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Old 06-03-2014, 08:38 PM   #21
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It's not just housing:

America’s Insatiable Demand For More Expensive Cars, Larger Homes And Bigger Debts

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Old 06-03-2014, 09:12 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Options View Post

It is easy for me to say those large houses are a waste since I have 1500 sq. foot which is too much for mostly just me. But if a wife and 2/3 kids were dropped into my home, I would certainly up the debt load to get myself some more space.

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Old 06-03-2014, 09:30 PM   #23
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Most of the rest of the world seems to get by just fine with less sq ft -

Average Home Sizes Around the World | Apartment Therapy

Our relatives in the old country think the house and car sizes here are nutters. I use to just chalk it up to cultural differences, but lately I am starting to see things more from their point of view.

When I was growing up houses in the U.S. just weren't as big, so this breaking away from Euro size houses in the U.S. is something that has occurred within the past several decades:

"Consider: Back in the 1950s and '60s, people thought it was normal for a family to have one bathroom, or for two or three growing boys to share a bedroom."

Behind the Ever-Expanding American Dream House : NPR
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:35 PM   #24
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It may have been "normal," but my sister and I distinctly remember hating it. Parents got to use the "big bathroom" (with the bathtub) and kids had to use the "little bathroom" unless we were taking a bath. We each had our our own bedroom (albeit small) and felt sorry for kids who had to share. If we had had to share a bedroom, there would have been two child deaths in our family.

I like space. I don't like the idea that every surface in the home must be continually "updated" to match whatever homebuyers are seeing on TV, even if it isn't really an improvement. It broke my heart to have to replace beautiful waxed hardwood floors, which never showed a scratch, with easily-scratched "gleaming" finished hardwood because "buyers don't like to have to polish their floors."


Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post

"Consider: Back in the 1950s and '60s, people thought it was normal for a family to have one bathroom, or for two or three growing boys to share a bedroom."

Behind the Ever-Expanding American Dream House : NPR
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:56 AM   #25
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I don't think we are getting richer and be able to afford bigger houses. IMHO, it is the Super-size-it syndrome. We want a bigger house even if both of us has to work, put in OT whenever, work extra part-time job, etc. at the expense of retirement saving.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:04 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
I get your point. Still, a higher savings rate means less current consumption, which usually has a deflationary impact, which is generally not a good thing.

To paraphrase St Augustine, Give us thrift, but do not give it to us yet?
I get your point, and I've long wondered what a "healthy" savings rate might be. Obviously 100% would kill an economy, and 0% or less is troublesome. Here's a chart including countries of varying fiscal health. And of course there's China which is much, much higher.
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