I will admit I’ve been bit by the big-house bug. Living in Charlotte, the brick homes are just so gorgeous and resemble my dream home to a T – huge decks, crown molding throughout, tons of space . The big homes in the fancy neighborhoods were calling my name. I just had to live in one of those homes!!
One of the things I’ve noticed about Charlotte is that a lot of the homes in good school districts are big and fancy (hence, another reason for wanting a large house). There are tons of nice houses in not-so-great school districts too, but most of those kids attend private schools. It seems like there isn’t too much out there that is moderate-sized, in a good school district and had all my dream qualities. Plus, wouldn’t it be fun to live in a massive house?!
So…we viewed a rental that met my requirements…
My dream rental
*Disclaimer: We are not buying a house for at least two years b/c my husband just started working for himself
There it was – a large house (almost 3300 square feet), gorgeous kitchen with granite, stainless steel appliances, a large island and recessed lighting, beautiful moldings throughout, fresh paint (grey – my top color), hardwood floors, a wonderful backyard…and SEVEN rooms. It. Was. Huge. By seven rooms, I don’t mean seven rooms total counting the kitchen and living areas…it had 4 bedrooms, an office, a playroom AND a sun room. While stunning, seriously – what would we do with all that space?!
In typical fashion, though, we contacted the owner and did a little negotiating to see exactly how much it would cost us to get this house. We offered $300 less per month than asking with the understanding that my handyman-husband would do all the maintenance. They countered, we countered, they accepted. Now, it was just a matter of thinking it over for a night or two before signing the papers (I tend to want to move in immediately when I see houses, without actually thinking anything through haha).
We sat on it for about two days. John really really wanted it (he’s worse than me!). I was a little hesitant. Our girls still wake up at night and I dread going to their rooms now and they’re not that far away. I love that I wake up in the morning and clean, do all the dishes and laundry, make the beds and vacuum in under 20 minutes. I kind of like that we all hang out together in our family area and dining area. I like that when the girls take a nap, I can work or relax instead of cleaning like I did in our old house. To be quite honest, a big house kind of scares me and it has nothing to do with financial reasons.
When we moved to North Carolina, we wanted to live simply. Our dream was to purchase a small, very affordable house on some land. We would make updates as we pleased, plant a garden so we could cook with fresh vegetables, spend our time outdoors biking, walking and visiting parks, etc. Nothing in my original plan was “live in a huge house” and in fact, that’s just the opposite of what we first wanted.
This beautiful city did get the best of me though, and I do want nicer things for my family, but I’m not quite sold on a “big house.” Luckily, we have time. Hopefully I will find a few areas that are in great school districts with beautiful homes that aren’t so large.
We ended up deciding not to move forward with the rental.
The benefits of a small (ish) house
When deciding about the big rental house, I Googled if people regretted buying a big house. While everyone’s definition of “big house” is different, it was pretty unanimous across the board that big houses get old fast. There is lots of constant upkeep, lots of cleaning, lots of decorating and lots of other expenses. Why pay for and decorate rooms that you never use? A smaller house, on the other hand, reaps benefits, such as:
Less maintenance overall. If you need to re-paint the interior, it costs less money and takes less time. Cleaning the house can be done each and every morning (like I do now) versus having to set aside hours each week to get it done.
More time for doing what you love. If you’re not spending hours maintaining and fixing up your home, you can spend that time doing what you love. John and I play canasta every night after our girls go to bed, we watch TV shows on Netflix, we spend time chatting, we value our weekends and spend them doing fun things with our girls. House maintenance? No thanks!!
More money. Ahh, a big one. Big houses cost more money in rent, more money in utilities, more money in decor, more money in cleaning supplies, etc. etc. etc. And this money has to come from somewhere – meaning either you or your husband (or both) are having to work more. And working more means giving up more time with your family and having less time for your own personal hobbies.
So, I’m not quite sure exactly where I stand – but I do know I do not want a huge house anymore. While I do want to live in a bigger space than we currently have, I’m happy and content with where we’re at. I know I’m going to look back on these days as the “simple times” because in all reality, life is pretty good and pretty low-key.
Do you live in a big house? What is “big” to you? Do you love it or regret it?