Author Topic: Do we really need a big ass house?  (Read 6536 times)

jamesbond007

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Do we really need a big ass house?
« on: September 01, 2016, 11:57:24 AM »
I bought my town home on the SF Bay Area for $440K in Jan. It's a modest 2 bed/1bath 950 sft with another 130sft front yard with a private gate. HOA is $300 a month. If not for a single common wall, it's look like a single family home. I sometimes dream of living in a bigger house with at least 2 big bed 2 bath with some back yard single family home. What's wrong with me?

We are perfectly happy with we have and paying way less than what I paid in rent until last December. But I just feel like maybe I need a little extra as a reward for all the hard work I am doing to make a living. Do I really need that big house? We are a family of 3. Me, wife and a 2 year old. No more kids for us.

Help me get out of this thinking. Homes the size I want are currently going for about $700K+ in my neighborhood.

Tyson

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2016, 12:19:17 PM »
Well, do you want to continue "all that hard work" indefinitely?  Because that is what a bigger and more expensive house will result in. 

Choices

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2016, 12:27:25 PM »
Plus, the bigger it is, the more work it is to furnish and clean and the more it costs to heat/cool.
Do you have too much stuff that is making it feel cluttered?
Can you get outside more to parks and other open spaces?
A second bathroom is nice, but is it worth $300K?

undercover

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2016, 01:15:11 PM »
We are perfectly happy with we have

You were saying?

Trudie

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2016, 01:17:17 PM »
For that price difference, no real debate.  Forget it and move on.  Enjoy the outdoors.

tonysemail

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2016, 01:34:56 PM »
sorry to be rude, but are you really getting buyer's remorse after only 8 months?
Has something changed that has affected how much you care to spend on a house?

there are a lot of downsides with lifestyle inflation, even when you're doing it deliberately.
I guess the first question would be - how many years would it delay FIRE by?
Are the incremental benefits worth that many years of freedom to you?

hollyluja

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2016, 01:38:59 PM »
with 900 sq ft, can you create another small bathroom within your house?  I agree that having 2 is the key to domestic harmony, but it's not worth $300K.

I love small houses because then you have a good excuse to refuse all the crap that family tries to give you.  "Family heirlooms" - usually big and ugly.

CrispRetirement

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2016, 01:57:17 PM »
From the end of elementary school until I went off to college, our family of 6 lived in a <1600 sq ft house. It was very tight, but perfectly functional. The single bathroom really was the worst part, but we had 6 people trying to share it for the first few years. We certainly would've liked more space (and my parents eventually did move to get more space), but I like to think that it really encouraged my love for the outdoors. I don't see enough benefit to having more space with the price difference for you though.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 01:58:54 PM by CrispRetirement »

gatortator

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2016, 02:09:28 PM »
This blog introduces a lot of interesting concepts and creative solutions for living in an urban space.  The owner is a divorced father living in a ~1000 sq ft condo (Vancouver) with 5 kids.

http://5kids1condo.com/square-foot-hours-designing-24-hour-spaces/


also remember this wise quote


I tend to mentally frame "financial independence" as "no longer in debt" because any standard of living you maintain that you cannot continue to pay for indefinitely without working means that you have obligated yourself to work in the future to support it.  You've borrowed from your future to pay for your present. 

What would your future self think of more house debt?  Only you can answer this.

norabird

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2016, 02:24:11 PM »
Your current place sounds great. What else can you do to reward yourself for high earnings? Classes? Dinner out more? A new XYZ? These will bring more value and less hassle and can be done on an as-desired basis rather than being a permanent monthly cost.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2016, 02:43:40 PM »
You are "just being normal".

"Normal" is STUPID and broke!!  Snap out of it!

jamesbond007

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2016, 05:19:48 PM »
sorry to be rude, but are you really getting buyer's remorse after only 8 months?
Has something changed that has affected how much you care to spend on a house?

there are a lot of downsides with lifestyle inflation, even when you're doing it deliberately.
I guess the first question would be - how many years would it delay FIRE by?
Are the incremental benefits worth that many years of freedom to you?

You're not being rude at all. No buyer's remorse. Looking that's the best decision I made. I did not over my means even by a penny to buy this house and I am paying 50% less compared to what I paid in rent before for a similar sized apartment. I am very happy.

The reason I am thinking about this is because I am putting together a possible FI date (16 years from now). I understand everything that happens to my FI date if I end up buying a bigger house in the future. That's why I posted here so all of you can help me stay focused.

Thank you.

jamesbond007

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2016, 05:23:54 PM »
Thank you. That did't take long :)

This is exactly what I expected. I just needed some support to not think about bigger houses. I grew up in a family of 5 in 600 sft rented house. I totally understand how to make it work. That is exactly the reason maybe I thought I need a bigger house. But again the downsides are more complex than the upsides. I will stick with what I have.

Maybe I'll purchase a new TV or something just to scratch that consumer itch.

Nemesis.

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2016, 05:31:11 PM »
It's possible that you want it simply because you don't have it. Want vs need and all that.
You may also miss "shopping" for a house.

You might fulfill your consumer itch simply by indulging in some "house shopping" without ever going through with it.

From experience, I can tell you that more square footage equals a lot more work.

Stop and look around at what you have. Really see it like it was new and appreciate it all over again.
Then check your stache and smile.

meteor

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2016, 05:38:01 PM »
When I started to feel I needed more space in my 900 sq ft house I did 2 things:  1) Built a backyard library/hang-out shed and 2) built an outdoor deck and pretended it was an extra room.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2016, 08:26:23 AM »
It's possible that you want it simply because you don't have it. Want vs need and all that.

...

Stop and look around at what you have. Really see it like it was new and appreciate it all over again.
Then check your stache and smile.
My thoughts exactly.  Well put!

catccc

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2016, 10:38:05 AM »
No, stick with what you've got.  Someone recently told me that families in smaller homes are happier.  You and your wife can get clever with the way you utilize the space, you could make it a beautiful haven for your family.

Big homes aren't usually worth it.  More space to heat/cool (probably not huge in SF, but still), more rooms to clean, toilets to scrub.  More places for kids to hide away from their parents.

I live in about 1,300 sqft with my family of 4, and really don't want much bigger.  It's a 3 bd, 1.5 bath, but my kids share a room and the 3rd bedroom is small and rarely used.  The half bath is in a section of the house that is poorly insulated and can get to freezing in the wintertime, so it's really only seasonally used.  So really, we use 2 bd, 1 bath most of the time.  We rent, and I have a lot to say about the layout, but generally, it works well for us.

mwulff

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2016, 01:01:52 PM »
And here I am thinking that it might be nice to downsize to a tiny house from our 700 sqft home. But my answer is definitely not. Don't fall into the trap of a bigger house.

A bigger house has:

1. More space to heat and cool
2. Higher taxes
3. More stuff to clean

and so on and so forth...

As a longtime "small-house" owner I would say "stay small - stay happy".

GuitarStv

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2016, 01:16:10 PM »
There are benefits and disadvantages to a larger home.  We have a pretty large home right now (larger than we need) at about 2300 square ft.

Pros:
- I can play guitar in one area of the house while our child sleeps on the other side.
- I have a home gym area that is regularly used.
- We have room for guests to stay over.
- We have 2.5 bathrooms!  As a kid we only ever had one bathroom, and those extra toilets and no waiting to get in is really nice when we're rushed in the morning.
- We've got space for a decent pantry, and the kitchen is a good size . . . which is important when you don't ever eat out.
- Hanging out in the back yard under our awning and reading is the reason I'm not compelled to travel much . . . it's very relaxing and fun for me

Cons:
- longer to clean
- more to heat/cool
- We have a couple rooms that really don't ever get used (I'm looking at you formal living room, dining room, and guest bedroom)
- takes longer to paint if you get tired of the colour scheme
- more expensive
- usually to reduce the price you end up moving to a less desirable area that's further out from conveniences like stores, restaurants, public transit, etc.
- you need to maintain the lawn/garden and landscaping takes longer than in a smaller place

rothwem

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2016, 01:37:04 PM »
I live in 720 square feet right now.  I like it, and honestly, I think the living area is big enough.  While I wouldn't mind a second bathroom so my girlfriend and I don't interfere with each other while getting ready for work, what I REALLY want is more "unfinished" space.  I want garage/project space with lights, electricity, running water, a roof overtop, a big rollup door and a durable floor finish.

For maximum manliness, there would be a urinal in there too. 


GuitarStv

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2016, 01:45:51 PM »
I live in 720 square feet right now.  I like it, and honestly, I think the living area is big enough.  While I wouldn't mind a second bathroom so my girlfriend and I don't interfere with each other while getting ready for work, what I REALLY want is more "unfinished" space.  I want garage/project space with lights, electricity, running water, a roof overtop, a big rollup door and a durable floor finish.

For maximum manliness, there would be a urinal in there too.

If you have a coffee cup you've got a urinal.  :P

oldtoyota

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2016, 02:16:41 PM »
I know what you're asking and saying here. At times, I wish I had a different house layout. We have space in places where it isn't needed and a lack of space in places where I'd like more. Oh, wouldn't it be nice if I could magically move it all around!

We looked into buying at one point. Once I realized it would cost more than $20K to pay for the mortgage, etc, etc, I was suddenly a lot less interested.

I've decided I may always have pangs to have a larger place and then I'll always remind myself of my bigger goal of freedom.


frugaldrummer

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2016, 08:49:17 PM »
Quote
Homes the size I want are currently going for about $700K+ in my neighborhood.

Just pointing out that the $260k plus difference between the house you have and these, would probably buy you a nice mountain vacation cabin in a lot of places.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2016, 10:15:46 PM »
You already knew the answer

jamesbond007

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2016, 11:13:17 AM »
Thanks for all the moral support. My wife and I took gardening and started landscaping around the fence this past labor day weekend. Took advantage of the "we pay your sales tax" event at OSH and bought a little water fountain too that we plan to install in the front patio. We also involved our 2 year old and she had a blast. It was some serious family bonding and satisfaction. I will continue down this path and make progress towards FI. 16 more years... one day at a time.

MBot

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2016, 11:43:01 AM »
This blog introduces a lot of interesting concepts and creative solutions for living in an urban space.  The owner is a divorced father living in a ~1000 sq ft condo (Vancouver) with 5 kids.

http://5kids1condo.com/square-foot-hours-designing-24-hour-


This link is great! Thank you.

slowsynapse

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2016, 11:55:52 AM »


We are perfectly happy with we have and paying way less than what I paid in rent until last December. But I just feel like maybe I need a little extra as a reward for all the hard work I am doing to make a living. Do I really need that big house? We are a family of 3. Me, wife and a 2 year old. No more kids for us.

Help me get out of this thinking. Homes the size I want are currently going for about $700K+ in my neighborhood.
[/quote]

I understand the want for a larger home.  About twice a year, I wish I had a little larger house to have fun parties in.  I went as far as owning the option on a lot with the intent of putting a $600K house on, which is super high end where I live (before finding out about FIRE).  Larger point, I didn't end up rewarding myself with that home I really didn't need.  Had I moved, I would have rewarded myself with several more years of work after ending up with a new boss that ruined my career.  I ended up being able to retire at 44 instead of working for two people I learned to really dislike, now that is a reward!

oldtoyota

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2016, 01:52:10 PM »
When I started to feel I needed more space in my 900 sq ft house I did 2 things:  1) Built a backyard library/hang-out shed and 2) built an outdoor deck and pretended it was an extra room.

This sounds like heaven. If you used an existing building plan, could you share a link to it?

jamesbond007

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Re: Do we really need a big ass house?
« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2016, 04:21:13 PM »


We are perfectly happy with we have and paying way less than what I paid in rent until last December. But I just feel like maybe I need a little extra as a reward for all the hard work I am doing to make a living. Do I really need that big house? We are a family of 3. Me, wife and a 2 year old. No more kids for us.

Help me get out of this thinking. Homes the size I want are currently going for about $700K+ in my neighborhood.

I understand the want for a larger home.  About twice a year, I wish I had a little larger house to have fun parties in.  I went as far as owning the option on a lot with the intent of putting a $600K house on, which is super high end where I live (before finding out about FIRE).  Larger point, I didn't end up rewarding myself with that home I really didn't need.  Had I moved, I would have rewarded myself with several more years of work after ending up with a new boss that ruined my career.  I ended up being able to retire at 44 instead of working for two people I learned to really dislike, now that is a reward!
[/quote]

Thank you.