Findings regarding how Americans use the space in their homes may show they do not use all the space equally but evidence may not matter much. Americans want larger homes and the society and system is set up to push them towards this. Some of the factors involved:
-A consumption heavy culture where people enjoy shopping and buying items to signal their worth and for their own enjoyment. People want bigger homes like McMansions to impress others. Owners want a bigger home for all their stuff (and not necessarily for larger families).
-A lending industry that often requires relatively small down payments and repayments of a mortgage over three decades. Even if borrowers pay more in interest over time, they can afford a bigger home up front. Mortgages are socialized.
-A building industry that can make more money per house on selling a larger house. Building starter homes – a smaller house a couple might start with – or smaller single-family homes is a minor part of the industry.
With these conditions, making a choice to have a smaller home is going against the grain. Perhaps this is why the tiny house movement is small.