waste when being built. They also use less energy to heat and cool. And if you do happen to live in a small home and you want to update to be more energy efficient, it takes a lot less material to do that also!

Money - Smaller House = Smaller Mortgage. If that isn’t enough to convince you, take a look at this…Smaller House = Smaller Bills. Enough said.

Time - It takes me long enough to clean and maintain a 1300 square foot home. When I think about adding bathrooms and other rooms to clean, I start to hyperventilate. And if you haven’t figured this one out yet, a smaller home (and a smaller mortgage) equals less time at work to pay for it. That aligns perfectly with my motivation to be debt free by forty.

These reasons were enough to motivate a few conversations about downsizing from our huge (ha) 1300 square feet house. We realized there were plenty of advantages to doing so. What made us decide to stay put? Two of the same things that has me so in love  obsessed intruged with small houses!

Money - Our current mortgage is far from unbearable. We bought a house for around 70% of what the bank offered to loan us three years ago, which was based on my income alone. We could still comfortably afford it on half of our current income. That is with me working full time and Mr. DFx40 working about 12 hours a week while he finishes school. We decided the extra $200-$300 a month we could save by downsizing wasn’t worth the three years of equity we would lose or the stress of moving.

Family - As some of you know, Cousin DFx40 moved in with us in September. What none of you know is that another Cousin DFx40 will be staying with us for a few weeks in March. She and her husband will be moving from Mexico (he is a citizen of Mexico) to the town we live in, and she needs a place to stay while she looks for a car and an apartment. If we downsized we would miss out on a lot of opportunities to help out the people we love.

What about you…what size house/apartment do you live in? How many people share that space with you? Would you ever consider going smaller?

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