• I know someone that came into a lot of money. They bought land, and built a HUGE house. After moving in, between upkeep and cleaning, they ended up selling it and moving to a smaller home. I think large houses became a status symbol (see how important and rich I am, I can afford THIS), and then, the reality sets in and when it comes time to clean, to mow those huge yards, to do all the upkeep, they end up wanting nice smaller homes.
  • I along with my husband live in a nice small one-bedroom, one-bath housewith a small yard, and we love it cause it is just the right size for the 2 of us and our small dog.
  • Ah, too true.
  • The most sensible thing is to live within your means. If that means you can't have the huge 5 bed room 4 bath house, then you find a smaller home that you could love just as much, I agree, large home are often nothing more than a status symbol to say 'look how much money I make'. Most people don't even have a need to live in such a big place.
  • If you only look at a 20 year window, it might seem so. But house sizes have always reflected the boom and bust cycles of the economy, and not just in the USA. When folks have more money, they buy bigger houses, bigger cars, more clothes, they go on more vacations, etc. Of course when we talk about house sizes increasing, it is just the sizes of new construction houses, because existing houses don't increase in size unless the homeowner puts on an addition to an existing house. During the oil embargo days of the earlier 1970s, new house sizes shrunk because of the higher heating costs. The builders are partly responsible, but they are partly buiding to what buyers already want and partly trying to influence the market and make more profit for themselves. I have not heard of the Small House Movement, but it sounds like one of those very good ideas that gets defeated by a booming economy and is only adhered to by those who can put their self-interest aside for a more noble goal, sort of like environmentalism was until a few years ago. Downsizing is a good idea in principle and I hope that more people do it, but until they are forced to by real financial constraints, I do not believe that it will ever be more than a marginal influence on the size of new homes.

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