The American Dream often suggests having a large home is the best way to show the world that you “made it.” The large home with the white picket fence that fits your spouse, a pet, and 2.5 children really is the dream, right? Yet, recent changes in the housing market argue that having a small home has benefits of its own.


That’s right, big homes might not be all they’re hyped up to be. While having more square footage will give you more flexibility, there are a lot of unique advantages of owning a smaller space. In this guide, we’ll break down the differences and benefits of having a small home vs. a big home so you can choose what’s best for you.



Benefits of a smaller home vs a bigger home | Cottage


The Rise of Tiny Living

It would be hard to talk about the benefits of having a small home vs. a big home without talking about the tiny living movement. What exactly is this movement? Basically, in a world where large homes are increasingly expensive to afford, buyers are looking to downsize in a big way.


People are choosing to live small as a way to gain footing on the housing latter, increase mobility, and save money for other things. While this might just mean choosing a small home, it could also relate to extremes like tiny homes. With the recent success of TV shows like Tiny House Nation, its no wonder this tiny living movement is becoming so popular. Who said you needed a huge home to pack in big benefits? Basically, people are okay having less space if it means greater savings in other areas of their lives.



Benefits of Living in a Smaller Home

Aside from the tiny living movement, what are the benefits of choosing a smaller home over a bigger home? According to the U.S. Census, homes have been getting larger. In 1950, homes were an average of 983 square feet. In 2010, this average more than doubled to almost 2,400 square feet. That’s a huge increase!


With square footage on the rise in so many places, why would you choose a smaller home? Here are the main benefits:


  • Energy Savings – Smaller homes simply cost less to run. Because there’s less space to heat and cool, it’s much less expensive when your energy bill comes around.
  • Less Expensive – Of course, the home itself will also be less expensive. Smaller homes are less expensive to purchase and less expensive to live in. This means they’re a great choice for smaller families and first-time buyers.
  • Cozier – Have you ever been to a home that had too much empty space? All of that space needs to be filled somehow, and it can lead to a sense of discomfort. There’s a sense of coziness that comes with having a smaller home filled modestly.
  • Less Cleaning and Maintenance – Larger homes are more likely to have expensive repairs and require extensive cleaning. Smaller space means less to clean and less to maintain.
  • More Charm – Finally, smaller homes are less likely to be cookie-cutter, giving them their own unique charm and history.


Smaller homes tend to be in more urban spaces or closer to the action of the city. This is ideal for small families who don’t need extra space, those who live modestly, or just people trying to afford a home for the first time.



Benefits of a Larger Home

While we can all agree there are great benefits to owning a smaller home, what about owning a bigger home? There’s got to be some inspiration behind that American Dream we talked about earlier. Why do so many people dream of owning larger homes?


  • Newer – Larger homes are usually newer. New homes today, particularly in home development communities, are built larger.
  • Larger Families – Larger families simply have more room to spread out in a larger space.
  • Entertaining – Small homes aren’t great for entertaining. With a bigger space, you can host parties, invite guests, and plan events.
  • Outdoor Space – While not always the case, bigger homes usually come with bigger outdoor space, and this can be a big plus for some families.
  • Resale Value – The demand for more space is going up, so you’ll likely experience a higher resale value on a home with more square footage.


Larger homes are usually a better fit for those who want to live in the suburbs or who have a larger family. They’re also great for people who love to entertain and need that extra space. But remember, all of that space will take more energy and maintenance.



Should You Choose a Smaller or Larger Home?

What home is best for your needs? As you can see from this benefits guide above, it’s not always clear which option is best. While the tiny living movement is inspiring people to think small when it comes to their own space, there’s still a large push towards building bigger homes.


Ultimately, it will come down to your goals and lifestyle. What matters more to you? Do you need a large space that’s fit for a large family? Or would you rather downsize and put that money towards something else that matters to you? The choice is yours.