As a minimalist, I always want to have less. Less stuff, less space, less bills, less, well, everything. Buying a home as a minimalist is also something I think about.
Generally speaking, this has served me well in the past. I have fewer clothes, which means less to replace, wash, etc. I have less space, which means less to furnish, clean, and repair. Most of the time, living with less makes me happier. There’s only one place where being a minimalist is really throwing me off, and that’s with home buying.
Now, I’m not ready to buy a house just yet. I still have a lot of debt, and I won’t be ready to take on the commitment of a mortgage until that’s paid off and I’ve amassed a sizeable downpayment. That said, I want to be a home owner some day. I want to have my own backyard, my own little bit of space that I can change or remodel and do whatever I want to.
The only problem is deciding how much space I need.
Right now, as a couple of DINKs (Dual Income No Kids) with a dog, my fiance and I need relatively little space. We used to do just fine in a studio apartment (we live in a 400 sq. ft. house), but since the addition of the dog, we’ve moved to a 400 sq. ft. house with a backyard. At the moment, this size living space suits us perfectly, and it’ll probably continue to suit us for a long time.
The trouble is, just how long would a space this size suit us?
If we were to buy a house right now, what kind of house would we buy? Any house that we buy, we would probably want to be happy in it for at least ten years.
Of course, the whole kids thing has to come into play here. We aren’t sure, at this point in our lives, that we want children. It’s just not a sure thing for us. So, do we buy the three bedroom house and hope that the biological urge kicks in? Do we buy a smaller house, say a two bedroom, that would be more suitable to our needs but would still require an upgrade if multiple children were in the future, or do we stay minimalists, and buy a one bedroom home, or even more minimalistic – rent forever. This isn’t even taking into account that one and two bedroom homes are basically unheard if in my neck of the woods.
These are things that I think about. Nevermind that I won’t be ready to become a homeowner for at least three years, nevermind that there are tons of other things I should be devoting my brain power to. This is what I ponder.
As a minimalist, buying a house to fit future needs that may or may not come to fruition just seems wrong. That said, the idea of buying a house to fit current needs only seems short sighted.
When buying a house as a minimalist, it’s important to consider what you need now, but also what’s going to come in the future. I have no desire to own a house that is too big for me, so perhaps finding a home that could be renovated to suit either scenario would make the most sense.
Home buying as a minimalist makes things a little bit more complicated, especially for people like me who are still figuring out what they want out of life. However, with a bit of planning and the patience to wait for the perfect property to become available, buying a home as a minimalist is entirely doable.
Is your home too big for you? How about too small?
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