U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > Sacramento
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-06-2020, 08:48 AM
 
921 posts, read 917,773 times
Reputation: 438

Advertisements

So I notice looking at older homes how tiny they were built! Like under 1500 square feet. Why? How the heck did people raise families in such places?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-06-2020, 09:22 AM
 
241 posts, read 223,670 times
Reputation: 302
It is amazing. I shared a 9 X 9 room with my sister growing up in a 1300-square-foot house. I saw the house my dad grew up in with his 8 siblings - less than 900 square feet - a kitchen (the size of a closet), a family room, a bathroom and three bedrooms.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2020, 09:24 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
32,335 posts, read 58,942,406 times
Reputation: 35363
People back then had nowhere near as much "stuff", in fact TV had not been invented, appliances were smaller, and children were fine with sleeping several to a room. When I was a kid we had a 1,400 SF 2 bedroom 1 bath house with 5 kids. My 3 brothers and I slept in bunk beds in one small bedroom, our sister had the other to herself. Our parents slept in the dining room. Eventually we did move to a larger house with 4 bedrooms 1.5 baths but then they had another 4 kids. There were no bigger homes available even in the 1960s-70s unless custom built. People made do with what they had and kids did not expect their own room, their own bathroom, their own TV, car etc. as in the 1980s-now.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2020, 09:28 AM
 
15,146 posts, read 27,225,585 times
Reputation: 25105
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixxalot View Post
So I notice looking at older homes how tiny they were built! Like under 1500 square feet. Why? How the heck did people raise families in such places?
My parents, the children of poor immigrants, had their first house built in a pleasant post-war suburb. The house was about 1700 sq.ft, 1.5 bathroom (that .5 considered quite a luxury). Family of four with plenty of room and nary a serial killer among us.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2020, 09:29 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
84,434 posts, read 77,616,808 times
Reputation: 85600
It really depends on which older homes you're looking at. Some were large and spacious, with hallways so wide, they could qualify as an additional room or parlor.

It sounds like you've been looking at homes for lower working-class people, i.e. the "affordable housing" of their day. The new "affordable housing" built today isn't any different: kitchens as a small corner "station" in the combo living/dining room, cramped bedrooms. The size of a home in any era depends on what market/demographic niche they're aimed at.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2020, 09:36 AM
 
8,745 posts, read 5,318,103 times
Reputation: 23047
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixxalot View Post
So I notice looking at older homes how tiny they were built! Like under 1500 square feet. Why? How the heck did people raise families in such places?
Under 1500 square feet! Oh, the horror!

My husband and I have raised our three children in a 1300 square foot house, and it's not even old (built in 1988). They are now 15, 17, and 20 and seem well-adjusted. We're all aware that our house is not large but it's perfectly adequate, and we have more than enough "stuff."

My dad grew up with his mom and two brothers in a two-bedroom Chicago apartment, and he once remarked that our house would have seemed like a mansion to him.

What seems far more odd to me than that is when I hear people say, which they frequently do here on C-D, things like, "Now that it's just the two of us, we're thinking about downsizing, possibly as small as 2000 square feet!"

By the way, I grew up in a 3600-square-foot house, and it seems to me now like a monumental waste of space. Everything was huge, far larger than necessary or (to me) even desirable.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2020, 03:24 PM
 
15,146 posts, read 27,225,585 times
Reputation: 25105
Big houses (like where I babysat) scared me- no way to know what was going on in multiple rooms or possible break in far from where I was.

I retired to a custom 800 sq.ft. house and it's perfect in-town density and location.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2020, 03:36 PM
 
107 posts, read 47,690 times
Reputation: 303
People had lower expectations and far fewer possessions.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2020, 04:23 PM
 
1,146 posts, read 358,462 times
Reputation: 2651
“Small” is relative. I lived for 20+ years in a 968 square foot 1950’s tract home in North San Diego County. It had 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, interior laundry room, single-car garage. Until the last of my second decade there, it was a fairly rural area, with fields of local-grown produce, lots of trees and open space. My lot was a quarter-acre, and being that it’s Southern California, we utilized that outdoor space a lot. I raised my family there, and kids and visitors were always coming and going. The house didn’t feel small.

If we hadn’t had the outdoor space, or lived in a colder climate, it may have felt cramped. In the early years of living there, we got to know some of the original owners. One of them had raised 5 children in a house with same square footage and floor-plan as my house, but on a smaller lot.

I still don’t know what people do with the space in a 3,000+ square foot house, unless they have a lot of kids or it’s a multi-generational family. Outdoor space for vegetable gardens, trees, play equipment, space for children and pets to romp in, eating al fresco is great. But, a hulking, 2-story box-shape house, on a tiny lot, where you can reach out a window and shake the neighbor’s hand, with your neighbors peering down into your teeny yard from their upstairs window, ugh.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2020, 06:07 PM
 
8,745 posts, read 5,318,103 times
Reputation: 23047
Quote:
Originally Posted by happygrrrl View Post
I still don’t know what people do with the space in a 3,000+ square foot house, unless they have a lot of kids or it’s a multi-generational family. Outdoor space for vegetable gardens, trees, play equipment, space for children and pets to romp in, eating al fresco is great. But, a hulking, 2-story box-shape house, on a tiny lot, where you can reach out a window and shake the neighbor’s hand, with your neighbors peering down into your teeny yard from their upstairs window, ugh.
I don't know what they do with all that space in California either, but in many parts of the country, people spend much of their lives in the house because it's too cold, too wet, too hot, too windy, or too buggy to be outside. Where my sister lives in Oklahoma, sometimes it's all of the above within a week! And I suppose if you're going to be inside all the time, you'd rather it not be in a small space.

I only remember one time when my children were little when I felt "trapped" in the house because it rained for several days on end. Otherwise, we were out in the fresh air virtually every day, either at the park or walking somewhere.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > California > Sacramento
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top