Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Help...I Have House Envy

A few weeks ago, I dropped my daughter off for a play date in a neighborhood very different from ours. I was in awe of the size of the homes as soon as we pulled into the development. These homes were monstrous, at least two times the size of our 1800 square foot home. I wasn't so much inspired by the aesthetics of the homes as much as the size of them.

I've been feeling a little cramped lately. Recently, all 4 of us were trying to brush our teeth at the same time in our one and only full bathroom. As we were elbowing each other for spitting room, I realized that with the kids at 4 and almost 2, it is easy now, but what will happen when they are older. How cramped will I/we feel then?

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of reasons for me to love our home.

  • We love our neighborhood. The homes in it are over 40 years old and many of the existing homeowners still reside in them. The neighbors are very friendly and everyone looks out for each other.

  • Our home is also just minutes from my husband's office and makes it easier on us when he works a lot of hours.

  • We love the size of our mortgage. We refinanced a year ago and we now have about 7 years left on our mortgage.

But there are some things that I would change if I could.

  • We only have a one car garage and we haven 't been able to put a car in it for years. It is full of our stuff, like bikes, scooters, and outdoor toys.

  • Also as I stated above, we only have one full bathroom that is becoming more and more cramped.

As I was driving away from the play date, I started dreaming about what I could do with all of that space. No more elbowing at the bathroom sink. I could have my own office. The kids could have their own play room. With a three car garage, there would be room for both vehicles and all of our bikes and outdoor toys. I bet they don't have to shovel their cars out of the snow. Those cars are probably nice and toasty during a snow storm.


Okay, back to my reality. We genuinely love our home. We are on track to pay off our mortgage early. My utilities are probably half of that big home's bills. Our quarter acre lot is very easy to take care of. And we love our cozy, little neighborhood. I also know that the size of one's home doesn't always equate to the size of one's balance sheet.

I am trying to make myself feel better, but I still have house envy. Somehow I have to get over it. I think I will go work through my feelings with a big plate of Christmas cookies and a big glass of milk.

Do you ever get house envy? Please tell us how you cope!!

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  1. Maybe you could clean out your garage, sell off the contents (if it is as packed as you indicate, you're probably not actually using a lot of that stuff very often) and use the profit to install an extra sink someplace for teeth-brushing and the like. Then you'd have a garage and an interim solution to one problem.

  2. This is going to sound like a joke, but I'm completely for real, and honest. When I see those big beautiful houses that I would love to own, I think of having to clean each and every one of those rooms! When you own a house like that, the neighborhood expects you to keep it looking like Ceasars Palace, or there are consequences and reprocusions. I couldn't do it. All my time would be spent trying to take care of it, and not enjoying it.

    God gave us this home because He knew it was exactly what we needed at that time. Are their things that could ALWAYS be better about it....sure. This is the first time we've had more than one bathroom and there are 6 of us. We still only have one full bath...our cars are out in the weather too, we enclosed our garage to make it a living room and laundry room....my kid's bedrooms are tiny and I don't have an official school room. But God provided us with a safe neighborhood, a lovely backyard, brand new carpet, a half bath, new appliances, WHITE KITCHEN CABINETS, and crown molding all around the downstairs celing. We are a cozy, comfy family and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm just praying for a $500.00 storage shed outside!

    Hope that helps, I really do understand the feeling...I do.

  3. Thanks for your comments.

    Celia - it is funny that you mentioned cleaning out the garage, because that is what we started doing yesterday. DH has some time off and we started re-organizing the garage. We will never get a car in there, but we can now walk through it :)

    Kristilea - pretty name - That is now joke, I totally feel the same way about having to clean a big house. I HATE to clean my house currently, so I would really hate it at twice the size. And you are right, God gives us exactly what we need and can handle.

    Have a great day!

  4. My husband and I are closing on our first home today - about 1600 sqft, 4 BR, 1.5 BA. We intentionally bought small for the same reasons you list as pros - close to the hubby's work, very reasonable mortgage, great neighborhood, etc.

    When I was a kid, we lived in a 600 sqft 2 BR apartment with 2 kids, 2 parents, 1 dog, and 2 cats. My brother was born 9 months before we moved. Then we moved into a HUGE house - 9 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a dining room, living room, huge office, AND walk-in front closet on the first floor. My mom found cleaning the place to be completely overwhelming, so the next move was to a more reasonable 1800 sq ft place. It does have 2.5 BA and 4 BR, but the big thing is that the size fit my family's livestyle much better (I was the oldest at 14 when we moved into the 1800 sqft house).

    You might have more space, but you will just fill it with more stuff. Try reading some blogs on how to create and/or find space in small houses, declutter, and organize. The bathroom problem could be solved by getting ready at different times. Some good friends of mine have 3 boys (oldest is 15) in a 1400 sq ft house (3BR) with only 1 bathroom (just one, not even another half bath). They make it work with a firm schedule about who gets ready when - the parents have to switch off in the morning and at night.

    Just some thoughts!

  5. I used to have house envy. Friends live in McMansions with enormous kitchens with double ovens....ahhhh. (I am a total foodie, & absolutely love to cook & bake).

    One day when I was at a McMansion, my friend told me she was in the process of refinancing her home. I casually asked her (indicating that if it was too personal not to take offense) what her mortgage was...$4,028.00.


    Seriously I almost fell of the chair. I couldn't believe it. My husband and I purchased a townhome in fall of '09. We rented for 4 years prior. Our townhome is a little over 1900 sq. ft. The layout is PERFECT for us & our 2 kids (plus a lovable golden retriever, who is considered our 3rd kid.)

    Our mortgage is no where near what my friend pays, and as of that moment, I may not have my dream wrap around porch, or double oven kitchen, I wouldn't trade my house for anything else.


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