Home > Mortgages > Stop Complaining: Homes Are Way Bigger Than They Were 100 Years Ago

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It may feel like you’re short on space at home. After all, you had to rent a storage unit to keep all the items that don’t fit in your place. But a new study indicates we have very little to complain about in terms of how much space our homes actually have.

“U.S. homes have shown a steady and quite remarkable rate of growth in size over the past 100 years,” according to the study, conducted by real estate information site PropertyShark. “The average new home in America, be it condo or house, now spreads over 2,430 square feet.”

The study, which set out to analyze the evolution of new home sizes for each decade since 1910 in 32 of the largest U.S. cities, found that homes built in the last six years are 74% larger than those built in the 1910s. People have a lot more personal space now, too, as the average household has decreased from 4.5 to 2.5 people. That gives each person 211% more living space in those new homes.

The cities bucking the trend and building even larger homes are San Antonio; Orlando, Florida; and Nashville, Tennessee.

“All of these can boast a median home that spreads over more than 2,600 square feet, a generous space by any account,” according to the study. Homes built in San Antonio and Dallas are virtually mansions compared to a century ago — about twice as large, the study reports.

Boston is the city with the smallest new homes, only spanning an average of 909 square feet. The next smallest cities were San Francisco, at an average of 1150 square feet, and Miami, at 1,179 square feet.

Methodology

To establish this list, PropertyShark looked at the square footage for all single-family nomes, condos and co-ops built in each of the 32 cities during each decade. This was limited to the city limits and was gathered from public sources, except in Chicago and Austin, where researchers used square footage found in for sale listings. All information represents the median value and national averages used all 50 states.

But, It Still Feels Small

Despite what this study shows, you may still feel like you need a bigger home. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to save as much cash as you can for a down payment so you’re not nagged by a high monthly mortgage for longer than necessary. It’s also prudent to get your credit score into great shape before applying for a mortgage, because doing so may help you land a lower interest rate. (To get an idea of where your credit currently stands, you can see two of your credit scores for free, updated every two weeks, on Credit.com.) And, as you search for a new home, you can use this tool to help you determine how much home you can afford.

Image: monkeybusinessimages

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