It’s a logical relationship – as home prices go up, sizes go down.

Homebuyers now are learning to make the most with the least space.

In the past, the rule of thumb was 1,000 square feet per person living in the home. Nowadays, we know that number is not quite so realistic depending on your budget and desired city.

A buyer with experience in the market will most likely be more specific about their square footage needs, but as a newer homeowner, how do you know how much square footage will work for you while still being affordable?

Some things to consider while asking this question –

  1. How long do you want to live here?
  2. Do you want to own a versatile layout that will be easily re-sellable in the short term?
  3. Do you have family members who will visit often and require guest rooms? Note alternatives to guest rooms such as pull-out couches, storable air mattress, etc.
  4. Do you have family members who will visit often and cannot use the stairs?
  5. Do you have, or are you planning on having, children?
  6. If you have kids now, how much longer are they going to be living with you?

The design of the home is key in making sure all of the available square footage is functional and useful.

Tip #1 – have fewer, larger rooms that are versatile in function. Open concept rooms can be used for a nursery, den, or home office (or a combination of those) for example.

Tip #2 – capture natural light to make smaller rooms feel larger. When purchasing a new build, work with your developer to ensure you are maximizing the window potential in your new home.

Tip #3 – extra space usually sits unused! When you think you will use that extra den or open area, think twice.

Tipe #4 – The master bedroom and kitchen square footage are typically about equal, as these are known as the most important rooms in a home. Knowing that, you can maximize the functionality of these rooms while limiting wasted space on others such as bathrooms, extra bedrooms, family rooms and dining rooms.

All this being said, your best option is to research the average per square foot cost of a home in your desired cities. Compare floorplans for different homes and decide what you