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prescottman2008's avatar

Would you be comfortable in an 800 sq.ft. house?

Asked by prescottman2008 (775points) June 7th, 2010

I’ve been researching small houses and micro-houses and think they are so cool. I know the current trend for the US is houses to be over 2400 sq.ft. I grew up in a large house, 4000 sq. ft. on a 3 acre lot. I have a wife and 3 children and we’re very comfortable in a 1500 sq. ft. house on ¼ acre. After we retire and the kids are gone I think I’d rather have less house and more yard. What are your thoughts on small and micro houses?

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32 Answers

MissA's avatar

Go for it. Live simply, think profoundly.

lilikoi's avatar

I would. If it is on a 5 acre lot. I like less house and more yard, too. It always pains me to see people knocking down old homes around town and building all the way out to the property lines or setbacks.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

My husband’s grandparents raised 7 kids in a camelback shotgun house, similar to this one, but with a second floor bedroom on the back. They all made it to Mass every morning, before school, and 5 of the 7 kids graduated from college.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Right now, we live in an apartment that’s 800 sf – with two small kids and two crazy cats and all of the stuff we have that support our interests and hobbies (like instruments and dress forms and dance clothes bags), this is NOT enough space for us (even though if we had to, we’d continue to make it work) – now that we’re looking for an apartment, it has to be at least 950 sf.

Facade's avatar

I think that would be too small for two grown adults to live in comfortably. The place my boyfriend and I live in is about 850 sq. ft. It’s cozy, but I wouldn’t tell people to forego something bigger for something that size.

YARNLADY's avatar

Absolutely. I would have no trouble in a house that size, if it was right on the beachfront.

Seek's avatar

I currently live in a 750 sq ft mobile home. My husband, my son, me, a bulldog, a cat, and five kittens. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms. It’s a pretty good size for us. I wouldn’t mind having one more room – a den, or a screened porch or something. I just want somewhere to spread out my art supplies and my sewing stuff. The one bedroom dedicated to our books and computer is just not big enough for all of that.


I forgot to mention that we have quite a bit of yard. ⅓ acre, that backs up to a swamp, and the swamp backs up to a nature preserve. I don’t know if I’d be so comfortable with a small house if we didn’t have such a big piece of land.

Ltryptophan's avatar

less house, more windows!

YARNLADY's avatar

My son, his wife, her mother, grandmother and their two toddlers live in a three bedroom 875 sq foot home, with a huge back yard and a smaller front yard. The 6 of them are quite happy there.

DominicX's avatar

Depends on how many people are in the house. I grew up in a pretty freakin’ large house (no need to give numbers here), but that doesn’t mean that I want that in the future. In fact, the idea of having a gigantic yard interests me more. My grandmother’s house was 1500 sq. ft. and had an enormous yard. 800 is a little small, but something like 1500 would be fine for 3 or 4 people. Of course I wouldn’t hate if it were bigger, but it doesn’t have to be.

SuperMouse's avatar

I remember being very excited when I got my 2,000 square foot house. I was there for a couple of months when I was missing my 1,200 square feet. I grew up in a 1,000 square foot house with five brothers and sisters and my parents. It might be tight with three kids and two grown ups, but I bet that if you are motivated you can make it work.

Kayak8's avatar

I think I would find it difficult, although when I retire I may feel differently. I like to entertain and my current house gives me plenty of room for all my hobbies (I paint which takes up some space). My lot is big enough to give me more yard work than I can handle.

lillycoyote's avatar

800 sq. ft. is a tad small, but I am in the process of building a house that is 1000 sq. ft. and I think it will be more than comfortable. But it also has 650 sq. ft. of covered decking. The design is really, really important in a house that small and there are ways to open it up make make it feel more spacious. Nice big windows, massive sliding glass doors, skylights, all sorts of ways to make it feel open and spacious rather than tiny and cramped.

Silhouette's avatar

I would be fine with 800 sq. ft. but it would have to be a one bedroom, large family room, roomy master bath, roomy kitchen\ dining area and it would have to be sitting on at least 5 acres.

That’s my dream, to down size my home and enlarge my yard. If the kids want to spend the night they can pitch a tent or sleep in the barn.

perspicacious's avatar

I have a little over 2000 now, but would be very happy with half that.

ChaosCross's avatar

I too prefer outside space to inside.

Where else will you construct additional pylons?

filmfann's avatar

We had a 2 bedroom 1 bath 900 sq ft house in San Leandro 20 years ago. Too small for our family of 5, but we managed. It helped that one of the 5 was in a crib.

casheroo's avatar

I think the house I grew up in had maybe 1200sq ft. It was definitely enough. Whenever I watch shows like House Hunters, all the families freak out over the one bathroom situation. To me, one bathroom is all you need…and there were four of us, plus my brothers friend who lived with us for a while. The only time it got tricky was when my brother and I were in high school at the same time, but he’d shower in the mornings and I would at night.

Right now we’re in a 1,000sq foot townhome. It has an unfinished basement..but it’s sooo much storage space. It’s a two bedroom, and the kids room is pretty small, but we’ll just get bunk beds.
I forget how big out last apartment was. I want to say 900sqft. It was perfect for our family of three. More storage would have been better.

SeventhSense's avatar

Wrong time to ask me. I just moved to a bigger apartment and I’m loving every minute of it and the nearby bucolic seashore. Although I’ve lived in apartments the size of bathrooms I don’t want to go back to that again. It’s nice to stretch again.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

That’s about the size of the beach shack I’ve in my mind to share with partner.

roundsquare's avatar

Yes. Less to maintain, more time to do important stuff.

gemiwing's avatar

We looked at micro houses and loved them. I would prefer a smaller home- cleaning those huge homes would kill me. Plus, I don’t want to be five rooms away from everyone. It’s isolating, to me.

The Loring by Tumbleweed, is one of the top contenders for us. It’s so cute and decorating it for the holidays would be fun. Like a little slice of Americana…or something close to it.

Another one I love is the Lakefront from Tiny Homes. We don’t have property on a lake but the gazebo/porch would be wonderful in the summer! Then we have plenty of room to entertain too, and do our art.

I’m so excited to see more and more people looking at smaller homes. Have you found any designs that you like?

DominicX's avatar


Damn. When overpopulation hits, we’re going to need people like that. :)

cookieman's avatar

I grew up in a 900sq. ft. apartment. There were three of us and it was just fine. But then, I spent a lot of time alone in my room.

When I got married, we bought a 1000sq. ft. ranch on a ¼ acre. It was great until we got our daughter – so we ripped off the roof and added a second floor.

We entertain a lot and have houseguests about six times a year, so the expanded dining room, guest room and play room come in handy.

I doo miss being able to scrub the whole house in one day though.

SeventhSense's avatar

Smaller spaces can be even harder to clean and keep organized as well. The clutter can be frustrating and it’s an never ending battle not to get buried.

roundsquare's avatar

@SeventhSense Thats a good point. I don’t have/keep a lot of stuff, so for me the maintenance would only be around cleaning (which I do only very rarely anyway…).

SeventhSense's avatar

I always found myself with never ending compromises…do I really need a toaster? Can’t I just make grilled cheese with the iron? Will the towels fit behind the Cheerios?

prescottman2008's avatar

@SeventhSense I am usually thinking “perhaps I have more stuff than I really need”

SeventhSense's avatar

Yes I’ve also been there until I felt compelled to throw out everything I’ve owned and still was cramped. I realized that a vacuum cleaner was not a luxury. I love abundance, peace and prosperity and I deserve to have it.

roundsquare's avatar

@SeventhSense For me its just books. Since I never live in any house/flat/apartment for more than a year I don’t like to have a lot of stuff.

SeventhSense's avatar

Well I was always the same but at one point in life I felt I had to settle down. It gets real tiresome when you’re in your 40’s and I just don’t want to move again until I buy a house. There’s a time and season in life for everything.

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