September 20, 2018
What is the right sized house plan? That might seem like a simple question, but it all depends on what year you ask that question. You might even say it depends on the needs of the owner, but again it would depend on what year you ask the owner that question.
Over the past 19 years the trend of house size has gone upwards. Back in 1999 the average size of a new single family home was about 2100 square feet. The average size continued to increase all the way through 2008, peaking around 2500 square feet.
It is no surprise that after 2008 there was a sharp decline in house size, as most people were either not building, or choosing to build smaller more affordable homes. However around 2011 the average size had bottomed out around 2400 square feet and began to clime again.
Right now, according to data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, median single-family square floor area was slightly lower at 2371 square feet. Average square footage for new single-family homes declined to 2571 square feet.
As you can see from the chart above, despite the ups and downs, the overall trend is upwards. This trend should be taken into account when looking for a house plan. And here is why that upward trend is important.
According to the National Association of Realtors from 1985 until 2008, the average tenure in a new home was six years. However, after 2008 the average time has increased almost 50%. Right now you can expect to be in your home for an average of 10 years!.
They always say do not over build or over upgrade a home. Building a multi-million dollar home in a neighborhood where the average home sells for $300,000 is not a good investment. The same goes for the size of your new home, regardless of location. Building too small now, could have big consequences in the future.
All indications are that the trend towards larger single family homes will continue. Building a "right sized" home today will ensure that 10 years down the road the size of your home will hold relevance to the desirable part of the market.
To that end we would recommend a few homes that fall right in that sweet spot size-wise. The Oakleigh Court is an ideal choice. It has 2900 square feet of living space, just above the average today. It has an open floor plan in the great room kitchen area. By contrast it also has private baths for its two guest suites, creating plenty of areas for seclusion.
The Oakleigh Court house plan is extremely versatile. The study can be converted into a fourth bedroom. While the covered porch and the outdoor kitchen lend themselves very well to a pool addition. The over-sized two car garage, large utility room, and the walk-in pantry make this a very desirable floor plan.
So, what is the right sized house plan? The answer is one that works for the size, and lifestyle, of your family. While at the same time keeping an eye on what the home size trend is now, and where it will be in 5 to 10 years. Looking at the data today, and the predicted trends for the future – the right-size (generally speaking of course) would be between 2400 and 3500 square feet. As of this writing we offer about 185 home plans in that range.
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