Adobe Stock

The average size of an American home shrank for the first time in 2016 after trending upwards since the late 70s. For a while it seemed that the American Dream meant you didn't just own a home, but you owned a big one.

A research team affiliated with UCLA studied American families and where they spend most of their time while inside their homes. MarketWatch's Shawn Langlois presents some of the findings, which showed where and how much space is wasted in the typical McMansion.

People spend most of their time in the kitchen and around the tv, avoiding the dining room and porch for the most part.

“The findings were not pretty. In fact, they helped prove how little we use our big homes for things other than clutter,” said Steve Adcock on the Get Rich Slowly blog. “Most families don’t use large areas of their homes — which means they’ve essentially wasted money on space they don’t need.” His takeaway for consumers: Forget the standard realtor advice that you should “buy as big of a house as you can afford.” Instead, buy as much house as you need. “More does not automatically equal better,” he said. “More simply means more.”

Read More