When my husband and I bought our first (and current) house, we loved it because we felt like it was the perfect starter home. It is small and cozy and perfect for two people – maybe a little baby too. The plan was to live there for 3-5 years and then move onto a bigger, more spacious McMansion-style home where we’d raise our kids.
We’re now 6 years in and each additional year we seem to dig our heels in further, finding new reasons why our small starter house may actually be our perfect forever home. Because believe it or not, there are some amazing perks to living in a small home.
So before you sign up for 30 years of paying off your mansion, consider these reasons for picking a small house right from the start:
It’s Easier to Purchase
A smaller home means a smaller price, which means you need less money. This also means it’s easier to get a loan, which is likely how you’ll be purchasing your house. So not only are you spending less money in the long run, you can also buy your house sooner rather than later.
You Can Put Your Money Elsewhere
This is probably the biggest reason that my husband and I haven’t moved and will likely remain one of the biggest reasons we stay. When you live small, you can put your hard earned money towards other things. And I’m not just talking vacations, gym memberships, and other luxuries that you really have to cut when finances get tight. I’m talking about investment properties, college funds, and retirement accounts. All the money that we’d need to save to buy a new home could still go towards a new home – except it could be a rental property that earns us extra cash each month. We try really hard to put a lot into retirement and our kids’ college funds so that when the time comes, we don’t need to be stretched.
Related post: How We Bought Our First Investment Property
Your Monthly Costs are Lower
Your mortgage payment is smaller, your utility payment is smaller, your electric bill is smaller. As the size of your house grows, so do all of your other monthly expenses. But there’s so much more to this perk than just the bottom line. When your monthly costs are lower, you and your spouse both have more financial freedom – which means you have more control over your life choices. Having one spouse stay home is easier, taking a job that you love regardless of pay is easier, and getting out of a job you hate is easier.
Related post: 8 Different Ways to Cut $100 in Expenses Every Month
You Have a Better Chance of Becoming Debt Free
If lower monthly expenses buy you more financial freedom, imagine what being debt free will do for you. You can retire a decade early, take summers off with your kids, or travel around the world. Being debt free should be (and often is) the ultimate goal for everyone. In a small house, that goal can just be achieved a whole lot sooner.
Related post: How to Pay Off Your Mortgage Early
It’s Easier to Clean
This is no joke! Cleaning a small home is easier than cleaning a big home for the obvious reason – there’s just less to clean! And this is a really big deal if cleaning falls primarily on one person’s plate.
You Have More Location Choices
Big homes require lots of land. It can be nearly impossible to find them in big cities and even bustling little towns. Sure, you may be able to find one with easy access to your favorite spots. But when you’re open to a smaller home, all of a sudden you can find options that are walking distance to those same places.
You Don’t Need the Big House
When we bought our lovely 1200 sq. ft. house, it wasn’t new construction. Quite the contrary, it is actually part of a development that consists of nearly identical 1200 sq. ft. homes. And these homes weren’t built for yuppies to enjoy their single years before moving to bigger homes. They were built to raise happy families in happy neighborhoods. And that’s what everyone used to do. The thought that we need massive homes to raise our families is really a new phenomenon. But you don’t need a massive home to raise a family. Your kids can share rooms. Your 4 oz. laptop can perch on a desk in the corner of your room. We really don’t need the big homes that we think we do.
Bottom line, once you buy a house, you will start putting all of your energy into making it your home. At that point, the size really doesn’t matter. So why not make it easier on yourself by starting with something that lets you put your hard earned money towards the things that do really matter?