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Thread: Big house rant

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Big house rant

    My husband was one of 3 kids and he constantly reminds me that back then, his entire family had no problem fitting into a small car. OK, I agree that it's tough to get the little ones in & out of a two-door sedan, plus there's the issue of car seats, but you really don't need a gigantic mini-van or SUV. The Mini Countryman will do just fine.

    (**rant warning**)
    ...Reminds me of watching "House Hunters" and seeing people who MUST have a 4,000 square foot, 5-bedroom house for themselves and their two kids. Don't children share bedrooms anymore? Bunk beds? Do you REALLY need a separate room for the toys, or a three-car garage? Why do master bedrooms need to be huge palaces the size of my living room? No wonder people get into so much debt!
    (/end rant)

  2. #2
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    (**rant warning**)
    ...Reminds me of watching "House Hunters" and seeing people who MUST have a 4,000 square foot, 5-bedroom house for themselves and their two kids. Don't children share bedrooms anymore? Bunk beds? Do you REALLY need a separate room for the toys, or a three-car garage? Why do master bedrooms need to be huge palaces the size of my living room? No wonder people get into so much debt!
    (/end rant)
    Can someone give us an 'Amen'?

    I saw some figures not long ago about how the sq. footage of the average single family house has nearly doubled over the last generation. Why do we need so much space? Why, to store all of the consumer goods we purchase of course!

    Moderator note:
    split from RTDNTOTO
    Last edited by Maister; 16 Sep 2010 at 9:42 AM.

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    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Can someone give us an 'Amen'?

    I saw some figures not long ago about how the sq. footage of the average single family house has nearly doubled over the last generation. Why do we need so much space? Why, to store all of the consumer goods we purchase of course!
    But where will I put my collection of guitars? They can't be in the same room as my pool table or wet bar. Also, my kids are not allowed in any of those rooms, so they have to have a room for their toys. Oh and a room for them to do their homework in, because if they have toys in that room they won't do their work....
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

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    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    But where will I put my collection of guitars? They can't be in the same room as my pool table or wet bar. Also, my kids are not allowed in any of those rooms, so they have to have a room for their toys. Oh and a room for them to do their homework in, because if they have toys in that room they won't do their work....
    Don't forget about a craft room for your scrapbooking endeavors.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    But where will I put my collection of guitars? They can't be in the same room as my pool table or wet bar. Also, my kids are not allowed in any of those rooms, so they have to have a room for their toys. Oh and a room for them to do their homework in, because if they have toys in that room they won't do their work....
    lol. You are describing my house. We are trying to sell and downsize, but we have a 2500 sf home with a pool table and a wet bar (not to mention a keg fridge with multiple beer taps) and a music room where I put all my guitars, keyboard and drums, and rooms for the non-existent kids. Its way to big a house though for two people. And because my wife is unable to have kids (side effect from chemotherapy) we don't need the extra rooms. I think 1200 square feet would be perfect
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    We had three kids and a small Datsun for a very long time.

    I have had huge houses and smaller ones. I prefer a bit of space. We bought a three bedroom ranch and are going to remodel the three bedrooms into a laundry room, bathroom and master bedroom. We have 1 code and 2 non code bedrooms in the basement. Once we get that done I probably won't go to the basement much but I might have a craft room.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  7. #7
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    More important than the square footage of a house is how efficiently it's used. My house in SC was 1600 sq feet but efficiently used every bit of space and there was no dead space whatsoever. Most people who visited the house swore it was bigger because of this. It was a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2 story house. I owned a ranch style house in Oregon and it was about 1400 sq feet and it felt very spacious even with three adults and one kid in it.

    RT and I lived in a 550 sq foot two bedroom apartment for the last four years which was a little tight. Now we live in a 750 sq foot one bedroom apartment and don't feel the slightest bit cramped. Granted we don't have a lot of stuff either, but we have enough.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    lol. You are describing my house. We are trying to sell and downsize, but we have a 2500 sf home with a pool table and a wet bar (not to mention a keg fridge with multiple beer taps) and a music room where I put all my guitars, keyboard and drums, and rooms for the non-existent kids. Its way to big a house though for two people. And because my wife is unable to have kids (side effect from chemotherapy) we don't need the extra rooms. I think 1200 square feet would be perfect
    2500s.f. doesn't seem crazy big to me. I guess it is all how you use the space. For two people it gets big because of the lack of need of the rooms. Paying to heat and cool the house is what has always got me.

    I had a 1200 s.f. condo and it was perfect for my wife and I. You have enough space to create a home and get away from each other, but not too much that you can't clean or don't use. Good choice.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  9. #9
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    We live with two kids in a 1200 sf house. It is a little tight and the kids do share a room (which may become a point of contention soon, but they live with it now - boy and a girl). But Maister is right - its all about the stuff you have. We just finished a big purge of extraneous stuff which seems to collect in corners, along walls, in bookcases and under the bed like dog hair on a rug. If you aren't buying it, people are giving it to you as a "favor." Gee, thanks...

    I'm sick of stuff. I have some core items I cherish, but beyond that, a toothbrush, computer, bed and a few pots and pans is really just fine.

    I will say from personal experience (I grew up in a large house on a large lot in a suburb) that another side effect of enormous living spaces is loneliness. My brother is 11 years older than I and after he moved out, it was a very isolating feeling to be living in that huge space with just my parents. I value our smaller house and how socially integrated it all is. It keeps us closer as a family.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  10. #10
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Can someone give us an 'Amen'?

    I saw some figures not long ago about how the sq. footage of the average single family house has nearly doubled over the last generation. Why do we need so much space? Why, to store all of the consumer goods we purchase of course!

    Moderator note:
    split from RTDNTOTO
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    lol. You are describing my house. We are trying to sell and downsize, but we have a 2500 sf home with a pool table and a wet bar (not to mention a keg fridge with multiple beer taps) and a music room where I put all my guitars, keyboard and drums, and rooms for the non-existent kids. Its way to big a house though for two people. And because my wife is unable to have kids (side effect from chemotherapy) we don't need the extra rooms. I think 1200 square feet would be perfect
    ooh, I'll trade you my < 1,000SF house for yours assuming you throw in the musical equipment. With 2 kids and one bathroom we're at the point of bursting. As the girls get older I'll never be able to use my bathroom again. We're starting to look around at houses but until we start making more money it's going to be hard to trade up.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    drool drool drool! 2500 sq ft! A pool table? A wet bar?

    cry pout stomp!

    I don't even have storage for towels

    500 sq ft wouldn't feel so cramped if we had closets, or if our walls weren't concrete blocks so we could at least put up shelves.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian UrbaneSprawler's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    Reminds me of watching "House Hunters" and seeing people who MUST have a 4,000 square foot, 5-bedroom house for themselves and their two kids.
    Generally these instances were the 3 year old episodes with the first time home buyers back then buying in Vegas or Phoenix and ended up with a "bargain" paying $800,000 with no money down and needing a first and a second. Updates on these old episodes would be high comedy.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    I thought this was going to be about the poor performances of the University of Michigan football team of late.




    Addition to the post after actually reading the thread:

    Regarding those types of folks on House Hunters - there is a house down the street that was purchased by a couple on the show last year. It's about a 4,500 square foot house with a 5 car garage and, from what I remember on the show, all sorts of extra bonus rooms. The house also has an extensively redone backyard and patio which the couple made a big deal about wanting because they said that they entertain often. The folks who bought it were an unmarried couple (he probably in his mid-30s and her in her mid-to-late-20s) with no children. We have NEVER seen them outside using all that patio stuff that they just had to have, never see visitors over there, etc. Well, cut to about 18 months after purchase and they are already selling it! I know what they paid for the house (it was on the show and is public record) and I know that they had to shell out another $20k or so to redo a few rooms to their standards (also featured on the show). Yes, prices have rebounded significantly here lately, but IMO they overpaid even by 2009 standards. It will be interesting to see what they actually get for it and I'd love to know exactly why they are moving (I'm nosy that way though).


    Regarding our house - It's more than 3,000 square feet and I know that it's excessively large. But what makes it so bad is the lack of storage and what I consider an inefficient layout. There is not much extra space in the garage and there is no basement. There is an attic that we can fit quite a bit in, but I need to rearrange some stuff in it to make it more usable and I just hate going up there! There are four bedrooms of average size but excessively large living room, dining room, family room, and kitchen. I will admit that having a big kitchen with lots of counter/floor/cupboard space is a plus, but I would happily trade off some space from the other rooms to have bigger bedrooms.

    When it was just my wife and me here for the first year and a half, it really seemed big and impersonal but now that there is a baby in it, her strollers and playpens, and various chairs and swings are already starting to overtake things.
    Last edited by WSU MUP Student; 26 Oct 2010 at 8:08 AM.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    I thought this was going to be about the poor performances of the University of Michigan football team of late.
    No everyone saw that coming No reason to rant about it
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Heh...I missed this thread the first time around...

    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    My husband was one of 3 kids and he constantly reminds me that back then, his entire family had no problem fitting into a small car. OK, I agree that it's tough to get the little ones in & out of a two-door sedan, plus there's the issue of car seats, but you really don't need a gigantic mini-van or SUV. The Mini Countryman will do just fine.
    As my sister and I got older and bigger, my parents' car (we were a one-car family) got smaller and smaller. They went from some gigantic 1970 station wagon to a '76 Ford Grenada (Worst. Car. Ever.) to an '81 Honda Civic.


    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    (**rant warning**)
    ...Reminds me of watching "House Hunters" and seeing people who MUST have a 4,000 square foot, 5-bedroom house for themselves and their two kids. Don't children share bedrooms anymore? Bunk beds? Do you REALLY need a separate room for the toys, or a three-car garage? Why do master bedrooms need to be huge palaces the size of my living room? No wonder people get into so much debt!
    (/end rant)
    We have ~1,850 sf - seems about the right size, but I would like to reconfigure some of the space...and, the older I get, the more I want a smaller yard (if any), especially since I don't have any kids to use as free labor.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    Regarding those types of folks on House Hunters - there is a house down the street that was purchased by a couple on the show last year. It's about a 4,500 square foot house with a 5 car garage and, from what I remember on the show, all sorts of extra bonus rooms. The house also has an extensively redone backyard and patio which the couple made a big deal about wanting because they said that they entertain often...
    I have yet to see an episode of House Hunters (yes, for all my complaints, I still watch it once in awhile ) in which the word "entertain" is not used. It must be in the script. No one ever talks about "having the gang over for drinks" or "inviting my family over for dinner," etc. - it's "we like to entertain." And of course, no introverts need apply: "We don't need space for entertaining; we never have guests" or "I need a big closet I can hide in" or "We need 3 bedrooms so that the cats can have their own."

  18. #18
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    My new house is a single-story 2,000 s.f. home with a small yard & good solar exposure for gardening. I would have preferred a little smaller, but I really liked the floor plan and the porches. I looked at a 1,600 s.f. home that had a really cool & efficient layout, but I didn't trust that builder (had heard things from a former co-worker and building official). Also, I went a little bigger so my wife could have a dedicated office (she just began a new job that allows her to telecommute from home). I cannot think of any reason that I would need or want a larger house.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    lol. You are describing my house. We are trying to sell and downsize, but we have a 2500 sf home with a pool table and a wet bar (not to mention a keg fridge with multiple beer taps) and a music room where I put all my guitars, keyboard and drums, and rooms for the non-existent kids. Its way to big a house though for two people. And because my wife is unable to have kids (side effect from chemotherapy) we don't need the extra rooms. I think 1200 square feet would be perfect
    I come from a family of master space users!

    If you really want to, I can assist with designing your new attached garage to save your wet bar and keg fridge. The pool table could be a challenge, but I bet I can design it. All within the confines of your garage while still allowing the easy and perfect intended use as a shelter for your car, yard maintenance supplies, and other odds and ends!

    You should see my garage!
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  20. #20
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    My new house is a single-story 2,000 s.f. home with a small yard...I cannot think of any reason that I would need or want a larger house.
    Yeah, we are closing on Friday on our new (well, to us) house. It is a 1,905 sqft 4bd ranch with full living room, dining room, and family room. It is just perfect for my family of 5 (3 small boys growing fast). We, too, would never need more sqft.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

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  21. #21
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Duke Of Dystopia View post
    I come from a family of master space users!

    The pool table could be a challenge, but I bet I can design it. All within the confines of your garage while still allowing the easy and perfect intended use as a shelter for your car, yard maintenance supplies, and other odds and ends!
    Off-topic:
    I wonder if you could make a self-leveling cable system strong enough to suspend a pool table from the ceiling, allowing you to raise the pool table when not in use? If so, I could see a real market for something like this from people that would like a pool table, but don't have a room capable of holding it other than a garage.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    Whatever you have you will fill.

    I agree with the expectations of house hunters everywhere. We wanted entertaining space. Rarely do we entertain. It is just to much extra work. A place to read. Window seats always look like it would be a good sit and read. Or a space on the deck for morning coffee. The grandkids do play in the yard. We try really hard to get them out there to play a game of ball or have a fire for roasting marshmellows.

    Of course we have them mow the yard before they go play!
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  23. #23
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Keeping things off topic

    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    Off-topic:
    I wonder if you could make a self-leveling cable system strong enough to suspend a pool table from the ceiling, allowing you to raise the pool table when not in use? If so, I could see a real market for something like this from people that would like a pool table, but don't have a room capable of holding it other than a garage.
    Off-topic:
    It could probably be done relatively easily with the systems that Jeep owners can buy to hoist their hardtops up and out of the way. If you eliminate the base from the pool table and have only the top and pockets and no ball return tracks and build a couple of sturdy, level folding legs you may be on to something!
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  24. #24
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    Off-topic:
    I wonder if you could make a self-leveling cable system strong enough to suspend a pool table from the ceiling, allowing you to raise the pool table when not in use? If so, I could see a real market for something like this from people that would like a pool table, but don't have a room capable of holding it other than a garage.
    Man Caves... a pretty good show on DIY did this, but the other way around. They put the pool table on a car lift and lowered it into the ground when they wanted to park the car. It only cost something like $7k to get the system...
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I went from an 1800 square foot home on over 140 acres, to a 3700 square foot home on 6600 square feet, to a 1500 square foot home on 1.2 acres. The first house was a fixer-upper farmhouse and worth it only for the land and the setting it offered.

    Moving to the larger house I found I needed to make trade-offs. Either I could get another house with a couple acres but needing major renovation/repair, or I could get something big and new. I really wanted to find a nice bungalow or ranch, but the cost in that market did not make it practical. So I ended up with a spacious house with a nice layout and rooms that I never used.

    With this house we knew we wanted something that was appropriately sized for the two of us and our two dogs, and had a nice lot. Ranches from the 50's and 60's are ideal homes. They are built with dimensional lumber and wood floors, have good floor plans, and are easily modified. We looked at many and even made an offer on one. Ultimately, though, we ended up with our 1976 contemporary home. As with my first home, I was sold on the lot.

    We actually use all of what we purchased. Every room is used and we do not feel the need for more. Outside, I garden, replace the grass with prairie, and leave a patch for me to play fetch with Luke. I never felt satisfied with the other homes as I do with this one. I understand what people go through in searching for a house, but then again, I wonder if the homes they buy are really all that satisfying.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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