1. More space equals more privacy – Looking for more room to accommodate a growing family and/or more pets? You may find that living downtown may not offer you as much room to have separate bedrooms for each of your family members than if you were to live further away in the suburbs. In fact, if you have 2 or more children they will have to share bedrooms, being how much smaller (and more expensive) apartments are in the city centre compared to what you can get outside of it. While this may be fine for fostering closeness among family members, being able to enjoy the privacy of your own room is priceless in a much larger space. And if one of your kids has a cold or fever, it’s a lot easier for them to isolate and not infect other family members when they have their own individual rooms. If all you and your partner have as family members are pets, then having the indoor and outdoor space to run around and exercise is certainly a tremendous bonus. Now that an increasing number of jobs can be done from home, people can rent (or buy) much larger spaces that can accommodate more family members (including pets) in more affordable spaces that are further afield rather than trying to squeeze into a smaller space downtown just to be closer to work.

2. An abundance of space allows us to engage in fitness and/or meditiation activities from home – If there’s anything that the pandemic taught people, it’s how to be able to do as much as possible at home without having to go outside of it and be exposed to other people for health and safety reasons. Before the pandemic though, most people went to different places to do separate activities like go to the gym for exercise, go to a coffee shop to get some work done (or meet with clients), or go to a church to meditate or pray. When you have a much larger home, you can dedicate space for each of these activities. If you can dedicate a room or some unused corner of your home for an office, why spend for coffee and pastries when you can enjoy these much more cheaply and easily at home? You can also meet with clients at your dining (or living room) or better yet from your laptop using Zoom. Exercise? You can use an under-utilized bedroom or corner of your home for that rather than signing up for a health club membership. Worship? All you need to do is watch religious services broadcast on TV or on your laptop. Why outsource your requirements from some neighbourhood service provider when you can get so many of the same things done without leaving your house and being unnecessarily exposed to other potentially harmful disease-carrying human beings?

3. Larger spaces make it easier for new businesses to flourish – So many individuals and couples have created 6 figure businesses from the comfort of their own home. Psychiatrists in New York City have typically met their clients in their downtown apartments for almost a century. Many famous writers throughout history like Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Leo Tolstoy created bestselling books (and made their fortunes) from the comfort of their own home. Seriously, why rent a shared office space or go to a coffee shop when you can easily set up an area for work at home with little to no expense? Two of the most important things to a business is capital and time.  Working from home preserves more of your capital for other more important things (like hiring people or buying more equipment). And there’s nothing more priceless than walking a few steps to get to your desk rather than losing an hour or more each way to commute to work and back home. Think about what you could do with those two hours every day that you’re spending in your car (or a train). Even if you only need to walk 10 or 15 minutes to get to a coffee shop, you’d still have to spend 5 to 10 minutes to get dressed. That’s 3.75 hours a week – or almost half a day – that you don’t need to waste if you work from home.

4. Creativity tends to thrive in bigger spaces – There is a theory in social psychology called Construal level theory(CLT) which basically says that whenever we live (or work) in a space with walls that are more distant to us physically, it becomes easier for our minds to think big-picture (which is a creative, right-brain function). The closer to us our walls are, the more prone we are to think small-picture (an analytical, left-brain function). Since most creative thinking (or even problem solving) involves the right-brain thinking, then it makes sense to conclude that the more spacious our living (or working) area, the easier it is for people to come up with big ideas for a new product or service, or even just to plan for their next summer adventure. This is why developers paint smaller apartments white (to increase the illusion of space) and incorporate larger windows and taller ceilings. The more far away we perceive things to be, the more it boosts our creative abilities. There is sound science for choosing a larger space to live, of which the more affordable variety can be found further from the city centre. Not only does it allow us to do things within that space, it also gives our minds the space to dream larger dreams for our business and/or personal lives. It’s the same conclusion found by a joint U.S.-China study published in Psychological Science journal that found that the more spacious an employees’ work area is, the easier it was for that person to “think outside the box” and solve problems.

5. Getting together with friends for a meal is much easier and more comfortable – Ever apologize to a friend that your space is too small for them to come over and simply invited them to a restaurant for a meal instead of doing it at home? A lot of developers these days don’t even bother including a proper sized dining area in downtown apartments and simply design kitchen countertops to be deeper so that apartment dwellers can have their dinners there instead of on a regular table. The problem with this is that that these kitchen bar counters are only good for 2 or 3 people, which provides very little room for inviting people to come over. Formal dining areas seem to be getting eliminated in favor of casual eating spaces given the cost to buy (or rent) a condo these days which are getting smaller and smaller. Look outside the downtown area to live in a larger home with more square footage where you can hold comfortable sit-down dinners with friends in a much more spacious instead of trying to squeeze into a smaller apartment downtown. Having more room definitely provides a better quality of life in terms of accommodating people comfortably for a proper sit-down dinner or cocktail party where you can catch up with friends, getting to know new people or even learning something new from someone you’ve just met. Larger spaces also make it easier to have an open concept layout where the kitchen, dining and living room are all in one huge space without any walls. And if you can entertain at home then it’s certainly going to be less expensive than going out as you can easily host pot luck dinners.