In the late-90’s and early-2000’s, the economy was rocking, the internet was booming, and money was flowing. As a new generation of homebuyers began accumulating wealth, a trend emerged and people started buying and building “McMansions” – larger than average homes with more square footage than the average family really needs.
Right around 2009 to 2010, there was a stark correction. Fueled in part by a crashing economy, a mindset shift occurred. People started to crave the idea of minimalism, simplicity, and small spaces. People who had previously owned 7,000-square-foot mansions were moving into moderately sized 2,500-square-foot homes and enjoying more focused lifestyles.
But everything is cyclical. Those McMansions haven’t gone anywhere. As the economy continues to build momentum, many are feeling drawn back to larger spaces. Millennials are starting families, having more children, and enjoying larger incomes. As a result, some are choosing to move out of starter homes and into bigger houses.
On this blog, we’ve spent time discussing things to consider when upgrading to a bigger house. We’ve also covered the topic of how to be happy in a small house. However, we haven’t discussed being happy in a bigger home.
Most people assume that everyone living in a big house is satisfied. But the truth is that more space often means more problems. Knowing how to stay sane and happy in a big house is just as important as knowing how to be satisfied in a small house.
5 Tips for Being Happy in a Bigger Home
Everyone has their own definition of what a “big” house is. For some, 3,000 square feet is big. For others, it’s 8,000 square feet. When we talk about a big house in this post, we’re simply talking about moving up in square footage. In other words, a big house is anything bigger than what you’re currently living in.
Having said all of that, here are some tips for being happy as you move up in size.
1. Live First and Buy Later
“Your new home is a long-term investment. There’s no need to rush into anything,” Moving.com advises. “Give yourself time to acclimate to the new space, create new living habits, and get a feel for the types of appliances, furniture and colors that will work with your newly expanded lifestyle. A little patience is better than a large piece of furniture you’ll come to regret.”
Homeowners often feel like they have to move in, unpack, and decorate within a matter of days. This isn’t true, though. Who says you need to fully decorate every room? Why can’t you leave a couple of spare bedrooms empty for a while until you figure out how you want to use them? Live first and buy later – you’ll save money and have greater flexibility down the road.
2. Decorating: Less is More
Most people are aware of the increased expenses that come with living in a bigger house. They’ve accounted for a higher mortgage bill, larger tax payments, higher utility costs, and other expenses. What most homeowners aren’t prepared for are the costs that come with filling up all of that new square footage with furnishings and décor.
Going from three to five bedrooms means you have to purchase two new bedroom sets. A bonus room requires additional sofas and chairs. A bigger dining room means a bigger dining room table with more seating. A screened porch needs outdoor furniture. The list goes on and on.
While there are certain things you can’t get around – i.e. you’ll need more beds for more bedrooms – don’t feel like you have to decorate every square inch. Less is more with interior design and you can save money and sanity by taking a minimalist approach.
3. Don’t Get Behind on Cleaning
Cleaning a big house can be intimidating. Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners make it more difficult by neglecting messes until they can no longer be ignored. By this point, cleaning the house eats up an entire weekend.
“To avoid having to dedicate a chunk of time to cleaning, scan and clean as you go,” blogger Tammi Roy writes. “Before I go downstairs with the laundry, I glance around the room and see if there’s anything that belongs downstairs that I can also return to its home. You’re making the trip anyway, so make it a productive one.”
Little things like this can make a big difference. By staying ahead of little messes, you can avoid dealing with bigger messes later on.
4. Create a Family Room
When you live in a big house, everyone seems to have their own space. Your kids each have their own rooms. There are home offices, “man caves,” craft rooms, etc. While there’s nothing wrong with having some space, it’s easy to get carried away. Interaction with each other will become a thing of the past.
Make a point of having a family room where everyone can hang out together. Including things in this room that everyone enjoys will help encourage people to spend time in it.
5. Choose Your Projects
One final tip is to choose the projects that you’re going to tackle and delegate everything else. When you own a big house, it simply isn’t possible to do everything yourself.
Between landscaping, cleaning, and doing home maintenance projects, there aren’t enough hours in the day. Select one or two things that you want to do – such as mowing the lawn and cleaning the bathrooms – and then hire someone else to do the rest. Better yet, assign age-appropriate tasks to your kids!
Green Residential: Houston’s Leader in Real Estate
Are you trying to sell your current home in order to upgrade to something newer, bigger, or different? At Green Residential, we’d be happy to assist you through this process. Not only can we save you money on the sale of your current home, but we can also help you buy a new one. For more information, please contact us today!