Square footage vs. Number of bedrooms

Home size is most often communicated through the number of bedrooms on offer rather than its square footage however extra bedrooms do not always equate to overall greater square footage.

A report carried out by Ipsos MORI for the Royal Institute of British Architects, ‘The way we live now’, states that:

“Buyers typically judge house size primarily by the number of bedrooms alone and rarely make efforts to quantify how much space they need beyond the number of bedrooms.”

Although room for growth and resale potential are important, the way you live and use your home can affect your quality of life. Unless you are buying a property to develop and sell on, it is important to enjoy your surroundings.

At Forays we are beginning to notice a trend towards a greater understanding and requirement for homes with a specific square footage rather than by bedroom space. Downsizers, for example, who want a large space with less bedrooms but more space in each room.

Maybe we should all be thinking about how we use the space in our homes before we make any moving decisions.

Would you be happy to have a spare room if it compromised space in your living room making it feel cramped and claustrophobic? What should you consider before choosing a home purely on the number of bedrooms on offer?

1. Assess how you live in your current living space

Think about how you spend your day when at home; do you utilise all the rooms, have you got enough storage, and does the layout work for you. If it is space and openness you enjoy then perhaps prioritising square footage is more important.


2. Living space requirements vary by life stage

If you are looking for a family home then bedrooms will always be a priority but bear in mind how many you need. Will you want a spare room that only gets used once in a blue moon or is there a better compromise? Do you work at home and need a separate space away from distractions of family life? Have the children left home and you like the idea of a luxurious bedroom suite with a walk-in wardrobe rather than a room just to lay your head?


3. Are you looking to rent out your property?

When looking to buy a rental property or letting out a room then of course number of bedrooms is a priority. However always think about the type of tenant you want to attract. Consider what will be the most marketable space for you.


4. Renovation cost vs. value of your home

Instead of moving from your current home, could you renovate and still get the outcome you want to achieve. By reconfiguring the space in your property, or extending, you could increase value or improve your quality of life. Giving your home a makeover could give you the environment or open space you’ve been craving.


By asking yourself these questions you will be able to identify whether number of bedrooms, other rooms or square footage is most important to you.

What do we think? Here at Forays we feel it is essential to enjoy your surroundings in whatever way works for you. We are constantly listening to our home buyers opinions to make sure we offer flexible and enjoyable homes to live in.


[Source: Ipsos MORI for the Royal Institute of British Architects, The Way We Live Now: What people need and expect from their homes, 2012]

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