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Finding the Formula for “Smart-Sizing” Your Home

November 12th, 2013 | by The Update

Beautiful homes with access to golf, walking trails and membership at the Cooper Fitness Center and Spa make 17 Green at Craig Ranch a smart-sizer’s dream. Photo / Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

The kids are grown and gone, and your home is beginning to feel like it just doesn’t fit anymore. Problems you never thought you’d have (too much closet space, a too big back yard or a collection of unused furniture gathering dust) are starting to make life more difficult and more expensive to maintain.

It may be time to “smart size,” a growing trend according to Phil Crone of the Dallas Builders Association. Crone spoke recently at the MetroTex Economic Forecast 2014 event, outlining one of the biggest trends in housing – the desire to go smaller and smarter without sacrificing design and amenities.

“When my husband and I ran the numbers, we realized that we could sell our family home, which sat on a half-acre lot in Southlake, and buy a beautiful new home that fit our needs and cost less,” said Irene Mochulsky of the Keoughan Group with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. Mochulsky is preparing to move into her new, smart-size home in Carillon. “Even though the new house was more expensive to buy, the savings in taxes, HOA fees, utilities and updates means it’s less expensive to maintain and a better investment over time.”

Here are some things to consider when deciding to smart size your home:

Maintenance and Amenities

From landscaping to housekeeping and pool service, gym membership and golf fees, a new home, especially one with an HOA responsible for upkeep of common space, may be more cost effective.


Smaller homes require less furniture, however the reduced scale may mean that some pieces don’t fit your new rooms. Analyze what, if any, furniture can be sold and budget for new items that reflect your new style.


Property taxes on a larger home can be redirected toward rent if you need to lease while building a new home.


Remember to factor in replacement costs. Your older home may need a new roof, energy efficient windows, an updated kitchen with new appliances, etc. The money you would spend on fixing and replacing may be better spent on a new home with the latest “green” technology.

Flexible Living Space

Smart-size homes may be smaller, but open concept living spaces can accommodate more people. Formal living and dining rooms are being replaced by rooms that can be used for offices, spare bedrooms, media rooms and more.

Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty is Dallas’ luxury real estate leader, with more than 200 agents in five offices located throughout Dallas-Fort Worth and access to the global Sotheby’s network, including more than 11,000 agents in more than 650 offices worldwide. CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. For more information on escapes and second homesranch and land, and luxury homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth region and beyond, go to briggsfreeman.com.

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