Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thoughts on Space

In the 3 months since I've posted time has sped by. The baby is due in 5.5 weeks. We've gotten all of the big baby stuff (car seat, crib, dresser, stroller)- or at least ordered it. I closed out the fiscal year at work and am getting my coworkers prepped for my maternity leave. Half of the fall programming I run is scheduled and the other half is underway. We're also in the middle of refinancing our mortgage, possibly paying off the Prius, and getting ready for the added expenses of baby.

There is a lot to blog about in that last paragraph but something a friend put on facebook yesterday is bugging me. The friend is married, both working professionals, and recently they had twins. I don't know the numbers, but I'd guess they earn in the $100-150 range as a couple.

They live in a 3 bedroom, 2 story house in a suburban style neighborhood not too far from us. Zillow says it's 1800 sq feet. They have a master, an office, and the twins currently share a room. The house is upside down, I'm guessing by approx $40K, though the area is slowly starting to rebound.

With twins they feel that the house is too small. Our friend has said multiple times that they're bursting at the seams. They just found out that they can't qualify for a short sale because they make too much money. Until then the plan had been to short sell their current place and buy a bigger place*. So now they're considering letting the house go into foreclosure.

To me the whole thing just seems crazy. Totally screw your credit, ability to buy anything for 7-10 years, and your neighbors because you think your house is too small.

My husband and I were discussing this last night and I realized that a big part of the outlook has to do with our beginnings. This couple has always lived (even as kids) in suburban type homes. Hubby and I are both city kids. Each of us remembers periods where multiple relatives were living with us for whatever reason in less than 1,000 sq foot homes. Our families made due because that was the circumstance they found themselves in and what was necessary to take care of everyone.

To us enough space is a very relative thing. Our current house is large (2500+ sq ft). We bought when the market was crashing with the idea that we could stay here for 20 years, raise 2-4 kids, and be happy if necessary. But if we only had 1,000 sq feet we could make that work too.

It just seems like such a waste to ruin so much of your financial life over 500-1000 sq feet.

*Though the logistics of that makes my head hurt.

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