There are so many benefits to living in a small home, even with a growing family, that I am surprised more people don’t consider it. When my husband and I were looking for a new home, we knew we wanted something manageable that would give us more time together. Anything was an upgrade from the RV we were currently living in!
When we closed on our 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom house, we had a 9 month old son and were already trying for baby number 2. While the idea of growing a family in a house that we had already realistically outgrown scared me, my husband used my own words from our dating days against me.
He reminded me that I had said that one day I would love to raise a family in a small house with small bedrooms and limited closet space so we wouldn’t be able to accumulate “things” and could focus on building memories together. I really wanted a lot of outdoor space and the room to grow our own food and have animals if we wanted.
A homesteading lifestyle is really important to both of us, so we wanted a little bit of space where that was possible. I knew just about anything could work because we had been “homesteading” out of an RV for 2 years.
The house we were buying had all of that. It had two bedrooms – perfect for a family who co-sleeps, two acres – perfect for my veggie garden, and a large storage building that would allow me to still accumulate “stuff” until I really perfected my simple living lifestyle.
The best part? The price. Our house came in at a grand total of $64,000. Yep, you read that right. Our mortgage payment is around $450 a month. This was huge to our teeny tiny budget and gave us the extra money we would need to camp and travel in our free time. The one thing I didn’t want was to be “house poor.”
After a few months of living in our little house, I’m realizing the perks were far more than I expected.
For starters, having a small house usually means you’ll have lower utility costs. Now this obviously depends on your usage and other common sense factors – if you love having the house around 80 all winter long, you’re still going to have a high energy bill.
However, if you weatherproof in the winter and make some necessary adjustments in the summer, like keeping the AC around 78, you can see a drastic reduction in utility costs. Just ask your neighbors what they pay and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Small house living for us means more quality time with each other. We don’t have tons of rooms to spend time in. My husband isn’t watching TV in one room while I work on the computer in another. We’re literally almost always in the same room together.
While this might not work for some couples, we absolutely love it. It’s especially helpful with a little one toddling around. Two baby gates keep our house completely sectioned off and we can rest assured that our little one can’t get far before we catch him.
Finally, my most dreaded topic, cleaning. Having a small house almost definitely means you’ll spend less time cleaning. This just means more time for the things you actually want to do in life, like spend time with your loved ones or get outside!
Because we have such a small house and the small expenses that come along with it, we don’t have to feel guilty if we want to drop everything and go visit friends for a weekend. It’s not uncommon at all for us to pack up and head to the beach two and a half hours away to watch the sunrise.
Having a small house might sound constricting to some who have grown accustomed to more space, but for me and my family it has been exactly the opposite.
Having a small house has given us the freedom to do so much that we really want. We get to travel, spend more time together, and save money. It just doesn’t get any better than that!
Our little homestead is exactly what we wanted in order to start our homesteading lifestyle in the south. If you are in the market for a new home, I would strongly suggest you consider downsizing, even if your family is growing or you already feel like you’re running out of space in your current home.
The benefits to small house living far outweigh the cons, at least in my family they do.
Do you think your family could ever downsize to a smaller home? What benefits do you find in living in a larger home? Let me know in the comments!
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Tuesday 23rd of May 2017
[…] and I think the benefits far outweigh the inconveniences that come along with it. My family and I live in 1000 square feet even though our family is still growing. A big reason we’re able to make it work is because we […]
Sunday 2nd of October 2016
I dream of owning a tiny home on wheels. I also dream of living a simple homesteading life style. I am single, late 50's but have grandchildren, who I would love to have come for visits. So, I am thinking I need a bunk house for them to sleep in along worth a sizeable craft and workroom. With a sizeable piece of peppery for a garden and to raise some animals.
Monday 17th of October 2016
Hi Wanda! I hope your dream of owning a tiny home comes true! Simple living was the way to go for us and we dream of downsizing even more. I understand your predicament with finding a place for your grandkids. I'm sure they'll look forward to coming to visit you in your tiny house!
Tuesday 9th of August 2016
Jamie, I just want to let you know you have chosen well! I am a bit...ahem....older than you and am coming to realize the value of wanting/having less. We are a family of six, with three teenagers, and although we could have bigger we limited our current/dream home to 2500sqft. 13yrs later, it is too big! Crazy to think with two teen boys we'd want less room and not more, but it's true! The kids are bigger, but with busy lives, the time spent on upkeep is crowding out our time for play. Two years ago we built a 1300sqft cottage on 28 acres of family land and are IN LOVE! We hope to sell and move there permanently, in the next couple of years. Even the kids are stoked! Here are a couple of things I'd add to your list..... 1. Little spaces make high end finishes more affordable. I.e. Fewer bathrooms may mean prettier fixtures or the option for granite 2. Fewer furnishings can mean saving for the 'perfect' piece instead of something just to fill space. 3. Outdoor living spaces are less fussy n require less upkeep....we have a simple but large screened in porch and when we entertain we live out there! It has hosted many great parties and when was the last time you took a hose to your livingroom? There is great tranquility in living more simply! Thanks for your post!m
Monday 15th of August 2016
Hi Marty! I really hope you get to move into your cottage in the near future. You made great points! It is definitely more affordable to put high end finishes in a home that is much smaller. High-end anything completely skips my mind because we have a toddler and a newborn. I'm very certain our toddler is on a one-man-mission to destroy everything we own. At some point, we'd love to have high-end things...in about 20 years or so :-)
Tuesday 19th of July 2016
I love the reasons to live in a small home presented in this post! I have recently been on a minimalism journey, so thinking about not having so much storage space so that we do not accumulate "things" is fantastic. My only reservation to a smaller home than at least 3 bedrooms is that I really want space to entertain. A big part of our lives are our friends and family and we would love to have enough space to have people over or stay if they come from out of town.
Friday 22nd of July 2016
Hi Whitney, I understand worrying about having space for visitors to stay over. I actually had the same concern. My grandfather stayed with us for a week and he just slept in our kids' room. Our kids sleep with us, so we still have an extra bedroom even though we only have 2. It's still very possible to have a small house even with 3 bedrooms. Minimalism is whatever you make of it. Just purge your belongings and be selective when buying new things - you're well on your way!