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Old 02-14-2011, 07:56 PM
 
158 posts, read 567,645 times
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I think the main argument against big homes is an argument of over consumption. Sure, you might WANT that big home with perfectly green grass, but do you NEED it? These homes suck energy, resources, etc. to keep warm/cool and a beautiful green lawn is unnecessary and not utilitarian as it serves no true purpose. So if people "romanticize" the idea of cramming into a smaller home, it has to do with making do with what's necessary versus going along with the over consumption attitude of current society - more food, more clothes, more gadgets, more home, more car, more stuff. Not saying this is me, but I think that's the argument.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:58 PM
 
Location: NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Flossin' View Post
I think the main argument against big homes is an argument of over consumption. Sure, you might WANT that big home with perfectly green grass, but do you NEED it? These homes suck energy, resources, etc. to keep warm/cool and a beautiful green lawn is unnecessary and not utilitarian as it serves no true purpose. So if people "romanticize" the idea of cramming into a smaller home, it has to do with making do with what's necessary versus going along with the over consumption attitude of current society - more food, more clothes, more gadgets, more home, more car, more stuff. Not saying this is me, but I think that's the argument.
my brother's baby mama saw some of the houses we were looking at when we were looking around for a home. she said that they were too big and they dont need that much space. yeah, well they paid 825k for a tiny nothing in manhattan. i think in their case they tailored their preferences to what they could get where they wanted to live.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:02 PM
 
4,230 posts, read 10,168,098 times
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Neighborhood I grew up in was all 1000-1300 sq ft cape cods. House had a normal sized master bedroom, 2 other small bedrooms, and a large living room/dining room combo room.

Family of 5. Shared a room with my brother, until we convinced my Dad to build another bedroom in the basement when he was around 13, I was around 11. Nothing really more I could have wanted. Kids generally hung out in the basement.

No complaints. They say the smaller houses are going to come back into style to save energy, but who knows.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Coral Springs
143 posts, read 397,960 times
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Sometimes older homes use space more efficiently. Walk up attics, underground basements, built in shelving, cabinets, etc. do not add into the sq, foot number. I think that in newer homes square footage calculations look bigger, but that may not necessarily be the case. Also remember heating & cooling costs & taxes can be significantly higher with larger, newer homes. We had a family of 5 in 1500 sq ft. for 14 years. It was sometimes tight, & closets were crowded, but we managed. Down in FL now we rent a home >3,000 sq ft no basement, no attic. Guess what- less storage even with bigger bedroom closets. But yes we can fit a King in the bedroom, which is nice.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:07 PM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,380 posts, read 25,641,395 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GiantRutgersfan View Post
Neighborhood I grew up in was all 1000-1300 sq ft cape cods. House had a normal sized master bedroom, 2 other small bedrooms, and a large living room/dining room combo room.

Family of 5. Shared a room with my brother, until we convinced my Dad to build another bedroom in the basement when he was around 13, I was around 11. Nothing really more I could have wanted. Kids generally hung out in the basement.

No complaints. They say the smaller houses are going to come back into style to save energy, but who knows.
They are to a certain extent or tiny lots....its been the trend for 5 years all over the Dense Suburban corridors in the NE or the Railway corridors...
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:13 AM
 
1,527 posts, read 3,915,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Flossin' View Post
I think the main argument against big homes is an argument of over consumption. Sure, you might WANT that big home with perfectly green grass, but do you NEED it? These homes suck energy, resources, etc. to keep warm/cool and a beautiful green lawn is unnecessary and not utilitarian as it serves no true purpose. So if people "romanticize" the idea of cramming into a smaller home, it has to do with making do with what's necessary versus going along with the over consumption attitude of current society - more food, more clothes, more gadgets, more home, more car, more stuff. Not saying this is me, but I think that's the argument.
Right, that's the argument. It's an example of reverse snobbery.
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:53 AM
 
9,124 posts, read 34,960,694 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Flossin' View Post
I think the main argument against big homes is an argument of over consumption..
Meh- depends on what you're comparing. Many of the older, smaller homes are huge energy hogs due to poor insulation, drafty windows, etc. Even after putting in replacement windows and upgrading the attic insulation in our 50-year-old Woodbridge cape, it still cost more to heat and cool that house than it does to heat and cool 3x the space in our current home (which is 4 years old). After spending 6 grand to replace the old boiler, we finally got to a point where the oil bills were better, but still higher than our current bills.

Now, if you're talking about a brand new 1,000 sf house vs a brand new 3,000 sf house, that's a different story- you'll definitely consume less resources with the smaller home. There's something you're not considering, though, that weighs heavily into the equation- you can't build a brand new 1,000 sf house in most parts of NJ because the land costs and development fees are too high, and the house won't appraise. To offset the high land/development costs, builders have to build larger homes to have more square footage to spread the costs over. That's the only way to get the cost per sf low enough for the appraisal- when you're spending $100k+ on a lot and anywhere from $20-50k in fees just to get out of the ground, you can't put a 1,000sf house up unless you're paying cash for the whole thing.
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Vermont
5,440 posts, read 16,153,016 times
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i think my ideal home is a modern layout 3 bedroom 2-2.5 bath single level with kitchen open to a great room. a washer/dryer closet, mudroom, oversize 1 car garage (or 2). about 1300 sq ft under air.
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:20 AM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,546 posts, read 20,491,127 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Flossin' View Post
I've been on the market for a house and have been coming across a lot of older houses that pale in comparison to today's houses in terms of square feet. Yes, there are large older homes and large Victorian-style mansions still standing today but a lot of older homes (1920s, 30s, 40s, and 50s) are 1/3 the size of what many would consider a normal home today.

Many older homes are 800-1000 sq. ft when a family of 3 now a days thinks they need a minimum of 3,000 square feet if they could design their custom home.

Did people have less crap to store then? I'm assuming family size was the same if not larger. How did people make do? Is this trend just part of our over-fed, over consuming nature of the 21st century?
when i was growing up i lived in a 3 bedroom half of a house until i was 9 (older sister 11 and younger sister 5). master bedroom, shared bedroom for 2, and then a twin in the third bedroom. don't forget that 80-90 years ago fridges were half the size they are now in many homes, no dishwashers, no television, etc etc. i live in an 1800 sq ft tudor now, and I can't imagine having more space at the moment. our master bedroom won't fit gigantic furniture, but we have a king bed in there and will have 1 night stand. people are going crazy. i think the avg home in the 60s/70s was around 1100 sq ft and now it's around 2300 sq ft. i can speak for myself and for some family when i say i know we have a lot of junk in our house that we don't need/wouldn't have if we had less space. haha
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:23 AM
 
1,527 posts, read 3,915,434 times
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My house is too big I will admit. First we were in a 1,000 sf condo, with kids. Too small. We were just busting out of it.

Then we got a 1,700 sf house....just right.

Now we are in a 2,400 sf house plus a finished basement which adds another 400 square feet, plus a two car garage. Too big for my taste. But then there are other things I like about it, like high ceilings, lots of big windows, lots of storage, a big kitchen. And it's (relatively) new.

If I can't easily clean it myself (which I can't in this house), then it's too big for me.
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