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Small Spaces Can Offer Big Savings on Monthly Expenses

High home prices are putting pressure on many first time buyers to seek smaller spaces to save on monthly mortgage payments.

Not all small spaces are created equal; it is important to define your lifestyle needs in addition to square footage when determining monthly payments. What are some features of small spaces that can help to reduce your monthly housing expenses?

The 2011 AVID Design Driver survey is a popular annual report on trends in home buyer preferences, geared towards the building industry. Key findings in this report also offer insight into how home buyers can save money and maximize use of space. 

Here are four desirable housing features mentioned in the report that could improve your bottom line simply by design.  

Energy Efficiency

High fuel and utility costs can shrink your disposable income. Energy efficiency in heating, cooling and household appliances is increasingly becoming a crucial home design feature. Buying a condo or apartment that is built for utmost energy-efficiency is not only good for the environment: it’s good for your pocketbook.


Functional and Space-Saving Design

First time buyers are increasingly squeezed by the price per square foot of homes, especially in urban centres. But some designers do a great job of making the most of smaller spaces and leaving nothing to waste. A home that makes every inch of space functional for work, rest and entertainment can give you the feel of a larger home for less money.

Entertainment-Friendly Kitchen

Whatever the size of the space, a well-designed, large and open kitchen is a perennial standout for home buyers. An attractive kitchen space will likely encourage you to eat and socialize more at home instead of draining disposable income by dining out. It's also a good resale investment.
 
Convenient Location

Residential buildings located close to bike and walking routes, shopping and work hubs encourage you to leave your car at home, which can help you to save thousands of dollars annually on vehicle maintenance expenses and fuel costs.

A potentially costly mistake to avoid as a first time home buyer is to rush in to a purchase without first considering your lifestyle, existing monthly expenses and debts, as well as personal plans for the future. Don’t be swayed by attractive selling features that don’t suit your needs or are beyond your affordability ceiling.   
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