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Home » CHFWeb Forum » HomeMaking » home sizes..........house fat article
home sizes..........house fat article [message #340082] Mon, 22 October 2007 17:28 Go to next message
TXwifeandmommy
Messages: 1129
Registered: May 2005
Location: Idaho
Senior Member

What is the size of your home?[ 54 vote(s) ]
1.1,500 to 2,000 square feet 13 / 24%
2.1,000 to 1,500 square feet 12 / 22%
3.less than 1,000 square feet 3 / 6%
4.2,000 to 2,500 square feet 12 / 22%
5.2,500 to 3,000 square feet 5 / 9%
6.over 3,000 square feet 9 / 17%

I was reading an aricle this afternoon in Womans Day. It was discussing how today's families are house fat! That is a new phrase for me! The article was stating that in the 1950's the average home was 900 square feet. Today the average home size is around 2500 square feet and the average family is half the size as it was in the 50's. The author said that today's trends for oversized homes were actually very anti-family. She painted a mental picture of how evenings spent at home were different than in the decades with smaller homes. In the 50's the father would be reading, mother sewing or knitting and the children would be playing at their feet all in the same room. Today however father would be in his home office, mother in her hobby room, one child in the media room watching tv and the other children in their own seperate bedrooms listening to music,talking on he phone or on the computer. Everyone is seperated. This does seem anti-family to me and I have never really thought about this. This article made me wonder what size homes you all have choosen for your families and what you think of this article?

Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340086 is a reply to message #340082 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 17:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
denise d
Messages: 6330
Registered: April 2005
Senior Member
I think the article is right about people thinking they 'need' a whole lot more space than they really do. At the same time, there are only TWO people in our house right now, most of the time...... and we have about 2200 square feet.

I agree with the article, in that sense.

What ends up happening here man days, is that I am painting or working in the art room, and there is a television and dvd player in there, and that is where we all end up hanging out. It is probably one of the smaller rooms in the house. It might be better if I shifted around and used the living room as a studio, but then that would be weird when we have company.

But we have periods of time where we are very much doing what is described - everyone in their own little world. When we had the really big house, this past year, I texted or called ds to tell him to come to dinner. But that house was way too big...and we spent a very large amount of our time in the kitchen in that house, together.

[Updated on: Tue, 23 October 2007 11:58]


God is Love.
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340096 is a reply to message #340082 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 17:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Maddie
Messages: 1305
Registered: July 2005
Location: Oregon
Senior Member
We have about 1800 square feet for 5 people, or 360 sf per person! Our house is the smallest design for this neighborhood, which basically repeats a dozen or so designs. I would say the average in the neighborhood is the 2500 sf you quoted, though there are a few behemoths (like the one next door) that are 4000 sf.

I love our house and wouldn't want to be in one of the bigger ones. We have one living room area, open to the eating area and kitchen. We have 3 bedrooms plus a little office about the size of a bedroom but no closet. I love having just one living area--our old house had a family room and living room and the living room was a huge space that was rarely used. I love having just two bathrooms--I wouldn't want to clean any more! And speaking of cleaning, I can't imagine trying to keep a 4000 sf house clean. I will say that our house design uses space very well and that makes a big difference. Our old house was a little bigger at 2000 sf but not as functional as this one because of how the space was divided up.

I used to watch Extreme Makeover Home Edition (and still do on occassion), and I often feel a little sorry for the family because they aren't given what they really need, but are often given a huge burden. The larger houses have higher property taxes, higher utilities, require a lot more "stuff" to fill them up, and are so big that someone has to spend a lot of time cleaning. A big house is not really the key to happiness.


Maddie
Mom of 3 girls 18, 15, and 12
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340099 is a reply to message #340082 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 17:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kate Megill  is currently offline Kate Megill
Messages: 6501
Registered: April 2005
Location: NW rural Illinois
Senior Member

Our house is about 2100 sq ft for 10 people. Of course, that is not very USEABLE space...we have a humungous (sp?) bathroom that we could hold dances in Shocked Shocked but have no closets to speak of (we took the only large one and made it into a bedroom).

Most people I know who have houses 3000-4000+ square feet have 1-2 children or none at all. But they have 2 income families and can afford the housing. Those of us with one income and largish size families simply could never afford that size of a house. But I wouldn't mind being 'house fat'...with the children getting older and everyone being home 24/7, I could use a little bit of breathing space on occassion! Wink


In His Joy and Grace,

Kate

Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340100 is a reply to message #340082 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 18:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
HSMom03
Messages: 9
Registered: February 2007
Junior Member
We have 2000 sq. feet. We are a family of 5. The kids all have their own bedrooms, which I love! We also have a seperate school room. This amount of footage is perfect for us.

We did live in an 1100 sq. feet home. It was much too small for our family.
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340103 is a reply to message #340082 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 18:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Charity  is currently offline Charity
Messages: 3518
Registered: April 2005
Senior Member
We have about 3000 sq ft for 3 people (one of whom has about two more years at home). That sounds like a lot, but only 1700 ft of it is finished space. The basement is roughly framed in, but no sheetrock, flooring or ceiling yet.

Charity
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340104 is a reply to message #340082 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 18:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Cammie  is currently offline Cammie
Messages: 1861
Registered: April 2005
Location: Tennessee
Senior Member
We have 2400 living space but about 3200 under roof. We have a large 2 story garage, lots of storage, and a large front porch that makes up the under roof part.

We came from 1164 sq feet, so to us this house is huge. The funny part is the kids (age 12 and 9) don't want to sleep upstairs in their rooms, they want to be in the living room so they can be close to us. We don't do school in the school room. We just store books there. It has 4 book shelves and a table and 2 computers. I thought we would love having a school room, nope the kids come to the kitchen still (don't know if this is habit leftover from the small house or just we like the kitchen). So we are probably house fat.


Cammie
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340111 is a reply to message #340104 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 18:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
TXwifeandmommy
Messages: 1129
Registered: May 2005
Location: Idaho
Senior Member
Cammie wrote on Mon, 22 October 2007 17:20


We don't do school in the school room. We just store books there. It has 4 book shelves and a table and 2 computers. I thought we would love having a school room, nope the kids come to the kitchen still (don't know if this is habit leftover from the small house or just we like the kitchen).


I know the feeling! In our old house we had a seperate school room. Honestly the only good it was for was storing the school supplies and posters. Other than that they didn't like doing work in there and we all felt so cut off from the rest of the house. If I needed to wash some dishes while they worked on handwriting, I couldn't see them and they couldn't see me. When we moved to this house, we didn't have the extra school room. The rooms in this house are much bigger only less of them. We put all our supplies in the closet at the end of the hall and just use the kitchen table. As far as all the fancy posters and such we had hanging in the school room......we have not missed them one bit! I love having everyone right there with me in the kitchen. It is open to the living room so I can see and monitor school while doing lots of household chores.
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340113 is a reply to message #340082 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 18:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LynetteMN  is currently offline LynetteMN
Messages: 963
Registered: April 2005
Location: North of Never
Senior Member
We have about 2500 for the four of us. Every inch, including the basement, is finished. It seems small by comparison with many of our peers in this affluent suburb--it was so refreshing to have our couples' Bible study in a small home recently, instead of the mansions we've been in so far! (the "small" home was probably 1500 sq ft., the mansions are 5K)

Today I visited my dear single friend, who just had her dream house built. She has 3000 finished sq. ft. for just her. She now has a 25 x 40 foot recreation room, fully finished, in her basement. Ummmm....whatever for? She plans to buy a big screen projection tv and a pool table...except she's never entertained before, I don't see her starting now! She's in her late 40s, bad knees, not very mobile. I can see that the main floor space is perfect for her (kitchen, great room, dining area, master suite, office). My parents, who lived with a family in a 10x50 foot mobile home until they were 40+, went with me to visit and were just as baffled as I!

I totally agree about the family spreading out all over the house and not spending time together. When we re-did our basement this summer due to a pipe breaking, I consciously made it a room we can all do "our" thing in simultaneously--computers along one wall for homework and surfing, tv for dad to watch his movies, craft desk to work on a project. It's the first time in the 8 years we've lived in this house we've had stuff to do for ALL of us in one room.

[Updated on: Mon, 22 October 2007 18:53]


Wife for 24 years
Mom to 22 yo dd and 19 yo dd
and Buddy the Wonder Dog!
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340120 is a reply to message #340082 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 19:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Leigh  is currently offline Leigh
Messages: 4587
Registered: April 2005
Location: Tennessee
Senior Member
I voted for the smallest size in the poll, but we don't even qualify to vote. Our house in 960 square feet flat out. Stictly single file, and only one on the porch at a time, thank you.

We raised our dd, a cat and three dogs here. Now we're down to no dd, no cat, and only two dogs.

Still crowded, especially when William lets loose!


Leigh
Tennessee

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

~~Benjamin Franklin

Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340132 is a reply to message #340082 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 19:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
TXwifeandmommy
Messages: 1129
Registered: May 2005
Location: Idaho
Senior Member
One reason that this article caught my eye was because I have been reading about and seeing shows on how families can be more eco friendly. One of the big things they mentioned was having a home that big enough for your needs but not too big for your needs. They also stressed how if you are going to live in town, the smaller your lot the better for the environment. I really had these two things in the back of my head when we went house hunting. I really wanted a larger house, but in my head and I knew we didn't need a HUGE house for just the 4 of us. The house we choose has a little over 2000 square feet and I think will fit our needs perfectly. It has larger family areas which I am really liking the idea of. The house is situated on the lot in a way thatuses space efficiently and provides just enough of a yard to enjoy but not too much to maintain. Our first home was much smaller at around 1300 square feet, but it had lots of different rooms. Even though the house was small, we were all spread out and didn't get to spend that much time together. I was in the kitchen, the kids were in each of their rooms or the living room and dh was in the home office. None of these rooms opened up to each other and even though the house was much smaller, we felt further apart.

My aunt's house is around 900 square feet and they have three children. There is one small living room and it is open to the eat in kitchen. There is a small hallway that gives access to the only tiny bathroom and the two kids bedrooms. Her oldest two dd's share a room. The master bedroom is right off of the kitchen. The house is like a little square with every doorway to another room visible from each other. The house is tiny in my opinion for 5 people, but she keeps it very decluttered and beautifully but comfortably decorated. The open floor plan allows for easy movement and family togetherness. We have had get togethers at her house several times. I have also been to get togethers in mansions. We always enjoy the get togethers at my aunts better because of the warm and cozy atmosphere. The kids can gather in the living room while the adults huddle in the kitchen.We can all see each other and even though we are doing seperate things, we all still feel together. When we lived close I spent alot of time at her house. It was always so nice to see the whole family together even if my aunt and uncle where watching tv, the girls playing a computer game and their youngest sitting at the table finishing homework. They were all within sight of each other and an arms reach at sometimes.Their house may be tiny, but it is defiantly is not anti-family.
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340146 is a reply to message #340132 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 20:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michele (Queen of Cheap)  is currently offline Michele (Queen of Cheap)
Messages: 5816
Registered: April 2005
Location: Georgia
Senior Member
1900 sq ft, 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 6 people. This house is laid out really good. The bedrooms are small (no big deal, we only sleep there). The dining room/kitchen is HUGE!. I have a table that holds 8 and a table that hold 4 in the dining room and still have plenty of room for 4 filing cabinets, a side board, a bookcase and a baker's rack Smile Smile I have room for 5 bar stools at the bar as well. We have a separate family room and living room. In one room we have a couch, 2 recliners, a bookcase and an entertainment center. In the other room we have a piano, full sized keyboard, 3 guitars, 2 sewing machines, a computer and a partidge in a pear tree Very Happy


Michele, The Organic Queen of Cheap!
(aka Shelly the Swamp Frog)

Happily posting on CHF since 1995


Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340150 is a reply to message #340082 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 20:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Irene V  is currently offline Irene V
Messages: 435
Registered: April 2005
Location: Beautiful B.C.
Senior Member
I agree with the article... too much house is too little family in my books.

When the dc were babies and toddlers we lived in a mobile home, single wide and less than 1000 sq ft. I loved it. The dc were going to be underfoot anyway, so i thought having less house was great.

Our current house is driving my eco friendly brain mad. It's too big, and I have to ring a dinner bell to find the dc at times (3 floors, all developed, we each have a bathroom and a bedroom... it's too much!!

[Updated on: Mon, 22 October 2007 22:03]


Irene V
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340153 is a reply to message #340082 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 20:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kim L. from MO  is currently offline Kim L. from MO
Messages: 2235
Registered: April 2005
Location: Missouri
Senior Member
We have about 2,800 sf in our two story. The big selling point was the great room, which we believe was the original garage that was converted.


"....And if your Master’s truth offends the gentlemen to whom you speak of it let them be offended. His name we must confess; of His glory we will continually talk…" Charles Spurgeon
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340155 is a reply to message #340082 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 20:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sarah's5girls  is currently offline sarah's5girls
Messages: 28
Registered: May 2006
Location: North Alabama
Junior Member
We have about 3000 sf for 8 of us. All the living space is one room with 2 bedrooms, 1 full bathroom, and a playroom upstairs. There are 2 bedrooms downstairs, 2 full baths downstairs, living room, workout/school room, kitchen and dining room, pantry and laundry room. My oldest dd has her own room upstairs, my 12 and 7yo share a room upstairs. My 4 and 2yo share a room downstairs and the baby is on our room downstairs. We are comfortable without being crowded but not having much extra space.


Sarah
Mom to:
Victoria(15) Gabriella(13) Emma(8) Savanna(6) Carolina(3) and Josiah (2)
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340170 is a reply to message #340082 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 21:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
elliemaejune  is currently offline elliemaejune
Messages: 1222
Registered: April 2005
Location: Texas
Senior Member
We always bought the largest house our budget could afford Smile

Our last house was 1100 square feet, with four of us. We sold that house (San Francisco Bay area) and moved here to central Texas to a 3000 square ft house, because we can afford it.

We would probably have hsed in the kitchen Wink

I refuse to buy a house based on what some enviroterrorists think I should do. I'd make it as energy efficient as possible, but that would be for the sake of my pocketbook.


Born again since 1974
Married to Mr. Ellie for over 30 years
Mom to 2 amazing grown-up dds and 2 dsil
Grandmother to 1 beautiful baby boy

A kitten dies every time you use an apostrophe to pluralize.
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340176 is a reply to message #340082 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 21:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Laura in VA  is currently offline Laura in VA
Messages: 3959
Registered: January 2007
Senior Member
I completely agree with the article...

There was a country song years ago...I don't remember who sung it, but the lyrics were

Love grows best in little houses
With few walls to seperate
Where we eat and sleep so close together
We can't help but communicate

That is my phylosophy on houses. We rent...it's somewhere near 2,000 sqft...it's bigger than we need for sure, and the space isn't laid out at all like I would have it...seperate rooms...with bigger bedrooms but the livingroom and kitchen being much too small. It's home for now though Smile And someday when we buy/build...I have a very good idea of what I want.

I'm going to see if I can't find who sings that song...it really was a good one!


So now the Lord says, "Stop right where you are! Look for the old, godly way; and walk in it. Travel its path and you will find rest for your souls. ~Jer 6:16

Everyone can purchase their freedom by having the courage to forgo the perks of dependency.
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340183 is a reply to message #340082 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 21:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Char in mid-south  is currently offline Char in mid-south
Messages: 1555
Registered: April 2005
Location: Mid-South area
Senior Member
We would be considered in the house fat category. However, we started in the teeniest apartment and slowly "moved on up" (does anyone else now hear the Jefforsons song in their head? Laughing )

We bought for the value of the home. It is considered an investment. We figure we are being good stewards of what God has given us.

It has also given us more time together as a family. Brad has been working from home so we can actually eat a few meals together! He likes being able to be home more. It's been convenient at times for me as well!

We do have our separate times............but we also have family time. Our office (Clarissa and me) is downstairs off the kitchen. Brad's is upstairs where he can shut the door for silence when he is on a phone call or needing to concentrate.

Clarissa and I have an art studio where we can spend time being creative. This has been a blessing.

Our home is visitor friendly. We didn't have space before to entertain anyone. Now we can.

There are many reasons why some would buy a bigger house than absolutely necessary. We've worked hard for our home...saving every penny and sacrificing a lot. We never ate out, never bought new clothes or new cars. Always made things from scratch. That money helped us get what we have. If we were willing to sacrfifice for it then why shouldn't we be able to enjoy it?

We live inexpensively. We live within our means. Our mortgage is not much more than anyone else we know so might as well get more house for the moeny so we can have such blessings as my DH working from home comfortably.

I think there is much more waste in people's daily purchases than than in people's homes. Confused Strabucks everyday? SHopping all the time? eating out often? You get the picture. We would just rather have a nicer home where we spend most of our time (well, not lately for kiddo and I) than a brand new expensive car or all the other things a majority of the world spends enormous amounts on.

Ya know?

[Updated on: Mon, 22 October 2007 21:41]


Your Sista-Chick in Christ and Friend


Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340213 is a reply to message #340183 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 22:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Emily~  is currently offline Emily~
Messages: 660
Registered: June 2006
Senior Member
Our house is 1028 sq feet (or somewhere very close to that) so I voted less than 1000 sq. feet since we are so close to that. We only have two children, so it works for us. The only thing that makes me wish our house was a bit bigger is that dh's wheelchair needs lots of clearance space and I have to wait for him to get through or out of the way often.




Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340216 is a reply to message #340082 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 22:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
BusyMommy  is currently offline BusyMommy
Messages: 1012
Registered: April 2005
Location: East Tennessee
Senior Member
We just flat out have too much stuff! Our house is just over 3000 square feet. It is just me, my hubby and 8 year old daughter. We have 4 bedrooms. The 4th is very small and is my craft room and also we keep a computer and some printers in there. It is currently very piled up but I just shut the door. Wink Our master bedroom is very large. I like that. We have a large bedroom set. We have a nice walk-in closet and a large master bath. The other two bedrooms are medium size and one is dd's and the other a guest room and lately overflow room for dd's toys. Sad There is a full bath there too. All bedrooms are upstairs. I like that now but when I am older I will probably not want to climb those stairs any longer.

We have a real dining room. It is also large with room for a china hutch, buffet and large dining table with six chairs but we could probably seat eight if we had two more chairs. We have begun to eat in there regularly and we are really enjoying that. My kitchen also has an eat-in area. We have a nice den with a fireplace and french doors to the deck. We have a half-bath on the main with a laundry room, more like a closet. Huge house, not much room for laundry. I hate that. I have to sort my clothes in the den! Embarassed

We also have a formal living room but it is our Heritage room where we display our old famly photos, Bibles, antique sewing machine, antique corner hutch, etc. It is a special room.

Downstairs (the basement) is a huge room with three huge closets and built in cabinets in one corner. Our dream is to make it a media room but right now it is a total mess. There is one narrow pathway to walk through to get to the garage. I could spend a month down there working. Really! Shocked There is also a half bath down there and our two car garage is also in the basement. We often talk about needing more room, but what we really need to do is get rid of a lot of stuff.

So bigger house means more stuff, more work, more cleaning, higher utility bills, etc. But I really couldn't imagine downsizing without eliminating a lot of the things we love.

Pam
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340236 is a reply to message #340082 ] Mon, 22 October 2007 23:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Rose  is currently offline Rose
Messages: 453
Registered: April 2007
Location: Prince George, BC
Senior Member

We just moved into our current town house a few months ago. We have 527 sq/ft per level with three levels, the bottom being unfinished. I love having the extra space. Our last home was an 800 sq/ft, 2 bedroom, basement suite with some storage space in the garage. For awhile we even had an extra adult living with us. She slept in one room and we had the two kids squished into our room. That was tight! We've got three bedrooms now and I'm thinking about renting out one them to a single refugee woman or taking in an international student. We simply have more space then we need.


Rose - Official Bean Queen

wife of Joel
mom to Faith(5.5) and Paul(5)

"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." - Jesus
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340255 is a reply to message #340216 ] Tue, 23 October 2007 07:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
TXwifeandmommy
Messages: 1129
Registered: May 2005
Location: Idaho
Senior Member
BusyMommy wrote on Mon, 22 October 2007 21:34

So bigger house means more stuff, more work, more cleaning, higher utility bills, etc.
Pam


I totally agree! Our 2nd house after we got marriend was HUGE! It was only dh and I and after only a year we had every room of that house filled! We decided to move into a much cheaper rental so we could save money to buy a house. I was kinda depressed about having to get rid of all my new "stuff" I had just acquired, but once we got moved in it felt soooooo much more peaceful than the big house. It took me less than an hour to clean everyday, the utilities were cheap cheap and with the space being so much smaller I could afford to redecorate over and over again. When we finally did buy our first home and it was much bigger, everything got more compicated and we got more "stuff". Really though I think the only way to make a small tiny house work and feel good to live in is to not have clutter. If you have clutter you feel claustrophobic.
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340264 is a reply to message #340255 ] Tue, 23 October 2007 08:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michele (Queen of Cheap)  is currently offline Michele (Queen of Cheap)
Messages: 5816
Registered: April 2005
Location: Georgia
Senior Member
If I had my druthers, I would want a house an itsy bitsy bigger than this because I would give my eye teeth for a sewing/craft room for me and the my girls.


Michele, The Organic Queen of Cheap!
(aka Shelly the Swamp Frog)

Happily posting on CHF since 1995


Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340267 is a reply to message #340264 ] Tue, 23 October 2007 08:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
TXwifeandmommy
Messages: 1129
Registered: May 2005
Location: Idaho
Senior Member
Michele (Queen of Cheap) wrote on Tue, 23 October 2007 07:08

If I had my druthers, I would want a house an itsy bitsy bigger than this because I would give my eye teeth for a sewing/craft room for me and the my girls.


I would love a sewing room too! In my dream house there is a room right off of the family room. Inside is tons of cabinets and a large built in sewing table. In the middle of the room is a large island that I can spread fabric out on or do crafts on. It would be soooooo wonderful. One day perhaps. Very Happy For now it is dragging out the sewing machine onto the dinning room table! Laughing
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340268 is a reply to message #340267 ] Tue, 23 October 2007 08:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michele (Queen of Cheap)  is currently offline Michele (Queen of Cheap)
Messages: 5816
Registered: April 2005
Location: Georgia
Senior Member
One day I want to put a shed out in the back yard (one of those nice ones wired with electricity) and make my own little hideway...


Michele, The Organic Queen of Cheap!
(aka Shelly the Swamp Frog)

Happily posting on CHF since 1995


Great subject... [message #340270 is a reply to message #340082 ] Tue, 23 October 2007 08:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
KarlaB
Messages: 1716
Registered: April 2005
Location: MN
Senior Member
Boy are we "fat" in America, on many levels!

When I was growing up in the 60's-70's, if you lived in a house that was 1500 sq. ft., that was considered huge. I didn't know anyone who lived in a home larger than 1800 sq. ft. Now that is considered small.

When we moved to MN I had to really hunt to find a house that was less than 2000 sq. ft. because that just seems to be standard now.

Having raised my kids for ten years in a house that was 1000 sq. ft., I came to really love small houses. It really brings the family together. When we sold that house and moved to Miami we lived in a huge four bedroom house and we never saw our kids. They had their end of the house and we had ours. I didn't like it at all.

Our little retirement house in FL is 1600 sq. ft. and is really the perfect size for my family. I can't wait to retire there.

I guess it's like everything else in America; meals, clothing, vehicles, it all just keeps getting bigger and bigger. It's not a good witness to the world that's for sure.

KarlaB
Re: Great subject... [message #340322 is a reply to message #340270 ] Tue, 23 October 2007 09:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
TXwifeandmommy
Messages: 1129
Registered: May 2005
Location: Idaho
Senior Member
KarlaB wrote on Tue, 23 October 2007 07:23

I guess it's like everything else in America; meals, clothing, vehicles, it all just keeps getting bigger and bigger. It's not a good witness to the world that's for sure.

KarlaB


This is one thing that plays on my heart alot these days. One of my concerns about moving to the city and neighborhood that we choose is that it is a very "upity" town and neighborhood. It is great in one way because I feel safer, but on the other hand I don't like my children seeing all the excessiveness and materialistic ways of the neighbors. I don't think we will exactly fit in with the neighbors and I am certainly not going to try. We don't strive to keep up with the Joneses. I will however try my best to witness to the rest of the block how as Christan's all we need to be happy is God, family and the basic necessities of life...........all of which come from him only.
Re: Great subject... [message #340334 is a reply to message #340322 ] Tue, 23 October 2007 09:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
Messages: 9599
Registered: April 2005
Location: Small Town New Hampshire
Senior Member
I don't know how many square feet it is (I don't ever remember details like that)...but I have to confess: we have a big house.

It's a three-story colonial, which is three-story instead of two-story because there's so much ledge in our area that it would have been a lot more expensive to blast than to add a floor. We don't have a basement; it's built on a concrete pad on ledge.

It is big and it's hard to keep orderly and clean. But dh designed it to be big enough so that we could 1) be hospitable and 2) for our kids to bring their families home to, when they are grown (if the Lord wills and tarries).

There is a big storage room on the first floor, the traditional kitchen, dining room, living room, a bathroom that's not finished and a computer room. Oh, and a formal entry way that's nice but not used much. On the second floor are two big bedrooms that the four kids share, a kids' bathroom, a master bedroom/suite and a laundry hallway <grin>. On the third floor is attic storage in the eaves, dh's home office, and a big room that is a pingpong/play area but is usually used by dh to spread out his work all over the pingpong table.

We lived for years'n'years in a tiny cottage [The Shack] on the same property. It started out with two rooms downstairs and two gable rooms upstairs. We added on, but it was built badly originally, had a dug out cellar that water ran through, had mold and mildew problems and the problems were not fixable and were causing pre-asthmatic condition in one of our kids.

Living in The Shack allowed us to live frugally. We did one extra payment a year and put money on the principal whenever we could. Dh paid it off in quick order, and we lived for years with no house payment, but put the money away for a down payment on the next house. We were able to put a big down payment on this house, and so our monthly payment is a lot less than my relatives paid for a condo or even to rent an apartment.

So, I'm trying to enjoy the big McMansion Wink...dh designed it, built it with his own hands and those of the kids and his friends, and he has a plan for it -- to help with home schooling and home office...to make a bed-n-breakfast if we want later...and to bring "godly generations" (may the Lord bless us that way!) back to the Old Home. <grin> The question will be if we can afford the taxes, until the next generation comes along
Wink

We also have the option to have Grandy or Nana & Grampa come to live with us easily -- we'd make the computer room into a "suite" room for them with a diagonal downstairs bathroom, all on the first level.

In the meantime, I'm trying to learn how to be hospitable in a big house and use it merely as a tool to help.

I think it all gets back to your motive. I don't care where we live, honestly. I'd probably have a blast on the mission field, and I *know* we can live anywhere, because The Shack was so difficult [although, then I was stabbed in the heart when the missionary from India showed us pictures and their "new church" is not as nice as The Shack that we pulled down. "Only in America", eh?] -- it's all relative, really.

[Updated on: Tue, 23 October 2007 09:40]


In Jesus

Sherry from NH
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340356 is a reply to message #340082 ] Tue, 23 October 2007 10:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Paula  is currently offline Paula
Messages: 1054
Registered: June 2005
Senior Member
Our home is 1450 on the main floor with a 400 sq foot finished family room in the basement plus a 4th bedroom down there.

We have a family of just 3 right now, but our son's family of 4 are also living there at the moment........and I can tell you, that with 7 people and 3 dogs (one being a 65 pound lab) that our home is to small for all this.

When it is just the 3 of us it is perfect. Our bedrooms are small, the 2 1/2 baths are small, as we built this home for having fellowship, we choose to have the majority of sq footage in the main livng area. and the Kitchen, Dinning and Living are are all open to each other, it is a great place to have people in.


Paula, a Blessed woman who is married to the most amazing man, and mother of the most incredible children.
Re: Great subject... [message #340378 is a reply to message #340334 ] Tue, 23 October 2007 10:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
denise d
Messages: 6330
Registered: April 2005
Senior Member
For us, when we had the big house, we could use it for entertainment, hosting big family things, and etc. But I am soooooo cured of ever wanting a really big house. I do not want to have to clean it. And when you work hard for it, and if that's what you want, whose business is it anyway?


RIght now, the way our lives are, it would seem very wasteful to me.

One thing that would be convenient for me would be to have a separate building for the weekend band practice. It is loud and resonates through the vents. I usually just work in the art room or the front rooms, both which are NOT over the basement. Perhaps the luxury item we would have would be a really nice studio.

This set of kids definitely sound better than the first go round. For that I am thankful.

The other thing that seems to happen is the 'keeping up with' the people areound you, your neighbors, and the one upmanship. It is frustrating, whether it's houses, shoes, purses, clothes, cars.....all that stuff. Stepping out of the race can be difficult.....even standing on the sidelines of it can be kinda tough.





[Updated on: Tue, 23 October 2007 11:02]


God is Love.
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340381 is a reply to message #340264 ] Tue, 23 October 2007 10:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
BusyMommy  is currently offline BusyMommy
Messages: 1012
Registered: April 2005
Location: East Tennessee
Senior Member
Michele (Queen of Cheap) wrote on Tue, 23 October 2007 07:08

If I had my druthers, I would want a house an itsy bitsy bigger than this because I would give my eye teeth for a sewing/craft room for me and the my girls.


That's my husband's dream, except it would be his man cave and he could keep all his computer/techno junk out there.

Pam
Re: Great subject... [message #340388 is a reply to message #340378 ] Tue, 23 October 2007 10:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Michele (Queen of Cheap)  is currently offline Michele (Queen of Cheap)
Messages: 5816
Registered: April 2005
Location: Georgia
Senior Member
I told you the house we are in now is 1900. The house we left in Maine was 4800 Shocked It was HUGE but it was paid for Very Happy I loved that house and I would have given most anything to have been able to move it down here to Georgia. I agree, the size of the house means nothing. It has to do with what your needs are, what your likes and dislikes are, your financial picture, your motivations, what is important and what's not etc.


Michele, The Organic Queen of Cheap!
(aka Shelly the Swamp Frog)

Happily posting on CHF since 1995


I agree and... [message #340411 is a reply to message #340388 ] Tue, 23 October 2007 11:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
KarlaB
Messages: 1716
Registered: April 2005
Location: MN
Senior Member
I didn't mean to use such a general statement. Of course there are many people who live in big houses who use them to the glory of God.

I just see so many young couples these days starting out in these huge boxes we call homes. They not only get the big house but they get the big mortage to go with it. Is it any wonder that right now thousands of forclosures are going on all over the US every month? There's no self control. Again; just generalities here.

I see it seep into my own life. As hard as we have worked to be debt free, as many "things" that we've said no to, I still worry that I've spoiled my sons. Though we've always lived in small, old houses, driving old vehicles, shopped at the Goodwill for clothing and everything else, we've still had it so good.

My husband and I were talking about it this morning as we left the YMCA after working out. We're in our mid (me) to late (him) 40's. We own, debt free, one house, three dependable vehicles, a ski boat, two houses full of furniture (all the MN stuff is new), and a mountain load of other "stuff". We never thought we'd be here at this point in our lives. We started off with less than nothing 24 years ago. I don't list that stuff to brag; the Lord has brought us to where we are.

I worry sometimes that, because my husband and I have made so many sacrafices so that our sons could have the things and do the things we never had or could do, that we've hurt them in the long run instead of help them. It's on my mind alot.

Blessings,
KarlaB
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340427 is a reply to message #340082 ] Tue, 23 October 2007 11:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Teri in AZ  is currently offline Teri in AZ
Messages: 4072
Registered: April 2005
Location: Tucson, AZ
Senior Member

Ours is 2600 feet, and there are only four of us now. Yes, we are all in separate rooms in the evening. Unfortunately, that's just how it happened.

We bought our house when we got married and blended two families. We had 5 kids living with us at the time, and in our efforts to be "fair" (didn't work, some of the kids hated it no matter what we would have done), we bought a house that would ensure that no one, other than my two girls, would have to share a room. Only reason we didn't get a 6 bedroom was because we knew, due to my dd's age at the time, that she was only going to be with us for a short time anyhow. Turned out, within a month, eldest sds left, 3 months later, 2nd sds left, but he ultimately returned and lived with us for 18 months. DD left after about a year, but had at that time moved into her own room.

Now we only have ds (18) and dd (15) with us. We would love to downsize, but with the housing market the way it is, that isn't going to happen for some time, if ever.

So, we have this huge house. Oh well, I can entertain in it! And when ds does leave, we are going to re-arrange rooms so we have a permanent guest room, and we can open our home even more.


Teri in AZ

God is still on the Throne.
Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340555 is a reply to message #340082 ] Tue, 23 October 2007 17:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lcourtneymom(Leah)  is currently offline lcourtneymom(Leah)
Messages: 603
Registered: February 2007
Location: SC
Senior Member
Our house is 1450 sq feet and we have 6 people. We moved this summer from a house with 2800 sq feet to cut utility bills, so I wouldn't have to go back to work.

Some people (family members included) thought we were crazy! "How are you going to fit all those kids in that house?" We got rid of a whole house's worth of stuff!

So, I am a little cramped - I miss all the schoolroom space and I had to say goodbye to my piano. But, honestly, I like my dc to be near me,and even in the big house we were always all together.

So, we are very happy here. It is MUCH easier to clean and MUCH less time consuming. I also feel like I have more time since I got rid of more stuff. Smile

We also have a very nice yard with lots of toys, and I make my dc spend lots of time outside when the weather is nice. That keeps us from feeling stuffed in here.


Leah

Wife of Jason (17 years), mom to dd( 12 ), ds(11), dd(8) and dd(6)

I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him." Lam.3:24

Re: home sizes..........house fat article [message #340563 is a reply to message #340555 ] Tue, 23 October 2007 18:17 Go to previous message
TXwifeandmommy
Messages: 1129
Registered: May 2005
Location: Idaho
Senior Member
lcourtneymom wrote on Tue, 23 October 2007 16:44

Our house is 1450 sq feet and we have 6 people. We moved this summer from a house with 2800 sq feet to cut utility bills, so I wouldn't have to go back to work.


So, we are very happy here. It is MUCH easier to clean and MUCH less time consuming. I also feel like I have more time since I got rid of more stuff. Smile

.


That was probably a very smart move. I hear of lots of people doing that sort of thing these days. The less "stuff" I have, the better I feel also. It doesn't take near the time to clean and pickup whats not there. When we first moved here we had 95% of our things in the garage in boxes. For the first few weeks I only unpacked what I had to because I loved the feeling of not being overun with tons of stuff.
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