The Money Mustache Community

Around the Internet => Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy => Topic started by: 3Mer on June 14, 2015, 05:37:52 PM

Title: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: 3Mer on June 14, 2015, 05:37:52 PM
This surprises me some.  I thought the trend was away from the bigger and bigger homes back to smaller ones, but I guess that trend was short lived.

http://www.startribune.com/after-years-of-downsizing-big-houses-make-a-comeback/307269161/
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Indexer on June 14, 2015, 07:38:07 PM
Great.  A guess no one learned from 2008.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Cassie on June 14, 2015, 08:25:23 PM
Very surprised. In 1980 with 5 of us we bought a major fixer-upper with 1600 sq ft & we thought we had died & went to heaven. NO garage & 1 bathroom.  Now with just the 2 of us we live in 1400 sq ft with 2 bathrooms.  Awesome sauce!! We could live smaller if my hubby would declutter some of his junk.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Bob W on June 14, 2015, 09:34:12 PM
I'm guessing the average reader here owns a home over 300k.   In our Midwest area that would equal 3,000sq ft.  So yeah I can see this.   
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: vern on June 14, 2015, 09:50:18 PM
Don't I know it!  My brother sells real estate and made a killing last year.

I've told him to be ready for the next downturn but I'm not sure if he's listening.

"Coffee's for closers only."
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MgoSam on June 15, 2015, 08:30:11 AM
Yeah, I'm looking for my first house but prices appear to have shot up here. It's become a seller's market and each house I've liked has gotten snapped up quickly. Looks like I'll need to wait until next year unless I find a good deal.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: gimp on June 15, 2015, 09:25:11 AM
Quote
"Coffee's for closers only."

That bit is classic, and for good reason.

But on topic... people love big. I'm not surprised. Now, when we talk homes and big, I think land instead of the size of the house. I would love to have a huge fucking plot of land with a small house on it. Out of curiosity, how many here agree with that?
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: iamlittlehedgehog on June 15, 2015, 09:38:02 AM
Quote
"Coffee's for closers only."

That bit is classic, and for good reason.

But on topic... people love big. I'm not surprised. Now, when we talk homes and big, I think land instead of the size of the house. I would love to have a huge fucking plot of land with a small house on it. Out of curiosity, how many here agree with that?


I'm with you depending on our future family plans. If it is just the two of us I'm all for a small house on a few acres. We live in a 1,100 sq foot house now and that seems more than plenty for for 2 people. But I'm not giving up a second bathroom. That is a non-negotiable.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Bob W on June 15, 2015, 09:48:12 AM
Quote
"Coffee's for closers only."

That bit is classic, and for good reason.

But on topic... people love big. I'm not surprised. Now, when we talk homes and big, I think land instead of the size of the house. I would love to have a huge fucking plot of land with a small house on it. Out of curiosity, how many here agree with that?

I could live with that.  Although I currently live on 3 acres that seems like 15 due to the amount of undeveloped woods around.  I could definitely feel important and satisfied with a 400-1,200 acre place though.   

The down side would be all the work involved.   

One has to always remember that "people don't own houses,  the houses own the people."
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 15, 2015, 09:53:01 AM
This is the salient point from the article:

“There are people that don’t want really huge houses, but the reality is everybody wants a lot in their home, so they tend to creep up in size.”

I agree with this 100%.  I have no desire for a 3000-4000+ sq ft house, but there are certain characteristics I want in a house and in order to find all of them in an existing house, you need a fairly large house.  Decent closet space, enough bedrooms, storage, a decent sized kitchen, etc.  My last house was 1800 sq ft plus a basement (also 1800 sq ft) and it had a lot of the ammenities we wanted, but it was still only three bedrooms. 


On the subject of land, I grew up on an acre (~50% wooded) and now have a .25 acre and a .17 acre, and both are fine for me.  Just enough yard to mow to be fun, but not so much it's a chore.  I do wish I had room for more garage space (only have a 19x20' garage now, would like a 3-4 car garage but that's not doable on many suburban lots).
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MgoSam on June 15, 2015, 10:02:21 AM
This is the salient point from the article:

“There are people that don’t want really huge houses, but the reality is everybody wants a lot in their home, so they tend to creep up in size.”

That's why I am looking for a smallish house, otherwise I would likely fall victim to Parkinson's Law.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Cassie on June 15, 2015, 04:34:36 PM
Keeping up with a large house or lot is a drag. It wastes so much time.  Plus all your bills are so much higher. However, conversely having too small a house with too many people is also a drag. I definitely will never go back to 1 bathroom. So awesome having 2!!!!
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: kite on June 15, 2015, 05:03:19 PM
900 Sq feet.  We could live in half of it.  I grew up in a family of 12 in 1800 square feet, spouse grew up in about 400 square feet with a household size of 5.  I have no desire to clean, furnish, decorate or maintain more space or heat empty rooms.  We have a decent sized yard in a densely zoned neighborhood.  Just the right amount that folks are nearby but we have a big enough lot that we don't feel crowded.  We have an acre, but typical lots here are 1/10 to 1/4 acre. 
I've considered moves to more land, further out in the country, so to speak, but the trade offs aren't worth it.  We can walk to Church, store, pizza places, pharmacy, inlaws, parents, bus stop and more, all within 2/10 of a mile to 1 mile.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MrsPete on June 15, 2015, 08:19:26 PM
I agree with this 100%.  I have no desire for a 3000-4000+ sq ft house, but there are certain characteristics I want in a house and in order to find all of them in an existing house, you need a fairly large house.  Decent closet space, enough bedrooms, storage, a decent sized kitchen, etc.  My last house was 1800 sq ft plus a basement (also 1800 sq ft) and it had a lot of the ammenities we wanted, but it was still only three bedrooms. 
This is sad but true.  We're looking for a retirement home, and we essentially want something that doesn't exist:  We want something "starter size" -- we don't want a rec room or a home theater or bedrooms large enough for seating areas -- but we want it to have walk-in closets, a huge pantry, and storage in the specific places we want it.  We want this house to have some aging-in-place features such as a barrier-free shower, one entry with no more than one step, and low maintenance. 

This house doesn't exist, so the choice is to buy a larger house ... or to build.  We're opting for building. 
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: RFAAOATB on June 15, 2015, 10:37:00 PM
I want a big house.  Unfortunately my demand for a big house does not match my income and I am to risk averse to make the plunge.  Instead I am paying extra on my mortgage to see what a bigger house payment will feel like.  Although with a big house I just might have to budget in a housekeeper.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: golden1 on June 16, 2015, 06:48:06 AM
I would love to design a house from the ground up.  I think most houses have so much wasted space and are inefficiently designed.   My house is 1800 sq ft which should be plenty of space, but because of the way it is laid out, there is a lot of lost space.  Over the next few years, we are planning on rectifying that as much as we can with the base structure of our house. 
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Pooperman on June 16, 2015, 08:23:33 AM
Where I live, $300k gets you a 3 bedroom house in need of repairs on 1/10th acre maybe in an decent neighborhood with average schools. This is completely fine with me. To get a "big house" here, you need just about $1 million.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: partgypsy on June 16, 2015, 08:24:55 AM
Quote
"Coffee's for closers only."

That bit is classic, and for good reason.

But on topic... people love big. I'm not surprised. Now, when we talk homes and big, I think land instead of the size of the house. I would love to have a huge fucking plot of land with a small house on it. Out of curiosity, how many here agree with that?

I agree with you. My ideal would be a ranch or 2 story brick house on a biggish piece of land, with a mother in law suite. No plans to move though.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: asiljoy on June 16, 2015, 08:31:36 AM
Quote
"Coffee's for closers only."

That bit is classic, and for good reason.

But on topic... people love big. I'm not surprised. Now, when we talk homes and big, I think land instead of the size of the house. I would love to have a huge fucking plot of land with a small house on it. Out of curiosity, how many here agree with that?

I'd go for a tiny condo in the middle of the city that's close to everything. But, I like people, I like walking to everything I need, and there's just something about reading in a nice large park that makes me happy. But that ain't happening anytime soon.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on June 16, 2015, 08:34:56 AM
Keeping up with a large house or lot is a drag. It wastes so much time.  Plus all your bills are so much higher. However, conversely having too small a house with too many people is also a drag. I definitely will never go back to 1 bathroom. So awesome having 2!!!!
Haha!  That's my one complaint with our small house.  One bathroom.  However, we're making it work. 

In my area, we would have had to spend over $1.5M for a second bathroom.

Seems like it would be a lot cheaper to put on a bathroom addition.

Especially if it would raise the value of your house by 1.5M...
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 16, 2015, 08:43:38 AM
The chief gripe in our new house is that it has 1.5 baths (full bath plus a powder room) instead of 2 full baths (wife and I get ready at the same time in the morning so two showers is nice).  We decided to put a full bath in the basement as part of our basement remodel (removing wood paneling and drywalling, plus adding some storage closets).  Going to cost me about $3-3.5k ($2.5k for the plumbers to rough it in and $500-1k for the fixtures, etc, I'll install).  Realtor claims it will add $20k to the value of the house.  Maybe, maybe not, but it will add $1 Zillion to happiness in our marriage as we won't be fighting with each other for bathroom time in the AM. 

And agreed, you need minimum 2 baths if you don't live alone, because showering/shitting schedules can conflict and havoc will result.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: snuggler on June 16, 2015, 08:57:30 AM
Interesting articles. In my peer group, there are really two types of people: those who want big houses, who are buying now, and those who want to get and stay debt-free, and have decided that getting 'just enough' house is one way to do that. The latter group is much bigger, but many of those folks are still renting very small apartments.

It will be interesting to see how/if this changes over the next 10-20 years. I was under the impression that most millennials are flocking to smaller places in cities, but maybe my perception is skewed by my own experiences.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 16, 2015, 09:06:39 AM
Interesting articles. In my peer group, there are really two types of people: those who want big houses, who are buying now, and those who want to get and stay debt-free, and have decided that getting 'just enough' house is one way to do that. The latter group is much bigger, but many of those folks are still renting very small apartments.

It will be interesting to see how/if this changes over the next 10-20 years. I was under the impression that most millennials are flocking to smaller places in cities, but maybe my perception is skewed by my own experiences.

Millenials are flocking to smaller places in cities because they are generally young, have no kids, and things like "proximity to good bars" is more important than "in a good school district." 

That will change as they progress in life and start popping out kids, etc. 

Circle of life.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Embok on June 16, 2015, 09:22:45 AM
Glad big houses are coming back "in", as we're fixing up our now too-big, pre-Mustachian house (after DD moved on to college and Aged P passed on).  Guess we're on the other side of that circle of life.  A big suburban house was never our ideal, but worked well for us as a safe place to shelter family without urban skills while living in a high COL area. But DH and I are looking forward to a move either back into the Big Smoke or out to a beach town.  Need more office space than most, as we each need a full home office, but would be happy with a small yard:  enough room to grill out, have a patio table and a couple of chairs, but not enough to have to spend a lot of time gardening.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Cookie78 on June 16, 2015, 09:25:54 AM
Quote
"Coffee's for closers only."

That bit is classic, and for good reason.

But on topic... people love big. I'm not surprised. Now, when we talk homes and big, I think land instead of the size of the house. I would love to have a huge fucking plot of land with a small house on it. Out of curiosity, how many here agree with that?

Some day I would love this, but not yet. Lots of space, somewhere rural and quiet, huge garden, big shop, small house.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: snuggler on June 16, 2015, 09:29:30 AM
Interesting articles. In my peer group, there are really two types of people: those who want big houses, who are buying now, and those who want to get and stay debt-free, and have decided that getting 'just enough' house is one way to do that. The latter group is much bigger, but many of those folks are still renting very small apartments.

It will be interesting to see how/if this changes over the next 10-20 years. I was under the impression that most millennials are flocking to smaller places in cities, but maybe my perception is skewed by my own experiences.

 

Millenials are flocking to smaller places in cities because they are generally young, have no kids, and things like "proximity to good bars" is more important than "in a good school district." 

That will change as they progress in life and start popping out kids, etc. 

Circle of life.

Unless my friends , peers, and I are serious anomalies, I would be surprised if what you said will be true.  Sure, most millenials are interested in ultimately living somewhere with good schools, but we are also very interested in living close to work and other fun stuff, in living in a low-maintenance place, and in avoiding large debts. We also mock the McMansions of our parents' generation, and have lived very frugally, both out of necessity (due to the economy) and because of high student debt loads. Many don't even want children.

Besides my one friend who wants four kids and grew up very poor, I can't think of a single friend (even the spendthrift ones) who has expressed a desire for the McMansion lifestyle.

Also, proximity to bars can easily be found in suburbs and rural areas. Short commutes, the ability to live without cars, and a thriving arts and culture scene are the things keeping my friends and me in cities.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MgoSam on June 16, 2015, 09:35:35 AM
Interesting articles. In my peer group, there are really two types of people: those who want big houses, who are buying now, and those who want to get and stay debt-free, and have decided that getting 'just enough' house is one way to do that. The latter group is much bigger, but many of those folks are still renting very small apartments.

It will be interesting to see how/if this changes over the next 10-20 years. I was under the impression that most millennials are flocking to smaller places in cities, but maybe my perception is skewed by my own experiences.

 

Millenials are flocking to smaller places in cities because they are generally young, have no kids, and things like "proximity to good bars" is more important than "in a good school district." 

That will change as they progress in life and start popping out kids, etc. 

Circle of life.

Unless my friends , peers, and I are serious anomalies, I would be surprised if what you said will be true.  Sure, most millenials are interested in ultimately living somewhere with good schools, but we are also very interested in living close to work and other fun stuff, in living in a low-maintenance place, and in avoiding large debts. We also mock the McMansions of our parents' generation, and have lived very frugally, both out of necessity (due to the economy) and because of high student debt loads. Many don't even want children.

Besides my one friend who wants four kids and grew up very poor, I can't think of a single friend (even the spendthrift ones) who has expressed a desire for the McMansion lifestyle.

Also, proximity to bars can easily be found in suburbs and rural areas. Short commutes, the ability to live without cars, and a thriving arts and culture scene are the things keeping my friends and me in cities.

It could be because most of my friends aren't the type that like to go bar hopping, but I am finding that they would like McMansions. They dislike the term, but when they are looking for homes they seem to gravitate towards 2500+ sq, which would be a McMansion in my opinion. Two close friends of mine have recently closed on separate 4 or 5 bedroom houses. One of them is in a serious relationship and I suspect will propose soon, and they do plan on having a few kids, so this would make sense. The other is single, but he bought that home because he got a really sweet deal on it (assumed existing mortgage which was WAY less than assessed value), and I suspect that he will fix it up and flip it while living in it for a few years.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 16, 2015, 09:39:54 AM
Interesting articles. In my peer group, there are really two types of people: those who want big houses, who are buying now, and those who want to get and stay debt-free, and have decided that getting 'just enough' house is one way to do that. The latter group is much bigger, but many of those folks are still renting very small apartments.

It will be interesting to see how/if this changes over the next 10-20 years. I was under the impression that most millennials are flocking to smaller places in cities, but maybe my perception is skewed by my own experiences.

 

Millenials are flocking to smaller places in cities because they are generally young, have no kids, and things like "proximity to good bars" is more important than "in a good school district." 

That will change as they progress in life and start popping out kids, etc. 

Circle of life.

Unless my friends , peers, and I are serious anomalies, I would be surprised if what you said will be true.  Sure, most millenials are interested in ultimately living somewhere with good schools, but we are also very interested in living close to work and other fun stuff, in living in a low-maintenance place, and in avoiding large debts. We also mock the McMansions of our parents' generation, and have lived very frugally, both out of necessity (due to the economy) and because of high student debt loads. Many don't even want children.

Besides my one friend who wants four kids and grew up very poor, I can't think of a single friend (even the spendthrift ones) who has expressed a desire for the McMansion lifestyle.

Also, proximity to bars can easily be found in suburbs and rural areas. Short commutes, the ability to live without cars, and a thriving arts and culture scene are the things keeping my friends and me in cities.

I'm 33.  I'm probably not a lot older than you (I'm the bleeding edge of the millenials, the "Oregon Trail" generation if you will).  Trust me, you think you have it all planned.  You don't. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1Z91YkPatw
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: snuggler on June 16, 2015, 10:39:45 AM
Interesting articles. In my peer group, there are really two types of people: those who want big houses, who are buying now, and those who want to get and stay debt-free, and have decided that getting 'just enough' house is one way to do that. The latter group is much bigger, but many of those folks are still renting very small apartments.

It will be interesting to see how/if this changes over the next 10-20 years. I was under the impression that most millennials are flocking to smaller places in cities, but maybe my perception is skewed by my own experiences.

 

Millenials are flocking to smaller places in cities because they are generally young, have no kids, and things like "proximity to good bars" is more important than "in a good school district." 

That will change as they progress in life and start popping out kids, etc. 

Circle of life.

Unless my friends , peers, and I are serious anomalies, I would be surprised if what you said will be true.  Sure, most millenials are interested in ultimately living somewhere with good schools, but we are also very interested in living close to work and other fun stuff, in living in a low-maintenance place, and in avoiding large debts. We also mock the McMansions of our parents' generation, and have lived very frugally, both out of necessity (due to the economy) and because of high student debt loads. Many don't even want children.

Besides my one friend who wants four kids and grew up very poor, I can't think of a single friend (even the spendthrift ones) who has expressed a desire for the McMansion lifestyle.

Also, proximity to bars can easily be found in suburbs and rural areas. Short commutes, the ability to live without cars, and a thriving arts and culture scene are the things keeping my friends and me in cities.

I'm 33.  I'm probably not a lot older than you (I'm the bleeding edge of the millenials, the "Oregon Trail" generation if you will).  Trust me, you think you have it all planned.  You don't. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1Z91YkPatw

We are virtually the same age. I'm also an Oregon-trail millennial. So we are probably equally as good/bad about predicting what our peers will do :).

I can tell you, however, that barring unforeseen and extreme circumstances, there is no way in hell I will ever have a McMansion. I could have comfortably mortgaged myself into one quite some time ago, but have preferred to rent smaller spaces, even as I've added family members. Even when I've considred buying, I have never once been tempted by a huge home.

I would guess that most people who are regulars around here do not suddenly shift to wanting McMansions many years after their entry into adulthood. We want FI and/or ER instead.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 16, 2015, 11:00:20 AM
Interesting articles. In my peer group, there are really two types of people: those who want big houses, who are buying now, and those who want to get and stay debt-free, and have decided that getting 'just enough' house is one way to do that. The latter group is much bigger, but many of those folks are still renting very small apartments.

It will be interesting to see how/if this changes over the next 10-20 years. I was under the impression that most millennials are flocking to smaller places in cities, but maybe my perception is skewed by my own experiences.

 

Millenials are flocking to smaller places in cities because they are generally young, have no kids, and things like "proximity to good bars" is more important than "in a good school district." 

That will change as they progress in life and start popping out kids, etc. 

Circle of life.

Unless my friends , peers, and I are serious anomalies, I would be surprised if what you said will be true.  Sure, most millenials are interested in ultimately living somewhere with good schools, but we are also very interested in living close to work and other fun stuff, in living in a low-maintenance place, and in avoiding large debts. We also mock the McMansions of our parents' generation, and have lived very frugally, both out of necessity (due to the economy) and because of high student debt loads. Many don't even want children.

Besides my one friend who wants four kids and grew up very poor, I can't think of a single friend (even the spendthrift ones) who has expressed a desire for the McMansion lifestyle.

Also, proximity to bars can easily be found in suburbs and rural areas. Short commutes, the ability to live without cars, and a thriving arts and culture scene are the things keeping my friends and me in cities.

I'm 33.  I'm probably not a lot older than you (I'm the bleeding edge of the millenials, the "Oregon Trail" generation if you will).  Trust me, you think you have it all planned.  You don't. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1Z91YkPatw

We are virtually the same age. I'm also an Oregon-trail millennial. So we are probably equally as good/bad about predicting what our peers will do :).

I can tell you, however, that barring unforeseen and extreme circumstances, there is no way in hell I will ever have a McMansion. I could have comfortably mortgaged myself into one quite some time ago, but have preferred to rent smaller spaces, even as I've added family members. Even when I've considred buying, I have never once been tempted by a huge home.

I would guess that most people who are regulars around here do not suddenly shift to wanting McMansions many years after their entry into adulthood. We want FI and/or ER instead.

I'm not talking about YOU, I'm talking about OUR GENERATION.  McMansions?  Probably not for most of us, but are we, as a generation, going to continue to flock to small condos in the city near indy coffee shops?  No.  Hell, my own street is currently undergoing a revolution of sorts as all the old people who own homes last udated in 1975 either die off or move to assisted living, and sell their older, modestly sized (2000sq ft, +/-), single family homes to 30-somethings with kids and we are all remodeling them, etc, because even though they're smallish and outdated, they're in a great school district and we have young kids, so that's what we do. 
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: damize on June 16, 2015, 11:18:13 AM
I'd go for a tiny condo in the middle of the city that's close to everything. But, I like people, I like walking to everything I need, and there's just something about reading in a nice large park that makes me happy. But that ain't happening anytime soon.

I'm completely in this camp.  Small living space in a high walking rated neighborhood.  Although, I'd rent unless/until I was absolutely sure my wanderlust has settled.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Nate R on June 16, 2015, 11:26:57 AM
Keeping up with a large house or lot is a drag. It wastes so much time.  Plus all your bills are so much higher. However, conversely having too small a house with too many people is also a drag. I definitely will never go back to 1 bathroom. So awesome having 2!!!!

OK, help me understand.....What's the big benefit of the 2nd bathroom with 2 people?  Does it need to be 2 FULL baths, or is a 1/2 bath helpful?
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: celticmyst08 on June 16, 2015, 11:30:08 AM
I have no desire to clean, furnish, decorate or maintain more space or heat empty rooms. 

Yep yep yep. I'm not a homeowner yet, but we rent a ~700 sqft apartment, and it already feels like too much to clean, declutter, and maintain. I'd like a second bedroom to use as an office/guest room, but other than that, I don't need any more space. Whenever I watch HGTV (don't judge, it's my guilty pleasure) I always get a kick out of the people who "need" 4-5 bedroom, 3-4 bath houses for just them and their 1-2 kids. All I can think of is, have fun cleaning that.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: AvisJinx on June 16, 2015, 12:04:51 PM
I have no desire to clean, furnish, decorate or maintain more space or heat empty rooms. 

Yep yep yep. I'm not a homeowner yet, but we rent a ~700 sqft apartment, and it already feels like too much to clean, declutter, and maintain. I'd like a second bedroom to use as an office/guest room, but other than that, I don't need any more space. Whenever I watch HGTV (don't judge, it's my guilty pleasure) I always get a kick out of the people who "need" 4-5 bedroom, 3-4 bath houses for just them and their 1-2 kids. All I can think of is, have fun cleaning that.

Isn't that the truth? I see these huge homes and wonder why anyone would want to take on the job of cleaning and maintaining them inside and out.

Don't feel bad. HGTV is my guilty pleasure, too. I particularly enjoy House Hunters; or rather I enjoy making fun of the people who have such unrealistic  expectations of homeownership and wants that are bigger than their budget.

Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: asiljoy on June 16, 2015, 12:20:44 PM
I have no desire to clean, furnish, decorate or maintain more space or heat empty rooms. 

Yep yep yep. I'm not a homeowner yet, but we rent a ~700 sqft apartment, and it already feels like too much to clean, declutter, and maintain. I'd like a second bedroom to use as an office/guest room, but other than that, I don't need any more space. Whenever I watch HGTV (don't judge, it's my guilty pleasure) I always get a kick out of the people who "need" 4-5 bedroom, 3-4 bath houses for just them and their 1-2 kids. All I can think of is, have fun cleaning that.

Isn't that the truth? I see these huge homes and wonder why anyone would want to take on the job of cleaning and maintaining them inside and out.

Don't feel bad. HGTV is my guilty pleasure, too. I particularly enjoy House Hunters; or rather I enjoy making fun of the people who have such unrealistic  expectations of homeownership and wants that are bigger than their budget.

I LOVE HGTV. When they started putting them on Netflix, I definitely binge watched a season or two of Property Brothers.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: snuggler on June 16, 2015, 12:23:35 PM
Interesting articles. In my peer group, there are really two types of people: those who want big houses, who are buying now, and those who want to get and stay debt-free, and have decided that getting 'just enough' house is one way to do that. The latter group is much bigger, but many of those folks are still renting very small apartments.

It will be interesting to see how/if this changes over the next 10-20 years. I was under the impression that most millennials are flocking to smaller places in cities, but maybe my perception is skewed by my own experiences.

 

Millenials are flocking to smaller places in cities because they are generally young, have no kids, and things like "proximity to good bars" is more important than "in a good school district." 

That will change as they progress in life and start popping out kids, etc. 

Circle of life.

Unless my friends , peers, and I are serious anomalies, I would be surprised if what you said will be true.  Sure, most millenials are interested in ultimately living somewhere with good schools, but we are also very interested in living close to work and other fun stuff, in living in a low-maintenance place, and in avoiding large debts. We also mock the McMansions of our parents' generation, and have lived very frugally, both out of necessity (due to the economy) and because of high student debt loads. Many don't even want children.

Besides my one friend who wants four kids and grew up very poor, I can't think of a single friend (even the spendthrift ones) who has expressed a desire for the McMansion lifestyle.

Also, proximity to bars can easily be found in suburbs and rural areas. Short commutes, the ability to live without cars, and a thriving arts and culture scene are the things keeping my friends and me in cities.

I'm 33.  I'm probably not a lot older than you (I'm the bleeding edge of the millenials, the "Oregon Trail" generation if you will).  Trust me, you think you have it all planned.  You don't. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1Z91YkPatw

We are virtually the same age. I'm also an Oregon-trail millennial. So we are probably equally as good/bad about predicting what our peers will do :).

I can tell you, however, that barring unforeseen and extreme circumstances, there is no way in hell I will ever have a McMansion. I could have comfortably mortgaged myself into one quite some time ago, but have preferred to rent smaller spaces, even as I've added family members. Even when I've considred buying, I have never once been tempted by a huge home.

I would guess that most people who are regulars around here do not suddenly shift to wanting McMansions many years after their entry into adulthood. We want FI and/or ER instead.

I'm not talking about YOU, I'm talking about OUR GENERATION.  McMansions?  Probably not for most of us, but are we, as a generation, going to continue to flock to small condos in the city near indy coffee shops?  No.  Hell, my own street is currently undergoing a revolution of sorts as all the old people who own homes last udated in 1975 either die off or move to assisted living, and sell their older, modestly sized (2000sq ft, +/-), single family homes to 30-somethings with kids and we are all remodeling them, etc, because even though they're smallish and outdated, they're in a great school district and we have young kids, so that's what we do.

I understand that we are talking about our generation. My response about myself was a response to your statement: "Trust me, you think you have it all planned. You don't." The "you"s in those sentences seemed to be aimed directly at me and not our entire generation.

And I don't really see how either of our anecdotes proves that one of us is right and the other is wrong.  Of course you, living in the suburbs, are going to see additions in the suburbs, and I, living in the city, am going to see hundreds of successful tiny condo developments in the city. Neither proves the point, although I do think it is worth pointing out that the house remodels you mention are not equivalent to upgrading to a bigger home. Additions, sure, but can you seriously say you've seen more new home additions than new condos? I doubt it. 

My overall point about your argument was that it is by no means a guarantee that as a generation, millennials will all start popping out kids and moving to giant houses in the suburbs. I know plenty who won't go that route. Indeed, there has been a large growth in cities and a large decline in the birth rate as millennials have become adults when compared to previous generations. That alone suggests that we shouldn't assume that millennials will act just like boomers did. They already act very differently than their boomer parents.

Moreover, many surveys and studies have predicted that the growth of cities will continue to outpace the growth of suburbs in the future. For example, see http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/millennials-prefer-cities-to-suburbs-subways-to-driveways.html (http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/millennials-prefer-cities-to-suburbs-subways-to-driveways.html).  The surveys show that millennials care about just what I mentioned: the environment and car-less living, a thriving arts and culture scene, shorter commutes, and not having huge mortgage debts. Many also express a desire to continue living in cities in the future.

So sure, plenty of people will follow in their parents' footsteps and move to the suburbs where every kid has its own room and there's a guest room and man-cave.  But, if I had to make a bet, I'd bet that when compared to previous generations, a much larger percentage of millennials will choose smaller and more urban homes than our parents.

I'd love to be proven wrong though, as that means most of us on this thread would get much better deals on our eventual in-city home purchases! The prices in my city right now is insane because of millenial demand.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 16, 2015, 01:58:31 PM
Keeping up with a large house or lot is a drag. It wastes so much time.  Plus all your bills are so much higher. However, conversely having too small a house with too many people is also a drag. I definitely will never go back to 1 bathroom. So awesome having 2!!!!

OK, help me understand.....What's the big benefit of the 2nd bathroom with 2 people?  Does it need to be 2 FULL baths, or is a 1/2 bath helpful?

2 baths is nice when you want to take a dump and your wife is in the shower. 

2 FULL baths is nice when you both have to be somewhere (say, work) and don't want one of you to have to get up early to take the first shower. 
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 16, 2015, 02:01:02 PM
I have no desire to clean, furnish, decorate or maintain more space or heat empty rooms. 

Yep yep yep. I'm not a homeowner yet, but we rent a ~700 sqft apartment, and it already feels like too much to clean, declutter, and maintain. I'd like a second bedroom to use as an office/guest room, but other than that, I don't need any more space. Whenever I watch HGTV (don't judge, it's my guilty pleasure) I always get a kick out of the people who "need" 4-5 bedroom, 3-4 bath houses for just them and their 1-2 kids. All I can think of is, have fun cleaning that.

IMO, with 2 kids, 4 bedrooms is ideal.  Master, 1 for each kid, 1 guest room or office.  2-3 baths is also ideal (Master, 1 for the kids, 1 guest bath so your guests aren't staring at your toothbrush, etc, when they go to the john.

Also, maybe anti-MMM, but don't discount cleaning people.  I pay a lady $60 every other week to clean my place.  That is a BARGAIN compared to dealing with it myself, and my house isn't that big.  That's 2-3-4 hours of your spare time you can buy back. 
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 16, 2015, 02:09:55 PM
Interesting articles. In my peer group, there are really two types of people: those who want big houses, who are buying now, and those who want to get and stay debt-free, and have decided that getting 'just enough' house is one way to do that. The latter group is much bigger, but many of those folks are still renting very small apartments.

It will be interesting to see how/if this changes over the next 10-20 years. I was under the impression that most millennials are flocking to smaller places in cities, but maybe my perception is skewed by my own experiences.

 

Millenials are flocking to smaller places in cities because they are generally young, have no kids, and things like "proximity to good bars" is more important than "in a good school district." 

That will change as they progress in life and start popping out kids, etc. 

Circle of life.

Unless my friends , peers, and I are serious anomalies, I would be surprised if what you said will be true.  Sure, most millenials are interested in ultimately living somewhere with good schools, but we are also very interested in living close to work and other fun stuff, in living in a low-maintenance place, and in avoiding large debts. We also mock the McMansions of our parents' generation, and have lived very frugally, both out of necessity (due to the economy) and because of high student debt loads. Many don't even want children.

Besides my one friend who wants four kids and grew up very poor, I can't think of a single friend (even the spendthrift ones) who has expressed a desire for the McMansion lifestyle.

Also, proximity to bars can easily be found in suburbs and rural areas. Short commutes, the ability to live without cars, and a thriving arts and culture scene are the things keeping my friends and me in cities.

I'm 33.  I'm probably not a lot older than you (I'm the bleeding edge of the millenials, the "Oregon Trail" generation if you will).  Trust me, you think you have it all planned.  You don't. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1Z91YkPatw

We are virtually the same age. I'm also an Oregon-trail millennial. So we are probably equally as good/bad about predicting what our peers will do :).

I can tell you, however, that barring unforeseen and extreme circumstances, there is no way in hell I will ever have a McMansion. I could have comfortably mortgaged myself into one quite some time ago, but have preferred to rent smaller spaces, even as I've added family members. Even when I've considred buying, I have never once been tempted by a huge home.

I would guess that most people who are regulars around here do not suddenly shift to wanting McMansions many years after their entry into adulthood. We want FI and/or ER instead.

I'm not talking about YOU, I'm talking about OUR GENERATION.  McMansions?  Probably not for most of us, but are we, as a generation, going to continue to flock to small condos in the city near indy coffee shops?  No.  Hell, my own street is currently undergoing a revolution of sorts as all the old people who own homes last udated in 1975 either die off or move to assisted living, and sell their older, modestly sized (2000sq ft, +/-), single family homes to 30-somethings with kids and we are all remodeling them, etc, because even though they're smallish and outdated, they're in a great school district and we have young kids, so that's what we do.

I understand that we are talking about our generation. My response about myself was a response to your statement: "Trust me, you think you have it all planned. You don't." The "you"s in those sentences seemed to be aimed directly at me and not our entire generation.

And I don't really see how either of our anecdotes proves that one of us is right and the other is wrong.  Of course you, living in the suburbs, are going to see additions in the suburbs, and I, living in the city, am going to see hundreds of successful tiny condo developments in the city. Neither proves the point, although I do think it is worth pointing out that the house remodels you mention are not equivalent to upgrading to a bigger home. Additions, sure, but can you seriously say you've seen more new home additions than new condos? I doubt it. 

My overall point about your argument was that it is by no means a guarantee that as a generation, millennials will all start popping out kids and moving to giant houses in the suburbs. I know plenty who won't go that route. Indeed, there has been a large growth in cities and a large decline in the birth rate as millennials have become adults when compared to previous generations. That alone suggests that we shouldn't assume that millennials will act just like boomers did. They already act very differently than their boomer parents.

Moreover, many surveys and studies have predicted that the growth of cities will continue to outpace the growth of suburbs in the future. For example, see http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/millennials-prefer-cities-to-suburbs-subways-to-driveways.html (http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/millennials-prefer-cities-to-suburbs-subways-to-driveways.html).  The surveys show that millennials care about just what I mentioned: the environment and car-less living, a thriving arts and culture scene, shorter commutes, and not having huge mortgage debts. Many also express a desire to continue living in cities in the future.

So sure, plenty of people will follow in their parents' footsteps and move to the suburbs where every kid has its own room and there's a guest room and man-cave.  But, if I had to make a bet, I'd bet that when compared to previous generations, a much larger percentage of millennials will choose smaller and more urban homes than our parents.

I'd love to be proven wrong though, as that means most of us on this thread would get much better deals on our eventual in-city home purchases! The prices in my city right now is insane because of millenial demand.

Yes, but you're still talking to a group that's mostly in their 20s.  Oh, sure, on their surveys, etc, they're all going to stay in the city and not have a car and blah blah, and that's what they want, but then when (statistically most of them) has that kid and starts looking at schools and carting the kid to daycare and blah blah blah, they'll realize why their boring-ass parents moved to the burbs years ago.

Will some buck the trend?  Absolutely.  Will more buck it than in the past?  Maybe, I dunno.  But in general, those that do will generally be statistically insignificant.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: zephyr911 on June 16, 2015, 02:17:21 PM
My entire history of homebuying, intentional rentals not included:

2003: 2197sf (me and a girlfriend)
2006: 1358sf (wife and two stepkids)
2006: 1610sf (same)
2011: 1907sf (me and 1-2 renters until I got married again)
2014: 1144sf (me and current wife)

We are now happier and wealthier than ever, living in 40% less space than the last house, and barely half the size of my first one. We could afford McMansion payments in NORAL for 10% of our gross income but we just didn't see the point....
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 16, 2015, 02:32:16 PM
My entire history of homebuying, intentional rentals not included:

2003: 2197sf (me and a girlfriend)
2006: 1358sf (wife and two stepkids)
2006: 1610sf (same)
2011: 1907sf (me and 1-2 renters until I got married again)
2014: 1144sf (me and current wife)

We are now happier and wealthier than ever, living in 40% less space than the last house, and barely half the size of my first one. We could afford McMansion payments in NORAL for 10% of our gross income but we just didn't see the point....

I've always felt pure size is somewhat of a silly metric on which to judge a home.  I own two homes, one is ~1750 sq ft, one is ~1800 sq ft.  The 1700 sq ft house is a tri-level, so one of the three (included in the 1700 sq ft) is half under ground.  The 1800 sq ft house is a ranch, has a full basement, about half of which is finished, so it's really ~3600 sq ft.  The 1800 sq ft house is worth maybe $260k, the tri-level ~$350k, due to the area each is in.  The taxes are 50% higher on the 1800sq ft house due to being in a town with little industry.  Which one is smarter to own?  It kinda depends, no?  Someone with an 1800 sq ft house with a basement (not included in the square footage) might laugh at someone with a 3000 sq ft house, but if that 3000 sq ft house has no basement, is that really worse?  And the floorplan of a house is so important to how it feels as well; I grew up in a colonial that was 3 floors of 900 sq ft (one of which was a finished basement) but the top two floors were so chopped up into small rooms that it felt uncomfortably small (the main room couldn't sit 4 people to watch TV unless 1 sat at the kitchen table). 
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: celticmyst08 on June 16, 2015, 03:06:27 PM
Yep yep yep. I'm not a homeowner yet, but we rent a ~700 sqft apartment, and it already feels like too much to clean, declutter, and maintain. I'd like a second bedroom to use as an office/guest room, but other than that, I don't need any more space. Whenever I watch HGTV (don't judge, it's my guilty pleasure) I always get a kick out of the people who "need" 4-5 bedroom, 3-4 bath houses for just them and their 1-2 kids. All I can think of is, have fun cleaning that.

IMO, with 2 kids, 4 bedrooms is ideal.  Master, 1 for each kid, 1 guest room or office.  2-3 baths is also ideal (Master, 1 for the kids, 1 guest bath so your guests aren't staring at your toothbrush, etc, when they go to the john.

True, although I would argue that you don't need giant bedrooms/bathrooms. It always cracks me up to see people moaning over "Oh, this room is just too small for little Susie!" when it's as big as my current living room. Also, and maybe this isn't really done anymore, but when my sister and I were kids we shared a room until I was a teenager. Obviously this has its limits and won't work in every situation, but I feel like it's assumed now that kids need their own room even when they're too young to care.

I'd like 2-3 bedrooms too, but I don't care if they're small. I just like the separation/privacy (mainly for guests an/or a home office).
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MoneyCat on June 16, 2015, 03:13:50 PM
I have absolutely no desire to upgrade my house.  ~1500 sq ft suits my needs very well.  In fact, there are several rooms here that I don't even really use, but there were no smaller houses in my community.  I don't really understand why anyone would want a big house.  It's a massive waste of money and time and ends up enslaving you.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: zephyr911 on June 16, 2015, 03:14:51 PM
My entire history of homebuying, intentional rentals not included:

2003: 2197sf (me and a girlfriend)
2006: 1358sf (wife and two stepkids)
2006: 1610sf (same)
2011: 1907sf (me and 1-2 renters until I got married again)
2014: 1144sf (me and current wife)

We are now happier and wealthier than ever, living in 40% less space than the last house, and barely half the size of my first one. We could afford McMansion payments in NORAL for 10% of our gross income but we just didn't see the point....

I've always felt pure size is somewhat of a silly metric on which to judge a home.  I own two homes, one is ~1750 sq ft, one is ~1800 sq ft.  The 1700 sq ft house is a tri-level, so one of the three (included in the 1700 sq ft) is half under ground.  The 1800 sq ft house is a ranch, has a full basement, about half of which is finished, so it's really ~3600 sq ft.  The 1800 sq ft house is worth maybe $260k, the tri-level ~$350k, due to the area each is in.  The taxes are 50% higher on the 1800sq ft house due to being in a town with little industry.  Which one is smarter to own?  It kinda depends, no?  Someone with an 1800 sq ft house with a basement (not included in the square footage) might laugh at someone with a 3000 sq ft house, but if that 3000 sq ft house has no basement, is that really worse?  And the floorplan of a house is so important to how it feels as well; I grew up in a colonial that was 3 floors of 900 sq ft (one of which was a finished basement) but the top two floors were so chopped up into small rooms that it felt uncomfortably small (the main room couldn't sit 4 people to watch TV unless 1 sat at the kitchen table).
Oh, I'm absolutely with you. Loving the current house isn't so much about the size as the outdoor amenities and the location. Likewise, I was really happy in my first house but I could have been just as happy with half the square footage - because that's what I actually used. I had a guest room that got used maybe 5 times in three years, an office I never finished and barely ever went in, and another room that literally never got used for anything but storage (and wasn't even needed for that).
I'm not opposed to big houses in general, but the decision to buy more space should be a mindful one. It's especially bad here because space is so cheap, and people buy horrendously wasteful homes just because they can afford to. All these people heating and cooling 3000, 4000sf, even more, for a small family, paying taxes and maintenance and maids... some have entire floors they barely visit... it boggles the mind.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: jinga nation on June 16, 2015, 03:19:24 PM
I shared the OP's link with a co-worker who is planning on downsizing. Told him the stars are aligning and he should move quickly. He's a mustachian-in-hiding.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Insanity on June 16, 2015, 03:19:51 PM
Interestingly enough, my parents seem to buy larger so they can have their kids and grand kids stay there.  They are the generation that wants to be with the family.  Not have them stay in hotels. 

My generation and the younger would rather stay in a hotel with their spouse and let the grand kids stay at the grand parents :)
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 16, 2015, 03:23:07 PM
Yep yep yep. I'm not a homeowner yet, but we rent a ~700 sqft apartment, and it already feels like too much to clean, declutter, and maintain. I'd like a second bedroom to use as an office/guest room, but other than that, I don't need any more space. Whenever I watch HGTV (don't judge, it's my guilty pleasure) I always get a kick out of the people who "need" 4-5 bedroom, 3-4 bath houses for just them and their 1-2 kids. All I can think of is, have fun cleaning that.

IMO, with 2 kids, 4 bedrooms is ideal.  Master, 1 for each kid, 1 guest room or office.  2-3 baths is also ideal (Master, 1 for the kids, 1 guest bath so your guests aren't staring at your toothbrush, etc, when they go to the john.

True, although I would argue that you don't need giant bedrooms/bathrooms. It always cracks me up to see people moaning over "Oh, this room is just too small for little Susie!" when it's as big as my current living room. Also, and maybe this isn't really done anymore, but when my sister and I were kids we shared a room until I was a teenager. Obviously this has its limits and won't work in every situation, but I feel like it's assumed now that kids need their own room even when they're too young to care.

I'd like 2-3 bedrooms too, but I don't care if they're small. I just like the separation/privacy (mainly for guests an/or a home office).

I grew up with my own room that was basically "my space" and as long as I can afford to, I'd like to give my kid the same priviledge.  I also only plan on having max 2 kids, and the resale value on a 2br house is dismal, so a 3br is a minimum IMO. 

On the size, I agree, the smallest non-master BR I have in my houses is probably 10x10 or 10x11.  As long as you can put a queen bed in there, I don't care, but it does have to accomodate that to be useful IMO.  My daughter's new BR is about 12 x 10, it fits her full size bed just fine.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 16, 2015, 03:37:00 PM
Interestingly enough, my parents seem to buy larger so they can have their kids and grand kids stay there.  They are the generation that wants to be with the family.  Not have them stay in hotels. 

My generation and the younger would rather stay in a hotel with their spouse and let the grand kids stay at the grand parents :)

My parents built their own house about 10 years ago, 1 master on the main floor and 2 BR upstairs.  At the time, my sister and I told them to build another room over the garage* to use as a bonus room/bedroom, and they said no.  Well now my sister and I are both married, and my wife and I have a kid, and my grandma is fortunately still with us, so when we're all home for Christmas they really need 4-5 bedrooms not 3.  My daughter sleeps in the room with my wife and I, and my sister and her husband stays at a hotel.  And my mom hates it.  Well, toldja so. 

*Not even build, just finish.  They coulda trussed the space to allow for more living space, but instead they didn't and now it's just a cavity above the garage, can't be finished or anything.  Probably would have cost $5k to do it at the time, would cost $10s of thousands to do now.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Lanthiriel on June 16, 2015, 03:50:54 PM
We just bought an 1100-sq ft 3 bed, 1.5 bath ranch with a 2-car garage. This was the absolute smallest my husband would go, and he is already complaining about the fact that it doesn't have a full second bath. He is worried about shower schedules when my sister (our first visitor in the three months we've been in the house) stays with us for a week. I, on the other hand, am a bit appalled that we have an entire room (though admittedly a small one) dedicated to the maybe 3 weeks a year we have guests, let alone needing another bathroom. Every now and then he asks where we're going to put the imaginary kid we both agreed we don't want to have. We've always been pretty frugal, but we've been trying to level up to "conscious consumers" for about a year now, and I think it's REALLY tough for him to fight the concept of, "well, this is what people expect from us." In his defense, he has been the one leading the charge in breaking our habit of eating out even when I get whiny about it.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Cassie on June 16, 2015, 09:45:43 PM
I grew up with 5 people & shared a bedroom with my sister who was 8 years older.  I also had a family of 5 with 1600 sq ft & one bathroom. One obvious solution is that some people shower at night. Also you never lock the bathroom door & if someone shits while you in shower they had better be dying.   I knew a family with 9 people & one bathroom & they made it work. Now we live in 1400 sq ft with 2 full baths-pure luxury.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: former player on June 17, 2015, 02:35:07 AM
A good reason for not having an oversized house is that it atomises the family.  Several years ago I saw a bit of a TV programme about a family learning to live the pioneer life for a summer in a one-room cabin.  They looked pretty happy.  After it was over they went back to this enormous white house on the California coast, and the last bit of the show was the mother alone in this big kitchen while the rest of her family were each in different rooms all over the place and out of hearing of her and each other.  She looked sad.  The sheer size of the house separated the family members from each other.

More than one toilet is a good thing in a house with more than two occupants.  Only one bathroom just requires good routines, good manners and a degree of consultation/negotiation/adaptation.  Which are all good things for kids to have to learn.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Rural on June 17, 2015, 06:39:13 AM
We designed and built our place from blueprints to trim (said trim still largely undone) and built for efficiency.


I'd have said I wanted a small house if asked several years ago. But I would have been wrong. I wanted a well-designed house with the spaces set up the way we use space, and earth sheltered, set up for solar heat gain in winter, with sun angles factored in so we don't get that heat gain in summer.


I wanted floors all on one level, whole house, so I can set up my sweeper robot and forget about it. I wanted high ceilings because Deep South, and reversible ceiling fans to keep the heat from pooling up there in winter.


I wanted one bedroom only as far as the tax office is concerned, but two offices, a library, and a dog room. I wanted an enclosed atrium to bring the outdoors and the natural light in, and I wanted a near 600 square foot front porch because what's the point of living in a mountain paradise if you don't go outside and enjoy it?


I wanted a walk-in shower with a seat, wide doorways for wheelchairs, and no steps inside or at entries for aging in place.


I already knew I wanted lots of land. We have 25 acres that requires no maintenance at all except for the driveway, which takes considerable shoveling and scraping and will have to be paved as we get older. But the rest is old growth  (not virgin, nothing is), and the best thing we can do for it is leave it alone other than rare controlled burns.


The house is 2,050 square feet not counting the atrium (still an open courtyard at this point, and will not be conditioned space) or the porch, which is now about half covered. It all works for us and isn't hard to clean, but it did require starting absolutely from scratch to get here.


If We hadn't built, I think a small house would be the next best thing because they're usually designed better. It's all about design, and that design needs to be based on utility, not fashion.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: I'm a red panda on June 17, 2015, 06:42:27 AM
Our house is way to big, though oddly the bedrooms seem small.

However, we get a lot of use from our 3 car garage, and I have no interest in going back to a 1-stall (or even 2).  It is pretty much impossible to find a small home with a large garage, so extra house it is.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: AvisJinx on June 17, 2015, 03:27:20 PM
I have no desire to clean, furnish, decorate or maintain more space or heat empty rooms. 

Yep yep yep. I'm not a homeowner yet, but we rent a ~700 sqft apartment, and it already feels like too much to clean, declutter, and maintain. I'd like a second bedroom to use as an office/guest room, but other than that, I don't need any more space. Whenever I watch HGTV (don't judge, it's my guilty pleasure) I always get a kick out of the people who "need" 4-5 bedroom, 3-4 bath houses for just them and their 1-2 kids. All I can think of is, have fun cleaning that.

Isn't that the truth? I see these huge homes and wonder why anyone would want to take on the job of cleaning and maintaining them inside and out.

Don't feel bad. HGTV is my guilty pleasure, too. I particularly enjoy House Hunters; or rather I enjoy making fun of the people who have such unrealistic  expectations of homeownership and wants that are bigger than their budget.

I LOVE HGTV. When they started putting them on Netflix, I definitely binge watched a season or two of Property Brothers.

Oh yeah, gotta love Property Brothers. They at least get people interested in existing properties with potential.  My house was built in '68, but the location and neighborhood are great. It took a while to update, but it was totally worth it.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: ash7962 on June 18, 2015, 11:23:25 AM
Interestingly enough, my parents seem to buy larger so they can have their kids and grand kids stay there.  They are the generation that wants to be with the family.  Not have them stay in hotels. 

My generation and the younger would rather stay in a hotel with their spouse and let the grand kids stay at the grand parents :)

My parents built their own house about 10 years ago, 1 master on the main floor and 2 BR upstairs.  At the time, my sister and I told them to build another room over the garage* to use as a bonus room/bedroom, and they said no.  Well now my sister and I are both married, and my wife and I have a kid, and my grandma is fortunately still with us, so when we're all home for Christmas they really need 4-5 bedrooms not 3.  My daughter sleeps in the room with my wife and I, and my sister and her husband stays at a hotel.  And my mom hates it.  Well, toldja so. 

*Not even build, just finish.  They coulda trussed the space to allow for more living space, but instead they didn't and now it's just a cavity above the garage, can't be finished or anything.  Probably would have cost $5k to do it at the time, would cost $10s of thousands to do now.

To each his own, but for me if I had that finished space over the garage not being used for 51/52 weeks of the year then I'd be going crazy.  The bedrooms can at least be repurposed during the rest of the year.  I think the situation could be solved by having a pull out couch in the living room or even an air mattress.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 18, 2015, 11:29:10 AM
Interestingly enough, my parents seem to buy larger so they can have their kids and grand kids stay there.  They are the generation that wants to be with the family.  Not have them stay in hotels. 

My generation and the younger would rather stay in a hotel with their spouse and let the grand kids stay at the grand parents :)

My parents built their own house about 10 years ago, 1 master on the main floor and 2 BR upstairs.  At the time, my sister and I told them to build another room over the garage* to use as a bonus room/bedroom, and they said no.  Well now my sister and I are both married, and my wife and I have a kid, and my grandma is fortunately still with us, so when we're all home for Christmas they really need 4-5 bedrooms not 3.  My daughter sleeps in the room with my wife and I, and my sister and her husband stays at a hotel.  And my mom hates it.  Well, toldja so. 

*Not even build, just finish.  They coulda trussed the space to allow for more living space, but instead they didn't and now it's just a cavity above the garage, can't be finished or anything.  Probably would have cost $5k to do it at the time, would cost $10s of thousands to do now.

To each his own, but for me if I had that finished space over the garage not being used for 51/52 weeks of the year then I'd be going crazy.  The bedrooms can at least be repurposed during the rest of the year.  I think the situation could be solved by having a pull out couch in the living room or even an air mattress.

The space is there now, it's just a big air cavity over the garage.  And the house is on a split HVAC, which is turned off/essentially off most of the year, so it doesn't cost anything.  It would have just been different trusses and the cost of extra drywall and carpet.  The house is open concept outside of the bedrooms, so yeah, you CAN throw an air mattress down or whatever, but the people sleeping there get no privacy.  Thus they stay in a hotel.  Which is fine, but then my parents lose the right to bitch about it, since they made their choice.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: I'm a red panda on June 18, 2015, 12:34:48 PM
Quote
Yep, I often wonder what happened to the days when the grandkids would just all sleep in the living room in their sleeping bags.
My BIL decided to not come for Thanksgiving because "have you ever been in a house with 3 kids" (SIL has 2, BIL would have brought 1).

This is made even more ridiculous because 1) My husband has a sister and a brother, clearly, they grew up in a house with 3 kids and 2) We live in a 5-bedroom, 3 bath house.  Husband and I have our master bedroom and a bathroom.  BIL's family get the upstairs 2 bedrooms and bathroom, SIL's family gets the downstairs bedroom + the downstairs living space and bathroom.  (Final bedroom is a craft room- no one enters.)

Every pair of adults has a room, every set of kids has a room. Each family has a bathroom.


This is NOTHING compared to when I was a kid and there were 8 adults and 12 kids sleeping on the floor of a 3-bedroom house! I was an adult when I saw my first "guest room".  As we have more kids (first is on the way), we fully plan to have no guest rooms. Having a room that exists to just wait to be used is silly if you could be using the space. (Yes- I know my house is silly large right now. We needed a large garage for a woodshop.)
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: LouLou on June 28, 2015, 07:57:31 PM
Interesting articles. In my peer group, there are really two types of people: those who want big houses, who are buying now, and those who want to get and stay debt-free, and have decided that getting 'just enough' house is one way to do that. The latter group is much bigger, but many of those folks are still renting very small apartments.

It will be interesting to see how/if this changes over the next 10-20 years. I was under the impression that most millennials are flocking to smaller places in cities, but maybe my perception is skewed by my own experiences.

 

Millenials are flocking to smaller places in cities because they are generally young, have no kids, and things like "proximity to good bars" is more important than "in a good school district." 

That will change as they progress in life and start popping out kids, etc. 

Circle of life.

Unless my friends , peers, and I are serious anomalies, I would be surprised if what you said will be true.  Sure, most millenials are interested in ultimately living somewhere with good schools, but we are also very interested in living close to work and other fun stuff, in living in a low-maintenance place, and in avoiding large debts. We also mock the McMansions of our parents' generation, and have lived very frugally, both out of necessity (due to the economy) and because of high student debt loads. Many don't even want children.

Besides my one friend who wants four kids and grew up very poor, I can't think of a single friend (even the spendthrift ones) who has expressed a desire for the McMansion lifestyle.

Also, proximity to bars can easily be found in suburbs and rural areas. Short commutes, the ability to live without cars, and a thriving arts and culture scene are the things keeping my friends and me in cities.

I'm 33.  I'm probably not a lot older than you (I'm the bleeding edge of the millenials, the "Oregon Trail" generation if you will).  Trust me, you think you have it all planned.  You don't. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1Z91YkPatw

We are virtually the same age. I'm also an Oregon-trail millennial. So we are probably equally as good/bad about predicting what our peers will do :).

I can tell you, however, that barring unforeseen and extreme circumstances, there is no way in hell I will ever have a McMansion. I could have comfortably mortgaged myself into one quite some time ago, but have preferred to rent smaller spaces, even as I've added family members. Even when I've considred buying, I have never once been tempted by a huge home.

I would guess that most people who are regulars around here do not suddenly shift to wanting McMansions many years after their entry into adulthood. We want FI and/or ER instead.

I'm not talking about YOU, I'm talking about OUR GENERATION.  McMansions?  Probably not for most of us, but are we, as a generation, going to continue to flock to small condos in the city near indy coffee shops?  No.  Hell, my own street is currently undergoing a revolution of sorts as all the old people who own homes last udated in 1975 either die off or move to assisted living, and sell their older, modestly sized (2000sq ft, +/-), single family homes to 30-somethings with kids and we are all remodeling them, etc, because even though they're smallish and outdated, they're in a great school district and we have young kids, so that's what we do.

I think remodeling existing, modest homes in good school districts will be the more common route, instead of McMansions.  This millennial recently moved into a modest (2550 tri-level, including basement), 1950s house that was severely outdated.  Our neighborhood is filled with them. It's conveniently located, reasonably priced, just-big-enough, and in a good school district.  There are restaurants and local businesses nearby.  There will be a wave of older people who will start selling their houses over the next decade, and I think coupled millennials who have or want kids will move in.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Rural on June 28, 2015, 08:21:12 PM
Interesting articles. In my peer group, there are really two types of people: those who want big houses, who are buying now, and those who want to get and stay debt-free, and have decided that getting 'just enough' house is one way to do that. The latter group is much bigger, but many of those folks are still renting very small apartments.

It will be interesting to see how/if this changes over the next 10-20 years. I was under the impression that most millennials are flocking to smaller places in cities, but maybe my perception is skewed by my own experiences.

 

Millenials are flocking to smaller places in cities because they are generally young, have no kids, and things like "proximity to good bars" is more important than "in a good school district." 

That will change as they progress in life and start popping out kids, etc. 

Circle of life.

Unless my friends , peers, and I are serious anomalies, I would be surprised if what you said will be true.  Sure, most millenials are interested in ultimately living somewhere with good schools, but we are also very interested in living close to work and other fun stuff, in living in a low-maintenance place, and in avoiding large debts. We also mock the McMansions of our parents' generation, and have lived very frugally, both out of necessity (due to the economy) and because of high student debt loads. Many don't even want children.

Besides my one friend who wants four kids and grew up very poor, I can't think of a single friend (even the spendthrift ones) who has expressed a desire for the McMansion lifestyle.

Also, proximity to bars can easily be found in suburbs and rural areas. Short commutes, the ability to live without cars, and a thriving arts and culture scene are the things keeping my friends and me in cities.

I'm 33.  I'm probably not a lot older than you (I'm the bleeding edge of the millenials, the "Oregon Trail" generation if you will).  Trust me, you think you have it all planned.  You don't. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1Z91YkPatw (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1Z91YkPatw)

We are virtually the same age. I'm also an Oregon-trail millennial. So we are probably equally as good/bad about predicting what our peers will do :).

I can tell you, however, that barring unforeseen and extreme circumstances, there is no way in hell I will ever have a McMansion. I could have comfortably mortgaged myself into one quite some time ago, but have preferred to rent smaller spaces, even as I've added family members. Even when I've considred buying, I have never once been tempted by a huge home.

I would guess that most people who are regulars around here do not suddenly shift to wanting McMansions many years after their entry into adulthood. We want FI and/or ER instead.

I'm not talking about YOU, I'm talking about OUR GENERATION.  McMansions?  Probably not for most of us, but are we, as a generation, going to continue to flock to small condos in the city near indy coffee shops?  No.  Hell, my own street is currently undergoing a revolution of sorts as all the old people who own homes last udated in 1975 either die off or move to assisted living, and sell their older, modestly sized (2000sq ft, +/-), single family homes to 30-somethings with kids and we are all remodeling them, etc, because even though they're smallish and outdated, they're in a great school district and we have young kids, so that's what we do.

I think remodeling existing, modest homes in good school districts will be the more common route, instead of McMansions.  This millennial recently moved into a modest (2550 tri-level, including basement), 1950s house that was severely outdated.  Our neighborhood is filled with them. It's conveniently located, reasonably priced, just-big-enough, and in a good school district.  There are restaurants and local businesses nearby.  There will be a wave of older people who will start selling their houses over the next decade, and I think coupled millennials who have or want kids will move in.


2550 sqft is sort of the opposite of "modest."
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: LouLou on June 28, 2015, 10:17:56 PM
@Rural  It depends on frame of reference.  The total square footage includes our basement.  I can't remember what the "official" square footage of the house is, but the areas completely above grade are about 1700 sqft, which isn't that big in my opinion.  Not small, but not huge.  Hence modest.

The long term plan is for DH and I to adopt several children.  A family of six to seven in a 1700-2500 square feet seems modest to me.  If we were going to be childfree forever or have just one child, then we would have gotten a much smaller house.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Knapptyme on June 28, 2015, 10:55:01 PM

As we have more kids (first is on the way), we fully plan to have no guest rooms. Having a room that exists to just wait to be used is silly if you could be using the space. (Yes- I know my house is silly large right now. We needed a large garage for a woodshop.)

I totally understand this logic, but I have to add that I am in the midst of having children and choosing what to do with "guest rooms." As such, it makes no sense to me to turn a useful guest room into more space for a child. We have a "nursery' of sorts that can quickly convert back into a guest room, but left the other 'guest rooms" as is because that child can and does sleep in our master. With another on the way, it's nice to have a guaranteed space for the grandparents to stay. Heck, we were able to house my whole family (3 pairs of adults, 2 single adult siblings, and 4 children) for Christmas with 4 BR and 2 BA in 1600 sq. ft. with only my parents opting for a hotel (because my dad snores loudly, which is true). It was great. And the rooms aren't a total waste in the downtime. One remains a dog/video game room, and the other is the sewing/storage room.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Jack on June 29, 2015, 07:28:53 AM
Interesting articles. In my peer group, there are really two types of people: those who want big houses, who are buying now, and those who want to get and stay debt-free, and have decided that getting 'just enough' house is one way to do that. The latter group is much bigger, but many of those folks are still renting very small apartments.

It will be interesting to see how/if this changes over the next 10-20 years. I was under the impression that most millennials are flocking to smaller places in cities, but maybe my perception is skewed by my own experiences.

 

Millenials are flocking to smaller places in cities because they are generally young, have no kids, and things like "proximity to good bars" is more important than "in a good school district." 

That will change as they progress in life and start popping out kids, etc. 

Circle of life.

Unless my friends , peers, and I are serious anomalies, I would be surprised if what you said will be true.  Sure, most millenials are interested in ultimately living somewhere with good schools, but we are also very interested in living close to work and other fun stuff, in living in a low-maintenance place, and in avoiding large debts. We also mock the McMansions of our parents' generation, and have lived very frugally, both out of necessity (due to the economy) and because of high student debt loads. Many don't even want children.

Besides my one friend who wants four kids and grew up very poor, I can't think of a single friend (even the spendthrift ones) who has expressed a desire for the McMansion lifestyle.

Also, proximity to bars can easily be found in suburbs and rural areas. Short commutes, the ability to live without cars, and a thriving arts and culture scene are the things keeping my friends and me in cities.

I'm 33.  I'm probably not a lot older than you (I'm the bleeding edge of the millenials, the "Oregon Trail" generation if you will).  Trust me, you think you have it all planned.  You don't. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1Z91YkPatw

I'm 31 and married, living in a 1500 sq. ft. house in a walkable urban neighborhood (and yes, with good bars, though I don't go to them), and other than wanting a garage and to be even closer to the commercial district, I'm perfectly happy with it.

My house has plenty of space for a kid or two, and rather than moving for decent schools, I expect my millennial neighbors to have made the schools decent by the time I have kids in them.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Jack on June 29, 2015, 07:35:14 AM
Keeping up with a large house or lot is a drag. It wastes so much time.  Plus all your bills are so much higher. However, conversely having too small a house with too many people is also a drag. I definitely will never go back to 1 bathroom. So awesome having 2!!!!

OK, help me understand.....What's the big benefit of the 2nd bathroom with 2 people?  Does it need to be 2 FULL baths, or is a 1/2 bath helpful?

2 baths is nice when you want to take a dump and your wife is in the shower. 

2 FULL baths is nice when you both have to be somewhere (say, work) and don't want one of you to have to get up early to take the first shower.

She's your wife, not your sister. What do you need a second shower for?
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: zephyr911 on June 29, 2015, 07:45:44 AM

2550 sqft is sort of the opposite of "modest."
It's only slightly above average for new construction now, but in the 1950s it was a mansion.
Median new home size in that decade was 1000sf or slightly less, depending where you look.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: partgypsy on June 29, 2015, 08:23:50 AM
Interesting articles. In my peer group, there are really two types of people: those who want big houses, who are buying now, and those who want to get and stay debt-free, and have decided that getting 'just enough' house is one way to do that. The latter group is much bigger, but many of those folks are still renting very small apartments.

It will be interesting to see how/if this changes over the next 10-20 years. I was under the impression that most millennials are flocking to smaller places in cities, but maybe my perception is skewed by my own experiences.

 

Millenials are flocking to smaller places in cities because they are generally young, have no kids, and things like "proximity to good bars" is more important than "in a good school district." 

That will change as they progress in life and start popping out kids, etc. 

Circle of life.

Unless my friends , peers, and I are serious anomalies, I would be surprised if what you said will be true.  Sure, most millenials are interested in ultimately living somewhere with good schools, but we are also very interested in living close to work and other fun stuff, in living in a low-maintenance place, and in avoiding large debts. We also mock the McMansions of our parents' generation, and have lived very frugally, both out of necessity (due to the economy) and because of high student debt loads. Many don't even want children.

Besides my one friend who wants four kids and grew up very poor, I can't think of a single friend (even the spendthrift ones) who has expressed a desire for the McMansion lifestyle.

Also, proximity to bars can easily be found in suburbs and rural areas. Short commutes, the ability to live without cars, and a thriving arts and culture scene are the things keeping my friends and me in cities.

I'm 33.  I'm probably not a lot older than you (I'm the bleeding edge of the millenials, the "Oregon Trail" generation if you will).  Trust me, you think you have it all planned.  You don't. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1Z91YkPatw

We are virtually the same age. I'm also an Oregon-trail millennial. So we are probably equally as good/bad about predicting what our peers will do :).

I can tell you, however, that barring unforeseen and extreme circumstances, there is no way in hell I will ever have a McMansion. I could have comfortably mortgaged myself into one quite some time ago, but have preferred to rent smaller spaces, even as I've added family members. Even when I've considred buying, I have never once been tempted by a huge home.

I would guess that most people who are regulars around here do not suddenly shift to wanting McMansions many years after their entry into adulthood. We want FI and/or ER instead.

I'm not talking about YOU, I'm talking about OUR GENERATION.  McMansions?  Probably not for most of us, but are we, as a generation, going to continue to flock to small condos in the city near indy coffee shops?  No.  Hell, my own street is currently undergoing a revolution of sorts as all the old people who own homes last udated in 1975 either die off or move to assisted living, and sell their older, modestly sized (2000sq ft, +/-), single family homes to 30-somethings with kids and we are all remodeling them, etc, because even though they're smallish and outdated, they're in a great school district and we have young kids, so that's what we do.

I think remodeling existing, modest homes in good school districts will be the more common route, instead of McMansions.  This millennial recently moved into a modest (2550 tri-level, including basement), 1950s house that was severely outdated.  Our neighborhood is filled with them. It's conveniently located, reasonably priced, just-big-enough, and in a good school district.  There are restaurants and local businesses nearby.  There will be a wave of older people who will start selling their houses over the next decade, and I think coupled millennials who have or want kids will move in.

I agree, this is what is happening in my town. 20, 30 somethings are buying fixer uppers near downtown and fixing them up, living in them. Unfortunately the demand has outstripped supply, causing all housing near downtown to increase in price. It is actually cheaper to buy a larger new home, farther away, than to buy near downtown. So some families do that as well. Most of the new supply is built to be at least 3 bedroom, 2 bath, so by default that is what is purchased.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Nate R on June 29, 2015, 08:52:01 AM
Keeping up with a large house or lot is a drag. It wastes so much time.  Plus all your bills are so much higher. However, conversely having too small a house with too many people is also a drag. I definitely will never go back to 1 bathroom. So awesome having 2!!!!

OK, help me understand.....What's the big benefit of the 2nd bathroom with 2 people?  Does it need to be 2 FULL baths, or is a 1/2 bath helpful?

2 baths is nice when you want to take a dump and your wife is in the shower. 

2 FULL baths is nice when you both have to be somewhere (say, work) and don't want one of you to have to get up early to take the first shower.

She's your wife, not your sister. What do you need a second shower for?

Agreed. Sure, the 2nd bathroom is "nice" for things like that. But to say you'll never be w/o a 2nd one again? Just seems ridiculous to me. Plenty of families survived just fine on one bathroom in small houses in the 50s, for example.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 29, 2015, 08:54:25 AM
Keeping up with a large house or lot is a drag. It wastes so much time.  Plus all your bills are so much higher. However, conversely having too small a house with too many people is also a drag. I definitely will never go back to 1 bathroom. So awesome having 2!!!!

OK, help me understand.....What's the big benefit of the 2nd bathroom with 2 people?  Does it need to be 2 FULL baths, or is a 1/2 bath helpful?

2 baths is nice when you want to take a dump and your wife is in the shower. 

2 FULL baths is nice when you both have to be somewhere (say, work) and don't want one of you to have to get up early to take the first shower.

She's your wife, not your sister. What do you need a second shower for?

Agreed. Sure, the 2nd bathroom is "nice" for things like that. But to say you'll never be w/o a 2nd one again? Just seems ridiculous to me. Plenty of families survived just fine on one bathroom in small houses in the 50s, for example.

I don't give a shit what people in the 50s did.  Could I SURVIVE?  Sure.  But as long as I am able to find a house with 2 bathrooms, I will.  Why the need to argue with that?
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: zephyr911 on June 29, 2015, 09:24:45 AM

I don't give a shit what people in the 50s did.  Could I SURVIVE?  Sure.  But as long as I am able to find a house with 2 bathrooms, I will.  Why the need to argue with that?
Generational change and lifestyle creep are relevant to any discussion here. We're all looking to reclassify "needs" as wants and luxuries so we can increase savings, and looking back in time can help us gain perspective on that.

That said, I don't feel even a little bit bad about sharing 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths with my wife. We're in a low-cost area, we often entertain 10-20 people at a time, and we often have 2-3 sleep over - visitors from out of town, or just people who knew better than to drive home.

The key here is to meet all your actual needs but not drastically exceed them, so you can maximize financial progress without sacrificing happiness at home.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: lostamonkey on June 29, 2015, 11:46:09 AM
Keeping up with a large house or lot is a drag. It wastes so much time.  Plus all your bills are so much higher. However, conversely having too small a house with too many people is also a drag. I definitely will never go back to 1 bathroom. So awesome having 2!!!!

OK, help me understand.....What's the big benefit of the 2nd bathroom with 2 people?  Does it need to be 2 FULL baths, or is a 1/2 bath helpful?

2 baths is nice when you want to take a dump and your wife is in the shower. 

2 FULL baths is nice when you both have to be somewhere (say, work) and don't want one of you to have to get up early to take the first shower.

She's your wife, not your sister. What do you need a second shower for?

Agreed. Sure, the 2nd bathroom is "nice" for things like that. But to say you'll never be w/o a 2nd one again? Just seems ridiculous to me. Plenty of families survived just fine on one bathroom in small houses in the 50s, for example.

If you can afford it, and are okay with the fact that it will delay your FIRE delay slightly, I don't see anything wrong with wanting a second bathroom. We all live way above our needs and that's okay.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: golden1 on June 29, 2015, 12:20:35 PM
Quote
IMO, with 2 kids, 4 bedrooms is ideal.

I had to double check that I was in the right forum.....

I have two kids, and we are doing just fine with 1 3/4 bathrooms.  Sure, once in a rare while I could see it being handy to have another 1/2 bath, but those occasions are rare and not enough to add another bath. 

Seriously, what are the odds that all four of you have to crap or shower at the same time?  A little planning here would make those extra bathrooms completely unnecessary. 
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on June 29, 2015, 12:22:14 PM
Quote
IMO, with 2 kids, 4 bedrooms is ideal.

I had to double check that I was in the right forum.....

I have two kids, and we are doing just fine with 1 3/4 bathrooms.  Sure, once in a rare while I could see it being handy to have another 1/2 bath, but those occasions are rare and not enough to add another bath. 

Seriously, what are the odds that all four of you have to crap or shower at the same time?  A little planning here would make those extra bathrooms completely unnecessary.

What you quoted said bedrooms. I'm not sure why four bedrooms would be necessary with two kids, but it's not quite bathrooms.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 29, 2015, 12:42:32 PM
Quote
IMO, with 2 kids, 4 bedrooms is ideal.

I had to double check that I was in the right forum.....

I have two kids, and we are doing just fine with 1 3/4 bathrooms.  Sure, once in a rare while I could see it being handy to have another 1/2 bath, but those occasions are rare and not enough to add another bath. 

Seriously, what are the odds that all four of you have to crap or shower at the same time?  A little planning here would make those extra bathrooms completely unnecessary.

What you quoted said bedrooms. I'm not sure why four bedrooms would be necessary with two kids, but it's not quite bathrooms.

I didn't say "necessary" I said "ideal".  I have a 3BR and plan on having 2 kids. 

1 MBR (parents) 1 kid BR 1 (kid 1) 1 kid BR 2 (kid 2), 1 guest room.  I know some of you are all anti-guest room, but we've found we use the space pretty regularly, as all of my family is from out of town. 

The other thing to consider is, as I've harped on, an additional bed or bath is not just money down the drain.  A house with more of either tends to have better resale value, so you pay up front and you get more on the back end back, presumably, all else being equal. 

I also consider 1 3/4 bath to be two bathrooms, which is basically my minimum.  As long as there are two places to crap and shower, I don't care tub vs. shower (though at least 1 tub is desirable for kids, whether yours or the prospective next owner's).
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Jack on June 29, 2015, 04:28:41 PM
2 FULL baths is nice when you both have to be somewhere (say, work) and don't want one of you to have to get up early to take the first shower.

She's your wife, not your sister. What do you need a second shower for?

Agreed. Sure, the 2nd bathroom is "nice" for things like that. But to say you'll never be w/o a 2nd one again? Just seems ridiculous to me. Plenty of families survived just fine on one bathroom in small houses in the 50s, for example.

I don't give a shit what people in the 50s did.  Could I SURVIVE?  Sure.  But as long as I am able to find a house with 2 bathrooms, I will.  Why the need to argue with that?

I was just pointing out that you should re-examine your assumption that having one shower means you and your wife can't shower at the same time.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 29, 2015, 06:08:21 PM
2 FULL baths is nice when you both have to be somewhere (say, work) and don't want one of you to have to get up early to take the first shower.

She's your wife, not your sister. What do you need a second shower for?

Agreed. Sure, the 2nd bathroom is "nice" for things like that. But to say you'll never be w/o a 2nd one again? Just seems ridiculous to me. Plenty of families survived just fine on one bathroom in small houses in the 50s, for example.

I don't give a shit what people in the 50s did.  Could I SURVIVE?  Sure.  But as long as I am able to find a house with 2 bathrooms, I will.  Why the need to argue with that?

I was just pointing out that you should re-examine your assumption that having one shower means you and your wife can't shower at the same time.

If I ever want to make it to work on time we can't... 

Don't want to be 3 min late ;)
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Nate R on June 30, 2015, 08:53:49 AM

I don't give a shit what people in the 50s did.  Could I SURVIVE?  Sure.  But as long as I am able to find a house with 2 bathrooms, I will.  Why the need to argue with that?

Because I see it as a needed facepunch when people say that they would NEVER go back to 1 bathroom.

 
I definitely will never go back to 1 bathroom. So awesome having 2!!!!

I see that as an unnecessary luxury. We're all free to make our own decisions, but that's my perspective. So my original question was trying to understand why people would see it as a NEED to have a 2nd bathroom for 2 people.

Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: golden1 on June 30, 2015, 09:04:54 AM
Oops...apparently I can't read.  I thought it said bathrooms. 

4 bedrooms for two kids is a bit more reasonable, especially if you have frequent guests. 
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 30, 2015, 09:25:25 AM

I don't give a shit what people in the 50s did.  Could I SURVIVE?  Sure.  But as long as I am able to find a house with 2 bathrooms, I will.  Why the need to argue with that?

Because I see it as a needed facepunch when people say that they would NEVER go back to 1 bathroom.

 
I definitely will never go back to 1 bathroom. So awesome having 2!!!!

I see that as an unnecessary luxury. We're all free to make our own decisions, but that's my perspective. So my original question was trying to understand why people would see it as a NEED to have a 2nd bathroom for 2 people.

Facepunch?  Unnecessary luxury?  What are we, monks?  Come on man.  Don't be ridiculous.  It sure is decadent of me to want a quiet place to take a shit while my wife is in the shower. 

And besides, see my note on resale.  What's the resale value potential of a house with 2 baths versus 1?  I'm currently putting a third bath in my house (current house has 1 full bath, 1 powder room) and it's costing me about $5k for a middle of the road full bath (I'm doing all the work myself except the plumbing rough in which is about half the budget).  My realtor has already informed me that's about $20k of value I'm adding.  Even if she's full of shit and off by half, I'm $5k ahead when I go to sell.  This is about optimization not slashing your life to the bare essentials.  And adding something convenient that nets me a 100%-400% return sure is optimal in my book.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: EricP on June 30, 2015, 10:00:19 AM

Agreed. Sure, the 2nd bathroom is "nice" for things like that. But to say you'll never be w/o a 2nd one again? Just seems ridiculous to me. Plenty of families survived just fine on one bathroom in small houses in the 50s, for example.

I don't give a shit what people in the 50s did.  Could I SURVIVE?  Sure.  But as long as I am able to find a house with 2 bathrooms, I will.  Why the need to argue with that?

I was just pointing out that you should re-examine your assumption that having one shower means you and your wife can't shower at the same time.

I agree that having a second full bathroom with two people is not necessary, but the solution isn't showering together.  That's slow as shit.  Only one person can have the water at once and you've got to deal with another person in your way.  Just a huge hassle and definitely not a time saver.  If it's the morning I ain't doing that.  But, I don't get why the male just doesn't shower second.  Should take you a lot less time in the morning to get ready and you can just do other things during her shower time: make coffee, breakfast, lay out your clothes, back your gym back, etc.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: EricP on June 30, 2015, 10:08:35 AM
A 3/4 bathroom?  Never heard that term before.  It's got only a shower, while a full bathroom requires a tub?  Or does the full bathroom require a tubshower combo or a tub and a shower?

So, does just a tub with no shower count as a 3/4 bathroom as well?  And what if you have 2- 3/4 bathrooms.  Do I list my house as 1 and 1/2 bath or 2 bathroom?  Or should I list it as 1 and 3/4 bath?  And does it matter if my two 3/4 bathrooms have different parts?  IE one has only a tub and one has only a shower.

You guys have added a whole lot of complexity to this issue.

And what about Jacuzzi tubs?  If I have one of those and a shower plus an extra sink do I get to count that one bathroom as a 1 1/4 bath?  Or is a bathroom at most one bathroom regardless of what is in it?
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 30, 2015, 10:33:40 AM
1 bath = sink and crapper and shower and tub (shower and tub can be together or separate)
3/4 bath =  sink and crapper and shower
1/2 bath = sink and crapper

 
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Cassie on June 30, 2015, 10:40:11 AM
There were 5 of us with 1 bathroom & although we made it work it was not fun by any means. Yes it is wonderful to have 2 even for 2 people. Also you have company stay over & it is nice to not have to all use the same one. Or you throw a big party, etc. My adult kids have been staying with us for the past year & so happy to have 2. Will I die without a 2nd one -no!  But I sure wouldn't chose it.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: EricP on June 30, 2015, 10:59:54 AM
1 bath = sink and crapper and shower and tub (shower and tub can be together or separate)
3/4 bath =  sink and crapper and shower
1/2 bath = sink and crapper

So what about a sink, a toilet and a tub?  Full bath or 3/4 bath?

And I'm still wondering about how you add all these different fractions together.  Do 3/4 bathrooms just get rounded up unless they are the only fraction?

As for the bigger bathroom discussion, my wife and I do great with one bathroom but we have much different wake-up schedules, and even when guests come it still isn't an issue.

And, I actually really like this article.  Shows how much lifestyle creep has occurred since the "single breadwinner days" and I can use this when politicians (or redditors) get on their soapboxes about the erosion of the middle class.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 30, 2015, 11:06:54 AM
1 bath = sink and crapper and shower and tub (shower and tub can be together or separate)
3/4 bath =  sink and crapper and shower
1/2 bath = sink and crapper

So what about a sink, a toilet and a tub?  Full bath or 3/4 bath?

I dunno, I don't think that is a common enough configuration to have a real estate definition.

Quote
And I'm still wondering about how you add all these different fractions together.  Do 3/4 bathrooms just get rounded up unless they are the only fraction?

Basically, yes. 

Quote
As for the bigger bathroom discussion, my wife and I do great with one bathroom but we have much different wake-up schedules, and even when guests come it still isn't an issue.

And, I actually really like this article.  Shows how much lifestyle creep has occurred since the "single breadwinner days" and I can use this when politicians (or redditors) get on their soapboxes about the erosion of the middle class.

I again urge you to read MMM's latest column about knowing your audience when selling your house before deciding if more than 1 bathroom is really lifestyle creep.  People used to get by with an icebox instead of a fridge, too, doesn't make a fridge a frivilous luxury.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: pbkmaine on June 30, 2015, 11:16:21 AM


I don't give a shit what people in the 50s did.  Could I SURVIVE?  Sure.  But as long as I am able to find a house with 2 bathrooms, I will.  Why the need to argue with that?

Because I see it as a needed facepunch when people say that they would NEVER go back to 1 bathroom.

 
I definitely will never go back to 1 bathroom. So awesome having 2!!!!

I see that as an unnecessary luxury. We're all free to make our own decisions, but that's my perspective. So my original question was trying to understand why people would see it as a NEED to have a 2nd bathroom for 2 people.

I like long baths, and DH spends a lot of time in the bathroom meditating. (That's what I call it, anyway.) We could certainly live with one bath - we did for years - but would prefer not to.  To me, that's the point of MMM. You figure out what you really want, and cut out everything else.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: EricP on June 30, 2015, 11:23:52 AM
1 bath = sink and crapper and shower and tub (shower and tub can be together or separate)
3/4 bath =  sink and crapper and shower
1/2 bath = sink and crapper

So what about a sink, a toilet and a tub?  Full bath or 3/4 bath?

I dunno, I don't think that is a common enough configuration to have a real estate definition.

Quote
And I'm still wondering about how you add all these different fractions together.  Do 3/4 bathrooms just get rounded up unless they are the only fraction?

Basically, yes. 

Quote
As for the bigger bathroom discussion, my wife and I do great with one bathroom but we have much different wake-up schedules, and even when guests come it still isn't an issue.

And, I actually really like this article.  Shows how much lifestyle creep has occurred since the "single breadwinner days" and I can use this when politicians (or redditors) get on their soapboxes about the erosion of the middle class.

I again urge you to read MMM's latest column about knowing your audience when selling your house before deciding if more than 1 bathroom is really lifestyle creep.  People used to get by with an icebox instead of a fridge, too, doesn't make a fridge a frivilous luxury.

Wasn't talking about this 1 bathroom discussion.  Was talking about the original article that had the average house in 1967 at 1660 sg. ft. (pretty sure lots of 1600 sg ft houses have 2 bathrooms) and the average house today at 2657 sq. ft., despite the average household size dropping by 1/2 a person.

And this isn't an icebox vs. a fridge discussion.  Land costs and build costs haven't dropped significantly enough to warrant this massive change.  The cost of housing is going up because people are buying bigger houses, that's all I was saying.  It's not degradation of the middle class, it's lifestyle creep.

A Cell Phone in 1985 was a huge luxury.  Having a Cell Phone today is normal, I can understand that, but constantly upgrading to the latest and greatest upon release every year and having an oversized data package is a luxury, yet that has moved firmly into the "necessities" column when discussing the degradation of the middle class.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on June 30, 2015, 11:44:58 AM
My house is 1700 sq ft, so no lifestyle creep here.  3 cars (one of them an SUV!) might be though... ;)
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Jack on June 30, 2015, 12:03:38 PM
I was just pointing out that you should re-examine your assumption that having one shower means you and your wife can't shower at the same time.

I agree that having a second full bathroom with two people is not necessary, but the solution isn't showering together.  That's slow as shit.  Only one person can have the water at once and you've got to deal with another person in your way.  Just a huge hassle and definitely not a time saver.  If it's the morning I ain't doing that.  But, I don't get why the male just doesn't shower second.  Should take you a lot less time in the morning to get ready and you can just do other things during her shower time: make coffee, breakfast, lay out your clothes, back your gym back, etc.

Not true: if each person's sequence is 1) shampoo, 2) rinse, 3) soap, 4) rinse, then person 2 can shower in parallel, one step behind. Because of that, the total number of sequential steps for two showers would only be 5 instead of 8.

1 bath = sink and crapper and shower and tub (shower and tub can be together or separate)
3/4 bath =  sink and crapper and shower
1/2 bath = sink and crapper

So what about a sink, a toilet and a tub?  Full bath or 3/4 bath?

And I'm still wondering about how you add all these different fractions together.  Do 3/4 bathrooms just get rounded up unless they are the only fraction?

I've come up with a new house-flipping business model: take a 1-bathroom house, add a bidet and a urinal, and advertise it as a 1.5 bathroom house! It's brilliant, I tell you!
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: zephyr911 on June 30, 2015, 01:02:33 PM
And adding something convenient that nets me a 100%-400% return sure is optimal in my book.
100%-300% ;)
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: EricP on July 01, 2015, 09:51:47 AM
I was just pointing out that you should re-examine your assumption that having one shower means you and your wife can't shower at the same time.

I agree that having a second full bathroom with two people is not necessary, but the solution isn't showering together.  That's slow as shit.  Only one person can have the water at once and you've got to deal with another person in your way.  Just a huge hassle and definitely not a time saver.  If it's the morning I ain't doing that.  But, I don't get why the male just doesn't shower second.  Should take you a lot less time in the morning to get ready and you can just do other things during her shower time: make coffee, breakfast, lay out your clothes, back your gym back, etc.

Not true: if each person's sequence is 1) shampoo, 2) rinse, 3) soap, 4) rinse, then person 2 can shower in parallel, one step behind. Because of that, the total number of sequential steps for two showers would only be 5 instead of 8.

Sure, that decreases the time the shower is being used, but we're not talking about only shower time here.  Adding in a second person will definitely increase the time for each person to complete their 4 steps.  This is for a couple reasons.  First, steps 3 and 4 do not have to be performed strictly sequentially.  I will begin rinsing areas while continuing to soap.  Additionally, if one person is slower at any steps than the other person, or the steps don't take the exact same amount of time, one person will be waiting.

There's no point in running double duty on the shower and slowing everyone's progress when that doesn't have to be the critical step.  Deconflicting shower use is the much better solution, then decreasing the efficiency of both people's shower.

(Also, while not the case for most people, since my wife is 1 legged, there is a statistically relevant transition time, takes about 15 seconds to switch, never seems safe)
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on July 01, 2015, 10:59:10 AM
I was just pointing out that you should re-examine your assumption that having one shower means you and your wife can't shower at the same time.

I agree that having a second full bathroom with two people is not necessary, but the solution isn't showering together.  That's slow as shit.  Only one person can have the water at once and you've got to deal with another person in your way.  Just a huge hassle and definitely not a time saver.  If it's the morning I ain't doing that.  But, I don't get why the male just doesn't shower second.  Should take you a lot less time in the morning to get ready and you can just do other things during her shower time: make coffee, breakfast, lay out your clothes, back your gym back, etc.

Not true: if each person's sequence is 1) shampoo, 2) rinse, 3) soap, 4) rinse, then person 2 can shower in parallel, one step behind. Because of that, the total number of sequential steps for two showers would only be 5 instead of 8.

Sure, that decreases the time the shower is being used, but we're not talking about only shower time here.  Adding in a second person will definitely increase the time for each person to complete their 4 steps.  This is for a couple reasons.  First, steps 3 and 4 do not have to be performed strictly sequentially.  I will begin rinsing areas while continuing to soap.  Additionally, if one person is slower at any steps than the other person, or the steps don't take the exact same amount of time, one person will be waiting.

There's no point in running double duty on the shower and slowing everyone's progress when that doesn't have to be the critical step.  Deconflicting shower use is the much better solution, then decreasing the efficiency of both people's shower.

(Also, while not the case for most people, since my wife is 1 legged, there is a statistically relevant transition time, takes about 15 seconds to switch, never seems safe)

So I thought you were joking about the shower together thing because of the sexual nature (which I'm all for when the opportunity is right), but now I see you're actually doing this as a way to optimize time spent in the shower, which is not an area of my life I'm looking to cut back.  I live where water is cheap and plentiful, and a nice long hot shower to start the day is a true luxury.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Nate R on July 01, 2015, 11:24:50 AM

I don't give a shit what people in the 50s did.  Could I SURVIVE?  Sure.  But as long as I am able to find a house with 2 bathrooms, I will.  Why the need to argue with that?

Because I see it as a needed facepunch when people say that they would NEVER go back to 1 bathroom.

 
I definitely will never go back to 1 bathroom. So awesome having 2!!!!

I see that as an unnecessary luxury. We're all free to make our own decisions, but that's my perspective. So my original question was trying to understand why people would see it as a NEED to have a 2nd bathroom for 2 people.

Facepunch?  Unnecessary luxury?  What are we, monks?  Come on man.  Don't be ridiculous.  It sure is decadent of me to want a quiet place to take a shit while my wife is in the shower. 

And besides, see my note on resale.  What's the resale value potential of a house with 2 baths versus 1?  I'm currently putting a third bath in my house (current house has 1 full bath, 1 powder room) and it's costing me about $5k for a middle of the road full bath (I'm doing all the work myself except the plumbing rough in which is about half the budget).  My realtor has already informed me that's about $20k of value I'm adding.  Even if she's full of shit and off by half, I'm $5k ahead when I go to sell.  This is about optimization not slashing your life to the bare essentials.  And adding something convenient that nets me a 100%-400% return sure is optimal in my book.


Resale value of 2 baths vs 1? Sure, of course it's higher. But that was priced in when you bought it, too.
UNLESS you add it, that's where the real money is, in some areas. So what's optimization? To me, it's NOT paying 20K more for that bath, it's adding it later right before you sell for the clowns that demand that extra bath, and will pay that much more for it.  If it was so useful, why didn't you add it when you moved in, and not as you prepare to sell? (Assumption I'm making, since you mentioned a realtor.)

And yes, I guess waiting 10 minutes to use the toilet is so tough, that really would be cutting your life to the bare essentials.

Apparently I'm in a minority even here for seeing a 2nd bathroom in a home with 2 people as lifestyle creep.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on July 01, 2015, 11:30:41 AM

I don't give a shit what people in the 50s did.  Could I SURVIVE?  Sure.  But as long as I am able to find a house with 2 bathrooms, I will.  Why the need to argue with that?

Because I see it as a needed facepunch when people say that they would NEVER go back to 1 bathroom.

 
I definitely will never go back to 1 bathroom. So awesome having 2!!!!

I see that as an unnecessary luxury. We're all free to make our own decisions, but that's my perspective. So my original question was trying to understand why people would see it as a NEED to have a 2nd bathroom for 2 people.

Facepunch?  Unnecessary luxury?  What are we, monks?  Come on man.  Don't be ridiculous.  It sure is decadent of me to want a quiet place to take a shit while my wife is in the shower. 

And besides, see my note on resale.  What's the resale value potential of a house with 2 baths versus 1?  I'm currently putting a third bath in my house (current house has 1 full bath, 1 powder room) and it's costing me about $5k for a middle of the road full bath (I'm doing all the work myself except the plumbing rough in which is about half the budget).  My realtor has already informed me that's about $20k of value I'm adding.  Even if she's full of shit and off by half, I'm $5k ahead when I go to sell.  This is about optimization not slashing your life to the bare essentials.  And adding something convenient that nets me a 100%-400% return sure is optimal in my book.


Resale value of 2 baths vs 1? Sure, of course it's higher. But that was priced in when you bought it, too.
UNLESS you add it, that's where the real money is, in some areas. So what's optimization? To me, it's NOT paying 20K more for that bath, it's adding it later right before you sell for the clowns that demand that extra bath, and will pay that much more for it.  If it was so useful, why didn't you add it when you moved in, and not as you prepare to sell? (Assumption I'm making, since you mentioned a realtor.)

And yes, I guess waiting 10 minutes to use the toilet is so tough, that really would be cutting your life to the bare essentials.

Apparently I'm in a minority even here for seeing a 2nd bathroom in a home with 2 people as lifestyle creep.

I did just move in.  I was discussing with my BUYING agent. 

You can say I don't NEED it, and you're right, but this facepunch/clown chicken shit is over the top for something as basic as a second bathroom.  You've got some fucked up bipolar view where everything is either a necessity or lifestyle creep clown show face-punch deserving.  Unless you're shitting in a hole twigs and berries you scavenged for in the woods, maybe you tone it back a notch or two and appreciate a little gray area. 
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: EricP on July 01, 2015, 12:10:28 PM
I was just pointing out that you should re-examine your assumption that having one shower means you and your wife can't shower at the same time.

I agree that having a second full bathroom with two people is not necessary, but the solution isn't showering together.  That's slow as shit.  Only one person can have the water at once and you've got to deal with another person in your way.  Just a huge hassle and definitely not a time saver.  If it's the morning I ain't doing that.  But, I don't get why the male just doesn't shower second.  Should take you a lot less time in the morning to get ready and you can just do other things during her shower time: make coffee, breakfast, lay out your clothes, back your gym back, etc.

Not true: if each person's sequence is 1) shampoo, 2) rinse, 3) soap, 4) rinse, then person 2 can shower in parallel, one step behind. Because of that, the total number of sequential steps for two showers would only be 5 instead of 8.

Sure, that decreases the time the shower is being used, but we're not talking about only shower time here.  Adding in a second person will definitely increase the time for each person to complete their 4 steps.  This is for a couple reasons.  First, steps 3 and 4 do not have to be performed strictly sequentially.  I will begin rinsing areas while continuing to soap.  Additionally, if one person is slower at any steps than the other person, or the steps don't take the exact same amount of time, one person will be waiting.

There's no point in running double duty on the shower and slowing everyone's progress when that doesn't have to be the critical step.  Deconflicting shower use is the much better solution, then decreasing the efficiency of both people's shower.

(Also, while not the case for most people, since my wife is 1 legged, there is a statistically relevant transition time, takes about 15 seconds to switch, never seems safe)

So I thought you were joking about the shower together thing because of the sexual nature (which I'm all for when the opportunity is right), but now I see you're actually doing this as a way to optimize time spent in the shower, which is not an area of my life I'm looking to cut back.  I live where water is cheap and plentiful, and a nice long hot shower to start the day is a true luxury.

No, it's still just a joke, but taken to ridiculous lengths.  Ever seen Silicon Valley, I'd suggest googling the discussion about jerking off scene and that's basically what I'm doing here.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: zephyr911 on July 02, 2015, 11:33:18 AM
Apparently I'm in a minority even here for seeing a 2nd bathroom in a home with 2 people as lifestyle creep.
Let's say it is, but let's add some context with availability and liquidity.
I can't even find a house in a safe neighborhood here that doesn't have at least 1.5 baths, because the only ones that weren't built or retrofitted that way are in left-behind depressed neighborhoods. The easiest house to buy and sell today (and for a few decades now) is a one-story, 3BR, 2BA. It's also the easiest to rent out if you ever need to... because that's right at the happy medium of affordability and demand, where two professionals can be roommates, a family can grow to 4-5 without crowding too much, etc.
Is it silly that my wife and I *only* downsized to 3/2, 1100sf after finding MMM? Somewhat. But we're at the point of diminishing returns; we've already cut our mortgage to 5% of our income. To go any smaller/cheaper, we'd have to move to a shit neighborhood that's all rentals with cars in the yard and a higher crime rate, that's harder to unload or add to the rental portfolio. So for us, the ridiculous 2 bathrooms for simultaneous primping are just a side effect of buying a reasonable house in a safe place.
YMMV... high COL areas especially, I'd expect different options.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: I'm a red panda on July 02, 2015, 11:42:58 AM

Not true: if each person's sequence is 1) shampoo, 2) rinse, 3) soap, 4) rinse, then person 2 can shower in parallel, one step behind. Because of that, the total number of sequential steps for two showers would only be 5 instead of 8.


The people in your scenario must have the same length hair.  It takes me the same amount of time to get my hair WET as it does my husband to take his entire shower.

(Of course, I only wash my hair once a week, and thus am usually quicker than him, since I only have to step in, soap, rinse and am done.)
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: randymarsh on July 02, 2015, 12:16:57 PM
Great! This means older "small" 3 bed/2 bath homes will soon be selling for a pittance right?
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: zephyr911 on July 02, 2015, 01:03:07 PM
Great! This means older "small" 3 bed/2 bath homes will soon be selling for a pittance right?
A 3/2 fixer with a one-car garage on my street went for $75K a couple months ago. Neighborhood is 30 years old and median is more like $100K. I'm in a cheap town though, may not relate to your market at all.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: I'm a red panda on July 02, 2015, 01:11:14 PM
Great! This means older "small" 3 bed/2 bath homes will soon be selling for a pittance right?
A 3/2 fixer with a one-car garage on my street went for $75K a couple months ago. Neighborhood is 30 years old and median is more like $100K. I'm in a cheap town though, may not relate to your market at all.

All real estate is local.  My 3/2 with 1 car garage sold for $135k. Which is basically the median price for the neighborhood because they are ALL 3/2s.  (Well except more like 1.5 on the second bath)
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Rural on July 03, 2015, 05:36:38 PM
Great! This means older "small" 3 bed/2 bath homes will soon be selling for a pittance right?


A normal 3/2 here will go for $35-50k unless it comes with more than five acres or its one of the few new "fancy" houses - but those don't sell at all.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Nate R on July 04, 2015, 03:25:26 PM
Apparently I'm in a minority even here for seeing a 2nd bathroom in a home with 2 people as lifestyle creep.
Let's say it is, but let's add some context with availability and liquidity.
I can't even find a house in a safe neighborhood here that doesn't have at least 1.5 baths, because the only ones that weren't built or retrofitted that way are in left-behind depressed neighborhoods. The easiest house to buy and sell today (and for a few decades now) is a one-story, 3BR, 2BA. It's also the easiest to rent out if you ever need to... because that's right at the happy medium of affordability and demand, where two professionals can be roommates, a family can grow to 4-5 without crowding too much, etc.
Is it silly that my wife and I *only* downsized to 3/2, 1100sf after finding MMM? Somewhat. But we're at the point of diminishing returns; we've already cut our mortgage to 5% of our income. To go any smaller/cheaper, we'd have to move to a shit neighborhood that's all rentals with cars in the yard and a higher crime rate, that's harder to unload or add to the rental portfolio. So for us, the ridiculous 2 bathrooms for simultaneous primping are just a side effect of buying a reasonable house in a safe place.
YMMV... high COL areas especially, I'd expect different options.
[/quote}

What got me more so wasn't that you'd ACCEPT a 2nd bathroom, it was that someone here (on MMM) would REQUIRE it in a household of 2 people. No problem in some areas, as you demonstrate. But, as you said, in high COL areas, I think many would be better off opening up their options to include the possibility of one bathroom.

Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Tabaxus on July 04, 2015, 03:52:31 PM
I saw a 1000 sq ft condo the other day for $300k and $350/month assessment and that was a reasonable deal.

Grah, I wish that I could keep my job (or even a remotely similar job) and live somewhere that I can have a yard one day.  Seriously, I just want a yard.  I haven't owned a grill for more than 10 years:/
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: tvan on July 04, 2015, 04:41:27 PM
A 3/2 for 300k in SoCal?  Impossible. More like a million. Lol. Seriously I was hiking in Tustin today and a 1000 sq ft 1 bedroom condo there was selling for 500k.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Rural on July 05, 2015, 10:48:54 AM
A 3/2 for 300k in SoCal?  Impossible. More like a million. Lol. Seriously I was hiking in Tustin today and a 1000 sq ft 1 bedroom condo there was selling for 500k.
Yeah and that's probably pretty inexpensive by Tustin standards. I think I want to go live where ever Rural lives - a 3/2 for under $50K! Wow, boogles this SoCalians mind. Of course rural living isn't for me but I have spent a lot of time looking at places out of state and there are so many beautiful places in lovely towns for a tiny fraction of the cost of SoCal housing.


We don't have beach volleyball, either - you'd have to take up hiking or rock climbing.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MoonShadow on July 06, 2015, 01:22:10 PM
Good God! 2600 square feet is the *average* now! I own a 2400 square foot house, but I have 5 kids and a 6 bedroom house.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: zephyr911 on July 06, 2015, 01:32:43 PM
What got me more so wasn't that you'd ACCEPT a 2nd bathroom, it was that someone here (on MMM) would REQUIRE it in a household of 2 people. No problem in some areas, as you demonstrate. But, as you said, in high COL areas, I think many would be better off opening up their options to include the possibility of one bathroom.
Oh, absolutely. Our own future probably involves that very tradeoff, and we have already agreed that we have NO problem with doing so.

Our #1 longterm goal is to move to either my hometown in HI or near my family in the Seattle area (or possibly have houses in both places, if/when work and finances permit). We would absolutely consider a 1/1 or a studio in either locale, rather than delay FIRE or the move itself by any substantial amount of time.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: LucyBIT on July 06, 2015, 02:49:12 PM
This bathroom discussion is interesting. My own opinion is that bare minimum NEED is 1, regardless of family size. I grew up in a family of 9 with three toilets and two showers, and even with 9 people, very rarely are three people in need of a toilet at the exact same time, so three was maybe overkill for us. Mr. and I have just moved to a smaller place with only 1 bathroom (old place had 2.5) and thus far the only downside is having to go upstairs to pee. Whatever.

I guess I'm more surprised that there hasn't been much discussion of bedroom size beyond a few mentions here and there. I'm finding myself baffled at large master bedrooms lately--I mean, I guess it's convenient to have a bathroom in your bedroom, but if you're not living with roommates, what's the point? I live with just my husband, so if I need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I just roll out of bed and do it, even if I'm naked. I can see this changing when kids come along, but even then, my ideal would be a small bathroom attached to a small bedroom, and that definitely does not exist that I can find.

Our new apartment has two bedrooms, and one is noticeably smaller than the other, with a smaller closet. We're sleeping in the smaller one and I'm loving it. The second bedroom is for storage, and the big closet holds stacked camping gear more easily, and we have this huge dresser my in-laws gifted me that doesn't fit in the small bedroom. Bedrooms are for sleep and sex. I've found that any extra space beyond room for the bed and maybe a small dresser just ends up piles of clothes (probably could cut down on the clothes, lol). Plus I sleep better in a smaller space. I'd sleep in a large closet if I had one big enough to fit my bed :D

On another note, when we were moving out of the old place, which had an ENORMOUS kitchen, I was struck by how many cabinets there were, and how long it took to clean that thing, and how was it that I never had enough counter space in such a big kitchen? The new kitchen is more galley-style, with no room for a table or breakfast nook or whatever, and I LOVE it. It's big enough for two people to cook at the same time, but you're never reaching/walking too far to get something, and there's somehow way more counter space.

Mr. and I have now realized that our ideal house, assuming kids, is 3bd/2ba, small bedrooms, galley kitchen, open common area encompassing dining/living/family room, finished basement big enough for kids to play and for Mr. to set up his amps/speakers for guitars/bass.

And I too would love a small house on a big piece of land.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MoonShadow on July 06, 2015, 06:49:43 PM
I can see this changing when kids come along, but even then, my ideal would be a small bathroom attached to a small bedroom, and that definitely does not exist that I can find.

They exist, I grew up in one. They tend to be called a "Jack & Jill" bathroom, and typically have two entrances from either side, each leading into a bedroom. While the house that I grew up in was small, and only had the one bathroom, I don't think that was typical even then.  It was a 3 bedroom house, with my parents in one side of the J&J and my older sister in the other. Since both these rooms locked, and my sister was a typical big sister, my little brother and I (who shared the third bedroom) had to sneak through my parents' room at night. It never bothered my dad, by my mom was always a light sleeper.  I'd say that a two bedroom house, with one full J&J and a half bath near the kitchen would be ideal for a Mustachian young family.

Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Jack on July 06, 2015, 09:08:38 PM
I guess I'm more surprised that there hasn't been much discussion of bedroom size beyond a few mentions here and there. I'm finding myself baffled at large master bedrooms lately--

Bedrooms are for sleep and sex.

I have a theory (and it's all your fault!): the kinds of houses that have these large master suites are family houses, right? Typically owned by middle-aged parents who (ideally) have been together a while? Well, if the master bedroom isn't large because that makes it better for sleeping, then it must be large because of the other use. I can only assume the extra space is there to accommodate extra... "equipment" the couples use to keep their relationship interesting.

Next time y'all talk to any McMansion-owning friends you might have, be sure to ask them about it! ; )
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MoonShadow on July 06, 2015, 10:22:04 PM
I guess I'm more surprised that there hasn't been much discussion of bedroom size beyond a few mentions here and there. I'm finding myself baffled at large master bedrooms lately--

Bedrooms are for sleep and sex.

I have a theory (and it's all your fault!): the kinds of houses that have these large master suites are family houses, right? Typically owned by middle-aged parents who (ideally) have been together a while? Well, if the master bedroom isn't large because that makes it better for sleeping, then it must be large because of the other use. I can only assume the extra space is there to accommodate extra... "equipment" the couples use to keep their relationship interesting.


Mostly it's to house the huge bed, but also the extra 'stuff' older parents tend to accumulate today as compared to older generations.  My parents house didn't have bedrooms that varied in size much, but if you find a small-ish house with a 'master' bedroom, just move into the small bedroom and reserve the 'master' for whichever gender of children you have more of.  Two boys and a girl? Keep them all together till the oldest is about 8, then put the girl in the third bedroom; or better, in the walk-in closet.  Or you could plan ahead and get a set of these...

http://thebeanbagstore.com/bhpicksix.htm

Then you will be ready for the big sleepover!

EDIT: If you look in the bottom right corner of that photo, you will see the hoverboard from Back to the Future 2 & 3 in levitation.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MoonShadow on July 06, 2015, 10:32:43 PM
Great! This means older "small" 3 bed/2 bath homes will soon be selling for a pittance right?


A normal 3/2 here will go for $35-50k unless it comes with more than five acres or its one of the few new "fancy" houses - but those don't sell at all.

Wow.  Where do you live?
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MrsPete on July 07, 2015, 08:51:47 AM
Millenials are flocking to smaller places in cities because they are generally young, have no kids, and things like "proximity to good bars" is more important than "in a good school district." 

That will change as they progress in life and start popping out kids, etc. 
I don't know.  The world of education is changing significantly, especially for the most capable students -- they have online options now that didn't exist even five years ago.  I don't think elementary school will alter much in the coming years, but if you could fast forward to high-school-10-or-15-years-from-now, I suspect many/most of the average and above students will not be sitting in a classroom like you and I did.  They may go in once or twice a week, but they're not going to be tied to a traditional school schedule.  The lower-level kids, those who don't read well enough /those who don't manage their time well enough to work independently, they'll still be in school.  Maybe 10-15 years isn't the right time frame, but we're heading in that direction. 

Yep yep yep. I'm not a homeowner yet, but we rent a ~700 sqft apartment, and it already feels like too much to clean, declutter, and maintain. I'd like a second bedroom to use as an office/guest room, but other than that, I don't need any more space. Whenever I watch HGTV (don't judge, it's my guilty pleasure) I always get a kick out of the people who "need" 4-5 bedroom, 3-4 bath houses for just them and their 1-2 kids. All I can think of is, have fun cleaning that.
Ironically, when I was younger I wanted a big, really nice house ... now that I could easily afford to buy such a house, my wants have changed.  I want something smaller, more efficient, and with less maintenance. 
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: mm1970 on July 07, 2015, 09:17:37 AM
Great! This means older "small" 3 bed/2 bath homes will soon be selling for a pittance right?
3/2. Probably $1.5M-$2 depending on the condition and lot size.
In SoCal even the old 1950's 3/2 ranches with a 2 car garage in a working class 'hood go for 1/2 million or more. Some are torn down and converted to McMansions, some are extended into the huge (by city standard) back yard, but most are just lived in or rented out. The closer you get to the beach or the more improved the house, the higher the price jumps by a lot. Not 2007 levels yet but getting up there. Hmmm.... didn't some crazy woman have a thread somewhere here where they said they weren't going to sell their old 3/2 1950's house in SoCal yet for some crazy reason?  Some body should probably talk some sense into that girl :-)!
Yep, here on the "Central Coast", Goleta 3/2 would be $750k-800k, depending on the 'hood.  Santa Barbara, or one of the really good school districts, easily $900k+
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: mm1970 on July 07, 2015, 09:20:43 AM
Quote
I guess I'm more surprised that there hasn't been much discussion of bedroom size beyond a few mentions here and there. I'm finding myself baffled at large master bedrooms lately--I mean, I guess it's convenient to have a bathroom in your bedroom, but if you're not living with roommates, what's the point? I live with just my husband, so if I need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I just roll out of bed and do it, even if I'm naked. I can see this changing when kids come along, but even then, my ideal would be a small bathroom attached to a small bedroom, and that definitely does not exist that I can find.

We noticed when we were house shopping - we'd see these newer condos.  The living room would be tiny - barely big enough for a small sofa, maybe a chair.  But the master bedroom and bath were HUGE.  Who entertains in the master bedroom?  Not me.  Not other people anyway.

And your bathroom habits in the middle of the night don't need to change when you have kids.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on July 07, 2015, 09:32:50 AM
A large MBR is nice when it comfortably accomodates a king-size bed and a couple of dressers.  It gets silly when it starts include its own lounge area.  Our old MBR was ideal at 15 x 15, our new one is a little tighter at 12 x 15, but still workable.  Wouldn't want to go a lot smaller because then you start running out of space for the king bed. 
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Mrs.LC on July 07, 2015, 10:14:21 AM
Suburbs of Minneapolis are exploding with new house construction. These houses are 2-3 stories with 3000+ square feet and $450K and up. Unbelievable how many houses are being built and how fast they are selling. They all have at least 4 bedrooms, 3-4 bathrooms, "bonus" rooms on the bedroom level, formal dining rooms, office areas, etc. Way more house than I care to deal with.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: RFAAOATB on July 07, 2015, 09:33:39 PM
Suburbs of Minneapolis are exploding with new house construction. These houses are 2-3 stories with 3000+ square feet and $450K and up. Unbelievable how many houses are being built and how fast they are selling. They all have at least 4 bedrooms, 3-4 bathrooms, "bonus" rooms on the bedroom level, formal dining rooms, office areas, etc. Way more house than I care to deal with.

Now I need to be rich enough to afford a big house and a housekeeper.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Mrs.LC on July 07, 2015, 11:06:13 PM
Suburbs of Minneapolis are exploding with new house construction. These houses are 2-3 stories with 3000+ square feet and $450K and up. Unbelievable how many houses are being built and how fast they are selling. They all have at least 4 bedrooms, 3-4 bathrooms, "bonus" rooms on the bedroom level, formal dining rooms, office areas, etc. Way more house than I care to deal with.

Now I need to be rich enough to afford a big house and a housekeeper.
Beware that the $450K starting price probably doesn't include a front door and kitchen sink. The "upgrades" will put you closer to $550K and up.

Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Sam E on July 09, 2015, 07:20:41 AM
It's actually pretty annoying to me how big houses are. I'd love to buy a house at some point, but they're all just way more house than I want to bother maintaining. I'll probably be renting apartments for life because 1 bedroom houses with 1000 square feet simply don't seem to exist, and that's kind of my maximum amount of space I want to deal with living in.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: zephyr911 on July 09, 2015, 07:25:19 AM
Ironically, when I was younger I wanted a big, really nice house ... now that I could easily afford to buy such a house, my wants have changed.  I want something smaller, more efficient, and with less maintenance.
I know right??? They used to tempt me too. Now I look and I'm like "OMG MAINTENANCE TAXES UTILITIES *freaks out*"
People really think they're buying happiness... I see them paying more now for the privilege of paying more forever.
This could really put a damper on my future in real estate.

It's actually pretty annoying to me how big houses are. I'd love to buy a house at some point, but they're all just way more house than I want to bother maintaining. I'll probably be renting apartments for life because 1 bedroom houses with 1000 square feet simply don't seem to exist, and that's kind of my maximum amount of space I want to deal with living in.
1000sf isn't hard to find in many markets - it's just more likely to be an older 2-3BR. Your best bet is to find one of those as a foreclosure and rebuild the inside to your specs. It'd still end up being pretty affordable in most markets.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on July 09, 2015, 08:38:18 AM
It's actually pretty annoying to me how big houses are. I'd love to buy a house at some point, but they're all just way more house than I want to bother maintaining. I'll probably be renting apartments for life because 1 bedroom houses with 1000 square feet simply don't seem to exist, and that's kind of my maximum amount of space I want to deal with living in.

I looked at several 1100-1300 sq ft ranches when I bought my current home, they had all been remodeled and most had a nicely finished basement as well.  Probably bigger than you want, but if you go much smaller you're not really going to save much more, and you'll have a harder time unloading it.  Probably easier to go with a condo.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: nobodyspecial on July 09, 2015, 09:11:29 AM
Slightly off topic but interesting graphics - scroll down to the animation

http://www.citylab.com/housing/2015/07/mapping-the-us-by-property-value-instead-of-land-area/397841/
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: celticmyst08 on July 09, 2015, 09:31:50 AM
Ironically, when I was younger I wanted a big, really nice house ... now that I could easily afford to buy such a house, my wants have changed.  I want something smaller, more efficient, and with less maintenance.

Ha... same here. As a kid I was always so embarrassed that we had a small, boring house (~1100sqft ranch style), when all my friends had bigger and better ones. (I will say, however, that my parents had zero sense of interior design, so that didn't help.) Now, I can't imagine wanting a house much bigger than that. We accumulate way too much crap already, plus I hate cleaning our 600 sqft 1/1 apartment, so I have no desire to clean much more than that. :P

DH and my dream home is a 1000 sqft 2/2 "green" home with space for a garden and a smal workshop for DH to tinker in.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: zephyr911 on July 09, 2015, 09:34:26 AM
Ironically, when I was younger I wanted a big, really nice house ... now that I could easily afford to buy such a house, my wants have changed.  I want something smaller, more efficient, and with less maintenance.

Ha... same here. As a kid I was always so embarrassed that we had a small, boring house (~1100sqft ranch style), when all my friends had bigger and better ones. (I will say, however, that my parents had zero sense of interior design, so that didn't help.) Now, I can't imagine wanting a house much bigger than that. We accumulate way too much crap already, plus I hate cleaning our 600 sqft 1/1 apartment, so I have no desire to clean much more than that. :P

DH and my dream home is a 1000 sqft 2/2 "green" home with space for a garden and a smal workshop for DH to tinker in.
Passivhaus FTW!
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Helvegen on July 09, 2015, 10:20:04 AM
Suburbs of Minneapolis are exploding with new house construction. These houses are 2-3 stories with 3000+ square feet and $450K and up. Unbelievable how many houses are being built and how fast they are selling. They all have at least 4 bedrooms, 3-4 bathrooms, "bonus" rooms on the bedroom level, formal dining rooms, office areas, etc. Way more house than I care to deal with.

The same thing is happening in the area around where I work except tack another $100k to the starting price. These houses are huge, often with 3 car garages, for example, and built right on top of each other to the point where the front of your house could be directly facing the side of the neighboring house not more than 20ft away. I think they are ugly and overpriced. They went up so blazingly fast, I have serious questions about the quality of construction.

My ideal house is 1250-1500sqf, 3bd/2ba, open concept living area, basement, 2 car garage, and about 2-3 acres for under $200k. I am not going to find such a thing in the area I live now and will eventually have to move out of state.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on July 09, 2015, 10:25:28 AM
Suburbs of Minneapolis are exploding with new house construction. These houses are 2-3 stories with 3000+ square feet and $450K and up. Unbelievable how many houses are being built and how fast they are selling. They all have at least 4 bedrooms, 3-4 bathrooms, "bonus" rooms on the bedroom level, formal dining rooms, office areas, etc. Way more house than I care to deal with.

The same thing is happening in the area around where I work except tack another $100k to the starting price. These houses are huge, often with 3 car garages, for example, and built right on top of each other to the point where the front of your house could be directly facing the side of the neighboring house not more than 20ft away. I think they are ugly and overpriced. They went up so blazingly fast, I have serious questions about the quality of construction.

My ideal house is 1250-1500sqf, 3bd/2ba, open concept living area, basement, 2 car garage, and about 2-3 acres for under $200k. I am not going to find such a thing in the area I live now and will eventually have to move out of state.

Always amuses me the number of people who want a small house "because a big one is too expensive and too much maintenance" but want a large (huge) lot.  Unless it's wooded, it's also going to be a lot of maintenance, and likely expensive in terms of taxes and upkeep. 

I'm on a ~.15 acre lot and it's great.  I can mow and weed-eat it in ~45 min.  Anything I want to do (say, re-sod it, mulch it, landscape it) is cheap because there isn't much of it.  And my taxes are (relatively) cheap for the area. 
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Cookie78 on July 09, 2015, 10:35:19 AM
Suburbs of Minneapolis are exploding with new house construction. These houses are 2-3 stories with 3000+ square feet and $450K and up. Unbelievable how many houses are being built and how fast they are selling. They all have at least 4 bedrooms, 3-4 bathrooms, "bonus" rooms on the bedroom level, formal dining rooms, office areas, etc. Way more house than I care to deal with.

The same thing is happening in the area around where I work except tack another $100k to the starting price. These houses are huge, often with 3 car garages, for example, and built right on top of each other to the point where the front of your house could be directly facing the side of the neighboring house not more than 20ft away. I think they are ugly and overpriced. They went up so blazingly fast, I have serious questions about the quality of construction.

My ideal house is 1250-1500sqf, 3bd/2ba, open concept living area, basement, 2 car garage, and about 2-3 acres for under $200k. I am not going to find such a thing in the area I live now and will eventually have to move out of state.

Always amuses me the number of people who want a small house "because a big one is too expensive and too much maintenance" but want a large (huge) lot.  Unless it's wooded, it's also going to be a lot of maintenance, and likely expensive in terms of taxes and upkeep. 

I'm on a ~.15 acre lot and it's great.  I can mow and weed-eat it in ~45 min.  Anything I want to do (say, re-sod it, mulch it, landscape it) is cheap because there isn't much of it.  And my taxes are (relatively) cheap for the area.

I can't speak for other people, but I'd like a small house on a large piece of land that is low maintenance and relatively rural (lower taxes generally). I don't want a large landscaped lot with just a lot of lawn that has to be mowed, but something much more natural with native plants, trees, and perennials. I do want space for a large garden, which can require a lot of maintenance itself, but gardening is the type of work I enjoy immensely.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: I'm a red panda on July 09, 2015, 11:08:58 AM

We noticed when we were house shopping - we'd see these newer condos.  The living room would be tiny - barely big enough for a small sofa, maybe a chair.  But the master bedroom and bath were HUGE.  Who entertains in the master bedroom?  Not me.  Not other people anyway.

And your bathroom habits in the middle of the night don't need to change when you have kids.

I told my realtor I wanted a shower big enough to throw a party in.  Now, I haven't and don't plan to- but it is nice to have the room.  Thankfully, our builder was smart enough to not put in the stupid "garden tub".  We do have a tub in the 2nd bathroom; but having a jacuzzi tub is just parts to break and more for me to clean.  I'm glad to not have that.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MoonShadow on July 09, 2015, 12:20:48 PM
Suburbs of Minneapolis are exploding with new house construction. These houses are 2-3 stories with 3000+ square feet and $450K and up. Unbelievable how many houses are being built and how fast they are selling. They all have at least 4 bedrooms, 3-4 bathrooms, "bonus" rooms on the bedroom level, formal dining rooms, office areas, etc. Way more house than I care to deal with.

The same thing is happening in the area around where I work except tack another $100k to the starting price. These houses are huge, often with 3 car garages, for example, and built right on top of each other to the point where the front of your house could be directly facing the side of the neighboring house not more than 20ft away. I think they are ugly and overpriced. They went up so blazingly fast, I have serious questions about the quality of construction.

My ideal house is 1250-1500sqf, 3bd/2ba, open concept living area, basement, 2 car garage, and about 2-3 acres for under $200k. I am not going to find such a thing in the area I live now and will eventually have to move out of state.

Always amuses me the number of people who want a small house "because a big one is too expensive and too much maintenance" but want a large (huge) lot.  Unless it's wooded, it's also going to be a lot of maintenance, and likely expensive in terms of taxes and upkeep. 

I'm on a ~.15 acre lot and it's great.  I can mow and weed-eat it in ~45 min.  Anything I want to do (say, re-sod it, mulch it, landscape it) is cheap because there isn't much of it.  And my taxes are (relatively) cheap for the area.

I can't speak for other people, but I'd like a small house on a large piece of land that is low maintenance and relatively rural (lower taxes generally). I don't want a large landscaped lot with just a lot of lawn that has to be mowed, but something much more natural with native plants, trees, and perennials. I do want space for a large garden, which can require a lot of maintenance itself, but gardening is the type of work I enjoy immensely.

I moved to a 13.5 acre lot that is mostly wooded.  My lawn maintaince is negligble, and less than I would have to do with a 0.25 acre lot in the city, just to keep the neighborhood overseers happy.  An additional benefit of living in a private wooded park, is that the trees themselves have a market value. There is an oak tree next to my driveway that has a $2000 standing timber value (standing value means that is the value before the expenses of cutting it down and shipping it to the mill, because I'm sure not going to do that job myself.).  Granted, it's the most valuable tree on the property, but I do have a lot of trees overall.  I also have a woodstove, and though I don't have to, I could heat entirely with cut wood and never make a dent in the total volume (or likely value) of the standing timber. 
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: tvan on July 09, 2015, 12:46:52 PM
Great! This means older "small" 3 bed/2 bath homes will soon be selling for a pittance right?
3/2. Probably $1.5M-$2 depending on the condition and lot size.
In SoCal even the old 1950's 3/2 ranches with a 2 car garage in a working class 'hood go for 1/2 million or more. Some are torn down and converted to McMansions, some are extended into the huge (by city standard) back yard, but most are just lived in or rented out. The closer you get to the beach or the more improved the house, the higher the price jumps by a lot. Not 2007 levels yet but getting up there. Hmmm.... didn't some crazy woman have a thread somewhere here where they said they weren't going to sell their old 3/2 1950's house in SoCal yet for some crazy reason?  Some body should probably talk some sense into that girl :-)!
Yep, here on the "Central Coast", Goleta 3/2 would be $750k-800k, depending on the 'hood.  Santa Barbara, or one of the really good school districts, easily $900k+
Oh yeah the Central Coast, and especially Santa Barbara area, is crazy. Looked at prices up there for tiny places that are in the million-plus range. Just crazy. A couple of houses in my hood like mine, 1000 sf old 1950's house, just sold as "as-is fixers" for over $500K.

I really like the small houses in Laguna Beach, but the prices are still out of this world. 
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MoonShadow on July 09, 2015, 01:58:56 PM

I told my realtor I wanted a shower big enough to throw a party in.

While touring a Homa-Rama show home some years ago, this million dollar house had a master bathroom with 6 showerheads in one large open stall.  My teenaged daughter asked, "what would anyone do with a single shower this large?"  I simply said, "Host an orgy."
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: I'm a red panda on July 09, 2015, 02:07:17 PM

I told my realtor I wanted a shower big enough to throw a party in.

While touring a Homa-Rama show home some years ago, this million dollar house had a master bathroom with 6 showerheads in one large open stall.  My teenaged daughter asked, "what would anyone do with a single shower this large?"  I simply said, "Host an orgy."

Yeah- I only have one shower head.  Which is a little sad, I want 2.

6 sounds like a bigger  than necessary party :)  It's basically a locker room.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on July 09, 2015, 02:15:54 PM

I told my realtor I wanted a shower big enough to throw a party in.

While touring a Homa-Rama show home some years ago, this million dollar house had a master bathroom with 6 showerheads in one large open stall.  My teenaged daughter asked, "what would anyone do with a single shower this large?"  I simply said, "Host an orgy."

Yeah- I only have one shower head.  Which is a little sad, I want 2.

6 sounds like a bigger  than necessary party :)  It's basically a locker room.

Like 6 shower heads all at normal height, or one of those full-body showers with 6 things shooting at various heights onto your body? 
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MoonShadow on July 09, 2015, 02:22:57 PM

I told my realtor I wanted a shower big enough to throw a party in.

While touring a Homa-Rama show home some years ago, this million dollar house had a master bathroom with 6 showerheads in one large open stall.  My teenaged daughter asked, "what would anyone do with a single shower this large?"  I simply said, "Host an orgy."

Yeah- I only have one shower head.  Which is a little sad, I want 2.

6 sounds like a bigger  than necessary party :)  It's basically a locker room.

Like 6 shower heads all at normal height, or one of those full-body showers with 6 things shooting at various heights onto your body?

They were 6 shower heads at a normal height, spaced around a room a bit bigger than a typical walk-in closet, each had a set of controls.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Rural on July 09, 2015, 05:23:17 PM
Suburbs of Minneapolis are exploding with new house construction. These houses are 2-3 stories with 3000+ square feet and $450K and up. Unbelievable how many houses are being built and how fast they are selling. They all have at least 4 bedrooms, 3-4 bathrooms, "bonus" rooms on the bedroom level, formal dining rooms, office areas, etc. Way more house than I care to deal with.

The same thing is happening in the area around where I work except tack another $100k to the starting price. These houses are huge, often with 3 car garages, for example, and built right on top of each other to the point where the front of your house could be directly facing the side of the neighboring house not more than 20ft away. I think they are ugly and overpriced. They went up so blazingly fast, I have serious questions about the quality of construction.

My ideal house is 1250-1500sqf, 3bd/2ba, open concept living area, basement, 2 car garage, and about 2-3 acres for under $200k. I am not going to find such a thing in the area I live now and will eventually have to move out of state.

Always amuses me the number of people who want a small house "because a big one is too expensive and too much maintenance" but want a large (huge) lot.  Unless it's wooded, it's also going to be a lot of maintenance, and likely expensive in terms of taxes and upkeep. 

I'm on a ~.15 acre lot and it's great.  I can mow and weed-eat it in ~45 min.  Anything I want to do (say, re-sod it, mulch it, landscape it) is cheap because there isn't much of it.  And my taxes are (relatively) cheap for the area.

I can't speak for other people, but I'd like a small house on a large piece of land that is low maintenance and relatively rural (lower taxes generally). I don't want a large landscaped lot with just a lot of lawn that has to be mowed, but something much more natural with native plants, trees, and perennials. I do want space for a large garden, which can require a lot of maintenance itself, but gardening is the type of work I enjoy immensely.

I moved to a 13.5 acre lot that is mostly wooded.  My lawn maintaince is negligble, and less than I would have to do with a 0.25 acre lot in the city, just to keep the neighborhood overseers happy.  An additional benefit of living in a private wooded park, is that the trees themselves have a market value. There is an oak tree next to my driveway that has a $2000 standing timber value (standing value means that is the value before the expenses of cutting it down and shipping it to the mill, because I'm sure not going to do that job myself.).  Granted, it's the most valuable tree on the property, but I do have a lot of trees overall.  I also have a woodstove, and though I don't have to, I could heat entirely with cut wood and never make a dent in the total volume (or likely value) of the standing timber.


Out "lot" is 25 acres of old growth forest under a conservation easement so the taxes are lower than last e. No maintenance whatsoever and no appeasing the neighbors - we don't have lawn and the house is not visible from the road or any adjacent properties, just woods. Now, the private road in takes considerable maintenance...
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: dragoncar on July 09, 2015, 11:21:57 PM
Great! This means older "small" 3 bed/2 bath homes will soon be selling for a pittance right?
3/2. Probably $1.5M-$2 depending on the condition and lot size.
In SoCal even the old 1950's 3/2 ranches with a 2 car garage in a working class 'hood go for 1/2 million or more. Some are torn down and converted to McMansions, some are extended into the huge (by city standard) back yard, but most are just lived in or rented out. The closer you get to the beach or the more improved the house, the higher the price jumps by a lot. Not 2007 levels yet but getting up there. Hmmm.... didn't some crazy woman have a thread somewhere here where they said they weren't going to sell their old 3/2 1950's house in SoCal yet for some crazy reason?  Some body should probably talk some sense into that girl :-)!

Funny, I was just reading about Lakewood (prototypical California suburb) and found this to be typical:

https://www.redfin.com/CA/Lakewood/6117-Castana-Ave-90712/home/7546419

We designed and built our place from blueprints to trim (said trim still largely undone) and built for efficiency.

*snip bunch of cool stuff*

C.... can I get your plans?  That sounds great.

Interesting articles. In my peer group, there are really two types of people: those who want big houses, who are buying now, and those who want to get and stay debt-free, and have decided that getting 'just enough' house is one way to do that. The latter group is much bigger, but many of those folks are still renting very small apartments.

It will be interesting to see how/if this changes over the next 10-20 years. I was under the impression that most millennials are flocking to smaller places in cities, but maybe my perception is skewed by my own experiences.

 

Millenials are flocking to smaller places in cities because they are generally young, have no kids, and things like "proximity to good bars" is more important than "in a good school district." 

That will change as they progress in life and start popping out kids, etc. 

Circle of life.

Unless my friends , peers, and I are serious anomalies, I would be surprised if what you said will be true.  Sure, most millenials are interested in ultimately living somewhere with good schools, but we are also very interested in living close to work and other fun stuff, in living in a low-maintenance place, and in avoiding large debts. We also mock the McMansions of our parents' generation, and have lived very frugally, both out of necessity (due to the economy) and because of high student debt loads. Many don't even want children.

Besides my one friend who wants four kids and grew up very poor, I can't think of a single friend (even the spendthrift ones) who has expressed a desire for the McMansion lifestyle.

Also, proximity to bars can easily be found in suburbs and rural areas. Short commutes, the ability to live without cars, and a thriving arts and culture scene are the things keeping my friends and me in cities.

I'm 33.  I'm probably not a lot older than you (I'm the bleeding edge of the millenials, the "Oregon Trail" generation if you will).  Trust me, you think you have it all planned.  You don't. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1Z91YkPatw

We are virtually the same age. I'm also an Oregon-trail millennial. So we are probably equally as good/bad about predicting what our peers will do :).

I can tell you, however, that barring unforeseen and extreme circumstances, there is no way in hell I will ever have a McMansion. I could have comfortably mortgaged myself into one quite some time ago, but have preferred to rent smaller spaces, even as I've added family members. Even when I've considred buying, I have never once been tempted by a huge home.

I would guess that most people who are regulars around here do not suddenly shift to wanting McMansions many years after their entry into adulthood. We want FI and/or ER instead.

I'm not talking about YOU, I'm talking about OUR GENERATION.  McMansions?  Probably not for most of us, but are we, as a generation, going to continue to flock to small condos in the city near indy coffee shops?  No.  Hell, my own street is currently undergoing a revolution of sorts as all the old people who own homes last udated in 1975 either die off or move to assisted living, and sell their older, modestly sized (2000sq ft, +/-), single family homes to 30-somethings with kids and we are all remodeling them, etc, because even though they're smallish and outdated, they're in a great school district and we have young kids, so that's what we do.

I think remodeling existing, modest homes in good school districts will be the more common route, instead of McMansions.  This millennial recently moved into a modest (2550 tri-level, including basement), 1950s house that was severely outdated.  Our neighborhood is filled with them. It's conveniently located, reasonably priced, just-big-enough, and in a good school district.  There are restaurants and local businesses nearby.  There will be a wave of older people who will start selling their houses over the next decade, and I think coupled millennials who have or want kids will move in.

Recent (biased?) surveys show that Millennials by and large do in fact want buy a house in the suburbs, but just can't afford it.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/millennials-prefer-single-family-homes-in-the-suburbs-1421896797

I'm on the leading edge of this group (I don't entirely fit the millennial or genx mode) and I've definitely noticed my friends migrating out of the cities when they start getting married and having kids.  I love the cities, but I also love peace and quiet.  Right now I split the difference by working in the city and commuting from the suburbs.  The commute is long, but it's train time where I get my internet on or just relax.  Honestly, I think there's a genetic reason the suburbs were popular to begin with and they will continue to be popular as long as cities lack sufficient green and personal space. 

In the near future, I think we can go two ways:

1) millennials stay in the cities and forge according to their developing needs (building new parks, creating better schools, enacting better noise ordinances and enforcement, etc.)

2) millennials move out to the suburbs, but densify those suburbs in the process (again forging the suburbs to their preferences).  In my local area, we have severe building shortages primarily because the stereotypical suburb is environmentally unsustainable.  this causes large single family houses to skyrocket out of affordability for young people.  But we can still build a bunch of townhouses and condos in the suburban center near transit, and we are quickly moving in that direction.  These properties are more of a middle ground between the urban city you want in your 20s and the suburban tranquility you want in your 40s.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on July 10, 2015, 07:19:57 AM
What is happening in Chicagoland is that young people used to move downtown, then when they went to the suburbs they went to the newest one which was farthest west.  Then, as commute times skyrocketed and the bubble popped, the thing to do now is to buy an older house in a neighborhood full of old people, and either remodel it or knock it down and build something new.  Gradually, neighborhoods full of elderly are turning into neighborhoods full of 20- and 30-somethings with young families.  These neighborhoods are more walkable, have lots of parks, close to public transportation, have strong "mini downtown areas", etc. 
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Rural on July 10, 2015, 08:35:25 AM
^^Dragoncar, you can see the plans, but I should warn you they're done in an old version of Corel, circa 2006 or so, because that was (barely) good enough to do it and we had it already. So you need old software to read it properly. I think I could produce a pdf but that would flatten the layers.


The pipes are pretty much exactly as mapped, by the way. But the electrical underwent some...deviation on install. :-)
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: nobodyspecial on July 10, 2015, 08:41:10 AM
Gradually, neighborhoods full of elderly are turning into neighborhoods full of 20- and 30-somethings with young families.
Damn kids rejuvenating the neighborhood and making it so an old person can safely walk the streets at night - bah
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Chris22 on July 10, 2015, 08:55:16 AM
Gradually, neighborhoods full of elderly are turning into neighborhoods full of 20- and 30-somethings with young families.
Damn kids rejuvenating the neighborhood and making it so an old person can safely walk the streets at night - bah

Bah, my current neighborhood has always been safe, you're just less likely to be hit by a Buick going 5-under these days. 
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MoonShadow on July 10, 2015, 12:49:08 PM

In the near future, I think we can go two ways:

1) millennials stay in the cities and forge according to their developing needs (building new parks, creating better schools, enacting better noise ordinances and enforcement, etc.)

2) millennials move out to the suburbs, but densify those suburbs in the process (again forging the suburbs to their preferences).  In my local area, we have severe building shortages primarily because the stereotypical suburb is environmentally unsustainable.  this causes large single family houses to skyrocket out of affordability for young people.  But we can still build a bunch of townhouses and condos in the suburban center near transit, and we are quickly moving in that direction.  These properties are more of a middle ground between the urban city you want in your 20s and the suburban tranquility you want in your 40s.


In my city of Louisville, which mostly avoided the "modern era" that destroyed urban neighborhoods after the rise of happy motoring, there are some historic neighborhoods that fit the above very well.  They are relatively dense population wise, with scattered single family homes as well as condo & apartments buildings.  They are particularly walkable & bikable, with numerous public transit routes (and a high representation of Uber & Lyft drivers, the fuzzy pink mustaches are everywhere these days); and some are actually hostile to cars, as some blocks (of mostly townhomes) were designed an built before the 'happy motoring' era, when personally owned motorcars were for the rich, and actually have wide pedestrian paths down the center of the block.  They are basicly just wide enough for a single lane vehicle, and typically prohibit cars unless they have emergency vehicle lights or a special delivery permit that is usually only issued on Saturdays for those moving in or out.  In any case, the speed limit is never higher than 10 mph, and there are speed bumps & curbs that have been installed to disincentivize any driver from driving through the block, who actually cares about his car, more than once.  Nearly every building is that beautiful dark red brick that can't really be found anymore, and half of them are half covered in ivy.  In Louisville, these neighborhoods go by the names of Old Louisville, The Highlands, Tyler Park & Cherokee Triangle.  Also Portland (downtown by the riverfront, next to the Falls of the Ohio) to be in this group, because it's decently walkable, but there are no anti-vehicle blocks that I can think of.  All of these areas, excepting maybe Portland, have increased significantly in value as young couples have moved into these areas.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: music lover on July 10, 2015, 01:58:23 PM
Suburbs of Minneapolis are exploding with new house construction. These houses are 2-3 stories with 3000+ square feet and $450K and up. Unbelievable how many houses are being built and how fast they are selling. They all have at least 4 bedrooms, 3-4 bathrooms, "bonus" rooms on the bedroom level, formal dining rooms, office areas, etc. Way more house than I care to deal with.

The same thing is happening in the area around where I work except tack another $100k to the starting price. These houses are huge, often with 3 car garages, for example, and built right on top of each other to the point where the front of your house could be directly facing the side of the neighboring house not more than 20ft away. I think they are ugly and overpriced. They went up so blazingly fast, I have serious questions about the quality of construction.

My ideal house is 1250-1500sqf, 3bd/2ba, open concept living area, basement, 2 car garage, and about 2-3 acres for under $200k. I am not going to find such a thing in the area I live now and will eventually have to move out of state.

Always amuses me the number of people who want a small house "because a big one is too expensive and too much maintenance" but want a large (huge) lot.  Unless it's wooded, it's also going to be a lot of maintenance, and likely expensive in terms of taxes and upkeep. 

I'm on a ~.15 acre lot and it's great.  I can mow and weed-eat it in ~45 min.  Anything I want to do (say, re-sod it, mulch it, landscape it) is cheap because there isn't much of it.  And my taxes are (relatively) cheap for the area.

I have a smaller house (1000 sq. ft.) on a large lot. Large lots don't have to take a lot of time to maintain unless you want a perfect lawn. I'm happy with an "okay" lawn and don't care about perfection. I have 1.67 acres and it takes 70-75 minutes to cut with a riding mower (46" deck). Once a year I tow a sprayer behind it with weed killer, which keeps them at a minimal level.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MoonShadow on July 10, 2015, 02:05:22 PM
Suburbs of Minneapolis are exploding with new house construction. These houses are 2-3 stories with 3000+ square feet and $450K and up. Unbelievable how many houses are being built and how fast they are selling. They all have at least 4 bedrooms, 3-4 bathrooms, "bonus" rooms on the bedroom level, formal dining rooms, office areas, etc. Way more house than I care to deal with.

The same thing is happening in the area around where I work except tack another $100k to the starting price. These houses are huge, often with 3 car garages, for example, and built right on top of each other to the point where the front of your house could be directly facing the side of the neighboring house not more than 20ft away. I think they are ugly and overpriced. They went up so blazingly fast, I have serious questions about the quality of construction.

My ideal house is 1250-1500sqf, 3bd/2ba, open concept living area, basement, 2 car garage, and about 2-3 acres for under $200k. I am not going to find such a thing in the area I live now and will eventually have to move out of state.

Always amuses me the number of people who want a small house "because a big one is too expensive and too much maintenance" but want a large (huge) lot.  Unless it's wooded, it's also going to be a lot of maintenance, and likely expensive in terms of taxes and upkeep. 

I'm on a ~.15 acre lot and it's great.  I can mow and weed-eat it in ~45 min.  Anything I want to do (say, re-sod it, mulch it, landscape it) is cheap because there isn't much of it.  And my taxes are (relatively) cheap for the area.

I have a smaller house (1000 sq. ft.) on a large lot. Large lots don't have to take a lot of time to maintain unless you want a perfect lawn. I'm happy with an "okay" lawn and don't care about perfection. I have 1.67 acres and it takes 70-75 minutes to cut with a riding mower (46" deck). Once a year I tow a sprayer behind it with weed killer, which keeps them at a minimal level.

If you don't use that weed killer, and seed back in some clover, your lawn will be healthier even with a weed here or there.  I never spray chemicals on my lawn, and clover and most weeds are quite edible.  I have a backyard salad at least once each year.  Dandylion greens, comfrey & clover make a fine base for salad.  Throw in some tomatoes, bacon bits, crutons, grilled chicken and dressing; mmmm.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: music lover on July 10, 2015, 02:48:30 PM
Suburbs of Minneapolis are exploding with new house construction. These houses are 2-3 stories with 3000+ square feet and $450K and up. Unbelievable how many houses are being built and how fast they are selling. They all have at least 4 bedrooms, 3-4 bathrooms, "bonus" rooms on the bedroom level, formal dining rooms, office areas, etc. Way more house than I care to deal with.

The same thing is happening in the area around where I work except tack another $100k to the starting price. These houses are huge, often with 3 car garages, for example, and built right on top of each other to the point where the front of your house could be directly facing the side of the neighboring house not more than 20ft away. I think they are ugly and overpriced. They went up so blazingly fast, I have serious questions about the quality of construction.

My ideal house is 1250-1500sqf, 3bd/2ba, open concept living area, basement, 2 car garage, and about 2-3 acres for under $200k. I am not going to find such a thing in the area I live now and will eventually have to move out of state.

Always amuses me the number of people who want a small house "because a big one is too expensive and too much maintenance" but want a large (huge) lot.  Unless it's wooded, it's also going to be a lot of maintenance, and likely expensive in terms of taxes and upkeep. 

I'm on a ~.15 acre lot and it's great.  I can mow and weed-eat it in ~45 min.  Anything I want to do (say, re-sod it, mulch it, landscape it) is cheap because there isn't much of it.  And my taxes are (relatively) cheap for the area.

I have a smaller house (1000 sq. ft.) on a large lot. Large lots don't have to take a lot of time to maintain unless you want a perfect lawn. I'm happy with an "okay" lawn and don't care about perfection. I have 1.67 acres and it takes 70-75 minutes to cut with a riding mower (46" deck). Once a year I tow a sprayer behind it with weed killer, which keeps them at a minimal level.
I have a small house on a larger lot and just dug up the backyard and, for the most part, put in some drought resistant trees and plants and hardscape. Never have to do anything to it. Front is somewhat grassy (as is required by my city in drought stricken SoCal - DOH!) but did put on some brick patios and rock areas with drought tolerant plants so it's easy to care for too. And yes, being a proper mustashian, I did all the work myself (oh yeah, I'm badass :-)!). I think I planted about 100 cypress trees and had loaded up, unloaded, hauled around and laid a few tons of bricks and dug up a few tons of dirt. Fun times in homeownership... good reason o get a small condo next :-)!

I would love to add some trees, but am in a unique situation...my lot is 1 of about 15 properties in a group that are 116' wide x 629' deep in the middle of a 2 kilometre long residential road. All the other lots are only 200' deep. Also, the end of all the back yards is the border of the city and the neighbouring municipality. The municipality adjacent to our property lines is a farmer's field that was recently re-zoned as residential, and development is expected. Our hope (those of us with the 15 deep properties) is that the developer is interested in buying the back portion of our lots (429 feet) that juts out into the development. Based on land prices around here, it's a potential windfall well into 6 figures. So...no landscaping will be done until we find out if there is interest. While I do love my large yard, I am more than willing to give it up for the right amount of money... :)
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MoonShadow on July 10, 2015, 02:52:27 PM

I would love to add some trees, but am in a unique situation...my lot is 1 of about 15 properties in a group that are 116' wide x 629' deep in the middle of a 2 kilometre long residential road. All the other lots are only 200' deep. Also, the end of all the back yards is the border of the city and the neighbouring municipality. The municipality adjacent to our property lines is a farmer's field that was recently re-zoned as residential, and development is expected. Our hope (those of us with the 15 deep properties) is that the developer is interested in buying the back portion of our lots (429 feet) that juts out into the development. Based on land prices around here, it's a potential windfall well into 6 figures. So...no landscaping will be done until we find out if there is interest. While I do love my large yard, I am more than willing to give it up for the right amount of money... :)

Don't get your hopes up. Most developers will not deal with building properties that cross municipalities, due to the additional complexity of dealing with two sets of permits.  It's also particularly difficult to sell a building lot that straddles the city/county line.  They might still need it for easements, or to make a park, but probably not.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: music lover on July 10, 2015, 03:11:34 PM

I would love to add some trees, but am in a unique situation...my lot is 1 of about 15 properties in a group that are 116' wide x 629' deep in the middle of a 2 kilometre long residential road. All the other lots are only 200' deep. Also, the end of all the back yards is the border of the city and the neighbouring municipality. The municipality adjacent to our property lines is a farmer's field that was recently re-zoned as residential, and development is expected. Our hope (those of us with the 15 deep properties) is that the developer is interested in buying the back portion of our lots (429 feet) that juts out into the development. Based on land prices around here, it's a potential windfall well into 6 figures. So...no landscaping will be done until we find out if there is interest. While I do love my large yard, I am more than willing to give it up for the right amount of money... :)

Don't get your hopes up. Most developers will not deal with building properties that cross municipalities, due to the additional complexity of dealing with two sets of permits.  It's also particularly difficult to sell a building lot that straddles the city/county line.  They might still need it for easements, or to make a park, but probably not.

I'm not counting on it, but it's not unrealistic, either. Just a couple miles away the border between the city and the municipality runs down the middle of the street. There's no reason why they can't do the same over here. Empty lots, regardless their location in the city or the municipality all get sold as soon as the hit the market.

The 15 properties have a total of 17 acres of prime real estate...you can build a lot of houses on 17 acres, and if a builder thinks that they can make a profit, they will do the paperwork. The lots don't have to straddle a city/municipal border if a development is laid out properly.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MoonShadow on July 10, 2015, 04:33:00 PM
Best of luck, music.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Windward on July 12, 2015, 01:46:47 PM
Interesting articles. In my peer group, there are really two types of people: those who want big houses, who are buying now, and those who want to get and stay debt-free, and have decided that getting 'just enough' house is one way to do that. The latter group is much bigger, but many of those folks are still renting very small apartments.

It will be interesting to see how/if this changes over the next 10-20 years. I was under the impression that most millennials are flocking to smaller places in cities, but maybe my perception is skewed by my own experiences.

 

Millenials are flocking to smaller places in cities because they are generally young, have no kids, and things like "proximity to good bars" is more important than "in a good school district." 

That will change as they progress in life and start popping out kids, etc. 

Circle of life.

Unless my friends , peers, and I are serious anomalies, I would be surprised if what you said will be true.  Sure, most millenials are interested in ultimately living somewhere with good schools, but we are also very interested in living close to work and other fun stuff, in living in a low-maintenance place, and in avoiding large debts. We also mock the McMansions of our parents' generation, and have lived very frugally, both out of necessity (due to the economy) and because of high student debt loads. Many don't even want children.

Besides my one friend who wants four kids and grew up very poor, I can't think of a single friend (even the spendthrift ones) who has expressed a desire for the McMansion lifestyle.

Also, proximity to bars can easily be found in suburbs and rural areas. Short commutes, the ability to live without cars, and a thriving arts and culture scene are the things keeping my friends and me in cities.

I'm 33.  I'm probably not a lot older than you (I'm the bleeding edge of the millenials, the "Oregon Trail" generation if you will).  Trust me, you think you have it all planned.  You don't. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1Z91YkPatw

I'm older than you, and we're still running with a crowd that tends not to have children or houses in the suburbs.  Obviously this isn't mainstream, but with 10% of women remaining childfree through choice, it's not that unusual either.

Once children are out of the equation, the appeals of the typical suburban lifestyle is diminished.  Once life isn't about raising the next generation, the city has a lot of advantages.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Ynari on July 12, 2015, 02:43:39 PM
Great! This means older "small" 3 bed/2 bath homes will soon be selling for a pittance right?

I hope so!

I'd have to argue, though, about the "Millenials will eventually grow up, have children, move to the suburbs, and buy big houses" thing, that some of that is because the housing market does not always allow you to get what you want exactly, and sometimes it's easier/cheaper to let the size creep up than it is to mandate that you want X, Y, and Z in a house under 2000 sq ft.  (As some people mentioned up thread, the choice is often settling or building yourself, which can take a long time).  My parents just moved to an area for work where houses under 3000 sq ft don't really exist, outside of low income neighborhoods and townhouses. So, what happens when a millennial couple gets a job in the area, wants a house with a spare bedroom for a hypothetical kid, in a good neighborhood? They're facing a market with tons of 3000 sq ft houses, and it's a lot easier to just say "Eh, it's got everything we need, so what if it's a little big?" than to fight for a more reasonably sized place. Those who build houses these days know that they'll have a larger market with a big house than with a small one, so if they're going to put in good features anyway, they build big. Houses come in really awkward "one size fits all" types and size is something that scales with niceness because of salability.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Tabaxus on July 12, 2015, 02:45:45 PM
I have no desire to have a McMansion, but a desperately want a yard, my own (reasonably-sized) house  rather than apartment living, and the ability to have a large dog without feeling guilty about it being penned up in an apartment.

Some of this is probably because I've never had a yard or lived in a house, and so I'm over-idealizing the good parts (yard=grill + growing stuff + place for dog to romp around; house=my own fucking place, finally, with which I can do what I want re painting, remodeling, etc.) and under-appreciating the bad parts (lack of proximity to "stuff," although I don't take advantage of the "stuff" around me in my urban life because it costs too damned much; house upkeep costs; time for house upkeep; because I have never lived in anything but an apartment, I don't really have handyman skills, and it remains to be seen how effectively I can pick them up).

Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Abe on July 13, 2015, 03:54:10 AM
Taxabus, I agree with your list of good and bad parts of home ownership, but find the upkeep time/costs are fairly low if your house if relatively new (built in early 90s or later). You're not over-idealizing the good parts. I've been living in Chicago for 6 years and can't wait to have a stand-alone house again.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: zephyr911 on July 14, 2015, 11:04:01 AM
I have no desire to have a McMansion, but a desperately want a yard, my own (reasonably-sized) house  rather than apartment living, and the ability to have a large dog without feeling guilty about it being penned up in an apartment.

Some of this is probably because I've never had a yard or lived in a house, and so I'm over-idealizing the good parts (yard=grill + growing stuff + place for dog to romp around; house=my own fucking place, finally, with which I can do what I want re painting, remodeling, etc.) and under-appreciating the bad parts (lack of proximity to "stuff," although I don't take advantage of the "stuff" around me in my urban life because it costs too damned much; house upkeep costs; time for house upkeep; because I have never lived in anything but an apartment, I don't really have handyman skills, and it remains to be seen how effectively I can pick them up).
I have all of the good stuff you're talking about without giving up the proximity. Maybe this is easier in a small city in AL, but even in Brooklyn, I remember visiting townhomes - close to everything - with respectable little yards that a dog would have been happy with.
If you're living even halfway MMM, upkeep won't kill you. You can learn as you go, and the occasional pro help shouldn't be too expensive.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Making Cookies on July 16, 2015, 08:23:09 PM
Quote
"Coffee's for closers only."

That bit is classic, and for good reason.

But on topic... people love big. I'm not surprised. Now, when we talk homes and big, I think land instead of the size of the house. I would love to have a huge fucking plot of land with a small house on it. Out of curiosity, how many here agree with that?

ME!!!! My ultimate house would be one hidden by the trees. People driving by would only see the gravel driveway disappearing into the trees. Not that we want to live 50 miles from everyone else but that we don't want to live in a neighborhood where every house is a version of the house next to it... ;)

have done the city life and felt it was expensive to stay entertained. Really wanted to be in my own workshop or yard. Have that now. Room for the kids and pooch to play.

We visit city living friends occasionally and I continue to feel the same about here vs the city life.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Making Cookies on July 16, 2015, 08:34:45 PM

True, although I would argue that you don't need giant bedrooms/bathrooms. It always cracks me up to see people moaning over "Oh, this room is just too small for little Susie!" when it's as big as my current living room. Also, and maybe this isn't really done anymore, but when my sister and I were kids we shared a room until I was a teenager. Obviously this has its limits and won't work in every situation, but I feel like it's assumed now that kids need their own room even when they're too young to care.

I'd like 2-3 bedrooms too, but I don't care if they're small. I just like the separation/privacy (mainly for guests an/or a home office).

We did this with our two boys. Wouldn't believe the grief we got from the extended family. Projecting their belief that both needed their own room. We did that once the oldest hit his teens. No complaints from the kids.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: zephyr911 on July 16, 2015, 08:36:34 PM

True, although I would argue that you don't need giant bedrooms/bathrooms. It always cracks me up to see people moaning over "Oh, this room is just too small for little Susie!" when it's as big as my current living room. Also, and maybe this isn't really done anymore, but when my sister and I were kids we shared a room until I was a teenager. Obviously this has its limits and won't work in every situation, but I feel like it's assumed now that kids need their own room even when they're too young to care.

I'd like 2-3 bedrooms too, but I don't care if they're small. I just like the separation/privacy (mainly for guests an/or a home office).

We did this with our two boys. Wouldn't believe the grief we got from the extended family. Projecting their belief that both needed their own room. We did that once the oldest hit his teens. No complaints from the kids.
See, this is why I feel like every single child should be read the entire Little House series while growing up. Knowing that entire families lived in houses the size of today's glamour bathrooms just a few generations ago, and were happy as hell to boot, is a really good way to put all this insanity into perspective.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Making Cookies on July 16, 2015, 08:39:34 PM
A good reason for not having an oversized house is that it atomises the family.  Several years ago I saw a bit of a TV programme about a family learning to live the pioneer life for a summer in a one-room cabin.  They looked pretty happy.  After it was over they went back to this enormous white house on the California coast, and the last bit of the show was the mother alone in this big kitchen while the rest of her family were each in different rooms all over the place and out of hearing of her and each other.  She looked sad.  The sheer size of the house separated the family members from each other.

DW & I grew up with a TV in everyone room. Same problem as the one you mentioned. Now we have one TV and share TV time.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: The Guru on July 16, 2015, 08:43:55 PM
Quote
"Coffee's for closers only."

That bit is classic, and for good reason.

But on topic... people love big. I'm not surprised. Now, when we talk homes and big, I think land instead of the size of the house. I would love to have a huge fucking plot of land with a small house on it. Out of curiosity, how many here agree with that?

ME!!!! My ultimate house would be one hidden by the trees. People driving by would only see the gravel driveway disappearing into the trees. Not that we want to live 50 miles from everyone else but that we don't want to live in a neighborhood where every house is 45 ft from the curb... ;)

Me too. My motto is " The house is where I sleep; the garden is where I live".
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Abe on July 17, 2015, 08:49:57 AM
I also want a small house on a big plot of land. Living in the city has taught me that 90% of people don't give a damn about their neighbors, especially when it comes to music. If that's the case, better off without them. Big houses are hard to maintain and basically giant sinkholes for useless junk. A small house is also cheaper.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: music lover on July 17, 2015, 10:20:17 AM
See, this is why I feel like every single child should be read the entire Little House series while growing up. Knowing that entire families lived in houses the size of today's glamour bathrooms just a few generations ago, and were happy as hell to boot, is a really good way to put all this insanity into perspective.

People didn't live in such small houses back then because they wanted to. They lived in tiny houses because they were poor. Most people have no interest at all in cramming their family into a one room shack.

I remember Little House on the Prairie when I was young. Only with the magic of TV or selective nostalgia can a family with 5 kids that had no electricity, no hot water tank, no refrigeration, no washing machine, etc., all magically have clean hair and clothes, a spotless house, and a varied diet. My parents are in their 70's and grew up in tiny farm houses with 6 and 8 siblings and an outhouse and they have no interest at all in returning to that lifestyle. The reality of life back then was much different and much harsher than what is portrayed on TV.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: I'm a red panda on July 17, 2015, 10:49:59 AM
I think the LHOTP home on TV was bigger than their real one too....
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Rural on July 17, 2015, 11:51:34 AM
See, this is why I feel like every single child should be read the entire Little House series while growing up. Knowing that entire families lived in houses the size of today's glamour bathrooms just a few generations ago, and were happy as hell to boot, is a really good way to put all this insanity into perspective.

People didn't live in such small houses back then because they wanted to. They lived in tiny houses because they were poor. Most people have no interest at all in cramming their family into a one room shack.

I remember Little House on the Prairie when I was young. Only with the magic of TV or selective nostalgia can a family with 5 kids that had no electricity, no hot water tank, no refrigeration, no washing machine, etc., all magically have clean hair and clothes, a spotless house, and a varied diet. My parents are in their 70's and grew up in tiny farm houses with 6 and 8 siblings and an outhouse and they have no interest at all in returning to that lifestyle. The reality of life back then was much different and much harsher than what is portrayed on TV.


Which is why one should read the books. Much more detail and much more realistic.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MoonShadow on July 17, 2015, 12:09:25 PM

True, although I would argue that you don't need giant bedrooms/bathrooms. It always cracks me up to see people moaning over "Oh, this room is just too small for little Susie!" when it's as big as my current living room. Also, and maybe this isn't really done anymore, but when my sister and I were kids we shared a room until I was a teenager. Obviously this has its limits and won't work in every situation, but I feel like it's assumed now that kids need their own room even when they're too young to care.

I'd like 2-3 bedrooms too, but I don't care if they're small. I just like the separation/privacy (mainly for guests an/or a home office).

We did this with our two boys. Wouldn't believe the grief we got from the extended family. Projecting their belief that both needed their own room. We did that once the oldest hit his teens. No complaints from the kids.

Our 5 & 6 year old boys are sharing a room now, sleeping in the bunk beds that their older siblings; now 15 & 12, shared until my oldest daughter turned 13.  Teenagers need their own space, even if it's small.  Younger than that do not, no matter how they complain about it.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: EricP on July 17, 2015, 12:52:18 PM

True, although I would argue that you don't need giant bedrooms/bathrooms. It always cracks me up to see people moaning over "Oh, this room is just too small for little Susie!" when it's as big as my current living room. Also, and maybe this isn't really done anymore, but when my sister and I were kids we shared a room until I was a teenager. Obviously this has its limits and won't work in every situation, but I feel like it's assumed now that kids need their own room even when they're too young to care.

I'd like 2-3 bedrooms too, but I don't care if they're small. I just like the separation/privacy (mainly for guests an/or a home office).

We did this with our two boys. Wouldn't believe the grief we got from the extended family. Projecting their belief that both needed their own room. We did that once the oldest hit his teens. No complaints from the kids.

Our 5 & 6 year old boys are sharing a room now, sleeping in the bunk beds that their older siblings; now 15 & 12, shared until my oldest daughter turned 13.  Teenagers need their own space, even if it's small.  Younger than that do not, no matter how they complain about it.

Teenagers don't "need" their own space.  I didn't have it when I was a teenager and I turned out just fine.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: mm1970 on July 17, 2015, 01:15:09 PM
Great! This means older "small" 3 bed/2 bath homes will soon be selling for a pittance right?

I hope so!

I'd have to argue, though, about the "Millenials will eventually grow up, have children, move to the suburbs, and buy big houses" thing, that some of that is because the housing market does not always allow you to get what you want exactly, and sometimes it's easier/cheaper to let the size creep up than it is to mandate that you want X, Y, and Z in a house under 2000 sq ft.  (As some people mentioned up thread, the choice is often settling or building yourself, which can take a long time).  My parents just moved to an area for work where houses under 3000 sq ft don't really exist, outside of low income neighborhoods and townhouses. So, what happens when a millennial couple gets a job in the area, wants a house with a spare bedroom for a hypothetical kid, in a good neighborhood? They're facing a market with tons of 3000 sq ft houses, and it's a lot easier to just say "Eh, it's got everything we need, so what if it's a little big?" than to fight for a more reasonably sized place. Those who build houses these days know that they'll have a larger market with a big house than with a small one, so if they're going to put in good features anyway, they build big. Houses come in really awkward "one size fits all" types and size is something that scales with niceness because of salability.
This is quite true in many areas.  Every once in awhile, we think about moving back to NoVa, where my husband's company has an office.  When I look at housing in the specific area (near Dulles), most of what I find are:
1. Newer monstrosities
2. Newer townhouses or condos
3. Older smaller homes in questionable neighborhoods (judged SOLELY on the elementary school rankings)
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: mm1970 on July 17, 2015, 01:19:32 PM

True, although I would argue that you don't need giant bedrooms/bathrooms. It always cracks me up to see people moaning over "Oh, this room is just too small for little Susie!" when it's as big as my current living room. Also, and maybe this isn't really done anymore, but when my sister and I were kids we shared a room until I was a teenager. Obviously this has its limits and won't work in every situation, but I feel like it's assumed now that kids need their own room even when they're too young to care.

I'd like 2-3 bedrooms too, but I don't care if they're small. I just like the separation/privacy (mainly for guests an/or a home office).

We did this with our two boys. Wouldn't believe the grief we got from the extended family. Projecting their belief that both needed their own room. We did that once the oldest hit his teens. No complaints from the kids.

Our 5 & 6 year old boys are sharing a room now, sleeping in the bunk beds that their older siblings; now 15 & 12, shared until my oldest daughter turned 13.  Teenagers need their own space, even if it's small.  Younger than that do not, no matter how they complain about it.
Our boys (9 and 3) are sharing a room, and always will, because we only have 2BR.
Teenagers don't "need" their own space.
I am one of 9 kids.
Most of the time, there were about 4 of us living at home (we're spread out in age).
I remember sharing a room with 2 sisters, and they shared a bed.
I don't think either one of them ever had their own space (they moved out when they got roommates or got married).
The only reason I got my own bedroom ever is because my parents divorced.  So I suppose I had my own room for 2 years, until college, when I had to share with 2-3 others.
So I don't understand why you'd even get your teenagers to expect their own space, then send them off to the wolves in college.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: mm1970 on July 17, 2015, 01:20:02 PM
Great! This means older "small" 3 bed/2 bath homes will soon be selling for a pittance right?
3/2. Probably $1.5M-$2 depending on the condition and lot size.
In SoCal even the old 1950's 3/2 ranches with a 2 car garage in a working class 'hood go for 1/2 million or more. Some are torn down and converted to McMansions, some are extended into the huge (by city standard) back yard, but most are just lived in or rented out. The closer you get to the beach or the more improved the house, the higher the price jumps by a lot. Not 2007 levels yet but getting up there. Hmmm.... didn't some crazy woman have a thread somewhere here where they said they weren't going to sell their old 3/2 1950's house in SoCal yet for some crazy reason?  Some body should probably talk some sense into that girl :-)!

Funny, I was just reading about Lakewood (prototypical California suburb) and found this to be typical:

https://www.redfin.com/CA/Lakewood/6117-Castana-Ave-90712/home/7546419

 
Lakewood actually has some pretty nice areas and the housing prices, compared to some of the other areas around here, aren't too terrible. I live in the Huntington Beach, Westminster, Seal Beach area not too far away and most of the house like mine have sold in the $500K plus range. All seems very high to me but still nothing like before the housing market crush when places like mine probably went for well over $700K. I think the median price for my area is around $650K for single family 3/2 homes.
That house was adorable.  Slightly bigger than ours, same lot size, an extra bedroom.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: zolotiyeruki on July 17, 2015, 02:35:46 PM
I'm 33.  I'm probably not a lot older than you (I'm the bleeding edge of the millenials, the "Oregon Trail" generation if you will).  Trust me, you think you have it all planned.  You don't. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1Z91YkPatw
LOL--Thanks for posting that!  I'd never seen it, and it's hilarious!
I agree with this 100%.  I have no desire for a 3000-4000+ sq ft house, but there are certain characteristics I want in a house and in order to find all of them in an existing house, you need a fairly large house.  Decent closet space, enough bedrooms, storage, a decent sized kitchen, etc.  My last house was 1800 sq ft plus a basement (also 1800 sq ft) and it had a lot of the ammenities we wanted, but it was still only three bedrooms. 
This is sad but true.  We're looking for a retirement home, and we essentially want something that doesn't exist:  We want something "starter size" -- we don't want a rec room or a home theater or bedrooms large enough for seating areas -- but we want it to have walk-in closets, a huge pantry, and storage in the specific places we want it.  We want this house to have some aging-in-place features such as a barrier-free shower, one entry with no more than one step, and low maintenance. 

This house doesn't exist, so the choice is to buy a larger house ... or to build.  We're opting for building.
[/quote]In some areas, it *does* exist.  In our housing development, one section is dedicated to "age-targeted homes," i.e. homes designed for the lifestyles of retirees.  They typically have two bedrooms and 1.5 baths on the main floor, with the option of a third bedroom plus a full bath on the second floor.  No home theaters, rooms sized nicely, well-laid-out, and the entire neighborhood has a shared lawn mowing and snow removal service.  Of course, you have to deal with nosy neighbors and a strict HOA, but the type of house you're looking for is out there.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Jack on July 17, 2015, 02:57:04 PM
In some areas, it *does* exist.  In our housing development, one section is dedicated to "age-targeted homes," i.e. homes designed for the lifestyles of retirees.  They typically have two bedrooms and 1.5 baths on the main floor, with the option of a third bedroom plus a full bath on the second floor.  No home theaters, rooms sized nicely, well-laid-out, and the entire neighborhood has a shared lawn mowing and snow removal service.  Of course, you have to deal with nosy neighbors and a strict HOA, but the type of house you're looking for is out there.

My parents are baby-boomers (I'm a millennial, but they were unusually old when I showed up), and we've discussed that kind of "active adult" community. The problem is that everybody who moves in there is old. That's fine, for a while, because everybody has a lot in common, but then they start getting sick and dying and living there becomes really depressing.

Because of that, my parents are looking for a retirement home that specifically isn't in one of those age-targeted communities. (Of course, they aren't mustachian, so they have no problem with a stupid McMansion-style house.)
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MoonShadow on July 17, 2015, 03:18:52 PM

True, although I would argue that you don't need giant bedrooms/bathrooms. It always cracks me up to see people moaning over "Oh, this room is just too small for little Susie!" when it's as big as my current living room. Also, and maybe this isn't really done anymore, but when my sister and I were kids we shared a room until I was a teenager. Obviously this has its limits and won't work in every situation, but I feel like it's assumed now that kids need their own room even when they're too young to care.

I'd like 2-3 bedrooms too, but I don't care if they're small. I just like the separation/privacy (mainly for guests an/or a home office).

We did this with our two boys. Wouldn't believe the grief we got from the extended family. Projecting their belief that both needed their own room. We did that once the oldest hit his teens. No complaints from the kids.

Our 5 & 6 year old boys are sharing a room now, sleeping in the bunk beds that their older siblings; now 15 & 12, shared until my oldest daughter turned 13.  Teenagers need their own space, even if it's small.  Younger than that do not, no matter how they complain about it.

Teenagers don't "need" their own space.  I didn't have it when I was a teenager and I turned out just fine.

Did you have your own closet, or dresser, or some other storage space that was "yours" alone?  When I say teens need their own "space", I didn't intend to imply that they must sleep alone, although I admit it sounded that way to myself when I re-read it.  My younger boys still share their dressers, and even their clothes.  My older kids managed to negotiate to separate, with help from their mother, mostly because they are not the same sex.  My two younger boys are not likely to get separate rooms as teenagers, but will certainly end up with their own storage space.  Probably something like foot lockers.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: RysChristensen on July 17, 2015, 05:03:35 PM
Another vote for "little house, lotta land". I'm in the middle of buying the probably-way-too-big-but-I-don't-care land, then comes the fun of planning the house (and driveway/garage/barn/greenhouse/orchard etc). Currently I'm thinking 600 sf for the house (maybe up to 800, I haven't decided how much to factor in for "months of deep snow"). Probably an open floor plan, especially heating with a wood stove.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MoonShadow on July 17, 2015, 05:15:59 PM
Another vote for "little house, lotta land". I'm in the middle of buying the probably-way-too-big-but-I-don't-care land, then comes the fun of planning the house (and driveway/garage/barn/greenhouse/orchard etc). Currently I'm thinking 600 sf for the house (maybe up to 800, I haven't decided how much to factor in for "months of deep snow"). Probably an open floor plan, especially heating with a wood stove.

I know from experience, that a typical wood stove is overkill for a tiny house; and that natural convection wood heat works best with a single floor open plan.  There are woodstoves made for small spaces, but they usually go by the term 'marine' and cost a fortune.  Consider getting the smallest woodstove you can find, probably made in Northern Europe, and site it as close to the center of your open space as you can stand.  Away from the walls will reduce the loss of useful floor space to a minimum, because woodstoves require a great deal more floor space than their actual size would suggest.  Just don't expect too much, wood stoves don't heat for more than a few hours without intervention, no matter what the sales flyer says.  You will not have a still flaming fire when you wake up after a good nights sleep.

As for "months of deep snow" what region is this?  If you actually expect this to occur, 1) make sure your main door swings in, and that there is at least a small roof overhang there and 2) that there is a window above the level of the door that is large enough to crawl out of if opened, and that you have a way to climb up to it in the event of such a snowstorm.  Like the window to a loft.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: RysChristensen on July 18, 2015, 08:03:31 AM

I know from experience, that a typical wood stove is overkill for a tiny house; and that natural convection wood heat works best with a single floor open plan.  There are woodstoves made for small spaces, but they usually go by the term 'marine' and cost a fortune.  Consider getting the smallest woodstove you can find, probably made in Northern Europe, and site it as close to the center of your open space as you can stand.  Away from the walls will reduce the loss of useful floor space to a minimum, because woodstoves require a great deal more floor space than their actual size would suggest.  Just don't expect too much, wood stoves don't heat for more than a few hours without intervention, no matter what the sales flyer says.  You will not have a still flaming fire when you wake up after a good nights sleep.

As for "months of deep snow" what region is this?  If you actually expect this to occur, 1) make sure your main door swings in, and that there is at least a small roof overhang there and 2) that there is a window above the level of the door that is large enough to crawl out of if opened, and that you have a way to climb up to it in the event of such a snowstorm.  Like the window to a loft.

Thanks! Yeah, I've been trying to balance house size and cost with wood stove sizing, and add in really good insulation and the calculations get awkward. I'll research the convection ones, though it also depends if the fans in them require power, and if so how much. I'll most likely be on solar. I'd love to put in a rocket mass heater, but I haven't figured out how to design for it with a basement instead of a slab.

All good design points for snow! I'll be in Maine, away from the coast. Probably most years won't be bad, but this past winter was bad enough in RI, with the 12" at a time snow storms, while Maine was getting 18" at a whack. (Meanwhile, in parts of Canada, they're going "What? That's a dusting!").
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MoonShadow on July 18, 2015, 02:40:24 PM

I know from experience, that a typical wood stove is overkill for a tiny house; and that natural convection wood heat works best with a single floor open plan.  There are woodstoves made for small spaces, but they usually go by the term 'marine' and cost a fortune.  Consider getting the smallest woodstove you can find, probably made in Northern Europe, and site it as close to the center of your open space as you can stand.  Away from the walls will reduce the loss of useful floor space to a minimum, because woodstoves require a great deal more floor space than their actual size would suggest.  Just don't expect too much, wood stoves don't heat for more than a few hours without intervention, no matter what the sales flyer says.  You will not have a still flaming fire when you wake up after a good nights sleep.

As for "months of deep snow" what region is this?  If you actually expect this to occur, 1) make sure your main door swings in, and that there is at least a small roof overhang there and 2) that there is a window above the level of the door that is large enough to crawl out of if opened, and that you have a way to climb up to it in the event of such a snowstorm.  Like the window to a loft.

Thanks! Yeah, I've been trying to balance house size and cost with wood stove sizing, and add in really good insulation and the calculations get awkward. I'll research the convection ones, though it also depends if the fans in them require power, and if so how much.

Natural convection is the normal way a woodstove disperses heat, along with IR radiation.  That's just a normal woodstove, and they don't require any outside power or controls.

Quote


 I'll most likely be on solar. I'd love to put in a rocket mass heater, but I haven't figured out how to design for it with a basement instead of a slab.


By either putting the entire rocket stove in the basement, and just letting the heat rise slowly, or by building your thermal mass into a masonary column that you are going to need to support the extra weight of a woodstove anyway.  Basicly your thermal mass is vertical, not horizontal.  The initial burn riser needs to be taller in order to force the flow down far enough.
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: Spork on July 18, 2015, 02:58:38 PM
The chief gripe in our new house is that it has 1.5 baths (full bath plus a powder room) instead of 2 full baths (wife and I get ready at the same time in the morning so two showers is nice). 

LOL.  My solution was to have a shower big enough for 2 people....  (We actually have 2 showers and have never used the second one.)
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: RysChristensen on July 19, 2015, 08:34:54 AM
Quote from: MoonShadow link=topic=38784.msg735925#msg735925

Natural convection is the normal way a woodstove disperses heat, along with IR radiation.  That's just a normal woodstove, and they don't require any outside power or controls.
...

By either putting the entire rocket stove in the basement, and just letting the heat rise slowly, or by building your thermal mass into a masonary column that you are going to need to support the extra weight of a woodstove anyway.  Basicly your thermal mass is vertical, not horizontal.  The initial burn riser needs to be taller in order to force the flow down far enough.

Apparently some of the newer stoves are adding fans to speed up heat spread around the room, which is what confused me. Yeah, standard stove sounds fine. Thanks for the RMH advice!
Title: Re: Big Houses back in demand
Post by: MoonShadow on July 20, 2015, 01:26:20 PM
Quote from: MoonShadow link=topic=38784.msg735925#msg735925

Natural convection is the normal way a woodstove disperses heat, along with IR radiation.  That's just a normal woodstove, and they don't require any outside power or controls.
...

By either putting the entire rocket stove in the basement, and just letting the heat rise slowly, or by building your thermal mass into a masonary column that you are going to need to support the extra weight of a woodstove anyway.  Basicly your thermal mass is vertical, not horizontal.  The initial burn riser needs to be taller in order to force the flow down far enough.

Apparently some of the newer stoves are adding fans to speed up heat spread around the room, which is what confused me. Yeah, standard stove sounds fine. Thanks for the RMH advice!

In my experience, the fans are a gimmick.  Mine has a fan, but just makes noise.  It might make it nominally more efficient, but it certainly doesn't spread the heat around any better.  When the fire is 'peaking' (the heat is always either increasing or declining in a real wood stove) I can feel the IR half-way across the kitchen (and it gets noticably cooler when someone crosses between it an myself, casting a "heat shadow") and the convection is so strong it will move small streamers placed near the ceiling. I noticed this trick by watching old cobwebs I forgot to clean out.  The heat produces a column of moving air that rises to the ceiling, pushes it's way across the ceiling and gently down the walls to run back near the floor.  You won't feel a breeze, because it's within inches of the ceiling, but you can prove that it's there.  The powered fans don't come close to moving as much air.