For some people, the “American Dream,” means getting married, having kids and buying a big house in the suburbs.

However, a young Tampa family is doing just the opposite of going bigger and better, they are going smaller and smarter, making the “American Dream” their own.

For the last few months, KJ and Carolynn Jones have enjoyed nice morning walks by the water with their young kids, before starting their workday.  Carolynn says it’s a big change from a long hectic commute.

“We were spending almost over 40 hours a month in traffic,” Carolynn Jones said.

So they made a major change. They moved, downsizing from a spacious home in Tampa Palms into a high rise condo downtown.

“We downsized from about 3,000 to about 1,700 square feet,” KJ Jones said.

They raised some eyebrows among their friends questioning where the kids would play and what they would do.

“This is big enough for me,” Isaiah Jones said.

“Since they’ve been here they’ve been happier and more peaceful,” Carolynn Jones said.

The family now goes outside together, walking to parks and restaurants, instead of playing or working inside in separate rooms. The family said they don’t miss the extra rooms their Tampa Palms home had.

KJ Jones says those same friends who questioned why they made the big move, have come to visit and are now questioning their own home goals.

“Now they’re starting to say, ‘Man, maybe this is not a bad idea and it’s something that we could do also,’ KJ Jones said. “So I think just doing it and making the jump and living it is the key.”

The move hasn’t just had a positive effect on the kids, KJ and Carolynn Jones say it’s brought them closer as a couple.

As far as budgeting goes, even though a smaller condo in downtown on the water can be more expensive than the huge, suburban home, KJ Jones says overall they are saving at least $500 a month in gas and tolls from just from not having to commute so far to work.

“Family Downsizes to Live Downtown”WTSP 10 News