Misconceptions: My House is Too Small

house with yard
Photo by Wynand van Poortvliet

America is a nation where everything is bigger. We have super-size meals, cars and even houses. We are the proud nation that invented McMansions after all, and many of us expect to one day advance on our property ladder to the seven-bedroom monstrosity that seems to have become a large part of the American dream. Really, who wouldn’t want more space in which to truly live?

Well, this mentality that we must advance to bigger and better houses as we age may just be a misnomer. Large houses come with a lot of upkeep, higher utility costs, and frankly, a lot of wasted space for the majority of everyday living. Let’s look at these ideas more in-depth.

Upkeep…Up the Wazoo

When you own a home, you know that maintenance plays a big part in your life. Siding must be painted, roofs must be replaced, windows and doors need to be maintained…and the list goes on and on. Of course, these large projects can actually be overshadowed by the daily maintenance: yard work, cleaning, and miscellaneous repairs can take up a lot of your time.

Imagine all of this upkeep on a larger home. Dusting alone could become a monumental task when you have 5,000 square feet of rooms filled with furniture and knick-knacks, but add in vacuuming, scrubbing, repairing and raking leaves, and you’ll see your free time dwindle to nothing.

Utility Costs Go Up…and Up…and Up

One of my least favourite bills to pay is the heating bill. To me, it feels like such a shame to live heat-bill-free for six glorious months per year only to be forced to pay up to $150 per month for the other six months. And this is for a three-bedroom home. Imagine if I had to heat a McMansion!

Of course, the heating bill is not the only cost that will rise with larger houses. Other utility costs, taxes and insurance are a few of the other fees that could break the bank. Additionally, choosing a McMansion could mean increased HOA fees (homeowner’s association fees) and additional upkeep costs related to HOA rules and regulations.

Wide Open Spaces…Wasted

Some people are drawn to large houses because of the extra space available for parties. Many envision weekly shin-digs where guests drink Champagne and eat caviar. Others see the space as a place for more relaxed family get-togethers. Whatever the plan in purchasing so much extra space, sometimes planning to become Party Central may not be worth the extra cash.

Paying for the upkeep of this square footage may not return enough on your investment. For example, if you only throw a party once or twice per year, the cost of the space may be an unnecessary drain on your pocketbook. On the other hand, if you love to entertain quite often and have budgeted for your party-throwing hobby, space could be welcome.

Overall, big houses could just be a waste of money. If you are not regularly using every room in your home, you could be paying a pretty penny for upkeep and utilities (not to mentions the square footage purchase price). So before you upgrade, you may want to consider if you will genuinely throw those dream parties or if space could just collect dust (that you’ll have to clean).

Does anyone else out there love a smaller house? Will you stay there forever?