According to the General Social Survey, whose results are discussed in this article by The Institute for Family Studies, the ideal number of kids to have falls pretty equally split between two or three kids. In order to achieve the ideal number of children, however, there are some conditions that are recommended to be met, which include reaching a certain point financially or being at a certain point in your professional and educational life. However, one condition that doesn’t seem to gather much attention is in regard to living conditions, and more specifically, whether your current housing situation is ideal to raise children in.
Whether you’re an expecting parent, or hoping to become an expecting parent, the best time to consider changing your housing situation is before you actually have to change. With the rise in minimalist lifestyle choices and the increase in compact and tiny housing styles, it’s important that children have sufficient space to grow, play, and explore safely. Additionally, it is highly recommended that the chosen housing be retained to the best of the parents’ abilities as children require stability during their formative years. Constantly moving in the first few years of their lives can potentially have a detrimental effect on the child’s mental health later in their childhood.
Because it’s recommended to minimize moving as much as possible, this task should be done very early after the decision to raise a family, and the easiest way to maintain consistent housing is by purchasing a long-term residence. This is primarily because in rental situations you could still be forced to move if the property transfers to another party that does not have the intention of renting it out anymore.
Perhaps the biggest drawback to purchasing a residence, however, is the cost of a down payment and subsequent mortgage payments, which, if unlucky, can exceed the monthly cost of renting. For parents that have never purchased a property before, there is the option of taking out a mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration, which comes with benefits of a much lower required down payment and more flexible mortgage payments. Otherwise, the best bet to keep the payments low would be to negotiate the initial terms.
The easiest way to break down the idea of whether or not your current residence is large enough to raise your family in is to divide it into square footage by person. Ask yourself how small is too small—for some, it may be 1,000 square feet per person, but for others it could be a smaller 400 square feet per person that they are comfortable with.
In order to conceptualize the size better, you need to imagine that the kids are already 18 years old and in their last year of high school, when they’re already a full-grown adult. This way, you can prepare for the later years of childhood when personal space becomes a significant aspect of communal living. According to an article by The Financial Samurai, the ideal size of a residence should be 600–700 square feet per person, equalling about 2,400–2,800 square feet in total for a family of four.
The square footage per person is especially important considering the mass adoption of remote work and the fact that it won’t be going away anytime soon. So not only should you consider how your children will grow into the space, you also should consider the possibility of having a remote working job, and whether you also have enough space to do this work from home.
Essentially, it’s important to consider how many children you intend to have, how small is too small of an area for the same number of adult-aged children, and whether you have, or intend to have a work-from-home situation.
Disclaimer: This not a sponsored post. All opinions are our own. Photo credit RF123