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Old 06-08-2018, 11:09 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,866 posts, read 18,937,245 times
Reputation: 25133

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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigiri View Post
Yes they do - and no problem for you if you can afford it.

But, in the larger picture, a Texan uses 3X the energy per capita as our most efficient states...and much of that is due to two things - house and vehicle sizes.

Energy, in a sense, is the currency of our times - to say nothing that twice the energy = twice the air pollution.

But, of course, you personally downsizing won't change a single thing. It's a big picture type of situation.

Here in New England we've changed the building codes about 4 times since 2000 (and they were already strict), so if you build a new 3,000 sf house, utility bills will be amazing inexpensive (considering our winters). An older 1200 sf house may use more energy than a new 3K ft.
Keeping a house cool enough in a Texas summer is expensive, but necessary if you want to have any quality of life. I bought a small, new house because it is cheaper to cool. It still costs me about $200/month for electricity in the summer.
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:28 PM
 
57 posts, read 14,165 times
Reputation: 268
First of all, everyone has their own needs and preferences. To say that a porch or dining room is a waste of space is true only to the person making that statement for himself/herself. I have both and find we use and enjoy them frequently.

It's great to generalize and say that a smaller house is better, but there are way too many variables to make that assumption. There is more flexibility in a larger house to accommodate aging parents or an unexpected addition to the family. A newer house that is larger could be more energy-efficient, in a better neighborhood, etc...so you can't always compare. It's great that some people can fit seven people, four dogs, and three cats into 1000 square feet, but that won't work for a lot of families and I wouldn't dream of saying it should.

It's not just about less square footage. When we started considering downsizing last year, we discovered issues. Most smaller houses have bedrooms and kitchens much smaller than the ones we have. Due to my health issues that involve severe sleep disturbances, DH has his own bedroom. Most smaller homes have secondary bedrooms (and closets) so small he'd have to sleep in a twin-sized bed (tough at 6'3") or forget about having any furniture besides a bed. We have a decent-sized kitchen and since we like to cook, we'd prefer something similar in the next house. When houses get smaller, the kitchens do too. We have cats, and we like to a larger laundry room for their litter boxes. Most smaller homes have tiny laundry rooms or a closet to hold the washer and dryer. So it is not a matter of just getting less square footage. It's much more difficult to get the square footage I want in a smaller footprint. It's doable, but the search was taking longer because we weren't willing to compromise on some things, the things that are pertinent to our needs and wants. As it turns out, our DD and her family are moving away next year, so we will wait and do our downsizing then, when we move to remain close to them. I'm sure it will be as difficult in our new city as it has been here to find just what we want.

I think "big" is a subjective term that means different sizes to different people. My 3000 square feet now is enormous to some and small to others. It was right for us at one time but is too big for us now. It was never about a dream or impressing others, it was about needs. Like most people, our needs have changed and so has our budget.

I don't think most people care what the reasons are for other people's motivations in buying a house. Different strokes for different folks!
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:32 PM
 
57 posts, read 14,165 times
Reputation: 268
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
Keeping a house cool enough in a Texas summer is expensive, but necessary if you want to have any quality of life. I bought a small, new house because it is cheaper to cool. It still costs me about $200/month for electricity in the summer.
$200 a month is great! Last year when our aging central a/c units (22 years old) started giving out, our electric bills topped $700 (our house is ~3000 square feet) and it wasn't even a bad summer like this one is shaping up to be. DD's house (1750 sq ft) is 8 years old and hers still got to $300.
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Old 06-09-2018, 05:31 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
8,910 posts, read 4,847,166 times
Reputation: 7698
First of all, I question an article which shows us where people gather when it is clearly only showing us half the house. There are no bed rooms in that dot diagram so we must be looking at a 2 story house where the 2nd half is not presented.

Secondly, the advantage to have a separate dining room is that after a grand meal, it can be closed off, be out of sight and out of mind, to be approached later. Whether it is left behind to have cigars and brandy in another room or for further seducing, well, that depends on the person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stockwiz View Post
Dining rooms and porches are wasted space. Family rooms and living rooms are there so kids can have a place to watch TV while parents watch something else. It's quite handy to have a living and a family room though I suppose they could just watch TV in their bedroom. Extra bedrooms or bonus rooms and bathrooms I have no objection too. I don't see the point of the article except to say that dining rooms are pointless, but most middle class homes built today don't come with dining rooms or porches anyways. They come with the rooms people use.
Depends on how one uses the porch and for that matter, where they are. My back porch gets used more than the front porch (but that can change) and it is often used as a meditation space. A place where I can greet the dawn, listen to the creatures of the night, enjoy the rare snowfall, do cowgirl or "Raquel" personalty overlays, and so forth.

Further, looking at it from another angle where a line of thought says we have become a people who have sealed themselves inside (our houses, our gyms with their treadmills), having a porch may be a welcome change.

I had the house built to around 2000 square feet because that was the most I figured I could handle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
Oh, I agree. But it is interesting seeing the example of the space being used on a regular basis, and thinking about what a diagram of your own home and life would look like. I know exactly where I'd be lacking in red dots although as I mentioned, I went into things kind of knowing that, but wanting to have the extra space to maintain resale value.

Not that my house is that big anyway, bigger than *I* need but still fairly small by most people's standards.
One thing I have found about where I am often located in the house is where the link to the internet is. SIGH!

Two months ago, this lap top was in the den, then I moved it to the dance room to practice. It seems I can't get away from the Net so the ethernet cord has been dragged into the dance room.....and now, I hardly go to the den.

So it may not actually be the function of the room that pulls us there as it is the device that is located there or some combination there of. GRANTED, many people have wireless so the device can be anywhere or at least, potentially. On the other side of that coin is the situation with families with young children where the link to the Net is located in one place as a defense against on line predators.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocko20 View Post
I rented for a while and a few of the reasons I got a house was for the good schools for any future kids, tax benefits, and “forced savings” through obvious appreciation versus renting.

But besides that, I don’t disagree that owning a home in general is overrated. There’s billions of people all over the world who don’t own a home and never will yet they’re doing perfectly fine.

Owning a car will soon be overrated as well IMO with services like Uber or car rentals on an hourly basis for big city living
That judgement, that they are doing perfectly fine, may be in the eye of the beholder.

I could have probably spent half the money I did if I bought a house in the city but it would not have done me any good. I would have been trapped in an environment with any dreams I had dying. That I am now living a dream life has reduced my background stress. Yet, to the external observer, I might be getting along perfectly fine if I were living in the city.

The thing about renting and not owning is after all the money is spent, what does one have to show for it?

Last edited by TamaraSavannah; 06-09-2018 at 06:04 AM..
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:13 AM
 
1,778 posts, read 880,695 times
Reputation: 3813
Americans are getting bigger:

https://www.thoughtco.com/americans-...ys-cdc-3321552

Its no surprise that houses are bigger too. If you are 6'3 and weigh 250 you are going to have a different sense of proportion than someone who is 5'3 and weighs 125.

Americans are not very active:

Americans were less active in 2014, despite surge in fitness trackers: study - NY Daily News

And certainly we are less active in the era of Netflix and Uber than we were when our grandparents were working on the family farm.

Older homes were smaller. Closets were smaller. Bedrooms were smaller. New builds have more square footage and bigger everything.

Even in a big home, Americans might gravitate toward the kitchen and areas with a TV/computer than outdoor space. They might get a quick snack in the kitchen rather than plan a dinner party in the dining room. So the maps make sense to me.


I say this as someone who refuses to buy a new build and specializes in renovating/renting/investing/living in older homes. I get why people want the big and new but its not for me.

Last edited by emotiioo; 06-09-2018 at 07:30 AM..
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Central IL
13,454 posts, read 7,165,715 times
Reputation: 31218
Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/wh...art-2018-05-21

https://legallysociable.com/2018/06/...t-large-homes/

As the quote says, it's certainly not surprising to see that people spend most of their time in a few specific areas of their home, yet they continue to want larger houses.

I bought a little more house than we really needed but interestingly, a big reason for me wasn't mentioned, which is resale. My house is a 3 br plus small loft, 2.5 bath with a little over 1800 sq ft, plus a 660 sq ft unfinished basement. Definitely more house than was needed for me and my teen son. But I live in a very family oriented area. So for a 2 adult and 1-2 child family, the larger size is a much better match. I didn't want to eliminate those families when it came to resale time, so I went ahead and got the expanded upstairs with the loft which took it from a little under 1600 sq ft to a little over 1800. We certainly could make do with either the 3rd bedroom or the loft rather than both, but with another 1 or 2 people living there, that would be a lot tougher.
Exactly why for my second home I said "no" to a formal living room (a "parlor" that is only for show and never used except for salesmen visiting...ha) and instead have a great room. Also, an eat-in kitchen is perfectly fine with no need for a dining room that might get used on holidays - another "just for show" room.
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Old 06-09-2018, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Formerly Pleasanton Ca, now in Marietta Ga
4,123 posts, read 3,413,410 times
Reputation: 5657
As a single person I bought a 5200 sq ft home and enjoy it. I bought it because it was a milestone goal for me and I could afford it.
I didn't need it. I was very happy living in a rented 1600 sq ft home and would have stayed had the owner not booted me out because he wanted to sell.
I enjoy the prestige of it, not ashamed to admit it.
The logical part of it is that my overall housing cost dropped 40% each month.
I admit I don't use all the space, but I'm a happy camper so far.
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
4,644 posts, read 1,161,790 times
Reputation: 6645
Quote:
Originally Posted by TamaraSavannah View Post
The thing about renting and not owning is after all the money is spent, what does one have to show for it?
Thatís the same faulty logic people use to justify financing houses, luxury items, and cars they canít afford.

What ďyou have to show for itĒ is the money in your bank and retirement accounts. Letís not act like home ownership is a full proof investment with the millions of folks who have lost money on it or who live in depreciating property value neighborhoods.
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Denver CO
19,063 posts, read 10,093,838 times
Reputation: 27914
Quote:
Originally Posted by emotiioo View Post
Americans are getting bigger:

https://www.thoughtco.com/americans-...ys-cdc-3321552

Its no surprise that houses are bigger too. If you are 6'3 and weigh 250 you are going to have a different sense of proportion than someone who is 5'3 and weighs 125.

Americans are not very active:

Americans were less active in 2014, despite surge in fitness trackers: study - NY Daily News

And certainly we are less active in the era of Netflix and Uber than we were when our grandparents were working on the family farm.

Older homes were smaller. Closets were smaller. Bedrooms were smaller. New builds have more square footage and bigger everything.

Even in a big home, Americans might gravitate toward the kitchen and areas with a TV/computer than outdoor space. They might get a quick snack in the kitchen rather than plan a dinner party in the dining room. So the maps make sense to me.


I say this as someone who refuses to buy a new build and specializes in renovating/renting/investing/living in older homes. I get why people want the big and new but its not for me.
I think that's true for suburban and exurban new builds. I'm in a planned urban community and while there are of course larger houses available, relatively speaking, homes here (everything is new/er construction) are smaller than what you'd get for the same money further out. Even with new construction, the people who choose a more urban environment, even including residential neighborhoods within a city, have different preferences and priorities than people choosing suburban or exurban locations.
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:58 AM
Status: "US Dream Tracker : 67%" (set 5 days ago)
 
3,270 posts, read 1,726,573 times
Reputation: 2773
Quote:
Originally Posted by emotiioo View Post
Americans are getting bigger:

https://www.thoughtco.com/americans-...ys-cdc-3321552

Its no surprise that houses are bigger too. If you are 6'3 and weigh 250 you are going to have a different sense of proportion than someone who is 5'3 and weighs 125.

Americans are not very active:

Americans were less active in 2014, despite surge in fitness trackers: study - NY Daily News

And certainly we are less active in the era of Netflix and Uber than we were when our grandparents were working on the family farm.

Older homes were smaller. Closets were smaller. Bedrooms were smaller. New builds have more square footage and bigger everything.

Even in a big home, Americans might gravitate toward the kitchen and areas with a TV/computer than outdoor space. They might get a quick snack in the kitchen rather than plan a dinner party in the dining room. So the maps make sense to me.


I say this as someone who refuses to buy a new build and specializes in renovating/renting/investing/living in older homes. I get why people want the big and new but its not for me.
Good point. You hit the crux of why Open Floor plan is popular in States even though it is cheaper to build (more profit for Builders).


But I don't think we would need bigger homes. Build 1500 sqft homes but optioned for : 1) wider doors; 2) Entertainment / Great Room to be converted into a Down Room.
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