*This is a collaborative post.
We used to think that flats were the exclusive domain of students, singles, and young professional couples focusing on their careers. But that’s not the reality anymore. Thanks to the housing shortage and immense cost of property across the country, many families are living in small accommodation even after they have kids.
But is the situation as bad as it sounds? Well, it depends on who you ask.
Raising children in a more modest environment seems like a no-no, given how many of us spent our childhoods in detached homes. But when you adapt to the situation, it’s much easier to deal with. Eventually, it becomes second nature, and you actually start to enjoy it. The cost of living is lower, and you get many of the benefits of living near the centre of town.
Let’s run through some of the benefits.
Living in shared accommodation is much easier – practically speaking – than maintaining a regular household. Instead of being responsible for all the care and maintenance yourself, you farm it out to a landlord or the company that manages the building. You don’t have to spend your weekends cleaning leaves from the gutters or getting rid of damp in the foundations.
Think about the amount of time you could save. No longer will you spend all your weekends thinking about how to look after your property. Somebody else is already taking care of that for you.
Access To Amenities
If you take a look at the location of the average sales of balance flat 2020, you’ll notice something: they’re all close to amenities. What’s interesting about this is the knock-on effects that it has on your lives. Suddenly, you’re close to all the facilities you need to raise kids. The local school is just down the road, and there are childcare options everywhere. And if you need to take the kids to the park, there is almost always one nearby.
Now compare that to living in bigger accommodation in the suburbs. Almost always, you’re entirely reliant on a car for weekly errands. And your costs go up massively. You can’t find a selection of schools or daycare. And, eventually, the location begins to take over your life. It’s a nightmare.
Accessing amenities is easy when you’re in the middle of a town. Everything is within walking distance – something that more than compensates you for the accommodation’s small size.
There’s another benefit that often comes with downsizing: a shorter commute.
While properties closer to the centre of town tend to be smaller, they’re also much closer to transport hubs and places of work. Living in one of them makes it easier to reduce your commute’s length and save time that you could spend with family.
Remember, the average person spends around an hour every day getting to and from work. That’s a massive amount of time and something that can eat into your quality of life. Just cutting it by 15 minutes can change your life and give you the freedom you need to enjoy your family and pick up the kids.
We don’t typically think of downsizing as something that provides us with more community, but that’s how it can work out for a lot of people. The average suburb is usually a collection of people bunkered in their homes. But apartments and shared residences are different. They often have a community spirit and events where you can get to know your neighbours more easily.
Downsizing also puts less stress on the parents. If you can pay the rent or the mortgage off a single salary, it doesn’t matter so much if one partner loses their job. You can often go for months, perhaps years, on one income without breaking a sweat. Now compare that to the pressure you’re under if you’re in a bigger home. If you miss mortgage payments, lenders will be on your case very quickly indeed, and you’ll wind up paying a host of fees.
Financial stress is something that can take a serious toll on family life and not something any of us should underestimate. We like the idea of living in a big house, but the reality is often very different. Sure – you have more bedrooms. But eventually, you come to the conclusion that it simply isn’t worth it. It would be better if you had fewer bills and more money left over at the end of the month instead of the current arrangement.