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Old 02-14-2011, 05:31 PM
 
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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?
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:06 PM
EB2
 
Location: Florida
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People often shared rooms, first off. There wasn't any of this single bedroom stuff, in most situations. Heck, many children were stacked 3+ to a room. In SOME situations, if there was a...surplus... of children, they'd share with parents, though this seems to have been relatively uncommon. There were less items, yes. People didn't own 1k+ worth of wardrobe items. There weren't computers, big screen tvs (if a tv at all, depending on the year), microwaves, etc. California King beds weren't necessary for one or two people, and generally one or two dressers sufficed. People enjoyed finer things in life than all the material items that we're (so fortunate) to be spoiled with today.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:03 PM
 
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Yes, they had less crap. They also didn't shower every day, they wore the same pants every day, you get the idea.

I don't think there is anything noble about a family squeezing into a 1,000 sf house today though. If that's all someone can afford or wants, great, but I can't stand the whole high and mighty attitude against big homes.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:06 PM
 
Location: NJ
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Originally Posted by Ann77 View Post
Yes, they had less crap. They also didn't shower every day, they wore the same pants every day, you get the idea.

I don't think there is anything noble about a family squeezing into a 1,000 sf house today though. If that's all someone can afford or wants, great, but I can't stand the whole high and mighty attitude against big homes.
i dont know if you can make a blanket statement about their bathing habits because they had smaller homes and less stuff. i like a bigger home but i think you should sacrifice material things to make sure you have 1 parent at home while the other is working. these days both parents have to work because they must have a bigger home, luxury car, designer purse, latest iphone, etc. etc. etc.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CaptainNJ View Post
i dont know if you can make a blanket statement about their bathing habits because they had smaller homes and less stuff. i like a bigger home but i think you should sacrifice material things to make sure you have 1 parent at home while the other is working. these days both parents have to work because they must have a bigger home, luxury car, designer purse, latest iphone, etc. etc. etc.
No, that's actually true. People did not shower every day until relatively recently in the U.S.

I agree that a smaller home is better with one parent home.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ann77 View Post

I don't think there is anything noble about a family squeezing into a 1,000 sf house today though. If that's all someone can afford or wants, great, but I can't stand the whole high and mighty attitude against big homes.
Exactly. We sold our 900 sf cape in Woodbridge back in 2007, which was the same size house I grew up in with two brothers and a sister. We now have 2,900 sf, including the basement space we just finished, and it feels much better. Do we "need" all that space? No, but it sure is nice to have some extra space.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:10 PM
 
Location: NJ
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Originally Posted by Ann77 View Post
No, that's actually true. People did not shower every day until relatively recently in the U.S.

I agree that a smaller home is better with one parent home.
but i dont think you should group bathing practices with smaller home as if they were so backwards and now we are more advanced. im not one of those people that thinks everyone should have only as much space as they need. i think people should have as much space as they can afford and want. but that includes if you have children doing whats best to raise them properly.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CaptainNJ View Post
these days both parents have to work because they must have a bigger home, luxury car, designer purse, latest iphone, etc. etc. etc.
Nah- we have all that in a nicely-sized house and my wife has stayed home for 10 years. Of course, doing it NJ isn't quite as easy as in GA (but we've got other threads about that....).
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:15 PM
 
1,527 posts, read 3,903,715 times
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Originally Posted by CaptainNJ View Post
but i dont think you should group bathing practices with smaller home as if they were so backwards and now we are more advanced. im not one of those people that thinks everyone should have only as much space as they need. i think people should have as much space as they can afford and want. but that includes if you have children doing whats best to raise them properly.
I didn't say advanced, just explaining why people would want more space and bathrooms. And closets.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:17 PM
 
Location: NJ
31,773 posts, read 37,628,029 times
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Originally Posted by Ann77 View Post
I didn't say advanced, just explaining why people would want more space and bathrooms. And closets.
haha i didnt think of it that way. i think it has to do with the fact that back then it was not just acceptable to be a 2 parent/1 stay at home family, it was what was expected. so people had to make do with less.
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