As the world changes and lifestyles evolve, so do our needs and wants when it comes to the size of our living spaces. And when it comes to how much square footage you need in a home, the answer largely depends on who you ask.
According to some, the days of sprawling mansions may be behind us, but others argue that the trend of tiny homes is not for everyone. Many people say having enough room to grow is essential, but you might not want so much square footage that you feel like you’re simply filling unused space.
So how do you determine how much square footage is right for you?
In this blog, we’ll explore various factors influencing your decision, such as your lifestyle, family size, budget, and location. Whether you’re ready to upgrade your space or you’re looking to downsize, this blog is for you.
What is a Square Foot?
A square foot is a unit of measurement that equates to the flat space contained within a square with sides measuring one foot in length. In other words, one square foot is an area that is 12 inches by 12 inches.
In real estate, square footage measures the amount of flat space covering a specific area (such as an entire home or a single room). If a house is 1,200 square feet, then there are 1,200 “units” that measure 12 inches by 12 inches.
Square footage is used to determine the amount of available space in a home (or room).
How to Calculate Square Footage
Square footage is a measurement of area and can be calculated by multiplying the length of a room by its width.
For example, let’s say you want to know the square footage of your living room. It measures 12 feet by 10 feet, so you will multiply 12 by 10. The living room has a square footage of 120 sq. feet.
Usually, square footage is used to describe the total area of an entire home. In those cases, all the rooms’ square footage is simply added together to get a grand total. It’s important to note that garages (and other unfinished spaces such as attics and basements) are not counted towards the total square footage of a home.
How Much Square Footage Do I Need?
If you do a quick online search for “how many square feet per person” or “how much square footage for one person,” you’ll quickly discover that there is a vast range of opinions. Some sources will say that 600 to 700 square feet are plenty of space for one person, while other estimates are closer to 1,000 square feet per person.
Why is there so much variation? Ultimately, several factors can determine how much square footage you need in a home, and all of them are highly personal. What works for one person may be far too small or large for another.
When you’re searching for your next home, you’ll want to consider the following:
- Who will live in the house (are you living alone, with a partner, or with a family/roommates?)
- Your plans for the future (will this be a long-term residence?)
- Your personal preferences (do you prefer larger spaces or smaller, cozy areas?)
- Whether or not you have specific furniture pieces to accommodate
In addition to the basics above, factors such as your lifestyle, family size, budget, and even the property’s layout will play an important part. Let’s take a closer look at each of these key considerations to get a clearer idea of how much square footage is needed in your next home.
First and foremost, how you plan to use the space significantly impacts your ideal square footage. Your lifestyle is key in deciding the type of home that will best suit your needs, including the amount of space you need.
For example, if you are a minimalist that tends to spend more time out than at home (at work, socializing, etc.), you might require less space than a homebody that prefers to host friends and family in their own home. For those that work from home, having ample space to create an office area is a must; however, people that go into the office every day may not need any kind of at-home workspace.
One of the best ways to evaluate your lifestyle and home needs is to create a list of “must-have” spaces based on what you want and need to be able to do at home.
Here are a few examples of “zones” or “spaces” that might be included on your list:
- A home office
- A space to exercise at home (for example, a separate gym room or just enough space for a treadmill, spin bike, etc.)
- A guest room
- A hobby room or storage for personal collections
- Space for a formal dining area, especially if you frequently entertain/host gatherings
- A playroom and/or homework room for children/teens
- A spacious pantry
Every individual will have their own ideas about what they want in their ideal home, so make sure to create a list based on what you need.
Of course, one of the most obvious determining factors in calculating ideal square footage is the size of your family (or how many people will be living in the home). A single person living alone generally needs much less square footage than a growing family with multiple children.
If you plan to be living alone, consider what the future may hold. Although a compact studio apartment may seem sufficient for the time being, choosing a property that gives you the space for life circumstances to change is often a far wiser investment. For example, you may be single now, but you could find yourself with a partner and child within the next five years. Or, if you are currently a parent with plans to grow your family, it’s likely worth investing in a property with extra square footage.
You might want to find a larger property with ample space for roommates, or you might simply want a spacious home to enjoy your own hobbies. There’s no “right” or “wrong” answer; however, keep in mind that the more people that will be living with you, the more square footage you will need.
In most cases, high square footage equals higher costs – a higher monthly rent, higher utilities, and extra expenses to furnish the extra space. For many people, the increased cost is well worth the space. And generally, how much square footage you need will significantly impact your ideal budget.
Be sure to think about the value of a property, not just the price.
For example, let’s say you are comparing two properties, one of which costs $150 more monthly. Will your quality of life be significantly better in the slightly more expensive home? If so, it is probably the best option (assuming it fits within your budget parameters). You might even consider tightening your budget elsewhere to accommodate a higher rent cost; perhaps you decide to dine out less frequently to enjoy a spacious home.
Finally, the layout of each property can have a surprising impact on how well it serves your needs.
It’s not always about the size of your living space – sometimes, even a large house or apartment can feel cramped and inconvenient. On the other hand, a well-planned, average-sized space can be a joy to live in. Even if two different homes have the exact same square footage, one may have an open floor plan that makes it feel more spacious. When considering a new living space, look closely at how it’s laid out and arranged to see if it fits your needs well.
One crucial factor to consider is the placement of rooms, hallways, and closets. If you’re sharing the space with someone else, a split floor plan can be a great option, with bedrooms on opposite sides of the living space for added privacy and space. Additionally, the placement of windows is also essential to consider, especially if you value natural light.
As you weigh your options, look at the outdoor spaces as well. Patios and balconies can be great for entertaining or relaxing but may be less important to others.
When reviewing floor plans, it’s essential to focus on the kind of spaces offered rather than just the square footage. Take a close look at all the features and amenities available to make an informed decision that best suits your lifestyle and needs.
Average Home Size and Square Footage Trends
In general, the home size in America far surpasses the average square footage in other countries. And here in Texas, our homes are larger and more spacious than those in other U.S. states – as the old saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas.
According to U.S. data, the average newly-built home in 2021 was about 2,485 square feet. The size of American homes has doubled since 1975, but trends have started to shift in the last five years. In many parts of the U.S., a growing number of people are considering ways to downsize, which includes moving into slightly smaller homes.
Interestingly, many other shifts are affecting how and where we live. The built-to-rent movement has introduced an entirely new option, offering the best of both worlds: large, luxurious rental properties in master-planned communities, complete with professional property management services. So, many people are looking towards single-family rentals as a way to balance convenience and quality. These built-to-rent communities provide all the perks of home ownership without the hassles.
Wan Bridge Homes Square Footage Options
Wan Bridge is a leading build-to-rent developer, transforming the Texas real estate market for the better. With more than a dozen build to rent communities in Houston, Dallas, and Austin – and many more in the process of being built – we make it easy to get everything you want from a rental home, including spacious, well-planned layouts to suit your needs.
The square footage of our Texas homes varies, but all of our floorplans have been thoughtfully designed to provide the ultimate flexibility. We have communities with homes with 1,400 square feet of living space and those with properties that total well over 2,500 square feet. Additionally, many of our properties boast expansive outdoor spaces, with homes situated on oversized lots.
Beyond your property, you’ll also find an outstanding variety of amenities to enjoy in your Wan Bridge community. Community parks, walking trails, and recreational spaces are plentiful, and many of our communities are just a short drive away from regional highlights. So, whether you feel like staying home or venturing out, you can look forward to an excellent quality of life.
Find a Home for Rent with the Square Footage You Need
Wan Bridge homes are designed with our residents in mind, providing a variety of options to choose from. Whether you want extra room to grow or are trying to simplify your space, we have homes for rent that will exceed your expectations.
For more information about currently available rentals, contact the Wan Bridge team today!