PSA: Don't buy a big house

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tim1999
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by tim1999 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:16 am

saintsfan342000 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:11 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:13 am
One nice thing about a big house is hosting parties and out of town guests. But with that said I think the biggest house I would want is 2,500 - 3,000 sqft for a family of 4 or 5.
You could put every one of your out-of-town guests up in the Four Seasons, W, Omni, take your pick, and never come close to spending what you'll spend on all that extra house.

Yes! I successfully explained this to my significant other when we picked our latest house. Sort of silly to pay for a lot of extra house, in both purchase price and recurring additional mortgage interest/property tax/utilities/maintenance cost just to fulfill the idea that we could provide a place to stay for relatives who might stay a total of one week per year. Especially when there is every chain hotel you can imagine within 15 minutes of our house. We could completely pay the hotel bills for our visitors ourselves and only spend a small fraction of what the bigger house would add to our housing expense.

nick evets
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by nick evets » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:38 am

tim1999 wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:16 am

Yes! I successfully explained this to my significant other when we picked our latest house [....]
Your logic makes sense, but I've been unable to win the same argument with my spouse. And in fairness, I doubt I'd be thrilled to break out the credit card and pay for hotel rooms each time in-laws, or my own family, visited..."Oh, they want to stay an extra night, and all that's available is a suite? And what are these room service charges??"

Do not like McMansions. Do like 10' ceilings for sure -- amazing what an impact they have on a feeling of space, even in -- or perhaps especially -- apartments. And I like and need guest bedrooms for our home offices. All that said, I would like to design our own house someday and eliminate things that are impractical for us, such as a formal dining room and living room.

I realize this isn't directly related to the OP, but the topic has kinda wandered and it's odd to begin with: sort of like saying "DON'T buy high-end sports cars because touch-up paint is really expensive."

ThankYouJack
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by ThankYouJack » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:46 am

I wonder how it breaks down by cost of living. Seems like some areas are known for small places while other lower cost places building huge homes is the more the norm. For example, I have friends in NYC who have 3 kids and are in a one bedroom. Other friends in LCOLA with 2 kids need to buy > 3,000 sqft homes because they feel cramped in anything smaller. I forget the exact saying, but something like small house = close family
saintsfan342000 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:11 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:13 am
One nice thing about a big house is hosting parties and out of town guests. But with that said I think the biggest house I would want is 2,500 - 3,000 sqft for a family of 4 or 5.
You could put every one of your out-of-town guests up in the Four Seasons, W, Omni, take your pick, and never come close to spending what you'll spend on all that extra house.
Good point. But let's say the extra bedroom is 200 sqft and cost $150 / sqft. That's $30,000 more house. But over a 30 year mortgage at 4.5% that's only ~$150 / month. So I'd be spending more for the hotel rooms and it wouldn't be going towards equity in the house.

Sometimes it's nice to have everyone stay under the same roof and other times not :) We often just squeeze which is fine.

ThankYouJack
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by ThankYouJack » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:04 am

tim1999 wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:16 am
saintsfan342000 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:11 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:13 am
One nice thing about a big house is hosting parties and out of town guests. But with that said I think the biggest house I would want is 2,500 - 3,000 sqft for a family of 4 or 5.
You could put every one of your out-of-town guests up in the Four Seasons, W, Omni, take your pick, and never come close to spending what you'll spend on all that extra house.

Yes! I successfully explained this to my significant other when we picked our latest house. Sort of silly to pay for a lot of extra house, in both purchase price and recurring additional mortgage interest/property tax/utilities/maintenance cost just to fulfill the idea that we could provide a place to stay for relatives who might stay a total of one week per year. Especially when there is every chain hotel you can imagine within 15 minutes of our house. We could completely pay the hotel bills for our visitors ourselves and only spend a small fraction of what the bigger house would add to our housing expense.
I was kind of lazy with my numbers above but if I factor all the extra costs for the guest bedroom my estimates would be:

Mortgage Interest: $30,000 * 4.5% = $1,350
Property Tax: $30,000 * 0.8% = $240
Utilities: ~$150
Maintenance: ~$100

Total: $1,840 / year

Let's say the hotel room is $100 / night. The break even would be 18.4 nights. I have guests stay with me about 30 to 40 nights a year so having a guest room puts me out ahead. Good for everyone to run their own numbers. If someone only has guests stay with them a week or two a year, I'm guessing a hotel would be the better option.

michaeljc70
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:08 am

Having guests stay at a hotel miles away is not the same as hosting them in your home. Though I agree, depending on the frequency you have overnight guests, I wouldn't necessarily be buying a huge house to accommodate that.

alfaspider
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by alfaspider » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:18 am

saintsfan342000 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:11 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:13 am
One nice thing about a big house is hosting parties and out of town guests. But with that said I think the biggest house I would want is 2,500 - 3,000 sqft for a family of 4 or 5.
You could put every one of your out-of-town guests up in the Four Seasons, W, Omni, take your pick, and never come close to spending what you'll spend on all that extra house.
It's true, but a hotel is not quite a substitute good to having someone stay with you. Most of my family members and friends would be somewhat put off and not inclined to accept a night in a hotel room in lieu of staying with us.

At the end of the day, a larger house is a luxury item with luxury cost. I think the important thing is to understand how much that luxury is actually costing you. It's not just the purchase price!

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:28 am

onourway wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:17 pm
srt7 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:47 pm
Exactly! One has to have lived in TX to know that 3500 doesn’t make a McMansion. It takes a much bigger house to attain that classification.
McMansion is more a poorly chosen combination of styles that generally attempt to make the house look more expensive than it really is rather than a specific square footage. Increasing square footage is cheap, so a McMansion is often overly large with lots of useless space, but there are plenty of sub-3500' sq. ft. houses that have all the makings of a true McMansion. :D

http://mcmansionhell.com/101
I think another crucial characteristics is that a McMansion occupy a large percentage of the lot (I.e., high lot coverage).
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

squirm
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by squirm » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:28 am

alfaspider wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:18 am
saintsfan342000 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:11 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:13 am
One nice thing about a big house is hosting parties and out of town guests. But with that said I think the biggest house I would want is 2,500 - 3,000 sqft for a family of 4 or 5.
You could put every one of your out-of-town guests up in the Four Seasons, W, Omni, take your pick, and never come close to spending what you'll spend on all that extra house.
It's true, but a hotel is not quite a substitute good to having someone stay with you. Most of my family members and friends would be somewhat put off and not inclined to accept a night in a hotel room in lieu of staying with us.

At the end of the day, a larger house is a luxury item with luxury cost. I think the important thing is to understand how much that luxury is actually costing you. It's not just the purchase price!
Will probably cost you NOT buying a bigger house. We decided not to buy a bigger house years ago. It would have been worth an extra $300,000 today.

Does anyone actually like 8 foot ceilings? I feel like I'm in a dungeon in those houses.

texasdiver
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by texasdiver » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:31 am

ThankYouJack wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:04 am
tim1999 wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:16 am
saintsfan342000 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:11 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:13 am
One nice thing about a big house is hosting parties and out of town guests. But with that said I think the biggest house I would want is 2,500 - 3,000 sqft for a family of 4 or 5.
You could put every one of your out-of-town guests up in the Four Seasons, W, Omni, take your pick, and never come close to spending what you'll spend on all that extra house.

Yes! I successfully explained this to my significant other when we picked our latest house. Sort of silly to pay for a lot of extra house, in both purchase price and recurring additional mortgage interest/property tax/utilities/maintenance cost just to fulfill the idea that we could provide a place to stay for relatives who might stay a total of one week per year. Especially when there is every chain hotel you can imagine within 15 minutes of our house. We could completely pay the hotel bills for our visitors ourselves and only spend a small fraction of what the bigger house would add to our housing expense.
I was kind of lazy with my numbers above but if I factor all the extra costs for the guest bedroom my estimates would be:

Mortgage Interest: $30,000 * 4.5% = $1,350
Property Tax: $30,000 * 0.8% = $240
Utilities: ~$150
Maintenance: ~$100

Total: $1,840 / year

Let's say the hotel room is $100 / night. The break even would be 18.4 nights. I have guests stay with me about 30 to 40 nights a year so having a guest room puts me out ahead. Good for everyone to run their own numbers. If someone only has guests stay with them a week or two a year, I'm guessing a hotel would be the better option.
Your numbers are similar to our calculations. We bought a larger house that had a 1000 sf 3rd floor in form of a daylight basement with 2 extra bedrooms, large bathroom, and living area because of the way the house was sited on a slope overlooking a greenbelt. Most of the other homes in the area have similar elevations but lack the daylight basement and extra rooms because they are on flatter lots. The cost difference was exactly $30,000.

My wife's mother visits from overseas at least twice a year for 4-6 weeks. Daughter in college comes home for holidays and spring break, often with friends or boyfriend in tow. For big holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas my parents and two brothers show up from out of town as we are now the go-to family gathering spot now that my parents have downsized. We are on the edge of a popular destination city (Portland) so perhaps get more visitors than others and local hotel costs are also higher.

When we are empty nesters and are sure we don't need the space anymore I'm going to rip out the carpet and convert it into a shop for boat building and other projects.

alfaspider
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by alfaspider » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:45 am

squirm wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:28 am
alfaspider wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:18 am
saintsfan342000 wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:11 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:13 am
One nice thing about a big house is hosting parties and out of town guests. But with that said I think the biggest house I would want is 2,500 - 3,000 sqft for a family of 4 or 5.
You could put every one of your out-of-town guests up in the Four Seasons, W, Omni, take your pick, and never come close to spending what you'll spend on all that extra house.
It's true, but a hotel is not quite a substitute good to having someone stay with you. Most of my family members and friends would be somewhat put off and not inclined to accept a night in a hotel room in lieu of staying with us.

At the end of the day, a larger house is a luxury item with luxury cost. I think the important thing is to understand how much that luxury is actually costing you. It's not just the purchase price!
Will probably cost you NOT buying a bigger house. We decided not to buy a bigger house years ago. It would have been worth an extra $300,000 today.

Does anyone actually like 8 foot ceilings? I feel like I'm in a dungeon in those houses.
The bigger house won't necessarily appreciate more than a smaller house. Location, location, location is the key to appreciation. To use a counter example, my 1,700 sq foot house is worth double what it was 10 years ago. There are many 4,000sq ft McMansions in the outer suburbs worth considerably less than they were 10 years ago. Why? 10 years ago the McMansion was a shiny new house in a brand new "master planned" community with hip new amenities. Now, it's just a house in the burbs, which have expanded further out and brought increased traffic and commute time with it. My house is in a close-in community that has been revitalized as people have started to place greater emphasis on shorter commutes and historic houses. I'd also point out that a big house isn't necessarily a more expensive house to purchase. Even 10 years ago (before the recent strong appreciation), someone could have bought a house twice as large as mine for the same price in a less desirable area.

If you instead go for the biggest home in the most desirable area (and can afford such a home), you run into the problem of price volatility. The top end of the market can be even more dependent on the economy. The true multi-million dollar mansions are extremely difficult to sell during a recession, and are generally less liquid even in a good economy.

Of course, local market conditions impact as well. Here in Texas, property taxes are high. In fact, property tax is roughly 50% of my mortgage. In another 10 years, it's totally feasible that property taxes could exceed my mortgage payment. Controlling for location, a bigger more expensive house can be considerably more expensive to own even ignoring things like maintenance and utilities.

randomguy
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by randomguy » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:46 am

alfaspider wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:34 am
I think the difference is one of pretense. They are middle class commodity homes pretending to be something else.
And what are they pretending to be? Everyone knows these are middle and upper middle class houses. Nobody thinks the servants are living in the back and that these are mansions of the rich and famous:) If having a grand entrance or some fake columns makes someones day, who cares. Obviously to some extent you need to define what a McMansion is. If you just define it as a 5k house on a 12k sq ft property, there are tons of houses that look fine but just out of place. Define it as something that makes McMansionhell.com, you are just talking about ugly houses. They will always be with us;)

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greg24
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by greg24 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:49 am

mrc wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:06 pm
No one has mentioned my wife's objection to two-story foyers/great rooms and open floor plans of these McMansions: The noise is unbearable. Fire up a blender in the kitchen and the folks watching TV in a the great room can't hear the sound—even though it's often a different ZIP code.
A friend has a new-ish house that has a "great room" with cathedral ceilings as the center of the house. He says it feels like one giant studio apartment.

No matter where he is in the house, first floor or second floor, he can hear the ruckus created by his two kids. He and his wife can't make much noise at night, either in the kitchen or great room, for fear of waking the kids.

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alpenglow
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by alpenglow » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:52 am

Add me to the list of haters. My wife and I were looking for a smaller, more cozy home but we ended up with McMansion-light (2700sq ft) instead. It was by far the best deal of all the homes we looked at and the acre of wooded, private land was the most important to us. Over time, we have come to hate the high ceilings for all the reasons cited up-thread. Of course, the three places I spend the most time (kitchen, family room, and master bedroom/bath) have high ceilings. The bathroom is especially cold in the winter. We would love to downsize but we don't want to incur the high real estate transaction costs. Lessons learned for retirement.

While we're griping about houses, let me add that I hate the space wasted by the jetted bath tub in our master bath. What a useless item that is annoying to clean. We're currently using it to store some cleaning supplies. :annoyed
Last edited by alpenglow on Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

barnaclebob
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:56 am

squirm wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:28 am
Does anyone actually like 8 foot ceilings? I feel like I'm in a dungeon in those houses.
I certainly don't mind my 8 foot ceilings and there are even beams that come down to maybe 7'6" My house is fairly unique though and you are never more than a few steps away from a window and the house has a lot of windows. I do like the heating bill that comes with the 8 foot ceilings and the fact that my new wood stove seems to have zero issues keeping the house warm. 2000 sqft on two floors.

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wabbajack
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by wabbajack » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:00 am

I don't get it this McMansion stuff. Doesn't it cost the same or similar to build an ugly house as it does to build a decent looking house? Why are people paying for the ugly ones?

One consideration with houses is location. If you have a location in mind, all the houses in that area may happen to be big and/or ugly. And so you're stuck unless you want to tear something down and build custom. Which is way more $$.

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alpenglow
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by alpenglow » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:01 am

barnaclebob wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:56 am
squirm wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:28 am
Does anyone actually like 8 foot ceilings? I feel like I'm in a dungeon in those houses.
I certainly don't mind my 8 foot ceilings and there are even beams that come down to maybe 7'6" My house is fairly unique though and you are never more than a few steps away from a window and the house has a lot of windows. I do like the heating bill that comes with the 8 foot ceilings and the fact that my new wood stove seems to have zero issues keeping the house warm. 2000 sqft on two floors.
As a tall person, I would prefer 9' ceilings throughout my house instead of high ceilings in some parts with 8' ceilings in others.

onourway
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by onourway » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:15 am

wabbajack wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:00 am
I don't get it this McMansion stuff. Doesn't it cost the same or similar to build an ugly house as it does to build a decent looking house? Why are people paying for the ugly ones?

One consideration with houses is location. If you have a location in mind, all the houses in that area may happen to be big and/or ugly. And so you're stuck unless you want to tear something down and build custom. Which is way more $$.
Depends. The McMansion seems to stem from builders/buyers who want a bit of everything but don't have the architectural background to put it together in a cohesive way. Hence the 'style pasted on like wallpaper' look that pretty much defines a McMansion - columns or window headers that have no structural purpose, windows of differing styles slapped anywhere with no concern of proportion or balance. A lot of these seem to be sold by builders who just slap together a bunch of different elements they think buyers will like. Some builders do simply take a few good architect-certified plans and build those, but when you actually make those features functional, that adds cost - so you end up with smaller houses at the same or higher price.

Lots of square footage with poorly made tacked-on design elements are cheap to make, yet apparently work to drive the sale price up at least in the short-term. So it's easy to see why a business primarily concerned with maximizing profits would end up building these kind of houses.

michaeljc70
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:00 pm

alpenglow wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:01 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:56 am
squirm wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:28 am
Does anyone actually like 8 foot ceilings? I feel like I'm in a dungeon in those houses.
I certainly don't mind my 8 foot ceilings and there are even beams that come down to maybe 7'6" My house is fairly unique though and you are never more than a few steps away from a window and the house has a lot of windows. I do like the heating bill that comes with the 8 foot ceilings and the fact that my new wood stove seems to have zero issues keeping the house warm. 2000 sqft on two floors.
As a tall person, I would prefer 9' ceilings throughout my house instead of high ceilings in some parts with 8' ceilings in others.
This. 8 foot ceilings seem low to me. 9 or 10 foot ceilings do the job of making the place seem much larger without costing a lot more in heating/cooling. I have 9'3" ceilings on my main level (not sure how they came up with that number) and 8' on another and the difference seems huge. I live in a very urban environment (not the suburbs) and no one has 20' ceilings unless they are living in a $2 million+ house on multiple lots.

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monkey_business
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by monkey_business » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:02 pm

I lived most of my life in 1,000 or smaller square foot apartments. Our current ~2,000 square foot house feels like a castle to me.

I have no idea how people live in 3,000+ square foot houses. I'd probably get lost and call for help.

randomguy
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by randomguy » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:18 pm

monkey_business wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:02 pm
I lived most of my life in 1,000 or smaller square foot apartments. Our current ~2,000 square foot house feels like a castle to me.

I have no idea how people live in 3,000+ square foot houses. I'd probably get lost and call for help.
Yeah I can't count how many times I get lost in my craftsman McMansion. The fact that my living room is 15x30 instead 12*16 results in me getting lost constantly as when I get to the center of the room I can't see the walls and I totally lose my orientation. Constantly have to call the dog to come rescue me or I would starve to death.....

You can live in small spaces. The question is why? You need to decide if the tradeoffs you make either way are making you happy. Just like every other luxury good (i.e. pretty much everything you are buying after the first 10k or so of spending) in your life. I sure don't need a 150 sq ft home gym. But I like the convenience enough to pay the few extra bucks that I can easily afford.

goodlifer
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by goodlifer » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:21 pm

alpenglow wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:52 am

While we're griping about houses, let me add that I hate the space wasted by the jetted bath tub in our master bath. What a useless item that is annoying to clean. We're currently using it to some cleaning supplies. :annoyed

Ohhhhhh, don't get me started on the jetted tub built for giants. I stopped using mine because it took too much effort to clean it, and it needs to be cleaned frequently. Plus, the jets put some ferocious knots in my long hair. I have been telling my husband we could use it to grow tilapia and save money in the long run, but so far it is a no-go.

I hate the 20 ft entryway that sucks up smoke from the kitchen and sets off the smoke alarms upstairs. The builder chose locations for alarms and thermostats poorly (like putting the thermostat directly behind the oven), and the alarms go off every time I use the oven. Yes, the oven is clean. I don't burn things. We don't even see or smell smoke and the alarms go off.

I do like the 10 ft ceilings, though. I love big Christmas trees.

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beyou
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by beyou » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:29 pm

At a young age, just before kids, decided to buy “just big enough” for our planned family size. Previous homeowner had 2 same sex kids in one BR, other kid in smaller BR for one. Figured 2 kids would be easy, 3 if we had to, before having to move. A neighbor with same model converted the den to a BR as they had 4 kids.

I did this hoping I would not need to trade up, which I have not. That money instead paid off the mortgage and eventually went to Vanguard funds. Glad we were conservative.

We do have high ceilings but LED fixtures should make it a non issue for many years to come.

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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by sunny_socal » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:30 pm

I'll add that a big motivation for buying an over-sized house was to help my wife's parents. Right now they don't want to move since my FIL is very frail but if he were to pass then my MIL would likely move in with us.

We'll likely downsize after the kids are in college, ~5-7 years from now. Hopefully it will have appreciated enough that we'll at least break even on what we spent to make it livable (30k for landscaping plus 30k for expected closing costs.)

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beyou
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by beyou » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:34 pm

30k of landscaping to make it “livable” ?
I do spend in landscaping, and a great deal, but I would consider that a luxury not a necessity. And that has short term economic value unless you keep spending to maintain it.

mrc
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by mrc » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:44 pm

alpenglow wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:52 am
While we're griping about houses, let me add that I hate the space wasted by the jetted bath tub in our master bath. What a useless item that is annoying to clean. We're currently using it to store some cleaning supplies. :annoyed
+1MM Our "super bath" easily ran the hot water tank out, and the jets sounded like a fighter jet. We moved in during a drought, and I drained it with a hose out the bathroom window both times we used it. I removed that monster with pleasure when I remodeled the bathroom.
If it’s not long term it’s small talk

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:46 pm

This discussion bifurcated into large house / McMansion. I am commenting on the large house portion of this thread.

My voiced preference was that, after the kids went to college, we would downsize into an apartment, large enough to have kids visit, liberal enough for us to have dogs, and convenient to airports. But, instead, we went from a 5000SF house on 1/2 acre to a 7100 SF house on 20+ acres. In any case, my grumblings aside, I love this new old house (built in the 60s, renovated in the 80s, purchased by us earlier this year).

We use the master bedroom and bathroom, but it is an inviting home for kids and family to visit. There are 3 bedrooms and bathrooms downstairs that are acoustically isolated from our floor (and we can opt not to heat/cool them). We have had more visits from family in the half year we've owned the house than probably in the 24 years in our old house. Sometimes that feels like a two-edged sword :D , but it's nice that they enjoy visiting.

We make extensive use of the living spaces that are on a floor above the spare bedrooms, except that we don't really eat in the dining room. We enjoy watching movies in the den, or if it's a really good movie, in the media room. We have a very cozy sitting room with a fireplace. We use the living room if friends come over. We eat in the breakfast part of the sunroom. For all of my grumbling about it being unnecessarily large, I don't know if I'd give up any part of the house willingly.

We had MASSaves come in and replace most of the non-LED bulbs with LED (free!). We have extensively insulated the house. We will be installing geothermal next spring. I expect to be net zero carbon by next year. The house is admittedly very large, but it feels cozy. All the jokes about needing a compass aside, it's nice to live here, and even better to have company.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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HueyLD
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by HueyLD » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:56 pm

A 7100 SF house on 20+ acres? Holy cow!! How many housekeepers and gardeners do you have?

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:04 pm

HueyLD wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:56 pm
A 7100 SF house on 20+ acres? Holy cow!! How many housekeepers and gardeners do you have?
Many of those acres are protected wetlands, so we are not allowed to alter anything. It's there for the frogs (apparently a rare species lives there), coyotes, turkeys, hawks, owls, etc.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

texasdiver
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by texasdiver » Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:40 pm

alpenglow wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:52 am
While we're griping about houses, let me add that I hate the space wasted by the jetted bath tub in our master bath. What a useless item that is annoying to clean. We're currently using it to store some cleaning supplies. :annoyed
YES...I HATE those. Especially when builders cut corners and install them by tiling them in with no access door to the motor. The last three houses we have owned have had jetted tubs. When the kids were little they would love to use them for bubble baths. Drop some bubble bath into a jacuzzi and you get a 3 ft high pile of bubbles to the kids absolute delight. But once they aged out of taking baths we never turned them on again.

BOTH times we went to sell the last two houses the jazuzzi pumps had gone out when it was time for home inspections. So I had to take a weekend chipping away at the tile, cutting an access hole, and then messing around to fix/replace the motors. Last time it was a simple capacitor on the motor that had burned out but it took about 40 hours of work to obtain access, diagnose the problem, and then seal the tub surround back up again with a newly-built access hatch. SHEESH. The last two home sales we had the jacuzzi tub was by far the biggest hassle/repair to deal with in getting the home ready for sale.

At least the builder of our current home built in an access hatch for the pump motor. I've never turned it on to even see if it works.

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knpstr
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by knpstr » Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:49 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:05 am
Your title should be PSA: Don't buy a McMansion. I shudder thinking about living in one of those cookie cutter soul sucking cathedrals of urban sprawl.

My friends parents moved from a great house to a full on McMansion in his freshman year of college right on the frontier of the sprawl in our city. The only room they used was some normal height room off of the kitchen. The giant great room was never touched.
My house is not a mcmansion and has 20 ft ceiling in the living/family room. It is about 1,850 sq ft. looks like a 2-story home but is only 1-story. So far we haven't had to replace anything high up, but the only thing that high is a ceiling fan that comes down a bit, which we never use. We use lamps for the lighting in that room, primarily, though there are some can lights in some spots where the ceiling is lower along the perimeter.

So maybe the PSA should read: Don't buy a house with 20ft ceilings.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

shell921
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by shell921 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:12 pm

texasdiver wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:40 pm
alpenglow wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:52 am
While we're griping about houses, let me add that I hate the space wasted by the jetted bath tub in our master bath. What a useless item that is annoying to clean. We're currently using it to store some cleaning supplies. :annoyed
YES...I HATE those. Especially when builders cut corners and install them by tiling them in with no access door to the motor. The last three houses we have owned have had jetted tubs. When the kids were little they would love to use them for bubble baths. Drop some bubble bath into a jacuzzi and you get a 3 ft high pile of bubbles to the kids absolute delight. But once they aged out of taking baths we never turned them on again.

BOTH times we went to sell the last two houses the jazuzzi pumps had gone out when it was time for home inspections. So I had to take a weekend chipping away at the tile, cutting an access hole, and then messing around to fix/replace the motors. Last time it was a simple capacitor on the motor that had burned out but it took about 40 hours of work to obtain access, diagnose the problem, and then seal the tub surround back up again with a newly-built access hatch. SHEESH. The last two home sales we had the jacuzzi tub was by far the biggest hassle/repair to deal with in getting the home ready for sale.

At least the builder of our current home built in an access hatch for the pump motor. I've never turned it on to even see if it works.
My jetted tub quit working 3 years ago. I think the jets go funky if you do not use them. I don't know what I will do when I have to sell my house.
:confused

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unclescrooge
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:47 am

mrc wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:44 pm
alpenglow wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:52 am
While we're griping about houses, let me add that I hate the space wasted by the jetted bath tub in our master bath. What a useless item that is annoying to clean. We're currently using it to store some cleaning supplies. :annoyed
+1MM Our "super bath" easily ran the hot water tank out, and the jets sounded like a fighter jet. We moved in during a drought, and I drained it with a hose out the bathroom window both times we used it. I removed that monster with pleasure when I remodeled the bathroom.
When we remodeled, we put in an oversized shower. We also put in a tub with air bubbles, but the contractor forgot to check to see if it was hooked up and it was not since there is no outlet. So we just have a normal sized tub that we paid extra for. :oops:

The kids bath has a smaller tub that's very convenient to get the kids in and out of.

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unclescrooge
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:48 am

shell921 wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:12 pm
texasdiver wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:40 pm
alpenglow wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:52 am
While we're griping about houses, let me add that I hate the space wasted by the jetted bath tub in our master bath. What a useless item that is annoying to clean. We're currently using it to store some cleaning supplies. :annoyed
YES...I HATE those. Especially when builders cut corners and install them by tiling them in with no access door to the motor. The last three houses we have owned have had jetted tubs. When the kids were little they would love to use them for bubble baths. Drop some bubble bath into a jacuzzi and you get a 3 ft high pile of bubbles to the kids absolute delight. But once they aged out of taking baths we never turned them on again.

BOTH times we went to sell the last two houses the jazuzzi pumps had gone out when it was time for home inspections. So I had to take a weekend chipping away at the tile, cutting an access hole, and then messing around to fix/replace the motors. Last time it was a simple capacitor on the motor that had burned out but it took about 40 hours of work to obtain access, diagnose the problem, and then seal the tub surround back up again with a newly-built access hatch. SHEESH. The last two home sales we had the jacuzzi tub was by far the biggest hassle/repair to deal with in getting the home ready for sale.

At least the builder of our current home built in an access hatch for the pump motor. I've never turned it on to even see if it works.
My jetted tub quit working 3 years ago. I think the jets go funky if you do not use them. I don't know what I will do when I have to sell my house.
:confused
I think you just replace the tubing. Or you sell the house As-is.

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unclescrooge
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:52 am

knpstr wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:49 pm
barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:05 am
Your title should be PSA: Don't buy a McMansion. I shudder thinking about living in one of those cookie cutter soul sucking cathedrals of urban sprawl.

My friends parents moved from a great house to a full on McMansion in his freshman year of college right on the frontier of the sprawl in our city. The only room they used was some normal height room off of the kitchen. The giant great room was never touched.
My house is not a mcmansion and has 20 ft ceiling in the living/family room. It is about 1,850 sq ft. looks like a 2-story home but is only 1-story. So far we haven't had to replace anything high up, but the only thing that high is a ceiling fan that comes down a bit, which we never use. We use lamps for the lighting in that room, primarily, though there are some can lights in some spots where the ceiling is lower along the perimeter.

So maybe the PSA should read: Don't buy a house with 20ft ceilings.
The only place with 15 ft ceilings is the entryway. It's a small entryway in a split level house, which is probably the worst design for a house. Changing the bulbs is going to be quite a challenge because there is no place to prop up a ladder from where a s regular sized human can reach the fixture

smitcat
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by smitcat » Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:44 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:46 pm
This discussion bifurcated into large house / McMansion. I am commenting on the large house portion of this thread.

My voiced preference was that, after the kids went to college, we would downsize into an apartment, large enough to have kids visit, liberal enough for us to have dogs, and convenient to airports. But, instead, we went from a 5000SF house on 1/2 acre to a 7100 SF house on 20+ acres. In any case, my grumblings aside, I love this new old house (built in the 60s, renovated in the 80s, purchased by us earlier this year).

We use the master bedroom and bathroom, but it is an inviting home for kids and family to visit. There are 3 bedrooms and bathrooms downstairs that are acoustically isolated from our floor (and we can opt not to heat/cool them). We have had more visits from family in the half year we've owned the house than probably in the 24 years in our old house. Sometimes that feels like a two-edged sword :D , but it's nice that they enjoy visiting.

We make extensive use of the living spaces that are on a floor above the spare bedrooms, except that we don't really eat in the dining room. We enjoy watching movies in the den, or if it's a really good movie, in the media room. We have a very cozy sitting room with a fireplace. We use the living room if friends come over. We eat in the breakfast part of the sunroom. For all of my grumbling about it being unnecessarily large, I don't know if I'd give up any part of the house willingly.

We had MASSaves come in and replace most of the non-LED bulbs with LED (free!). We have extensively insulated the house. We will be installing geothermal next spring. I expect to be net zero carbon by next year. The house is admittedly very large, but it feels cozy. All the jokes about needing a compass aside, it's nice to live here, and even better to have company.
Beautiful place - not what any typical person could hope to maintain and afford, those taxes alone would sink most folks budgets.
Enjoy....

LesBleus**
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by LesBleus** » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:24 am

Ahh too late! I also moved from Cali (Tustin) and we bought a decent size house 2500 sqft with high ceilings. I don't mind them too much but trying to clean, mop, dust this house is a pain. We hire a cleaning lady once in a while but still I would rather have a smaller house with lower ceilings. I mean living in Tustin I was used to smaller dwellings and I'm totally ok with that. Hope the wifey is on board with the same idea :oops:

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:32 am

smitcat wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:44 am
Beautiful place - not what any typical person could hope to maintain and afford, those taxes alone would sink most folks budgets.
Enjoy....
Thank you. The taxes, while high as a kite, are not that much more than what we paid in suburban NJ. 2/3 of our property is protected wetlands, so we get a break there.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

smitcat
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by smitcat » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:55 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:32 am
smitcat wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:44 am
Beautiful place - not what any typical person could hope to maintain and afford, those taxes alone would sink most folks budgets.
Enjoy....
Thank you. The taxes, while high as a kite, are not that much more than what we paid in suburban NJ. 2/3 of our property is protected wetlands, so we get a break there.
Taxes in NJ must be really much higher than when I was there - about 15 years back it was similar to LI NY.
Here we consider $10K about average and $20K as high, and doubling that moves you into the stratosphere here.

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alpenglow
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by alpenglow » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:59 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:04 pm
HueyLD wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:56 pm
A 7100 SF house on 20+ acres? Holy cow!! How many housekeepers and gardeners do you have?
Many of those acres are protected wetlands, so we are not allowed to alter anything. It's there for the frogs (apparently a rare species lives there), coyotes, turkeys, hawks, owls, etc.
I would love to have land like that!

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jharkin
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by jharkin » Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:46 pm

alfaspider wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:45 am
Will probably cost you NOT buying a bigger house. We decided not to buy a bigger house years ago. It would have been worth an extra $300,000 today.

Does anyone actually like 8 foot ceilings? I feel like I'm in a dungeon in those houses.
The bigger house won't necessarily appreciate more than a smaller house. Location, location, location is the key to appreciation. To use a counter example, my 1,700 sq foot house is worth double what it was 10 years ago. There are many 4,000sq ft McMansions in the outer suburbs worth considerably less than they were 10 years ago. Why? 10 years ago the McMansion was a shiny new house in a brand new "master planned" community with hip new amenities. Now, it's just a house in the burbs, which have expanded further out and brought increased traffic and commute time with it. My house is in a close-in community that has been revitalized as people have started to place greater emphasis on shorter commutes and historic houses. I'd also point out that a big house isn't necessarily a more expensive house to purchase. Even 10 years ago (before the recent strong appreciation), someone could have bought a house twice as large as mine for the same price in a less desirable area.
Ive had a similar experience. Our tiny 1400sq.ft. house has appreciated from 300ish to 450+ in 10 years. The 4000sqft palaces that sell for 800-1mil, not so much. They also sit on the market for months when houses in my price range sell on listing day.

Its all about buyer demographics. Even in HCOL Boston outer suburbs the pool of people who can afford houses under 500k is vast compared to the buyer pool for the big houses.

But yet developers still build nothing but big houses :oops:


As to 8ft ceilings... Try living with 7ft for a while :) . 8 feels quite spacious to me now.....

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jharkin
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by jharkin » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:00 pm

randomguy wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:18 pm
monkey_business wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:02 pm
I lived most of my life in 1,000 or smaller square foot apartments. Our current ~2,000 square foot house feels like a castle to me.

I have no idea how people live in 3,000+ square foot houses. I'd probably get lost and call for help.
Yeah I can't count how many times I get lost in my craftsman McMansion. The fact that my living room is 15x30 instead 12*16 results in me getting lost constantly as when I get to the center of the room I can't see the walls and I totally lose my orientation. Constantly have to call the dog to come rescue me or I would starve to death.....

You can live in small spaces. The question is why? You need to decide if the tradeoffs you make either way are making you happy. Just like every other luxury good (i.e. pretty much everything you are buying after the first 10k or so of spending) in your life. I sure don't need a 150 sq ft home gym. But I like the convenience enough to pay the few extra bucks that I can easily afford.

You missed his point. Society has redefined small in just the last 20 years. Prior to that - for most of the 20th century - the average American family lived happily in 1500sqft and 1 bathroom. Prior to the last couple of centuries, for thousands of years most human families lived in what amounts to a single room.

Your living room is over half of my entire first floor. You may think that is small, but that's only your opinion. Most of human society though history would have called it quite large.

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FlyAF
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by FlyAF » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:10 pm

jharkin wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:00 pm
randomguy wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:18 pm
monkey_business wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:02 pm
I lived most of my life in 1,000 or smaller square foot apartments. Our current ~2,000 square foot house feels like a castle to me.

I have no idea how people live in 3,000+ square foot houses. I'd probably get lost and call for help.
Yeah I can't count how many times I get lost in my craftsman McMansion. The fact that my living room is 15x30 instead 12*16 results in me getting lost constantly as when I get to the center of the room I can't see the walls and I totally lose my orientation. Constantly have to call the dog to come rescue me or I would starve to death.....

You can live in small spaces. The question is why? You need to decide if the tradeoffs you make either way are making you happy. Just like every other luxury good (i.e. pretty much everything you are buying after the first 10k or so of spending) in your life. I sure don't need a 150 sq ft home gym. But I like the convenience enough to pay the few extra bucks that I can easily afford.

You missed his point. Society has redefined small in just the last 20 years. Prior to that - for most of the 20th century - the average American family lived happily in 1500sqft and 1 bathroom. Prior to the last couple of centuries, for thousands of years most human families lived in what amounts to a single room.

Your living room is over half of my entire first floor. You may think that is small, but that's only your opinion. Most of human society though history would have called it quite large.
Having more than 1 bathroom in a house is not some recent, last 20 year phenomenon.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:28 pm

smitcat wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:55 am
Taxes in NJ must be really much higher than when I was there - about 15 years back it was similar to LI NY.
Here we consider $10K about average and $20K as high, and doubling that moves you into the stratosphere here.
At their peak, taxes on our 1/2 acre house (that recently sold for less than $1.5M) were $40k per year.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

ThatGuy
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by ThatGuy » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:43 pm

randomguy wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:18 pm
Yeah I can't count how many times I get lost in my craftsman McMansion.
Isn't that an oxymoron? I thought the craftsman movement came about as a reaction to cheaply built cookie cutter houses being sold by places like Sears; i.e. to emphasize quality and showcase what a professional who cared about their craft could do.

Juxtaposing that with a McMansion is just... wrong...
Work is the curse of the drinking class - Oscar Wilde

brianH
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by brianH » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:38 pm

jharkin wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 12:46 pm
But yet developers still build nothing but big houses :oops:
Either that, or premium townhouses (sorry, carriage houses.) My personal theory is that in many HCOL areas the biggest expenses to building are land, utility hookups, and permits/roads/government hoops. It just isn't economical for builders to build reasonable, 2K-2.5K sq/ft single, detached houses on 1/8-1/4 acre lots anymore when they can make way more profit on a "premium" $1MM home or 3 carriage homes on the same plot. The increase in cost of labor/materials over a 2K sqft house is nothing compared to the outside costs and difference in price they can fetch.

quantAndHold
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Oct 27, 2018 7:17 am

ThatGuy wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:43 pm
randomguy wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:18 pm
Yeah I can't count how many times I get lost in my craftsman McMansion.
Isn't that an oxymoron? I thought the craftsman movement came about as a reaction to cheaply built cookie cutter houses being sold by places like Sears; i.e. to emphasize quality and showcase what a professional who cared about their craft could do.

Juxtaposing that with a McMansion is just... wrong...
The Arts and Crafts movement of the early 20th century (craftsman homes were a part of this) was a reaction against both the industrial revolution and the overly decorated Victorian era. It emphasized simple, cohesive style and craftsmanship. Many of the Sears catalog houses were actually craftsman style homes.

McMansion and Craftsman are pretty much opposites. At best, the McMansion has some faux craftsman elements. I’ll take an actual craftsman home every time. They’re better built and much more livable, and typically built in places where you can walk to the store.

bigdav160
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by bigdav160 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:49 am

I'll buck the trend and say I love our big house.

~4500 sq/ft
5 bedroom
5 baths
3 fireplaces
15 exterior doors
swimming pool w/1200 sq/ft outdoor living space and outdoor kitchen
1200 sq/ft garage with a car lift.

And this house was built 50 years ago.
paid 163k for it 10 years ago.

randomguy
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by randomguy » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:45 am

jharkin wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:00 pm
randomguy wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:18 pm
monkey_business wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:02 pm
I lived most of my life in 1,000 or smaller square foot apartments. Our current ~2,000 square foot house feels like a castle to me.

I have no idea how people live in 3,000+ square foot houses. I'd probably get lost and call for help.
Yeah I can't count how many times I get lost in my craftsman McMansion. The fact that my living room is 15x30 instead 12*16 results in me getting lost constantly as when I get to the center of the room I can't see the walls and I totally lose my orientation. Constantly have to call the dog to come rescue me or I would starve to death.....

You can live in small spaces. The question is why? You need to decide if the tradeoffs you make either way are making you happy. Just like every other luxury good (i.e. pretty much everything you are buying after the first 10k or so of spending) in your life. I sure don't need a 150 sq ft home gym. But I like the convenience enough to pay the few extra bucks that I can easily afford.

You missed his point. Society has redefined small in just the last 20 years. Prior to that - for most of the 20th century - the average American family lived happily in 1500sqft and 1 bathroom. Prior to the last couple of centuries, for thousands of years most human families lived in what amounts to a single room.

Your living room is over half of my entire first floor. You may think that is small, but that's only your opinion. Most of human society though history would have called it quite large.
Nah I was making fun of his absurd idea of getting lost because of rooms being slightly bigger. As I said you can live in all sorts of spaces. You need to decide what makes you happier. There is no inherent virtue in living in 200 sq ft or sin in living 4k. You pick what meets your needs and budget and go with it.

michaeljc70
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:54 am

randomguy wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:45 am
jharkin wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:00 pm
randomguy wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:18 pm
monkey_business wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:02 pm
I lived most of my life in 1,000 or smaller square foot apartments. Our current ~2,000 square foot house feels like a castle to me.

I have no idea how people live in 3,000+ square foot houses. I'd probably get lost and call for help.
Yeah I can't count how many times I get lost in my craftsman McMansion. The fact that my living room is 15x30 instead 12*16 results in me getting lost constantly as when I get to the center of the room I can't see the walls and I totally lose my orientation. Constantly have to call the dog to come rescue me or I would starve to death.....

You can live in small spaces. The question is why? You need to decide if the tradeoffs you make either way are making you happy. Just like every other luxury good (i.e. pretty much everything you are buying after the first 10k or so of spending) in your life. I sure don't need a 150 sq ft home gym. But I like the convenience enough to pay the few extra bucks that I can easily afford.

You missed his point. Society has redefined small in just the last 20 years. Prior to that - for most of the 20th century - the average American family lived happily in 1500sqft and 1 bathroom. Prior to the last couple of centuries, for thousands of years most human families lived in what amounts to a single room.

Your living room is over half of my entire first floor. You may think that is small, but that's only your opinion. Most of human society though history would have called it quite large.
Nah I was making fun of his absurd idea of getting lost because of rooms being slightly bigger. As I said you can live in all sorts of spaces. You need to decide what makes you happier. There is no inherent virtue in living in 200 sq ft or sin in living 4k. You pick what meets your needs and budget and go with it.
I do wonder, given some of the things people advocating for the environment push (like banning straws), if it will become considered gauche to live in a house much bigger than you need at some point.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: PSA: Don't buy a big house

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:44 am

I do wonder, given some of the things people advocating for the environment push (like banning straws), if it will become considered gauche to live in a house much bigger than you need at some point.
That's one of the reasons that I deflect disapproval of our much-too-large-for-task house to our plans to be a net zero carbon household by next year, or 2020 for sure. This will be accomplished with a combination of insulation, geothermal heating and cooling, solar panels, batteries, etc. Plastic straws and plastic bags are low hanging fruit, and are frankly inexcusable; how hard is reusing a bag made of recycled plastic or cloth for your groceries? Our milk comes in a glass bottle (with a $2.50 deposit, so it's easy to remember 8-) ) from a local farm. Our eggs are placed in the empty containers we return to the stand. It's not really such an imposition to not use a plastic straw; I carry around a nice thermos that I put liquids into that has its own straw-like dispenser.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

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