The secret of smaller living

It’s the sort of thing you hear from armchair experts: the best house to build is the biggest house you can afford.

After all, you need and as much house as you can squeeze on a suburban block.

But if you are on a budget, that’s some of the worst advice you can take.

All over the world, urban designers and planners — and growing numbers of home buyers — have realised that super-sized McMansions just don’t deliver what they promise.

What’s worse, the market for what will probably be your most expensive investment is getting smaller each year.

Here’s why.

New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the average number of people living in a house is now 2.6 — a sign of how the makeup of families is changing.

The number of couple-only households (with no kids) is projected to rise by 800,000 in the next 10 years, and could outweigh the number of couple-and-kid households by 2023.

Then there’s the number of single-parent families, which will climb almost 200,000 in the next decade, with similar growth for people living alone.

In fact, the only kind of household seeing a decline is the group that might look for a massive suburban home.

Perhaps the best indication of why less is best is the ‘spare bedroom’ measure used to work out if a household is overcrowded.

Based on the Canadian National Occupancy Standard, this measure looks at whether families can comfortably fit in the number of bedrooms they have.

In Australian more than 82 per cent hour of home buyers have one or more spare bedrooms based on the standards, including three-quarters of couples with kids.

So do you need that fourth bedroom and extra space?

Well since each extra bedroom costs the equivalent of a new car it makes good financial sense if you can to save on any space you don’t really need.

Find out how NOW Living’s range of affordable turnkey house and land packages can get you into your brand new home sooner.

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