The average size of the American home peaked at 2,467 square feet in 2016. Why are Americans obsessed with bigger homes? Large homes are a symbol of success. We justify the purchase by saying we need room to grow and having grand plans for family get-togethers. This study provides a solid case for owning smaller homes.

If You Don’t Use It, Lose It

A research team from UCLA recently conducted a study about where families spend their time when they’re at home. As it turns out, they spend most of our time huddled around the television in the living room or having a pow-wow in the kitchen.

The study detailed 32 dual-income families living in the Los Angeles area. Researchers found that 68% of the family’s time was spent in the kitchen and family room.

Spending On Space You Don’t Use

As you can see from the map above, most of the space sits untouched. That doesn’t mean it isn’t full of the things you buy. The unused dining room is filled with furniture and decorations, and so is the formal living room.

Yards often go unused as well, but they’re never free to maintain. Wasted space gets even more expensive when you renovate little-used areas rather than fixing more obvious problems. Large homes have become a classic case of “keeping up with the Jones.” Your new deck is nice, but how many times have you barbequed on it?

Larger Homes Are A Bigger Risk

The bigger the home, the harder it is to resell. Younger generations are preferring to live in city centers and unique neighborhoods where the homes are small.

Smaller homes are more attractive to the savvy investor. They appreciate in value faster and are easier to maintain. It may be time to ask yourself, “what do I really need,” and come to terms with the reality that big homes are bad ju-ju.