Thursday, September 11, 2008

Is it time to downsize that big house?

Friends of ours, as their small business grew, moved up into a large, spacious house with a big deck and yard overlooking a creek. Business is still good, but this month they are moving back to the smaller house they used to live in.

The VP of Common Sense has from time to time floated the idea that we downsize our house as well. "Wouldn't it be great to live in a nice little Cape?"

And today's New York Times profiles people who are radically downsizing into "tiny homes" that measure 100 sq ft or less.

Rising energy prices and carbon-awareness are certainly impacting this thinking, but there are other factors as well. Bigger houses mean more stuff--furniture, wall hangings, rugs, toys (if you have kids). Keeping them clean is hard to do yourself. Maintenance costs are higher. And neighborhoods can be a factor--our friends found that their large-home neighborhood was too quiet. They rarely saw their neighbors, there weren't kids around. It was lonely.

The "little Cape" discussions in our house usually don't last long. But they keep coming back. Who knows? If you come visit us someday, you may have to sleep on the living-room couch.