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  • Kevin Jones

Neighbor/Can I rent your attic

A few years ago I wrote a piece for the local paper that discussed the Utility function,

utilizing housing as an example. In 1973 the average size of a single family house was 1660 square feet, and in 2010 that number was 2392 square feet. During this same period, average household size decreased from 3.01 to 2.54, resulting in each occupant utilizing 941 square foot of house space in 2010, versus 552 square feet in 1973. I made the argument that if the Millennials decided that they only required the same square footage per person that their grandparents did, then there could be difficulties in selling homes larger than 1400 square feet. In essence we may have a shortage of houses, but too much supply of square footage. In most industries, when there is excess supply, production is curtailed to work off the excess inventory. It is very difficult to carve out 1000 square feet of your house to sell someone. Of course there are options such as bringing in a renter, or vacation rental. Each has it's own difficulties. I am one of those people who has excess square footage now that our four children are gone, and the financial analyst in me has been fretting over how best to address the capital we have tied up in that space. I may be late on this, however today I ran across a company that has provided a solution to this issue that makes sense to me.


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