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Old 04-05-2012, 04:57 PM
 
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I think I will get a wide range of answers on this one, but I'm just curious what others think. When buying a home, how many square feet would be ideal for a family of four? (Two parents and two children.) Let's say you would be buying the home when the children are small and planning on staying at least 20 years.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:00 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
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2000 Min, 2500 would be nice
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:06 PM
 
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You'll definitely get a lot of answers on this. My range would be 1000 to 1600 feet. Would prefer not to go above that -- more to heat and cool, and my all-time favorite place we've ever lived was under around 1,000, maybe a bit less. Keep in mind that good design can make a huge difference, and make a small space feel spacious, while poor design can make even a large place feel cramped (or, as in the case of our last rental, poor design made some parts of the space underutilized).
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:29 PM
 
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That is such a hard question. We have about 1400 finished and it feels small. We do have an odd layout though so with a different layout this range would be fine.

I'll go 1800 or so.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Woodbury, MN
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our first home was 1500 sq. feet and we quickly outgrew it.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:40 PM
 
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2500 minimum. 3000 sq ft would be much better.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Gladstone, MO
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I live with 5 other people in an apartment of around 1000 square feet and its the perfect size for us. A 2500-3000 sq ft house is way to big for me, would not want to clean that.

Last edited by Radical_Car; 04-06-2012 at 12:20 AM..
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:32 PM
 
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Absolutely agreed you will get a wide range of answers. Suburbs like Richfield and Fridley (places I hail from at one time or another) would have the typical post-WWII rambler around 1000-1500 square feet and certainly dad, mom, and two kids lived just fine there. Admittedly, there were yards to put the kids in to play and likely basements (maybe finished, maybe not). However, expectations changed and what was considered "luxury" became "need". As mentioned by others, depends on layout and what features you find necessary.

The last house I lived in was technically a three bedroom and around 920 square feet upstairs.. Bedrooms were two smaller ones at around 10' X 10' plus a "master" at around 13' X 12' - presumably for mom and dad. I temporarily had my brother, wife, and two girls living upstairs and they were okay. Living room had an area that could be used as "dining area" and galley style kitchen. I "toughed" it out in the basement that was really not finished but usable. This house had a walk out basement. Admittedly, the basement effectively around doubled the space.

With that said, I guess I'd estimate around 1000-1500 sq.ft. minimum but as mentioned depends on layout plus items such as yards where kids could potentially "extend" their play space.

One thing to keep in mind, could start with somewhat smaller house when kids are smaller and add-on as they grow? Just a thought that might "extend the life" of the house for you.
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:35 AM
 
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Our first house was 995 sq feet. It was ok for us while our oldest was a baby. It had a good layout for that. Adding a second child would not have worked in that house. We had a job transfer and moved anyway. That house was 2250 sq feet with an unfinished basement. It was a very efficient layout and had 3 bedrooms on one level. It would have worked well until our kids were in middle school or so, but another job transfer so we didn't stay long. The house we had before this one was 3200 sq feet including the finished basement. Our kids were in late elementary/middle school then and it was a great size. Again, layout worked but it had a finished basement where the kids could have friends over, etc. Our house now is 3600 sq feet and is a bit big but it had features we wanted when we bought. The biggest plus, again, is the finished basement. Our kids are high school/college age now and we always have at least 2 extra people here after school, weekends, etc. Don't forget to account for friends being over as well.

Basically, square footage is one thing, but the layout and the size of the most used rooms is really what is important. It will also feel bigger if you can have a place where mom and dad can read, watch tv away from the kids and their friends.

Our most efficient house to heat and cool was our 3200 sq foot house. Size doesn't matter as much as having good windows and insulation. The worst house to heat and cool was our 2250 sq foot house.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Mahtomedi, MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sm2010 View Post
I think I will get a wide range of answers on this one, but I'm just curious what others think. When buying a home, how many square feet would be ideal for a family of four? (Two parents and two children.) Let's say you would be buying the home when the children are small and planning on staying at least 20 years.
I think it is sometimes hard to pick size first and location 2nd. I would guess a lot of people would say 1200-1500 is good for 4 and that would be easy to find in most of Minneapolis, St. Paul and older burbs but not so much in new development areas. Seems like 2500 sq ft give or take is on smaller end of most new construction (single family homes).
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