From cars to computers, a new trend is sweeping American consumers: Smaller is better. And homes are no exception, with less square footage helping meet goals ranging from financial frugality to environmental friendliness.
So if you're looking to save money or just have a smaller ecological footprint, here are five ways a smaller home could save you money.
A larger home means a bigger down payment, a larger mortgage and all the financial headaches that come with a large amount of debt. Smaller homes are generally cheaper. And since you're aren't paying for as much square footage, you may be able to get some unique features or a more technologically advanced home for the same price.
When you have less space to heat and cool, your energy bills naturally fall. Factor in that you have fewer rooms to stock with televisions, cable boxes and other electricity-sucking appliances, and your savings could be even higher.
If you can find the right ones, small homes are often built with a greater eye on efficiency, helping the heating and cooling systems do a better job on less energy.
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Moving to a smaller home can be a great time to downsize. Having a ton of storage space is great, except when you're storing things that you haven't used or even looked through since you graduated from college.
When you have less things, you'll spend less on upkeep.
Less real estate to maintain means lower repair bills and more affordable upgrades. With fewer windows, it's easier to find the money to replace them all with Energy Star panes. With a smaller roof, re-roofing carries a smaller price tag, and you might even be able to squeeze a couple solar panels out of your Energy Efficient Mortgage.
A smaller home can encourage a healthier style of living. Without the ability to disappear to some distant corner of the home, the cozier floor plan can increase family interaction and deepen family bonds.
And with less space indoors, a small home can put more emphasis on outdoor activity. When you're outside more often and more active, you're healthier, leading to long-term savings in the form of lower medical bills.
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