What Size Home For A Family?

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SVT
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What Size Home For A Family?

Post by SVT »

In your opinion or experience, what is a recommended size, or range of sizes, for a home for a young family with 1 or 2 young children (say newborn to toddler aged) who would like to ideally stay in the home for at least 15-20 years? Or what size house is too small and what size is probably too large for a family like this in this situation?

I see a lot of 4000+ sqft homes in MD where I live and I just don't understand how so many people need so much room. Is it buying and building more than needed or sort of necessary for most families and I just haven't realized it yet? I'm even seeing lots of townhomes at more than 3000 sqft.

It appears to be pretty hard or nearly impossible to find a new or newish home for less than 2500 sqft anymore. I could see myself buying something up to 3000 sqft or so for maybe room to grow as the family grows in size and age but I can't see 4000 or more sqft. Something like 2500-3000 sqft is reasonable for a small family for the long term, right?
mortfree
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by mortfree »

2 full baths
3 bedrooms
2 car garage

Work around those basics.

I have a 3800-4600 home now (depends who asks)
Last edited by mortfree on Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Trader Joe
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by Trader Joe »

SVT wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:41 pm In your opinion or experience, what is a recommended size, or range of sizes, for a home for a young family with 1 or 2 young children (say newborn to toddler aged) who would like to ideally stay in the home for at least 15-20 years? Or what size house is too small and what size is probably too large for a family like this in this situation?

I see a lot of 4000+ sqft homes in MD where I live and I just don't understand how so many people need so much room. Is it buying and building more than needed or sort of necessary for most families and I just haven't realized it yet? I'm even seeing lots of townhomes at more than 3000 sqft.

It appears to be pretty hard or nearly impossible to find a new or newish home for less than 2500 sqft anymore. I could see myself buying something up to 3000 sqft or so for maybe room to grow as the family grows in size and age but I can't see 4000 or more sqft. Something like 2500-3000 sqft is reasonable for a small family for the long term, right?
Our rule is one bedroom and one bathroom per person (adult or child).
Archimedes
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by Archimedes »

2500 square feet with 2.5 baths would be quite practical, yet sufficient for family comfort. 3500 square feet with 3.5 baths would be somewhat luxurious with plenty of extra space, some of which you probably won’t utilize. More than that is getting into the “who needs the extra maintenance and utilities“, but to each his or her own. Some like to own a trophy house, a symbol of their success. (Excess?)
runner540
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by runner540 »

Ask me in 20 years if our house was big enough. Layout matters a lot too. I walked through new 3500 square for houses them at had only 3 BR and the only access to backyard was thru a bedroom :oops:

Our 50 yr old house is smaller but much better flow and function.
Lalamimi
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by Lalamimi »

Raised 2 kids in 1800 sq ft. more or less houses. More important is the neighborhood, the schools and proximity to jobs. We had 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms in both houses. First house was a 1954 ranch with a huge backyard. Great neighborhood, but everything changed late 80s. We moved further out to a good school district. Kids rooms were smaller. Now, years later, we are in a 3000 Sq ft house. Daughter has 4K sq ft and 2 small kids. Will grow into it, but wanted the school district. Son has 1 boy and about 2400 sq ft. No kids in his neighborhood near by for his son to play with. The floor plan really makes a difference if smaller home. And if the kids have way too much stuff.... DH and I both grew up in 2 bedroom houses, sharing rooms with siblings. My brother and I slept in the living room of a one bedroom apartment 1 1/2 yrs mid 1960s. No questions asked. Get what feels right (or within budget).
Last edited by Lalamimi on Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sandtrap
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by Sandtrap »

I grew up in a 900 s.f. farm house, family of 6, 3 bdrm/1 bath, on a 100 acre farm. It seemed pretty big. A whole valley and side of a mountain to ourselves, and a stream that ran year round with colorful fish in it.
It worked out fine.

Later, for a few decades, we had a 700 s.f. condo apartment, 2 bedroom, 1 bath, with street parking, family of 4.
The boys never complained.
It worked out fine.

Etc. . . . .
FWIW: Dolly Parton (country singer), grew up, family of 14 in a cabin in Tennessee.

Now, where it this concept going. . . . . :D :D

OP: Buy a house you can afford, and still save, in a good neighborhood, where you can make memories and turn it into a "home".
Whatever you and your spouse "feel is right for you and your lifestyle and your 'way of things' is fine.

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Ed_Sandwich
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by Ed_Sandwich »

Family of 4 in 1400 sq ft (2br townhome) here, and it has been perfect for us. Wouldn't want any less, but no complaints so far, though the kids are still young.

Some things you will need IMO are:

Two areas to hang out, like a living room plus a basement.

Two full bathrooms.

Good outdoor space with interesting things to walk to. This is really key if you have a smaller home.

We also have our space split over 3 levels, so you can really escape each other.

My wife was hesitant at first but now doesn't want anything bigger. Would be more to clean and cost more to heat. This may change when we have teenagers but right now they love to share a room and we never feel crowded. The one thing I would say is entertaining can be difficult in the winter, when we can't use our patio or outdoor space.
oldfort
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by oldfort »

4000 square feet is a lot, but you have to pay attention to what is and isn't included in the square footage. In general, an unfinished basement doesn't count toward square footage. You can buy a 3000 square foot house with a 1000 square foot basement, finish it, and then have a 4000 square foot house. Do you plan to entertain large groups of people?
Last edited by oldfort on Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
lostinjersey
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by lostinjersey »

I once read a rule of thumb of 500 sq ft/person + 500 sq ft. This has worked pretty well for us.

Of course, layout really matters.
corp_sharecropper
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by corp_sharecropper »

Pre-covid: our 1600 sq ft house was fine.

COVID: all I want is to disappear into a hole of peace and quiet and not come back out until I miss my wife & kids again (a few days minimum).

Yea... You could say I'm feeling claustrophobic. Next house is definitely gonna be bigger.
runner3081
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by runner3081 »

Our house of 1,900 square feet is too big for a family of 3. Somewhere between 1,400 to 1,600 would be better.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

The people I know who were happy with their homes pre-COVID now wish they had, not more SF, but more rooms that are acoustically separate from the others. Remote schooling and wfh are driving housing needs.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
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TxAg
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by TxAg »

mortfree wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:44 pm 2 full baths
3 bedrooms
2 car garage

Work around those basics.
We have that in less than 1700 sf with a 6 and 4 yr old. It works fine. We do want to enclose a back porch to have a dedicated mudroom....that would put us just shy of 1800 sf.

My mom grew up in a family of 10 in a house about the same size.
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Watty
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by Watty »

SVT wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:41 pm In your opinion or experience, what is a recommended size, or range of sizes, for a home for a young family with 1 or 2 young children (say newborn to toddler aged) who would like to ideally stay in the home for at least 15-20 years?
One problem when you have a huge house when you have young kids is that you may not hear them if they are crying or hurt when you are in another part of the house.

When they are teenagers a smaller house can also help enforce some closeness when you have a sulky teenager that might need some closeness. We bought a house when we had a kid in middle school and some of the huge houses that we saw when we were house hunting would not have worked at all since we would rarely have seen our kid.

The house we ended up buying has about 2,000 square feet but that is sort of misleading since maybe 400 of the square footage is a loft that is above the living room which is not real usable square footage. The house also has an unfinished basement which does not count in the square footage. It does not have a formal living room or a formal dining room which are often little used space in many homes.

Having an unfinished basement makes the rest of the house a lot more usable since you are not using the livable square footage for things like storage, laundry room, utilities, etc.

For us 2,000 square feet with an unfinished basement works pretty well.

SVT wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:41 pm It appears to be pretty hard or nearly impossible to find a new or newish home for less than 2500 sqft anymore.
Part of that is because if you are building a house from scratch it does not cost that more to add a second story or stretch out each of the dimensions a bit. A lot of the building costs are in things like site preparations, utilities, kitchens, and bathroom that do not depend a lot on the square footage.
Triple digit golfer
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by Triple digit golfer »

We are a 3 person family with a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath 1,900 square foot house. It is perfect. Sometimes I want bigger and other times I wish we went a little smaller and cheaper. So it's just right. Unfinished basement is an enormous help. Don't underestimate a basement. Also very thankful to have the extra bedroom as an office, especially while working from home.

So, roughly speaking, 2,000 square feet plus unfinished basement is perfect for us. It would be fine if we had another child, too.

1 bedroom is ours.
1 bedroom is our daughter's.
1 spare room for my mother in law from out of town (3-4 times a year for a week at a time) or any other overnight visitors (rare).
1 office.
sailaway
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by sailaway »

This is one of the most personal decisions that exist, but for the record, I agree with you. Most new builds are too big for me. Extra rooms to clean, everybody has their own hang out room in addition to the bedroom, so there is less family time... And I certainly don't understand having a formal dining room. It is kind of nice for family gatherings, but what about the other 363 days a year? And WCs?? Uh, those were for sneaking in bathrooms in old houses when you got indoor plumbing. Why would you separate the toilet from the sink with a door AS A DELIBERATE CHOICE?!?!

We were happy living on a 40' boat, until the commute got too bad. Now we have a roommate in a two bedroom condo because it was too big for us. (and we have the junior suite because the master has a WC!) His sister (2 kids) lives in a house with a master suite bigger than our entire condo. Our boat would fit in the great room, with space left to walk around it. Well, not the mast. We would have to take off the mast. Huh, seems we could fit BOTH of our homes in hers and still rent out half...

I think most Americans will choose something in between.
hmw
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by hmw »

We have the same problem in Texas. I found that the houses in my city with less than 3000 sq ft were just not very nice. We ended up buying a house close to 4000 sq ft. Ideally for a family of 3-4, I would aim for 2500 to 3500 sq ft.
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unclescrooge
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by unclescrooge »

Archimedes wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:06 pm 2500 square feet with 2.5 baths would be quite practical, yet sufficient for family comfort. 3500 square feet with 3.5 baths would be somewhat luxurious with plenty of extra space, some of which you probably won’t utilize. More than that is getting into the “who needs the extra maintenance and utilities“, but to each his or her own. Some like to own a trophy house, a symbol of their success. (Excess?)
+1

We live in 2500 of our house, which includes a 3 bed, 2.5 bath + office.
The downstairs 800 sqft is a complete 1bed apartment and is pretty luxurious. We redesigned it to rent out in the future.

But I am currently sleeping down there for safety reasons in this Covid 19 environment, so it's pretty handy.

I think 1,800 sq ft is adequate for most families. Smaller than 1,600 sq ft would be too tight for a family of 4 in my person opinion.
tiburblium
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by tiburblium »

We lived in a 1800sqft house in California, 2 kids, now in atlanta suburbs many houses are newer and larger. Our current house is 3600sqft or 5400sqft if you count the finished basement. We choose the house based on location and neighborhood, a smaller house would have been fine but none existed in our desired location
fasteddie911
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by fasteddie911 »

I too cannot understand needing or living in 4000sf homes. A 3bd/2ba around 1500-2000sf, well laid out, feels about right to me.
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Sandtrap
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by Sandtrap »

OP
Follow this concurrent forum thread regarding a new home.
Great input there as well.
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alfaspider
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by alfaspider »

Everyone has personal preferences, but I find a rule of thumb is that less than 500sq ft per person can feel cramped, while more than 1,000 sq ft per person can feel cold and institutional. Layout of house and number of bedrooms can matter, as well as things like ceiling height, outdoor space, and storage (garages, attics, basements, closets).
Mr.Chlorine
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by Mr.Chlorine »

I have a 3 bed 3 bath, around 2,000 sq ft home with 2 stall garage. Would guess a family of 4 could get by just fine.

Kids are the biggest wildcard in my opinion. For the midwest, my yard is quite small but there is a park close by that balances it out. The more time you/your family spends outside, the smaller your home can be. If you are more of an indoor person, then my home would get small. Also kind of hard to predict if your kids are newborn/toddler...
stoptothink
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by stoptothink »

3bdr/2.5 bath ~1450sq. ft for family of 4. We have no want for more space.
smitcat
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by smitcat »

Not so much when the kids are that young but more when they get older we have found that the range of 2000-2500 feet seems to be suitable for most anything. Thinking your 20 year timeframe would work with that in mind.
cableguy
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by cableguy »

These are the things I would shoot for:

Separate Living Room and Family Room (you'll want some social distancing from your kids sometimes.....)
1BR for each kid
A home office room
Basement (kids have friends over, want to have gym equipment, more storage, etc.)
2 Car Garage (at least one bay will be used to store bikes, tools, patio furniture, garbage and recycle cans, etc.)
Decent back yard so you can put up a jungle gym, have a catch, a patio, a hot tub, maybe a pool one day if you want, etc.
alfaspider
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by alfaspider »

cableguy wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:52 am
Basement (kids have friends over, want to have gym equipment, more storage, etc.)
Not a thing in many parts of the country.
finfire
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by finfire »

I don't really understand why kids have to have their own room, esp if they are young and/or the same sex.

3 bed, 2 bath here. 1700 sqft. Both kids share same room but they are young. Makes reading at night / putting to bed much easier..requires only 1 parent.

I think in colder areas a bigger house is needed. We now have 3/4 acre, so I encourage the kids to get outside as much as possible.
RudyS
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by RudyS »

Starter home 988 sqft, plus a sort of unfinished basement playroom) worked fine for a while. After second kid came along, we moved to 2188 sqft 2 story with unfinished basement. Four BR: 1 per kid, 1 for us, one "office/den. Hall bath with double lavatory, and master bath (no tub). Half bath on main floor. First floor had dining room, family rook, and formal living room. Plus kitchen. Screened in porch , lovely back yard. Worked from when kids were 1st grade / kg until we just moved to a CCRC a year ago. (About 40 years). The savings over what would have been the cost of a huge house made our move to a CCRC possible. Would have been nice to expand the kitchen a bit, but otherwise, worked just fine.
alfaspider
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by alfaspider »

finfire wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:53 am I don't really understand why kids have to have their own room, esp if they are young and/or the same sex.

When they are very young (baby-preschooler) one will wake the other up in the night, which means you have two kids to put back to sleep at 3AM if one wakes up. Then, if they are close in age, there's a 5 year window (give or take) when they'd be fine together. After that, they will want their own space for privacy- same gender or not. Plus, kids tend to accumulate a LOT of stuff through gifts.

Of course they don't NEED their own space- they will live. But it makes it easier for the parents. If you plan on staying in a house for a long time, it makes sense to have the space if you can afford it.
cableguy
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by cableguy »

My two sons share a room. They are now 19 and 16. The 19 year old had to come home early from college. I have two large boys, trying to study from home, the 19 year old also got a work from home corp internship. Man do I wish they had their own rooms!
Dottie57
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by Dottie57 »

I grew up in a 1100 sqft home (main floor)with 4 people. Basement partially finshed with no insulation and pine paneling. It was our family room. Don’t overbuy.
mathwhiz
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by mathwhiz »

sailaway wrote: Wed Jun 10, 2020 9:17 pm This is one of the most personal decisions that exist, but for the record, I agree with you. Most new builds are too big for me. Extra rooms to clean, everybody has their own hang out room in addition to the bedroom, so there is less family time... And I certainly don't understand having a formal dining room. It is kind of nice for family gatherings, but what about the other 363 days a year? And WCs?? Uh, those were for sneaking in bathrooms in old houses when you got indoor plumbing. Why would you separate the toilet from the sink with a door AS A DELIBERATE CHOICE?!?!
I think with more people working remotely from home now, perhaps even permanently, space will be at a premium. 4 bedrooms and a study for a married couple with 2 kids can easily be utilized.

I agree that the formal dining room is usually wasted space. I rather have a living/dining room casual open space with the formal dining room used for a spare bedroom or office. The vast, and I mean, vast majority of dinners in our family (99%+) are extremely casual with people eating at the kitchen bar/table, or in front of the TV.

The seperate toilet rooms in a master bath are for privacy in case one partner has to do their business while the other partner is brushing their teeth or getting dressed. It helps a lot with odor reduction too. It's a very nice feature!
sailaway
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by sailaway »

mathwhiz wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:24 am
The seperate toilet rooms in a master bath are for privacy in case one partner has to do their business while the other partner is brushing their teeth or getting dressed. It helps a lot with odor reduction too. It's a very nice feature!
Neither of us requires that much privacy. We have been known to follow each other to the bathroom so that we don't have to pause a good conversation.

It is NOT a nice feature if you have menorrhagia, but even for everyone else, it is unhygienic to have a door between the toilet and the sink. I can get the ones with a little alcove, rather than a door, even if I don't like them.
oldfort
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by oldfort »

finfire wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:53 am I don't really understand why kids have to have their own room, esp if they are young and/or the same sex.

3 bed, 2 bath here. 1700 sqft. Both kids share same room but they are young. Makes reading at night / putting to bed much easier..requires only 1 parent.

I think in colder areas a bigger house is needed. We now have 3/4 acre, so I encourage the kids to get outside as much as possible.
Unless they’re very young, foster parents are required to house opposite sex siblings in separate bedrooms. While the legal requirement may not apply to the OP, it does reflect a societal belief opposite sex siblings should have separate bedrooms.
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LilyFleur
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by LilyFleur »

Dottie57 wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:19 am I grew up in a 1100 sqft home (main floor)with 4 people. Basement partially finshed with no insulation and pine paneling. It was our family room. Don’t overbuy.
When I was married, I had a house with 2100 square feet. My children and I loved having their friends over. One birthday party sleepover took over the entire upstairs with pre-teen girls sleeping wall to wall. A good time was had by all. Later, after the divorce, I moved to a condo near the beach that was 1037 sf. My son brought friends home from college for spring break. We had wall-to-wall people sleeping in the living room and my son's room. I baked them my homemade bread. A good time was had by all.
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LilyFleur
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by LilyFleur »

alfaspider wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:01 am
finfire wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:53 am I don't really understand why kids have to have their own room, esp if they are young and/or the same sex.

When they are very young (baby-preschooler) one will wake the other up in the night, which means you have two kids to put back to sleep at 3AM if one wakes up. Then, if they are close in age, there's a 5 year window (give or take) when they'd be fine together. After that, they will want their own space for privacy- same gender or not. Plus, kids tend to accumulate a LOT of stuff through gifts.

Of course they don't NEED their own space- they will live. But it makes it easier for the parents. If you plan on staying in a house for a long time, it makes sense to have the space if you can afford it.
During elementary school, my boy and girl chose to sleep in the twin beds in my son's room. Then when my daughter hit puberty, she started sleeping in her own room.

Regarding the accumulation of gifts, about a month before Christmas, the kids and I would clean their rooms together and donate to charity. They would make their own choices of what to donate. I talked to them about the poor children that wouldn't receive much at Christmas and how it would be good to share, since my children would be blessed to be receiving a bunch of new things at Christmas.
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luminous
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by luminous »

This is a really subjective question. We have a family of 4 in a 1300 square foot apartment with 4 bedrooms, 1 bathroom. That spare bedroom is now my WFH office. Sometimes we wish we had a second bathroom, but we get by. The layout is very efficient, that matters a lot.

Most importantly to us the kids can walk to school, we are close to bus and train stops, and I have a short 2 mile bike to the downtown area where my current, past, and future employer offices are.
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milktoast
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by milktoast »

We (myself, spouse, 19yr old daughter, 17yr old daughter) live in a huge 3800 sqft house. So take what I say with a grain of salt.

The size of the house doesn't matter. What matters is that I am happiest with lots of natural light. And I need a bathtub when my seasonal depression is killing me. My wife needs to grow things in the yard and snuggle with her dog on the couch.

Our kids need a little bit of privacy. But more importantly they need parents whose emotional needs are met. And the biggest emotional need is financial security.

So what size? Smaller than you can afford.
Broken Man 1999
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Most of the DDs Jr HS and Sr HS years were at our current house, 2800sqft.

Our house was probably the largest house among the DDs friends, so we saw a lot of sleepovers and gatherings. That was great, we always knew where they were, and who they were with. Every Friday during football season cheerleaders and band members came over for pizza before the game.

The nicest thing about a large house is the ability to find a quiet corner to read, or chill. Or, one big enough to have a bunch of people enjoying each other's company.

Now a 2800sqft home for just the two of us isn't needed; but a mortgage-free home, with capped property taxes, and a great neighborhood is sweet!

Broken Man 1999
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stoptothink
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by stoptothink »

LilyFleur wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:35 pm
alfaspider wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:01 am
finfire wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:53 am I don't really understand why kids have to have their own room, esp if they are young and/or the same sex.

When they are very young (baby-preschooler) one will wake the other up in the night, which means you have two kids to put back to sleep at 3AM if one wakes up. Then, if they are close in age, there's a 5 year window (give or take) when they'd be fine together. After that, they will want their own space for privacy- same gender or not. Plus, kids tend to accumulate a LOT of stuff through gifts.

Of course they don't NEED their own space- they will live. But it makes it easier for the parents. If you plan on staying in a house for a long time, it makes sense to have the space if you can afford it.
During elementary school, my boy and girl chose to sleep in the twin beds in my son's room. Then when my daughter hit puberty, she started sleeping in her own room.

Regarding the accumulation of gifts, about a month before Christmas, the kids and I would clean their rooms together and donate to charity. They would make their own choices of what to donate. I talked to them about the poor children that wouldn't receive much at Christmas and how it would be good to share, since my children would be blessed to be receiving a bunch of new things at Christmas.
My kids (8yr old girl and 5yr old boy) refuse to sleep in separate rooms. Really, our #1 go-to punishment is having them sleep in separate rooms. So, in our 3bdr ~1450sq. ft home, we have a totally unused bedroom (which my in-laws have used off-and-on, for up to 6 months at a time). Still not close to the situation I grew up in: 7 of us in 2bdrs/1 bath <1000 sq. ft.
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LilyFleur
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Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:36 pm

Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by LilyFleur »

stoptothink wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:16 pm
LilyFleur wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:35 pm
alfaspider wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:01 am
finfire wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:53 am I don't really understand why kids have to have their own room, esp if they are young and/or the same sex.

When they are very young (baby-preschooler) one will wake the other up in the night, which means you have two kids to put back to sleep at 3AM if one wakes up. Then, if they are close in age, there's a 5 year window (give or take) when they'd be fine together. After that, they will want their own space for privacy- same gender or not. Plus, kids tend to accumulate a LOT of stuff through gifts.

Of course they don't NEED their own space- they will live. But it makes it easier for the parents. If you plan on staying in a house for a long time, it makes sense to have the space if you can afford it.
During elementary school, my boy and girl chose to sleep in the twin beds in my son's room. Then when my daughter hit puberty, she started sleeping in her own room.

Regarding the accumulation of gifts, about a month before Christmas, the kids and I would clean their rooms together and donate to charity. They would make their own choices of what to donate. I talked to them about the poor children that wouldn't receive much at Christmas and how it would be good to share, since my children would be blessed to be receiving a bunch of new things at Christmas.
My kids (8yr old girl and 5yr old boy) refuse to sleep in separate rooms. Really, our #1 go-to punishment is having them sleep in separate rooms. So, in our 3bdr ~1450sq. ft home, we have a totally unused bedroom (which my in-laws have used off-and-on, for up to 6 months at a time). Still not close to the situation I grew up in: 7 of us in 2bdrs/1 bath <1000 sq. ft.
It was a sweet time of life, when they were little and we read bedtime stories all together in my son's room. Enjoy it!!
livesoft
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by livesoft »

We bought a home based not on size for our needs, but based on what we thought we could sell easily if we wanted to. That is, we bought our home based on what we thought others would want in the future. While we have not sold our home, we think it would not be any problem selling it today. We have 4 br, 3.5 ba, 2 car garage in 3000+ sq ft. We could certainly live in a smaller home and a larger home easily. In 26 years, our home value has not kept up with inflation, so we would not make a killing if we sold it.
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FI4LIFE
Posts: 505
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:27 am

Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by FI4LIFE »

A less than ideal sized home can be great with a fantastic neighborhood and usable backyard. I don't like anything over 2800 square feet due to maintenance. If I could afford to hire everything out I would probably feel differently.

We are making due in a 3 br, 1.5 bath 2300 sq ft home with a 5 person household but our kids are getting older and we are missing another full bath and would prefer another bedroom. The square footage is fine. If we had a great backyard we would stay put but will probably be house shopping next year. Moving is a lot of work so buy something you can grow into.
veindoc
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:04 pm

Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by veindoc »

Interestingly with these large houses the number of rooms don’t really change. There may be one or two extra bathrooms and perhaps a family and living room. But typically it still only has 4 bedrooms. What changes is how big the rooms are. Our master bathroom is the size of a bedroom. Laundry room same. Our kitchen island is five feet long with ample room to move around it. If you have a lot of stuff or like to accumulate stuff then a large house would work. If you are not an accumulator then 2000-2500sq feet works fine.
_Soundwave_
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:00 pm

Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by _Soundwave_ »

Floor plan/layout makes the most difference. But a 4/2 give you a lot of flexibility.

We are mid/early 30’s expecting our first child with a 2000 sqft 4/2. Very affordable and a great split-wing, open-concept floor plan.

We have a dedicated office/den as a second adult/private space, a guest room, AND a dedicated room for the kid to be. A 1/2 bath would be a nice addition, but isn’t needed. A third bay in the garage would be nice, but again, isn’t a requirement. It gets quite warm in the summer, so a covered patio and a decent yard will be great.

If we have a second child we will convert the guest room into another kid bedroom.
_Soundwave_
Posts: 23
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Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by _Soundwave_ »

veindoc wrote: Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:46 pm Interestingly with these large houses the number of rooms don’t really change. There may be one or two extra bathrooms and perhaps a family and living room. But typically it still only has 4 bedrooms. What changes is how big the rooms are. Our master bathroom is the size of a bedroom. Laundry room same. Our kitchen island is five feet long with ample room to move around it. If you have a lot of stuff or like to accumulate stuff then a large house would work. If you are not an accumulator then 2000-2500sq feet works fine.
Layout layout layout. 2000 sqft can be a huge space if it’s well designed.
hoffse
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:47 am

Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by hoffse »

Depends on your preferences and what you need/want.

We have about 4,000 sq ft on a pretty private acre. The basement is mostly finished and included in that square footage count. Our basement has a small bedroom with a small, full bathroom. We use that "bedroom" as a gym, and it allows us to work out at odd times of the day while my kid is sleeping. The basement also has a play room for toys, so they don't really migrate to the rest of the house. The play room opens to the back yard, and our kid spends all day running in and out.

Most importantly, the basement has poured concrete, and it has a tornado safe room. This is relevant where we live. You may not need a feature like that.

We have 4 bedrooms on the top floor, and a bonus room. The master and the guest room both have en suite bathrooms. We do need a guest room, as we have overnight guests 2-3 times per month, and an en suite bath is very nice for guests. You may not need a guest room. The other two bedrooms are the "kid" rooms, and they share a bath. Right now we have one kid, but we plan for two with a 4-5 year age gap, so we wanted separate kid bedrooms since the kiddos would likely be on different sleep schedules for much of their childhoods. We will grow into this floor plan. The bonus room is our home office, and it's critical for our work. This WFH experience with covid has been tolerable because we have an office that is out of the "traffic" from the rest of the house.

The main floor is the only place with arguably wasted space. We have a formal dining room in addition to our breakfast room. It's not strictly necessary, but I really love a formal dining room for holidays and large parties (which we do host a few times per year when covid is not an issue). A dining room was not a deal-breaker thing for me, but it was high on my "nice to have" list, and I view it as a bonus instead of a drawback. We also have a small formal living room that we use as a music room. We have a piano, violin, flute, marimba, and several clarinets that live in that room. It's near the family room action, but set apart and easy to gate off from our toddler. That formal living space would be wasted space for most people, but for us it served clear purpose. My husband got tired of me asking, "Where do I put the piano?" in every other house we looked at, and when we got to this one he said, "The piano goes right there!" It sure did. You, however, may not need or want a music room.

I don't need anything bigger, but I'm happy we don't have anything smaller. YMMV.
ballons
Posts: 441
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:05 pm

Re: What Size Home For A Family?

Post by ballons »

McMansions exist to show off wealth and are a blight on neighborhoods. Larger homes = higher roofing costs, more expensive cooling/heating bills, more cleaning, higher maintenance, etc.

Focus on floor plan. I would say 500sqft per person + 500sqft if you work from home.
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