We’ve now lived in our new rental house for almost a week, I can’t believe it! I am finally starting to feel settled in and while I absolutely love the house, there are definitely some things I didn’t think about before moving in.
Everyone has a different definition of what a “big” house might be. If you lived in 3000 square foot houses your whole life, that may not seem very big to you. If you lived in 1000 square foot apartments your whole life, an 1800 square foot house may seem massive. It’s all about perspective. To give you a back story, John and I’s first apartment was 1100 square feet, our second apartment was 700 square feet and our house that we owned in Arizona was 1700 square feet.
Here in North Carolina, our first apartment was 1400 square feet but the layout was AWFUL. It was super boxy and our furniture was too big for the rooms, making the space seem even more cramped. It honestly felt like it was about 800 square feet and with two little ones, that was tough! Our new rental house that we just moved into is a little more than 3000 square feet which, to us, is massive. It’s definitely more space than we need, but the rental price wasn’t that much more than we were paying for our apartment and we love the area and the neighborhood. Plus, it gives us a chance to “test the waters” with living in a big house before we go to buy one. I don’t want to buy a big house if it’s not for me, so renting this house gives us the opportunity to see exactly what we want in a house.
What I like about living in a big house
Obviously, the space is incredible. In the apartment, the girls were constantly following me around and crowding my space (I mean that in the nicest way possible!). I assumed they would do that here since they are very young but I wasn’t sure. Well, they do do that here, but it’s totally different! We can all be in the kitchen and have room and even when they’re jumping on me on the couch, it doesn’t last long before they run off and do their own thing. There are a lot of rooms in the house and a lot to explore. The girls love it!
The kitchen (pictured above) is a dream come true. I never used to cook that often partly because I prefer to bake and partly because I never had a kitchen like this. Since living here, I’ve made dinner three out of four nights and plan on cooking at least six times a week. I want to feed my family healthy foods but I also really like cooking in this kitchen. There’s space, the appliances are new and work great, and the girls can easily assist me without it being cramped.
Plenty of storage. We definitely aren’t short on storage over here! The closet beneath the stairwell is where I store my Christmas decorations, all of the rooms have walk-in closets, we have two linen closets upstairs, a walk-in pantry and plenty of cabinet space in the kitchen, an office nook with more storage and more. While I never intend on using all of it, it is nice to have.
We have room for guests. When my parents visited us in December, we were out of the apartment as often as possible. Part of it was because we wanted to show them Charlotte, but more so than that it was because it was WAY too cramped in there with six of us! Now, we have a guest room for when they come and can hang out here and BBQ, play with the girls and enjoy each other’s company.
Extra space really is an amazing thing. At this point, I don’t think I want to downsize so the goal is to work as hard as possible so we can afford to purchase a home similar to this one. I love being here and don’t mind spending all day at home, whereas before I had to get out of the apartment at least once per day or I felt like I was going to lose my mind. Now, I know I may change my mind after living here for a year or two, but for now – I love it!
What I don’t like about living in a big house
Of course, even though I do love this big new house, there are some things I don’t like about it. For starters, I’m always cold. When you live in a small space, you can turn on the heater as often as you want knowing your bill will still be small. It’s cozier in small spaces, hands down. We’ve been keeping our thermostat at 68-69 degrees and to me that’s freezing. I know some people (like the Frugalwoods!) keep their thermostat even lower, but for now I don’t think I could do that! This is a “test month” so we’ll see what the bill is. If it’s ridiculously high we will be lowering the thermostat, but I’m secretly hoping it’s low that way we can turn it up a few degrees.
I also don’t like that if I need something upstairs or downstairs, it’s a trek. Doing laundry is almost a workout in itself between gathering all the clothes, taking them down to the machine that’s way at the end of the house and then carting them all back up and putting them away. But hey, I’m not complaining about that! One of my New Year’s resolutions is to workout more and I’m accomplishing that simply by living here!
Most people would probably say that they don’t like cleaning a big house, but I think I’ve come up with a solution to that so it doesn’t bother me (and no, I’m not hiring a maid). I’m naturally pretty clean and always stay on top of the dishes, laundry and putting miscellaneous items back in their places, so it’s just the bigger items I have to worry about. My plan is to tackle one “big” chore per day and rotate. So yesterday I cleaned the hardwoods, today I plan on vacuuming and tomorrow I’ll clean the bathrooms. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to clean the whole house all at once, but that’s ok!
I’m excited to see how this year goes. Are we going to be comfortable with the extra expenses? Will the “newness” of living in a big house wear off? Am I going to want to downsize in the future? Only time will tell, but for now I am so happy to be here!
Do you live in a “big” house? Do you like it? What’s considered big to you?