Circa 1973 a popular book called “Small is Beautiful” made a splash. That title, and its subtext “A study of economics as if people mattered” can prompt some helpful real life real estate thoughts.
Is small beautiful in a home? My overused (and lovingly ridiculed, but usually correct) answer is: It depends.
While I can’t speak for economics, homes certainly should be built “as if people mattered” and should serve those who live in them. Sometimes small is beautiful; other times bigger is much better.
One client is currently strategizing about how to downsize in a big way. His spacious dream home is no longer his dream. On the outside (and inside too) it is the perfect home, and it’s hard to imagine what else he could want. What he wants is less. Less to take care of, less to pay for, and even less space to spread out in. Small is beautiful for this client.
Another is in the process of a lateral move in terms of square feet, but those square feet are arranged in a way much more suitable to what matters to them. Some would feel it too small for a family of their size, but they know what matters to them and this little house, especially its yard, are just what they need. Small is beautiful here too.
But small has its drawbacks. A little condo, perfect for two, does not accommodate houseguests. And houseguests would be especially handy now that two have become three, and that third could use a helping hand. When the time is right, bigger will be better, but that time is down the road.
Even with less than ideal space, flexibility and creativity can come to the rescue. In this case, the condo owners opted to become the guests, rather than host them. Call me an optimist, but silver linings can happen and small became beautiful here too.
Our own just-right space is being put to new, temporary and very good use as a very small boy rests his head under our just-right roof. That is about as beautiful as it gets for this grandmother.