Buying a house is probably as important a decision as getting married. Well not as important but it’s a close second… or third.
Anyway, bottom-line: buying a house is serious business.
There are a ton of houses out there, all different in sizes and shapes, some are tall, others small, some on stilts etc. However, a recent study from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reveal that age affects how people decide on their houses. The younger they are, the bigger they want their houses. Older they are, the smaller they prefer – inverse proportion. Here are some aspects that affect preferences – which you can also apply to yourself when picking out a property.
1. Monthly Cost
Aside from the literal cost of buying a huge house, just think how much power you’re going to consume to heat or cool a not-so-humble abode. Especially these days – energy costs are soaring. Most people forget to factor these in. They are dazzled by the light, and distracted by the whiff of cookies to think about costs ‘after’ they acquire the house.
For young professionals who are at the apex of their life and career, they view the world as theirs for the taking. There is enough vitality in them to ‘handle’ financial struggles without getting a stroke. On the other hand, older people are wise enough to avoid a ‘financial stress’ induced stroke by conserving as much as possible on these kinds of costs. Again, it is inversely proportional: young adults are ok with bigger houses even if they pay high monthly bills. Older people will always choose smaller houses for its low monthly costs.
Unless you are a hoarder of dust and garbage, I doubt you want to live in a bedraggled and dilapidated house. Young or old, nobody wants to live in an unkempt house. So, let’s do the math again.
Modest house = modest amounts of clutter and dirt to tidy up
Larger house = larger amounts to clean, wipe, dust and tidy up
There is a bit of inconsistency here regarding our inverse proportion rule. Most of the younger people aren’t really into cleaning houses (although they can, and should); it’s more the middle aged adults who are into keeping their house spic and span. However, progressing to an older age, it gets harder. You can no longer bend and snap like you used to.
When you’re young and vital, you want more breathing space. It doesn’t have anything to do with oxygen depletion or anything, but space is a symbol of freedom. Inversely, lack of it gives a feeling of suffocation. This is the reason why younger people are more inclined to buy a bigger house than a small one. The logic of the ‘old and wise’ stems from a completely basic argument – small houses are easier to navigate. I can imagine Queen Elizabeth breaking a sweat just crossing one corridor to the next of Buckingham Palace.
4. Neighbourhood Culture
Small house neighbourhoods have a more close-knit community than high profile ones (maybe because of the lack of dinosaur-tall walls, or scary security cameras). In simple neighbourhoods, everybody knows everybody, which is very beneficial if say an emergency happens (knocking on wood) – you won’t have to kangaroo-jump your neighbour’s 10 ft. tall barracks. High profile neighbourhoods, on the other hand, huge benefits as well. For one, you could be living next door to a Hollywood celebrity
5. The Smaller, The Simpler
I’m not saying that smaller houses are better, but it fosters simple living. Just go with me for a bit here – smaller houses mean smaller spaces, which means you can’t hoard. No stacking up on junk. It also means that you have to be wise about what you buy. No over-cluttering the living room with too much furniture or other paraphernalia. Better yet, you can donate some of the things you don’t need anymore. There’ll be less time spent on cleaning, and hopefully more time spent with people that matter.
To each his own – whether you want a big house or a small house. The size of the house does not matter anyway – as long as your house is also a home.
What do you think? Are you a younger home buyer thinking bigger is better? Has this given you some food for thought?