Are you frustrated with the size of your home? You're not alone. But instead of feeling cramped, a growing number of Americans are finding they have more home than they want or need. The reasons are numerous. Baby boomers, 77 million strong, are looking to downsize in retirement. Young home buyers are finding it increasingly difficult to afford or maintain larger homes. Urban land is at a premium. Smaller homes in desirable neighborhoods are scarce or outlawed by covenant. And environmental concerns about a residence's "carbon footprint" have further dampened enthusiasm for spacious showpieces. That doesn't necessarily mean that smaller times are ahead for everyone. For growing families, some investors, the wealthy or homeowners who just want the room, bigger will most likely continue to be better. But for homeowners who no longer wish to pay taxes, utilities and insurance on rooms they never use, or who simply find a smaller home more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, the small-house movement is quietly reinventing the U.S. scale of living.
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