Custom home buyers may not be driven by the same financial constraints that are prompting everyday Americans to downsize, but they are nevertheless asking for smaller houses. Some want to minimize their carbon footprints; others are looking to simplify their chaotic lives, prepare for retirement, promote family togetherness, or be prudent in uncertain times. Coziness begets comfort, and there is a certain satisfaction in occupying a house that feels good and functions well without being over the top.
And as architect Donald Powers notes, ostentation has become unfashionable. “Everything now is swinging around to compact. The economy is demanding it, and the environment is demanding it. If the ’90s were defined by the McMansion, I’d love to think the first part of the 21st century could be defined by a return to small and high quality.”
How much house is just enough? We looked at three custom homes whose owners probably could have asked for more, but decided that smaller was better.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: New York, NY.