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How do you feel about the size of your house?

Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse
4 years ago
last modified: 4 years ago

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/are-mcmansions-making-everyone-unhappy/ar-AACII3K

McMansions making everyone unhappy?

So I came across this, and as the owner of a 1700 (give or take) square foot home in a neighborhood of roughly similar sized homes (though the furthest back street in the development has the largest homes - built on various sized lots, some are even smaller lots than ours is built on which kind of strikes me as weird!) - I started wondering if there are homeowners whose experience with their home purchase is the same as what the article discusses. Have you bought a house and been pleased for the first year or so, only to drive past a new residential development with *even larger* homes and become dissatisfied? Did you suddenly feel the urge to put your house on the market much sooner than you would have otherwise, all because you wanted to get into a much bigger, newer, fancier home? Do you think that this whole "Keeping up with the Jones' (or Kardashians? Lol)" thing is getting out of control? Honestly, it might be better if more people were making a conscious decision to prioritize what's necessary - a house that is big enough to contain what you need it to contain, spending what you can afford to spend without extending yourself beyond what is sensible, and if you can't figure out where those limits are at - going to an expert who can help you do that. An expert who can give you a rational explanation not an overly optimistic-without-significant-evidence-supporting-such-optimism one.

The mister and I wanted a house that would have space for children (we are licensed foster parents and adopted two kiddos officially in December 2018), ourselves, and wasn't so huge that it would mean losing most of the weekend every week keeping it maintained and clean. At a little over 1700SQFT we have 3bed/3bath, plenty of closet space, a nice open living room and kitchen on the main floor without things being *too open*, a basement, laundry room, and attached garage (critical when you live in Nebraska but don't leave for the winters). We don't *need* a bigger house! My parents' home in a neighborhood 10 minutes away is a HUGE, 3bed/3.5bath, walkout basement with two 'unfinished' rooms that are under their 3 car garage that at least one of said rooms is intended to provide protection in the event of a severe storm/tornado direct-ish hit. I can't see myself or the mister wanting to spend the amount of time involved keeping a home the size of my parents' clean. My brother and my SIL have 4 kids, 3 of them are boys - I get why they have a bigger house, and why it has a door at the top of the stairs going down into their basement level rooms (lol). The mister and I were living in a 2story loft townhouse back in SoCal with 986squft, the layout lacked a presence of walls where one would need them (needed walls enclosing the loft upstairs which was the bedroom and had the walk-in closet along with the only bathroom so any guest who needed to use the restroom had to traipse through our bedroom area) and besides the lack of privacy that meant leaving the house if you needed to spend some time away from each other, there wasn't room for even just 1-2 kids to live there.

Comments (77)

  • Bunny
    4 years ago

    1300 sq ft. My cats think it's unfair that when I have visitors they get bumped from their own room, so they howl at the door during the night. So, they'd prefer a larger house with their own wing. For me, this house is a good size.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked Bunny
  • Debbie Downer
    4 years ago

    I think part of this story should be how god-awful poorly designed so many of these Mcmansions are. Is it the size per se or the fact that your space has all the intimacy and charm of an over sized hotel lobby. I don't know if its feng shui exactly... but I do think people respond to visual and spatial perceptions ... whether they are conscious of it or not. Some houses you walk into feel immediately sheltered and safe - others not so much.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked Debbie Downer
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  • Debbie Downer
    4 years ago

    My best space ever was a 300 sf studio with kitchen, bath, living/sleeping area & small storage area in the basement - up on 3rd floor with great views of rooftops and treetops. Nice big windows and light. The small size meant that I had to really pare down, I could only bring in new things by phasing out other things I didn t like so much. At the time I thought having a small space was a problem but now I look back on that as a happy and comfortable place to live in. I remember having a meeting of a group I was in in the living room and amazingly about 10 people squeezed in there along with my two cats who loved all the laps.... and it was just fine

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked Debbie Downer
  • Kathy
    4 years ago

    I have lived in a 700 sq ft house when we were younger and had 3 kiddos, all of us sharing one bath. Yes, it can be done. Now 3 baths later we have no kiddos at home and rooms are going to waste and store more junk than I need. If We could get rid of the junk collected because we have the room, we could move to a more efficient home with no stairs for our old age.

    I find there is a need for more efficient style homes for seniors with more luxury appointments. At our age we have become accustomed to more luxury and need less space.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked Kathy
  • nicole___
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    We're two adults and a cat. In order of importance: Big heated garage, Big heated shop, Covered deck, dirt trails or sidewalks(no walking in the street), low utility bills, Wifi

    After that....a big laundry room, a big mud room, a big shower, a nice kitchen, casual not fancy.....any size house would work.

    6428 sq feet, no mortgage. I'm still working on the unfinished parts....not loving it ....yet....

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked nicole___
  • AnnKH
    4 years ago

    We bought our 2000 sq ft split entry 30 years ago. It has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, a living room, family room, laundry room. 6 years ago I remodeled the kitchen (it was a spec house; the kitchen was terrible), but the rest of the house has suited us just fine. When the kids were teenagers a little more room might have been nice, but on those rare occasions we had company stay over, one kid gave up his room for company.

    More than just the house, we love our yard (it's on the edge of a park), and our neighbors, and our location. In a part of the country where everyone drives everywhere, we are within walking distance of the library, hardware and grocery stores, movie theater, several restaurants. We will live here until we can no longer manage the stairs, or if we decide to live in a different part of the country when we retire.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked AnnKH
  • terilyn
    4 years ago

    We are in 3800 square feet and 10 acres. 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. There are three of us, 4 dogs, a cat and a guinea pig. The only thing I don’t care for is the master bedroom is upstairs and laundry room is downstairs. I love our outdoor area, pool, fantastic gazebo and a stocked pond. We have a lot of woods so also a lot of wildlife.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked terilyn
  • nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Remodeled and went from 850 to 1700 sf. We could have had less sf and still been more than fine, but the advice was to go larger for a better return on investment. I do wish the lot 3600 sf lot was larger for more gardens, but that’s because this area planned for vacation bungalows — Venice of America.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10
  • Lars
    4 years ago

    My brother and I moved from a 900 sqft 2 bedroom, 1 bath house in Venice near the beach to a 1535 sqft 3 bedroom, 2 bath house in Westchester, about seven miles from our house in Venice and about 2 miles further from the beach. The summers are slightly warmer here, but the winters are the same. We get a bit less coastal fog than we did in Venice. Both houses have attached garages that are not directly accessible from the house, but in this climate, that is not an issue. The house in Venice had the garage in the back, was carpeted, and I had my workout equipment there. I would always open the garage door when doing my exercise so that I could look at the back yard, which was very large for the neighborhood and went all the way to the next street, which is why the garage could be at the back. The house in Venice was built in 1954; the one in Westchester in 1950 with only 840 sqft, but it was significantly remodeled/added onto in the 1990s to include a large master bedroom with en suite and a dining area with additional living area that has access to the back yard. From the front, the house still looks like it did in 1950, as the garage is beside the house. Our new garage has concrete flooring, and we use it for storage mostly, and we have an additional refrigerator plus a stand-up freezer. We have four bicycles that are hung from the ceiling. We used the bikes more in Venice because we were on a bike trail (or half a block away from it) that went through Marina Del Rey, which I enjoyed, although eventually the bike paths got too crowded. Venice is an extremely popular tourist destination, with many of the tourists coming from Europe and Japan. That became tiresome after a while, not to mention the heavy beach traffic. We're on a very quiet street now and have a back yard that is approximately the same size as the yard in Venice - it's just shaped differently. The yard was much bigger before the addition was built, but it is still adequate. In both places, lot value is triple (or more) the value of the house.

    I'm fine with the space we have now, but we did feel a bit cramped in Venice, although I did stay there for fifteen years. We mainly wanted to have two bathrooms and much more closet space, and Kevin now has an art studio, although he does not use it as much as he could. We did a lot more entertaining in Venice than we do here, but in both places, entertaining is done outdoors, and the weather is nice all year, except for the few days that it rains. Heating and cooling costs are minimal, and we did not have central A/C in Venice, since the summers were mostly cool and we could open windows to get cool air most of the time.

    We are buying a second home in the Coachella Valley that is exactly the same size as the house in Westchester, but the lot size is significantly larger (land values are much lower there), but we get a pool and a two-car garage with direct access to the house. This house was built in 1991 in a subdivision where all the houses still look fairly similar. In Venice, the neighborhood was extremely eclectic; in Westchester many of the houses do still look somewhat similar, but some have been torn down and replaced with two-story houses, but very few. McMansions are not practical in the desert, as it would cost a fortune to cool them, but the house we are buying there has solar panels, and that will help keep energy costs down.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked Lars
  • miss lindsey (She/Her)
    4 years ago

    We have 2300 sf. 4 beds 2 1/2 baths. 7 kids, oldest almost 16 youngest 4.

    The size is perfect, bedrooms could be a bit bigger but we want to encourage gathering in family spaces and we don't want to end up with too much house when everyone moves out. More storage would always be nice but, we have barns lol.

    I prefer just-big-enough houses in general and I don't ever feel tempted by large new mcmansions; any time I've been in them I'm unimpressed. I am more likely to feel tempted by a small cottage of bungalow!

    Love your new handle Jenn, when I saw it on another thread I thought "I wonder if it's worth making get an offer" and then I saw this! :-D

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked miss lindsey (She/Her)
  • functionthenlook
    4 years ago

    Families needs for sq footage changes as the family changes and grows. I chuckle when I hear about older people should downsize. We are both retired and this is the largest home we owned (2470 sq ft ). We went from a family of 4 to a family of 9 and still expanding. It is just hubby and me that live in it, but the kids and granddaughters live local. Every room is used with family gatherings and the granddaughters staying over one night a week. It is nice to have a dining room that we can all sit down at the table at once and a living room where we are not stepping over each other.

    What I don't agree with is that people are made to feel that every kid should have their own bedroom and bathroom and every person should have their own sink or they are living in sub standard housing.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked functionthenlook
  • maifleur01
    4 years ago

    Even though it is just me now in a 1275/2500 sq ft house, yes different ways of measuring depending on what it was measured for, I would like to expand my house. I would love to have a bathroom as large as my second bedroom, 10X12 but the traditional for the time 1950 bathroom works. Thinking that within the next five years will need to move to a different living situation and have been looking at what is available. Usage is so tied to how things are arranged as somethings with much smaller sq footage have seemed much larger while others that do have more sq footage have seemed cramped. I am seeing less open concept and more ability to close off rooms or areas of dwellings as builders are starting to receive requests for things that will save energy.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked maifleur01
  • nycefarm
    4 years ago

    We built a 2400 sq foot house 3bd/3ba on family land, though it is only DH and me (+3 dogs). We really didn't need that much space, but the flow and design of the house suited us well and the site deserved a house that was more than just a shack... We only use about half of it unless we have company.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked nycefarm
  • VedaBeeps SoCal 9b/10a
    4 years ago

    Our current house is 952 sqft 2/1 built in 1914. It’s a beautiful house with wonderful details and the size is perfect, I even run a business out of it.

    We’re looking around because we need more space outside of the house. We’re looking for 2-4 acres of flat usable land, no pond, no pool, no hills so we can have 2 20x40 buildings for our cars. It’s been extremely difficult to find what we’re looking for because all the houses on larger properties are bigger than we want!

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked VedaBeeps SoCal 9b/10a
  • Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    @Miss Lindsey - the longer we've had kids in the house, the more I find myself longing for even a short amount of unscheduled--in-some-way time, to nap. Even if I don't have something officially on the schedule for a specific time slot, there's going to be one thing or another in the day that has to be done and then I have to get on with whatever's next that *is* officially scheduled. Working from home so much as I do, B.K. I could squeeze in time for a nap. Now...not so much. Lol!

    The dog gets to sleep in the bed with myself and the mister, the kids end up in our bed on stormy nights which gets *really* crowded (I'm thinking about telling the mister to get an air mattress...for him...for those stormy nights ;) I'd feel badly about having the girls sleeping on one though...). The dog has always slept with me and would probably think she was being punished if she got her own room. Yeah, the dog is kind of co-dependent but she's 13 years old now and deserves to continue having the best life we can possibly give her with all the belly rubs and treats she can handle - and I'm making the most of the time I have left with her (at 13, I'm realistic about how long that time period is likely to be).

  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
    4 years ago

    My neighborhood is all 1941-1950s built cottages, capes, ranches and 2 stories, 2-3 bedrooms, some with basements and some not, ranging from 850-1000 sq feet originally. Many, like mine, have had one or two rooms added -- mostly in the back, because our lots are deep more than wide.

    Some residents are content with raising their children in a smaller home (they don't mind having the kids share bedrooms, or that the bedrooms are pretty small by today's standards). Others feel they need to leave their "starter home" once they have 2 children. I don't think most have McMansion envy, though, or they wouldn't have moved here in the first place.

    An unfortunate, IMO, phenomenon that is starting to pop up though is some love the neighborhood and don't want to leave but want a much larger house; and instead of just using back yard space they are pushing the sides of the house out to within a foot of the lot line. I don't think that they are considering that their neighbors might not want to have another house sitting within a few feet of their own -- there are subdivisions that are built that way, ours was not and that is part of its appeal.

    In another part of town, also with older and smaller (not as small as ours though) ranches, I am starting to see the tear down, split the lot and build 2 large all house- little yard- builds- that- hulk- over- the- neighbors phenomenon. I can't imagine why the city approves this.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
  • always1stepbehind
    4 years ago

    LOL...I must be tired this morning...I read chi's "2100" as 1200 and thought "wow, 5 bedrooms in 1200 sf"....I'm losing it!!

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked always1stepbehind
  • Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    5 bedrooms in 1200sf = each bedroom is about the size of a closet. ;)

    Either that, or the kitchen is on the back porch, and everyone dines standing up out on the front porch. :P

  • jama7
    4 years ago

    "An unfortunate, IMO, phenomenon that is starting to pop up though is some love the neighborhood and don't want to leave but want a much larger house; and instead of just using back yard space they are pushing the sides of the house out to within a foot of the lot line."

    Don't you have setback requirements? We can't go within 12' of another structure.

    It is sad to see all these darling smaller capes and cottages being torn down in order to build mega $$$ condos and 2 family homes/condos (HOA fees of $600 per mo!) that tower over their neighbors. And ours is a very historic town....well, they can only limit so much I guess.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked jama7
  • DawnInCal
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I'm good with it. Our house is about 2000 square feet. We have three bedrooms, one we sleep in, one that is hubby's office and the other is my studio which doesn't leave a room for guests. Ideally, we'd have another bedroom/bathroom for company. But, we have a house in town and guests stay there when they are visiting so it works out and I don't have guests constantly underfoot.

    I do sometimes find myself lusting after other houses though. A friend of mine has a house next to a river. They often catch dinner while standing in their backyard. Every time I visit her, I think how nice it would be to live in that location and sit out on the deck watching the river go by. She also just did a $100,000 remodel - everything in her house is brand spankin' new and that also gives me something to lust over.


    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked DawnInCal
  • chisue
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Location is still paramount. I think of McMansions as massive Toll Bros. developments of four-layout 2-story houses, all with one pretentious brick elevation on the front, on farmland with the good topsoil sold off, convenient to...nothing.

    Today's equivalent is 'gated communities' of cookie-cutter houses on small lots -- also 'nowhere' -- whose senior residents don't want to pay for schools, park districts, etc.

    We (a couple/1 DS) lived 28 years in under 2K sq ft: 3 BRs 2.5 baths, one floor, 2-car attached gar., on .25 acre in an established suburb north of Chicago. Top schools and a 1-hour commute for DH, but on an edge of the town -- a former subdivision of the fifties -- with more development looming -- more highways, air traffic, more dense building.

    After DH retired, we built a not-so-different-layout house 900 sq ft larger: 2BRs 3.5 baths, one floor (w/full height attic for a future owner to double the living space), on 1.3 acres in an established town twice as far north of the city. We wanted more quiet and privacy, and something hard to find in existing real estate: A small house with big rooms on one floor in an established neighborhood. We are on a 'country road' with larger homes on larger lots, 5 minutes from the town center. We tore down an old ranch, getting mature trees and 'instant landscaping'.

    Currently you can by a lovely big home (not a McMansion) here for half what it cost a dozen years ago. Homes under 5K sq ft bring more per sq ft. People don't want to pay huge taxes or maintain unused space.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked chisue
  • greenshoekitty
    4 years ago

    I have 875 sq foot 2 story house . One more room would be nice. The main thing I would love is a bathroom on the first floor . This is a two bed one bath house with large old houses on each side.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked greenshoekitty
  • amylou321
    4 years ago

    It's just the two of us and the fur heathens in a home that is just under 2000 sq ft. 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths. Its perfect for our needs. One of the bedrooms is fully furnished but largely unused but I like having it. The other spare bedroom has my treadmill and my Christmas stuff and some stuff in storage. Just what I need. Both of us wish we had some more land and wish we were further off the road for more privacy, but the house itself I am satisfied with. We lived in our other house together for a couple years, and it didnt work at all. 1200 sq ft 3 bedrooms, 1 bath. Nope nope nope. That wouldn't even work for me alone,let alone both of us. I dont know how he lived there with a wife and kid for so long. Maybe they just were not as spoiled as me. But he loves it here too. I wouldn't want a much bigger house, but I would find it very difficult to live in anything much smaller.

    As for cleaning,well, even though I don't enjoy housework,I enjoy having a house to fuss over,as i thought I would NEVER have one of my own. And I do find it easier to clean and tidy this larger home than the smaller one we lived in. More storage, more room to move around and scrub.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked amylou321
  • biondanonima (Zone 7a Hudson Valley)
    4 years ago

    We are three adults (DH's daughter is living with us while she goes to college) and three cats in a 4BR, 2.5BA foursquare. Technically the house is 2,000 square feet, but we have a finished attic (an additional 1,000 square feet) and an unfinished basement (so another 1,000 square feet). It is the perfect size for us currently, although the foursquare layout means that we have more room than we need in some areas (dining room and foyer) and less than I would like in others (kitchen and baths). Still, the efficient layout and beautiful proportions make me happier than a bigger bathroom would. This won't be our forever home, as we intend to move away from NYC for retirement (if not before), but I don't anticipate moving within our area either to upsize or downsize.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked biondanonima (Zone 7a Hudson Valley)
  • rob333 (zone 7b)
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    raee reminded me of the place I was renting before I moved. It was an affluent neighborhood and nice houses (I'm pretty sure I complained on here about this right before I moved out. Drove me crazy!). They added an entire 3640 sq ft house in their backyard.


    Do you see the two houses on this one lot? The city describes their lots size, both of them, as 0.00 acres. Worse, I felt like anything we did in the backyard was fodder for their entertainment as B's front faced across the backyards. I hated that.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked rob333 (zone 7b)
  • PRO
    Anglophilia
    4 years ago

    My house has 2800 sq ft. When we bought it 35 years ago, it was for my husband and myself and our then 12 yr old daughter; 14 yr old son was going to boarding school. At that time, we spent the summer elsewhere. The house worked just fine except when my son was home for vacations. He was HUGE - 6'4", very broad shoulders - a water polo player. He took up a lot of space. We would never have bought this house if he had been staying home for high school or college.


    Daughter grew up and moved out. Just my husband and me. He died nearly 14 years ago, so now it's just me and 2 small dogs. And the size is just fine. I think I must have been "traumatized" by our small 2 BR apt where my parents and I lived for 6 years. Ha!


    I'm an only child and I need my space. I like still having a nice sized LR and a formal DR. They are not used often, but when they are needed, I'm very glad I have them. I enjoy just walking through those rooms.


    I would actually live in a larger house than this if I could afford to do so and the "right" house came on the market. Actually, the house I would love to live in is the one in which my late husband grew up. It has 4200 sq ft, not including servant's quarters over the garage and breezeway. I love that house.


    Since I've lived in my present house now for 35 years, I'm clearly not someone always looking for something "bigger & better". My former DIL fell in that category. First of all, we could never afford something "bigger & better", second, I hate moving, and 3rd, it's taken me 35 years to finally get the house and garden exactly the way I envisioned it when it was purchased 35 years ago!

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked Anglophilia
  • gyr_falcon
    4 years ago

    Wow, rob. That is an awful case of McMansionism. At least you were renting and didn't have to try to sell the property next to that thing.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked gyr_falcon
  • milliecat
    4 years ago

    My house is 2700 square feet on 1/2 acre in a small town. It has ten rooms one and a half baths and four bedrooms. The house is 180 years old and is clapboard with three fireplaces two of which we never used. We also have two koi ponds which are a royal pain. Daughter thinks we ought to downsize and buy a smaller house in her town which is beside mine. We've lived here 36 years , half my life and I don't want to move. We have two steep staircases which I travel many times a day. I laugh when I go to the gym and see people on the step master. I want to invite them to my house. It's hard to find handymen to hire but husband thinks he has found one now so we'll see.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked milliecat
  • chisue
    4 years ago

    "Appropriate" is another measure of good housing. One structure is seldom 'best' for all stages of our lives: Singles, couples, growing families, empty-nesters, independent seniors (couples or singles), and seniors no longer independent. Some measures are size, layout, conveniences, location -- and affordability! (A house isn't a bank. After indexing for inflation, our home of 28 years realized a small profit, beyond, of course, having been a nice home.)


    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked chisue
  • Kathsgrdn
    4 years ago

    I live in a 1400 sq. foot ranch on 1/4 acre in a 1980s subdivision. Three bedrooms, 2 baths. The kitchen is tiny with an eat-in dining area. I live in 3 rooms of this house, my bedroom, my bath and the kitchen. One bedroom is full of my son's belongings and the living room is now full of my daughter's. Even before she brought her things for temporary storage, I never used the living room. Would love to have a smaller home on the same size lot or bigger. I have looked at the prices of tiny homes but they cost more than my current house! I've also looked at retirement communities but they are way out of my budget and I don't think I'd be happy with no garden space. Wish I had the money to tear down this house and build a cute little cottage with an upstairs with custom half step stairs for my short legs/bad knees and landscape the yard the way I want it with a large vegetable garden, small greenhouse and back patio. Going to tear off the sunroom in the next year or two and slowly do some clearing out of the backyard. It is overgrown with trees and bushes the previous owner planted.

    Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse thanked Kathsgrdn
  • OutsidePlaying
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Ours is right at 3000 sq ft on 9 acres. We built it on one level with retirement in mind, and with wide doorways and hallways, so some space is taken up by unusually large empty spaces. And we have larger rooms we live in like our master bath, bedroom, great room, dining areas. Our 2 spare BRs have small walk-in closets, there is a utility room and a study where we have computers and a piano, and I can’t complain about storage space.

    If I were building again today, I would tweak a few things but overall it is an easy house to maintain and entertain in. I don’t really need to clean one end of the house that often where the 2 bedrooms and guest bath are located unless we have guests. Sometimes I am envious of the newer technologies built into houses that we have had to retrofit. And I would someday like to update a few of the hard elements in the house, but they are fine and functional for now.

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  • sheilajoyce_gw
    4 years ago

    We bought this house over 40 years ago to raise our young family. Between the purchase date and the completion date, we had a surprise baby.

    We are empty nesters now, so it is bigger than we need as a rule, but at holidays and family gatherings, our family of 5 is now 13 strong, with sometimes as many as 11 spending the nights here.

    Since that is a stretch with the grands sleeping on the floor and the port a crib, I wish we had 2 more bedrooms at least.

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  • Lindsey_CA
    4 years ago

    We bought this house brand new (it was in the framing stage) in 1990, and we own it free and clear. Just under 2300 sq.ft. on a shade under 1/4 acre. We're on the curve of an L-shaped cul-de-sac so our lot is kite shaped (some call it pie shaped). Creek running around the rear of the property so no houses directly behind us, except on the other side of the creek (and you can't build within 60' of the creek, so those houses are a nice distance away). Upstairs we have three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Downstairs there is one bedroom and a full bathroom, laundry room, formal living room, formal dining room, kitchen, breakfast nook, and family room. Fireplaces in the family room and master bedroom. Three-car attached garage. Pool in the backyard. My husband and I and our cat are the only occupants. The downstairs bedroom is the guest room. We have the master suite upstairs, and the two secondary bedrooms upstairs are our "offices." The only thing I don't like/would change is a master suite on the ground floor now that we're getting older (I'll be 70 in August), but size-wise, the house is fine.

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  • nickel_kg
    4 years ago

    McMansions make me unhappy but not because I want one! The term "McMansion" to me implies a huge house on a tiny lot, the house displaying about 12 roof gables too many, with cheap materials under that fancy facade. Huge ceilings, open floorplans, a monster to heat and cool. A tasteless waste. Yuck. But that's my opinion, it doesn't have to be anyone else's.

    DH and I retired and downsized to a house literally half the size of our former house. It was a good first step to getting rid of possessions we no longer needed and kept out of habit or sheer laziness. We have enough space for DH and I every day, and one tiny guest room mostly for when our daughter visits -- we rarely ever had overnight guests even at our former, larger, house. Our utility bills are so much lower with less square footage to heat and cool. Cleaning takes less time. DH and I bump hips when we're both working in the kitchen at the same time, but that's kind of fun! My only regret having less wall space for artwork.

    I will say that both of our homes fit mid-range in their neighborhoods. There aren't any large houses in our current (1940's - 1960's) neighborhood and there weren't any small homes in our former (1990's - 2010's) neighborhood. So I don't know how I would feel if I lived in a house outside the norm.

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  • grapefruit1_ar
    4 years ago

    Our home is around 2300 sq. ft. on 2 acres. It is three bedrooms and 2 3/4 baths. We have been here for 33 years, raised our children her, and hope that we never have to move...alive. We love our home/land and have no desires for anything bigger.

    We have a second home 4 1/2 hours away to be near our grandkids. It is about the same size as our main home, we surely could live there if we have to, but have no plans to.

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  • ldstarr
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    We're 2 adults living in about 1400 sq ft. 1 Bedroom, 1-1/2 Baths. It is comfortable and easy to care for. Someday we'll put up an addition to house a master bedroom/bath on the first floor. Until then, a 1 bedroom suits us just fine.

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  • Feathers11
    4 years ago

    What matters more to me is function. Poorly designed spaces are difficult to live in no matter the size.

    Our current home is perfect for our family right now, and we did some remodeling early on to make it functional for us. Soon, I'll be downsizing, and I'm beginning to plan in my mind how I want a functional space to be.

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  • marilyn_c
    4 years ago

    This is the largest house I have ever lived in @ right at 2400 sq ft, but I would hardly call it living, since it is unfinished and basically we live in one room. When we bought the house and started the remodel, my husband was a tow boat pilot, and the plan was to hire everything done.


    He fell on the tow boat aand broke both knees. Following surgery and rehab, he started back to work. Got a job, went for a physical and a huge kidney stone was found lodged in his kidney. Too big for lithotripsy, they had to cut into his kidney. Out of work another six months. Then he had a huge bladder stone and they had to go in and remove that. And then he got Vibriosis, the flesh eating bacteria. In hospital 3 weeks with that. And then he was diagnosed with asbestosis and pulmonary fibrosis, which just about curtailed everything.


    Meanwhile, Hurricane Harvey came and though the hurricane did no damage here, it went inland, turned around, and came back as a tropical storm, stalled out over us, and flooded the house and just about the whole world down here.


    So never been able to recover from these set backs, we have sold the place and will be moving to east Texas. Have a small trailer on that place, and though it has been well taken care of, it is 40 years old...so we plan to build a small house or what is called a "barndominium ". I haven't had time to give it a lot of thought as to what I want. A large bathroom with a jacuzzi tub, is on the list and a sunporch across the back. A separate storage area for the freezer and another separate space for laundry room. A covered car port to drive in during bad weather.

    Some space in the kitchen for my dishes and collection of yellow ware bowls. And outside, a koi pond. I have kept koi for over 50 years...lost my big ones in the flood, but I have about a dozen and a half little ones.


    The things I like about this house are the huge sunporch and the center hall. I like all the old architectural elements we incorporated into it. And I like the 26 acres we have here...had 50 but sold some...but it is mostly wooded and on a bayou, and not the best place for my horses.


    To me, the most important thing is land. I have got to have enough that neighbors aren't right on top of me. The new place we are buying has 34 acres.


    I have never been envious of people who have bigger houses and fancier things than me. A lot of people live beyond their means. We don't have any debt and seldom have had any. I have known people who live on their credit cards and can't pay their light bills. I don't hang out with a lot of people anyway. I almost no family....one daughter and sil, but no grandchildren. I raise waterlilies and hang out with my horses, cats and dogs. Those are the things that are important to me...not a big, fancy house.

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  • satine_gw
    4 years ago

    I have about 1300 or so square feet with two beds, two baths, living room dining room combo and small kitchen. I moved here from a five bedroom four bath home so really had to ruthlessly downsize. I live alone so in reality there is enough space but I wish I had more storage and would love a sunroom. I could add one but there are other projects which need to be done and the cost would be too much for me to handle.

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  • Lukki Irish
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Our house is 1700 sf as well. We were older before we lived in an area we could afford to buy in and this is the only house we’ve ever owned. We’re happy here, the size and floor plan are a good fit, it has tons of storage, a larger sized lot and park like setting.

    When we bought, we could have easily afforded more house but we didn’t need or want it. The best part is we’re not house poor.

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  • aok27502
    4 years ago

    We built 3000 sf 25 years ago. Four-bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, planning for children who never happened. We have two acres of woods and very little yard. It's plenty big for the two of us, and we will be downsizing soon. We are really downsizing, to a 43 foot sailboat. We will have some sort of home on land, at least for a while... But that probably won't be much to write home about.

    I have no envy of McMansions. There are some adjacent to our subdivision, the largest I believe is approximately 8500 square feet. The family has either two or three children, and I have no idea what any family could do with that much space.

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  • Jenn TheCaLLisComingFromInsideTheHouse
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    @grapefruit1_ar

    Hah - you say you don't want to move from your primary home alive, I've told the mister we are dying in our current house because there's no way I will move to another in our lifetimes. I was the one who did the packing of boxes and all the other tedious but obligatory stuff in preparation for moving from our previous home - he only had to go see houses and take a ton of pictures of the ones visited, my parents helped out with the realtor-given property tours for because they already lived in Nebraska where we moved to. My mom ended up taking 'supplemental' photos because the mister was getting a little frustrated at the fact that I didn't think the ones he'd taken were sufficient nor showing all possible angles/views. :P

    My mom is a prolific photo taker, and she's super detailed (like I am) about things so really I should have just asked her to take all the photos while she and my dad were doing the home tours with the mister. I'd have gone out to Nebraska myself, but I had to stay and properly wrap up things with my legal practice, not to mention pack/be on site for showings/get the place ready including letting in various professionals to clean the chimney-replace sink hardware-add more lighting fixtures-etc...We decided to go ahead on moving in May 2017, put the house on the market in June 2017, had the place sold and escrow closed at the end of July 2017. My old car was sold and the title handed to the new owner a few days into August and the mister and I stayed at a nearby hotel with the dog until our flight out of LAX on August 5th. His work vehicle was already at our new house, but once we dropped our luggage off we went over to the dealership to pick up my new car - the transaction was done primarily online so it was super easy and convenient. The mister got a job offer out here right before I did, but his was on a shorter timeline before he'd have to give his now-boss an answer about whether or not he wanted to accept the position. Renting a place here at the same time as looking for a home to buy would eat up a lot of funds we really wanted to keep in the home purchase category of the budget. I also needed to put aside enough for taxes on the townhouse in SoCal that we sold (and other taxes related to both of the property transactions).

  • User
    4 years ago

    I'm not sure how many sf our house has but the rooms are large (except for the kitchen -- LOL) but there aren't many of them which is great for the two of us. A large living room and dining room, a tiny kitchen and a small breakfast room (which we added on) two bedrooms upstairs with a sitting room off of one of the bedrooms (that extra space that everyone needs) and a nice large bath.

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  • sealavender
    4 years ago

    I have decided that 1400 sf is the maximum I can clean/maintain myself. Happy just under that for 2 of us.

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  • chisue
    4 years ago

    sealavenler -- The Dutch have a maxim that people should be able to clean their own houses. (Completely foreign to our fascination with wretched excess.)

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  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 years ago

    Careful, chisue. Aside from small places like Monaco and Gibralter, the Netherlands has the highest population density in Western Europe and small homes as a result. Yes, we've all seen the lovely scenery of cows grazing in dike bordered pastures and flowers growing in fields but after you subtract that, there's little room left for housing and their dwelling sizes reflect that. The Dutch also have a firmly established common man, anti privileged ethos.

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  • Cherryfizz
    4 years ago

    I think my house is 73 years old, 1 -1/2 story, 1200 sq feet. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, full unfinished basement, unfinished upstairs (used as an attic). I grew up in this house with 6 siblings and 2 parents. I don't know how my Mom did it because I am finding the house isn't big enough for me and my stuff. I could use one more room but other than that I like my house. I have 40 foot front yard and 55 feet in the backyard. I don't think I would want a house with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms if there are only 2 people living in it and a large mortgage payment to go with it. I am happy I am mortgage free so I am happy to be in my little house.

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  • chisue
    4 years ago

    Elmer -- It's the ethos part that fits, apropos our discussion of McMansions. Yes, land is limited, but I view this as a pious admonition and a rebuke of ostentation.

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  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Sure, chisue but not unlike other groups with other group held beliefs, they can be hypocrites about this. As one might expect.

    I've intentionally stayed out of this conversation. I personally don't like the McMansion approach because I think they tend to be unattractive and make the neighborhoods undesirable but if someone wants one, great! (Hey, you want a gable, let's put in 10. Dormer windows, sure a half dozen here and a half dozen there)

    We live in a large house, larger than others have mentioned. It's not ostentatious, it's not showy and it's plain in a way. It's not to impress anyone. We raised a family of kids here and like the space we have. It's not a McMansion, not squeezed in between neighbors, nor is it out in the country on acreage. There is a middle ground.

    The size of house someone lives in is a matter of choice and economic means. I don't think it's something that should be of anyone's concern. Now, if people are bragging and boastful about what they have, that's a different story. People like that do that with more than their house anyway.

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  • phoggie
    4 years ago

    I drew it...had it built on a beautiful little lake, and it is perfect for me!

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