I’m going out on a limb here and making the prediction that homes will be smaller in the future. The “McMansions” of the last 20 years are proving impractical, costly to maintain, and not always marketable, at least here in northern Door County. What I mean by smaller homes are homes with 2,000 square feet or less.

Smaller homes, especially in a real estate market like we have in Door County Wisconsin which is primarily vacation homes or homes for retirement, simply make sense. Maintenance is less costly and easier, utility costs are less, and property taxes are less. Cost is not the only issue either. There is the impact on the environment which we really must begin to take into consideration!

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When building a home for vacation, seasonal, or retirement use, most people do not seem to ascertain what their needs will be. Instead, they build a home with proportions and room sizes to which they are accustomed, and they end up with far too much space. What should they think about? The number and sizes of bedrooms is one consideration. If it is a vacation home, quite small bedrooms with small closets will prove to be more than adequate. People on vacation do not spend a lot of time in their bedrooms and only need minimal closet space. Likewise, retirees will likely find guest bedrooms (especially more than one) to be wasted space. They are better off with one small guest room and a second room that double as sleeping space for guest and some other use. Hide-a-beds or trundle beds work well in such rooms.


Kitchens and dining rooms are also areas that should be rethought. How much cooking are you really going to do while on vacation? Do you really need a separate dining room? One large “great room” encompassing kitchen, dining and living areas usually turn out to be ideal for vacations when what you really want to do is spend time with friends and family.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on home sizes — what size home do you have now, and what do you imagine your needs to be in the future?

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