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Finally feel bad about not having a bigger house
Old 02-17-2008, 04:35 PM   #1
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Finally feel bad about not having a bigger house

Like most everyone here, I try to live reasonably below my means. Back in 1996 I did what many hardworking professionals do and I bought a big house (4,000+ sf) in a wealthy part of town....and I hated it....so I moved three years later to a smaller (3000+ sf), cozier house in a less wealthy part of town.

For the first time, I have felt bad about not living in the other house or something like it, which I could easily afford. You see my middle child is now involved in a youth group at church, and I wanted to help out as a host family, hosting the kids' meeting at my house once a week. Well, we gave it a go, but halfway through the year, the church has had to switch to another house....because mine is just too small.

I feel bad because I feel like I let my daughter and family down, especially since we could easily afford to live in a bigger home but I chose not to.

Anyone else ever have regrets like this?
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Old 02-17-2008, 04:36 PM   #2
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??

Rent a hall if you feel that bad.
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Old 02-17-2008, 04:56 PM   #3
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my house is about 3200sf and I can host some pretty large gatherings here. Maybe you just need to get creative with moving some furniture around.
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:28 PM   #4
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I feel bad for all of the people with big houses, though....you know not getting to share in the wonderful housing downturn with them and paying high insurance and upkeep....but I hear you man, it is always about the kids...
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:29 PM   #5
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My house was much smaller than either of yours. I briefly felt that it would be wothwhile to have a larger one, for entertaining and visits.

Then I remembered that the best parties of my life were in tiny apartments crammed to the gills with drinking, talking dancing people.

Too much space just makes a dull gathering.

Ha
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:30 PM   #6
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3000 is small?

All about perspective I guess. The house we're planning is going to weigh in about 1200 sq feet and we're worried that might be too large.

I agree Ha, the best parties at our townhouse have been when we make sure people get sort of stuck in the same area.
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:34 PM   #7
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Our house is a 2 bd 1 ba 1,000 SQ ft and we raised two boys OK there. DW & I often talked of getting a larger place or adding on, but she didn't get on well with her mom and I simply pointed out that she would come and stay with us if we had the room. End of discussion.
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:37 PM   #8
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You see my middle child is now involved in a youth group at church, and I wanted to help out as a host family, hosting the kids' meeting at my house once a week. Well, we gave it a go, but halfway through the year, the church has had to switch to another house....because mine is just too small.
I feel bad because I feel like I let my daughter and family down, especially since we could easily afford to live in a bigger home but I chose not to.
Anyone else ever have regrets like this?
You would think that a church group would have meetings in the... well... never mind, there's probably some perfectly good reason why that's totally unacceptable.

As to a bigger house, no, I don't feel obligated to be the neighborhood meeting hall for any groups I belong to. If it was that important then we'd rent a meeting hall. Better yet, the kid could rent the meeting hall or work something out with a school or some other organization with more square footage.

At 2400 sq ft we already feel like we're cleaning too many toilets & floors, and a multi-bedroom house is not a good thing to have when your kids leave the nest.
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:38 PM   #9
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Our house is a 2 bd 1 ba 1,000 SQ ft and we raised two boys OK there. DW & I often talked of getting a larger place or adding on, but she didn't get on well with her mom and I simply pointed out that she would come and stay with us if we had the room. End of discussion.
Yikes! Wouldn't locks on your doors be a less drastic solution than depriving yourself of a nicer house all those years?
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:48 PM   #10
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Yeah, I feel really deprived. My house is like yakers, 1000 sq feet. I think I would be much happier with a 1200 sq ft house and could afford one, but why go to the trouble. Of course all I have is a golden retriever and she's happy.
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:08 PM   #11
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Second the furniture comments. I'm well under 3000 sf here and if I don't mind doing a little furniture moving can easily host 25+ kids from a youth group. I "invested" in a couple folding tables and chairs to put up when needed. With a little more work and some rented chairs, we've had 70-75 people for lectures and a concert series. Certainly with a larger place this would be easier, but should still be doable without needing a huge place. OTOH some of those huge old houses would be so great for activities.
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:16 PM   #12
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I was perfectly happy in my 1850sf ranch until DW decided we needed to move. Something about her mom moving in with us or something. Turned out the MIL thing never happened, but DW got the house she wanted anyway. 3000sf two story with a full basement. It takes me over 30 minutes and a backache just to vacuum the main level. Way too much house for two and a DD who's already left the nest. Of course the lake is nice, and the eight+ acres does provide some privacy, maybe too much.

But parties work out well here. The back overlooks the lake, and there is a covered porch that runs the length of the house. It would take a LOT of people to be too small for a party. I've noticed DW has been having a lot more functions here than at the other house. I've even considered putting the place out there as an event location for weddings, board meetings, business meetings etc. Might be able to take in enough to pay health care insurance and property taxes. But it's definitely way more than two people need to live comfortably.

Now, when can I get started finishing in the basement with the bar and home theater...I just can't sit still.
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:17 PM   #13
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Then I remembered that the best parties of my life were in tiny apartments crammed to the gills with drinking, talking dancing people.

Too much space just makes a dull gathering.

Ha

I remember parties in my small ( no tiny ) two bedroom one bath house that were legendary !
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:30 PM   #14
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I have what I call "The Inverse Rule"
It goes like this: The need for expensive wine or an unnessesarily large house is the inverse of the level of the interesting people involved.

Example - very interesting people - jug wine - dull business people $500 a bottle wine.
Think about it.
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:31 PM   #15
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Anyone else ever have regrets like this?
Yeah, whenever we have a bunch of people who want to hang out for an extended party, we just bring out the hexayurts.

Hexayurt Project
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:35 PM   #16
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We are in the process of downsizing. Our next house will be smaller than this beast as we find we don't use sections of the house except for storage or only once or twice a year. I know there will be some things we will miss about the house but the heating and AC bills won't be one of them. The next one will still be large by most standards as we desire to have bedroom space for visiting family and friends.

We have a fairly large family and most are within a day's drive of our intended new location so we expect to have visitors more than we do now. We also find we needs some "getting" away space so we don't kill each other as we are both no longer working and too much togetherness can create friction at times.

We also know the next house won't be our last house. We plan on downsizing again later on so we see this as a stage in our downsizing journey.
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:50 PM   #17
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let me see if i understand this correctly. having "only" 3,000 square feet of living space means that you should feel inadequate because you can't fulfill the church's space requirements and lacking that 1,000 extra square feet means that you have failed your children.

i do not mean to judge, but it seems to me that either your church or your children or--i just don't know what but--something has failed to fulfill you if that is how this situation makes you feel.
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Old 02-17-2008, 08:14 PM   #18
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Being child-free and agnostic, I have no parallel situation in my life, but in answer to your question I just have to ask, "What would Jesus do?"
Do you have to own a convention center to be a good Christian (or whatever religion) these days?
My parents had a relatively big house, but that wasn't important to me as a kid. What was important was whether or not we spent time together as a family. If you're doing that, you're doing ok, as far as I'm concerned.
Owning a huge house is wasteful and makes you a poor citizen of the world, IMHO.
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Old 02-17-2008, 08:18 PM   #19
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I just have to ask, "What would Jesus do?"
He'd have his earthly father come over and help him build an addition... duh.
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Old 02-17-2008, 08:30 PM   #20
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He'd have his earthly father come over and help him build an addition... duh.
Was Joseph a carpenter too?
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