Goldilocks and the Three Houses

IMG_20140626_102840_677Over the past several years, the average house size has continued to grow in the United States. In 2013, the average size for a new home was just shy of 3,000 square feet of living space. Contrast that to homes built by the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, which can be as small as 89 square feet, to the grandaddy of all U.S. homes, the Biltmore Estate with 250 rooms and a whopping 135,280 square feet of living space. How do you find the house size that is just right for you?

To find that “Little Bear” house–sized just right–there are many considerations, among them lifestyle, family, hobbies, and future goals.

3936 Rose Hill Avenue, Cincinnati, built in 1920.
3936 Rose Hill Avenue, Cincinnati, built in 1920.

As always as well, the bigger the house, the bigger the practical concerns such as:

1) Higher taxes and insurance

2) More rooms to furnish

3) More time and money to maintain (not to mention clean!)

4) Higher mortgage payments

5) Higher utility billsIMG_20140626_101649_356

On a related note, we have a wonderful historic home looking for a new steward in the Rose Hill Park Subdivision (yes, that’s the Rose Hill gaslight district!) in the neighborhood of North Avondale. By “wonderful”, I mean that this 1920s, 4-bedroom, 4-bath home is well-designed with original details and great use of space. Located at 3936 Rose Hill Avenue (MLS #1395754), its list of restorations and improvements is extensive including new roof and gutters, replacement windows, refinished hardwood floors, finished 3rd floor, remodeled kitchen and master bath, new front steps, new iron work railing, new front columns and a beautifully restored front door. With a professional landscape job to boot, what do you think the #1 feedback comment has been for this listing?

The house isn’t big enough.

Yes, per the Hamilton County Auditor, 3936 Rose Hill Avenue only measures in at a mere 3,685 square feet of living space. While it is true that this is at the smaller end of home sizes for the neighborhood, where some houses range upwards to 8,000 square feet, it is certainly not the smallest house around. And, ironically, since it measures above the 3,000-square-foot mark, it can easily be counted among those houses hitting the market just about anywhere today whose owners are wishing to downsize. Instead of wondering if 3936 Rose Hill Avenue is too small or if it’s too big, I would argue that its unique livability and historic character makes it just right. I know that Goldilocks would think so too…