Wow. Some headlines leave me underwhelmed, if you know what I mean. How about this one:
Average Size Of Single Family Homes In The U.S. Down To 2,343 Square Foot.
Oh, my. That's less than a thousand square foot per person - average. I am sincere.
Did you know that the average home in 1950 was 1100 to 1200 square feet AND the average household population was 3.37 and in 2003, the last year I could quickly find stats for, it was 2.37. I'm pretty sure the size of homes increased since then. Fewer people, bigger house.
What does that mean?
Maybe that we're more spoiled, spend more money, care less about the environment, need more privacy... or all of the above. It could be.
Enter: The tiny house. The small home. The little dwelling.
The history of a small home is long, as long as you'd like it. (Think "cave-man.") Castles and churches notwithstanding, most personal homes in the more distant past were quite small compared to today's buildings. Even large families lived in small dwellings. Today's 3,000, 4,000 and up square foot buildings are aptly called monsters for good reason. I don't mean to step on any toes, but I don't get it.
When I looked up "small house," I found references to homes under 2500 square feet. That's not so small, really. So I looked further and found references to homes under 1500 square feet. Getting closer... but it's still not so uncommon.
On down the list: Under 1,000 square feet. As a matter of fact, wow. Under 600 square feet.
You could use one of these small homes as a guest room, a home for an aging parent, a detached office (good tax break), or a special room for a hobby or craft.
Or you could live in one.
They're usually between the size of a pickup camper and a small mobile home, with a lot of built in comfort and convenience. They're cheap to buy and cheaper (and a lot of fun!) to design and build yourself, as this Tiny House Design blog shows.
Mortgages are a lot lower for this type of house. Maybe... just maybe, if everyone hadn't thought they deserved the biggest, fanciest house they could borrow money for, the housing bubble might not have burst quite so forcefully. Who knows?
All I know now is that if I were in the market for a house, I'd definitely be looking for a tiny one.