We’re here to answer the age-old question: does size really matter? Wait…what’s all the snickering we hear back there? Ohhhh, I get it. We’re talking about CONDO size, you absolute children!
Now that that’sbeen cleared up, let’s return to the discussion at hand: condo size. When you’re in the process of buying a condo, there’s a lot to consider and get caught up in – the colour of the tile in the shower, for example; what floor your unit happens to be on; whether the kitchen leads into the living room or the living room leads into the kitchen.
Some of these details don’t end up being particularly important in the long run, but some of them very, very much do. The question we’re looking to examine today, though, is whether or not the size of your condo is one of those specifics that matters, or if it’s ultimately not worth getting too worked up about. Let’s see how things measure up.
When it comes to condo square footage, more isn’t always more. That’s because square footage isn’t really just about size: it’s about the livability of your home. When you’re debating square footage, what you really ought to be doing is taking a step back from just chasing bigger numbers and ask yourself: what do I actually need out of my home?
Consider the number of people who are going to be living there, for a start. Families need space – and beyond your typical 2-adults-and-1.5-kids arrangement, multigenerational homes are becoming more and more common here in Canada, even when it comes to condo living. More people means more need for more space, so if you find yourself considering having your folks over to live with you (or moving in with your younger kids, as the case might be!), you’ll definitely want to be looking for a condo unit with more square footage than less.
Entertaining is another reason to potentially consider a bigger condo. Some folks (raises hand) might be perfectly content to keep their condo a bastion of peace and tranquility and rarely have more than one or two guests over at a time, while others come alive when they open up their home to any and all who are down to hang out and enjoy themselves. If you find yourself in the former, quieter camp, consider how much space you really need to kick around in solo – you could find yourself in a position to save a ton of money on a bit of a smaller unit.
How important is square footage to you – really? This is a thought exercise that’s well-worth taking a moment to dwell on because at the end of the day, having extra space just for the sake of it means different things to different people.
Some folks simply need a lot of space to amble about in order to feel comfortable in their home, while others might be content with not much more than a closet with room for a mattress to be perfectly content.
All square footage is not created equally, either, which provides further opportunity to fit the sort of living space you’re after into a budget that you can afford. Depending on how much that extra bit of room matters to you, you might opt for a larger space with more frugal finishes that ultimately ends up costing the same a smaller condo unit with more bells and whistles – it all comes down to personal preference.
In addition to the price tag associated with actually buying a larger condo unit, there are further costs worth considering when weighing the pros and cons of extra square footage.
The biggest factor worth mentioning here comes in the form of utility charges. More space (or taller ceiling heights, for what that’s worth) means that it’s going to cost more to heat (or cool) your home. Those extra square feet aren’t going to keep themselves warm, after all!
Further, having a home with a bigger footprint means increased costs in other areas that you might not have had the time to think about in the excitement of searching for and purchasing a new place. Renovations, for example, become more costly when you’re got a bigger space to makeover. All that extra room translates into additional cans of paint, extra square feet of carpet and tile, and even more runs of ever-costlier lumber, depending on how far your renos might be taking you.
If you’re feeling cramped in your current confines and are looking for a more spacious abode as a result, keep in mind that there are more solutions to finding more space than simply upping your square footage. Sometimes, a more-effective floorplan or layout can be just as impactful as adding a bunch of extra square feet to your living situation – even more so, depending on how thoughtfully-designed your potential new home might be.
In some cases, you may even find the solution you’re after in dual-purpose rooms – in essence, spaces explicitly designed for more than one use-case. Two homes can have exactly the same square footage count, but if one has a combined mudroom/laundry room, suddenly the space that both those separate areas might occupy is freed up to allow for more open, easy living instead.
Looking for a new condo, but aren’t quite sure what size to shoot for? Looking for advice on how to make the best use of the space you’ve got? Drop us a line at Catalyst Condo Management today. We’re always happy to chat condo real estate – or any other condo-related questions you might have!