The one interesting thing about being a minimalist is that I believe we all come to the question of the size of our homes. Through the process of continually reducing the amount of stuff in our homes we learn that we are living in more space than we actually need. We currently live in a house that is 1760 square feet that has 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms. We actively us 2 bathrooms and just one bedroom. When we opted for the extra two bedroom and bathroom we were thinking about guests, but the reality is that we seldom get quests. So there is about 500 square feet of our home that is pretty much going to waste. It is space that we have to heat in the winter and cool in the summer. Is it worth it? Would it be more affordable to help our guests out with the cost of a hotel room when they do stay? This principle can also be applied to our large kitchen. We have cabinets and drawers that are completely empty.
When you get rid of things that you don’t need or absolutely love at one point you will find yourself in this situation. As we plan our move to Florida we will be very mindful of this and understand that we can live very comfortably in a smaller space. Of course another advantage of this is overall cost. As most people, including myself we have to take out a mortgage to purchase a home. In most cases and depending on where you decide to buy a home 1000 square feet is much cheaper than 1800 square feet. This means there is the opportunity for a smaller mortgage payment or even a loan for less years. A 15 year mortgage vs a 30 year mortgage is a huge difference in overall cost savings. And in most cases the 15 year mortgage has a lower interest rate.
On a larger scale the energy required to maintain a smaller home is so much less which reduces your carbon foot print. With a growing population there is no way the world could possible keep up with the demand and eventually prices will rise even higher on things like oil, electricity and natural gas. When you think about it this way the trend will be towards smaller living spaces. Why not jump on ship now?
In the past 20 years or so the trend has been towards larger homes, which means that if you are in a position to purchase a home your choices are limited to between 1800 square feet and 2400 square feet on average. In fact many people who are opting to own a smaller home are purchasing older homes that were built back in the 1930’s and electing to renovate those homes, but there are only so many available and they are usually in older neighborhoods that are quite expensive. I believe that this may be one of the reasons towards the “Tiny House” trend where people are choosing to live in a house built on a trailer or even living in an RV. In many cities we are starting to see “Eco Friendly” condo’s complexes being built as people are demanding to live in city’s closer to work in a limited space.
In the next 10 years I predict that there will be whole communities built in the eco friendly sense with houses that are no more than 1000 square feet and will be equipped with solar technology and space efficiency. Or maybe even a community windmill that is shared by those homes in the community. Things are changing and I do welcome all of these idea’s with open arms. I am sure others currently practicing minimalism have also thought about things like these. It is us who will be the trend setters, but in most cases we are not the one’s who will be in the position to actually make this type of change. Most of us are simply not in the position to build our own homes or starting a whole community of eco friendly homes and I think this is another reason for the tiny homes and rv’s. It will have to be a group of investor’s and developers who see the potential to make money with an idea like this. But as long as there are still people who demand larger homes the developers will always opt for building this way as the profits are much higher. It will take a small group of young developers, architects and investors to realize the opportunity that is available and are satisfied with a lower profit margin to get things rolling. Or maybe just one person who has been lucky enough to earn a great deal of money to make the decision to purchase some acreage of land and start the process himself. This would fall right in line with idea of community gardening and even retirement living.
It would be a dream for me it I could actually do this myself, but the reality is that one of the reasons we live a minimalist lifestyle is to allow us to work less and have more free time to do those things we love. So most of us our income is limited. Has anyone else thought about these things? If so I would love if you shared your idea’s.
My wife had a rough day at work yesterday and popped a Trader Joe’s Lasagna in the over for dinner. Once again I had the opportunity to throw together a salad but instead gave in to the Pasta meal. End result: High Blood Sugar. End of Story. I am taking a break from the bowflex today and will settle for just the treadmill as I feel a little discomfort in my shoulders. I am making the choice to heal.
Blood Sugar- 106, Weight- 170.6
Treadmill- 20 Minutes
Breakfast- Cottage Cheese
Dinner- Steak, Salad