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Smaller homes can be just as extravagant as larger ones

13 Nov 2012 9:25 AM
Smaller homes can be just as extravagant as larger ones

During the recession of the late 2000s, many homebuyers and builders scaled down their thoughts about how big houses should be. Prompted by reluctance to invest too greatly in property coupled with new concerns about eco-friendliness, Americans frequently opted for houses smaller than those they had chosen for many years. According to The Real Deal, the average size of U.S. homes dropped 3.4 percent to 2,382 square feet during the recession.

Now that the housing market is recovering in many areas, real estate experts are split as to whether new homes will return to their pre-recession sizes or continue to stay smaller. According to the source, average home size started rising again in 2011, signaling that perhaps Americans were only buying smaller homes because they were trying to save money.

However, The Sacramento Bee alleges that the recession's influence on home preferences may be here to stay. More energy-efficient, multi-faceted and smaller homes may be a trend that will last for years to come.

"Coming out of the downturn, people don't want more of the same," Gordon Jones, president of Lennar Corp., a large homebuilder, told the source. "They're saying, 'We're not going to make the same mistake again. We're going to buy the right home for how we live and how we see our family living in the future.'"

Whether or not Americans permanently change their homebuying preferences, it is clear that many Americans - even those who live in luxury homes - are increasingly considering smaller, more efficient and more personalized homes.

In Santa Fe, where creative residential architecture is a point of pride, this may be especially true. Many high-end homebuyers in the region are opting for smaller homes that they customize to their liking.

One example is Marion Tassin, who decided to forgo her plans to build an 8,000-square-foot home and instead extensively redesigned her existing 1,246-square-foot residence, according to The Wall Street Journal. This decision was not to save money on her home - she invested around $2 million in the project, the source reports - but instead to try her hand at a new, simpler lifestyle.

Tassin imbued the project with her own sense of style and design. She opted for leather walls, a pink stone driveway, built-in tables made of tree trunks and a dressing room based on the Chanel Store in Dallas, the source reports.

Other residents of Santa Fe may be inspired by Tassin's strategy, which shows that you don't need a big home to have an elegant, personal one.