Small houses – the benefits and the drawbacks
Big homes and life in them:
Living in big houses is like a dream come true to many. There every resident gets to enjoy his own space and not keep bumping into another person. There is no trampling on anyone else’s space. A big house affords lot of space for other extra activities like a personalized nursery for every kid; a home gym for its member, a home theatre and a pantry to store all the extras from the kitchen. Since space is excess, bigger homes can give its members an illusion of staying in a de-cluttered environment.
Big houses give way to smaller homes:
Unfortunately, with the recent recession that the world witnessed, a lot of families had to give up their plans to live in big houses. A big house would entail big mortgages for sure. And even with double income, it is increasingly becoming not a very economically viable option to stay put in bigger homes. Bigger spaces may translate into higher maintenance depending on the larger area of the floor space, bigger electricity bills because big homes have to have more lighting and heating solutions, higher water and sewage maintenance charges.
Another phenomenon in big homes is the inmates have to continuously keep shopping for assorted pieces of furniture to fill up all the available space at their disposal. There are things that are continuously needed in a big house. For example, bulb getting fused, the wall needing a fresh coat of paint, carpentry and plumbing job to be done, etc. This has the ability to have a negative impact on the budgeting of the house.
Small cozy homes (Danetti) becoming very common:
According to the US census in the year 1950, homes typically of that era were only an average of 1000 square feet. Over the successive decades, home space increased to a maximum of 2400 square feet with the number being the norm in the millennium years. Now, more and more home owners prefer to opt for smaller houses. The incentive that they will be getting to save the money that they would otherwise spend on the housekeeping is a reason enough for this trend.
The advantages of living in a small house:
1. Save on energy bills:
Small homes are at least half the times more energy efficient than the larger ones. If the homes are in tropical regions then there needs to be air conditioning units at least six months in a year and in the temperate zones there is absolutely a big need for house heating system to be in place. These appliances which are used to keep the home artificially cold or warm at a comfortable temperature are known to be big time energy crunchers and that can translate into a huge five figure electricity bill.
2. Cleaning and maintenance, checked.
Small homes mean less time spent on cleaning and deep cleaning the house. This can be a boon in homes where both the partners are working. If one of the partners is a stay at home then the partner may get little more time to take rest or go outdoors or do anything that she likes in the time saved.
3. Small and intimate
Small homes are cozy and they have the advantage of being done up in themes that can lend it a character of its own. If there is a need for changing the theme or décor of the room then it can be done without worrying too much about the budget. This feature can be lacking in those big mansions with huge hallways and corridors.
4. Cost effective
Small homes have scope for more natural living. If the house has cross ventilation facility then probably there is no need for an air conditioning unit even in peak summer. The rooms can be airy even when using a fan. That way we can even live an environmental conscious life and knowing well that we are not leaving behind any carbon footprint.
5. Small houses have a distinct character of their own.
Smaller houses face the street and have an old world charm around them. The compactness in the house can give you a feeling that it is your personal space. There is a tendency to get lost in big spaces and also lose yourself while also trying to complete the never ending housekeeping chores.
The challenges of staying in a small house
a. The noise pollution
Unfortunately, all small houses are situated in or near a main town or a city. While living in a city can afford a lot of amenities at arm’s reach, still life is the city is always on the fast mode. Everyone is rushing unlike in some downtown place where life can calmly be spent without the hustle bustle and the honking and the shouting.
b. Yearning for a little more space
Sometimes, when there is an addition to the members in the family like the birth of a child, there can be need for a little more space. The idea that the place has to be refurbished to set up a new activity can be daunting especially when space required is already being used for some other purpose.
c. Privacy problem
A small house can present awkward situation specially when the inmates need privacy or just need to get away from the sight of other members. Privacy is definitely compromised in very small homes.
While living in big homes can give you a liberating feeling, over the time it can fatigue you specially because maintaining big spaces and on shoe string budget can be tiring and a daunting task for anyone. Small homes also have their own set of challenges. But if you would ask me, I would opt to any day live in a smaller cozy home. It will demand less attention from me and it will be sure to inculcate in me and my progeny the values of surviving in what is just enough to live. I don’t want my offspring to think that everything is at their disposal. That would really be a wrong signal to send. Besides, every time we would need to buy something for the house it would mean giving off something existing to someone who will be able to use it. Is that not the best way to live?