For the past few years, all homebuyers in the area I live in have been interested in one thing and one thing only - Square Footage.
"I want the biggest house my money can buy", was their motto. Somehow, we equate Square Footage with prestige. If you have a big house, everyone will think You have Made IT - You have arrived.
What a myth !! Now, I must admit I live in a 1-1/2 story traditional frame home, with about 1,900 square feet. It's roomy enough, especially for two people. As I get older, I am beginning to not like the floor plan. Maybe I need to knock down some walls or something. Haven't figured it out yet...
Sorry for the interruption - To get back to my reason for writing this blog: I think the accesses of the 80's and 90's ingrained in our brains that we needed to have more - better cars - hence the rise of BMW, better clothes - the rise of designer jeans (I guess, I don't know much about clothing. I like t-shirts, shorts and jogging shoes. That's it), and all of the other excessive purchases that really proved that we had arrived.
No wonder when the interest rates dropped beginning in 2003, and the lenders invented the "liar loans", everyone decided - "I need a bigger house too. This will accentuate my portfolio of wretched excessiveness".
Remember growing up in the home with you parents and your brother and sister in a 1,200 square foot home. It had a living room, dining room, kitchen, 3 bedrooms and a basement. And that's it.
Ahhh...But we are better than that. We have arrived - We need a room for our exercise equipment, and another one for the television. And so went the housing boom.
Well, it's bust time now. A lot of people have lost their t.v. and exercise rooms to foreclosure. Some are looking to downsize, but cannot sell their behemoth McMansions.
We all are re-thinking what it means to own a home. And how big does it need to be ?
And THEN, there's this guy. Meet Jay Shafer. Jay has this whole Square Footage thing figured out. I recently had a three person family purchase a home with over 5,000 Square Feet. Absolutely Ridiculous. By Jay's measurements, they would be good with about 267 Square Feet. Which is the size of their den. The downstairs den.
With all of that extra space, they have to have a excessive use of cooling in summer and heating in winter. No wonder we use up to 25% of the worlds energy resources. BIG HOUSES with no one living in them (or not enough people, I guess I should say).
Jay - My hat is off to you and those like you. Maybe we all need to get our own version of "Tumbleweed". I actually would be interested in a tiny home, but I am almost finished buying the home I currently live in. Yes - I have been here that long. Oh well - Maybe it could be a Second home ?
Here is Jay's video. Enjoy...
Frugality, Productivity, and the Local Maximum
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