We were thinking of going down on the square footage of our apartment so we can be in a really nice area, yet not pay too much for rent. I was hoping to hear from some people about how they have done well with a smaller apartment.
As a single person I lived happily in a studio (abroad, right after college, so I had virtually no stuff) and in quite small 2 bed - 1 bath apartments with a roommate. I think the keys for small-space living are being disciplined about how much stuff comes in and making sure that some of the space is separated to allow whatever alone time you each need. I also think that the amount of storage space is at least as important as the amount of living space. As a rule, I would tend to choose the nicer area over the larger apartment. That said, we're now in quite a big house, and I think we'd find it much harder to go down in size than it was to live in small spaces on the way up.
4200....and we barely leave one small room in the front...I think much of whether or not you can feel comfortable in a small space was to do with how often you are able to get out and about...and the presence of children....I've lived in a studio apt before kids and I never found it unpleasant
Our son went from a two-bed/large kitchen apt near the beach (south bay Calif) to a tiny older style one bedroom apt to be with girlfriend. Literally, when you stood in the tiny apt kitchen, you were IN the kitchen. He hated it. Couldn't wait to get the money together to purchase a home and although it was a "nicer" area, living space, the ability to at least have a sideboard to dry the dishes was a much wished for thing. We have a 1,500 sq ft 4/bed ranch home and it's perfect for everything we do and need (I would rather have yard/outdoor space which we have lots of). Our area is ever-changing with an influx currently of young adults just starting out so the downtown is changing to accommodate the "urban" living - walk to everything - mode with newer 3 story condos/apts which sold out fast.
My condo has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms; I think it's around 1400 sq. ft. I also have an enclosed sunroom not counted in the sq. footage. My condo is spacious enough, except the kitchen is not big enough for 2 people to be working in it at the same time. My comment is always "it's a one butt kitchen".
1600 sq ft here, and it's too much house for me. I'm gradually filling up all the extra space with junk, too. Must correct that. However, when I bought my house, I was also giving a thought to resale when the time comes.
Our starter house was less than 1000-sq-feet...then we moved to a 2400-sq-foot rental house with a 900-sq-foot garage...and finally to house number three we just bought at 1800 sq-feet (plus garage). I love our new house with hard wood floors throughout. Not so good for dancing on since there isn't any spring to it, but great for pirouette practice.