Mansions or madness?

The struggle of finding efficient living in today’s housing market.

Over the past two years, I have desperately been searching to find the first “perfect home” to purchase. What started off as an exciting journey has quickly turned into a stressful Zillow pursuit. What’s the issue? It seems near impossible to find an efficient space to purchase.

I thought that finding a 2BR 1.5BR (<1200sqft) would be the easiest thing to score, but the outcome has been quite the opposite. Zillow & Trulia are flooded with massive homes, 4BD4BR (3000sqft) — and probably for good reason. No one needs that much space to live. No one. As discussed in this published Wall Street Journal Residential Behavior Study, families spend most of their time in the dining, kitchen, and family rooms. Only 400 of the (average) 1000 square feet were actually used by the occupants. After learning about this mass under-utilization of space, it dawned on me that whatever purchase I was going to make needed to be purposeful and efficient. This has been the biggest struggle yet.

At first, I was pissed. Our society preaches that owning a home is a huge milestone in life that every successful person should strive for. But why? To prove a status? To prove to others that you make enough money to afford a hefty mortgage payment each month? What a joke. At 25, I have a nice paying job, zero college debt, and a pretty shiny credit score. I was the “perfect candidate” for a large mortgage loan based on the conversations I had with several lenders. However, the last thing I wanted to do was make the same mistake as so many others — buy a massive house to prove my “status” (and success) in comparison to my peers.

It has been a realization that the housing market in my area simply caters to people buying huge homes to impress other people. Unless you are planning on opening a B&B in the near future, there is no reason you need a 3000sqft home. Attempting to prove your status/worth/success by buying a massive house is not impressive — it’s madness.

Life Lesson Learned: The typical housing market caters to overspending & the over-consumption of space. Do I make enough money to afford a 4BD house? Sure. Do I need a 4BD house? Absolutely not & chances are — neither do you.