Question for families who have moved from little houses to big houses


#1

Okay, did moving from a small house to a bigger house make a significant improvement in the quality of your life?

I’m going a little nuts with our little house and big family, but sometimes I think I focus on the house size too much.


#2

I think the biggest favor it did for me was give me more room to put my junk, making the house feel less cluttered. :smiley: Don’t know about the effect on family dynamics, though… I’ve only got one outside the womb, and one inside.

Maybe Martha will chime in. I think she recently got a bigger palace for her court. :slight_smile:


#3

The bedroom situation is driving me nuts! I have four boys ages 12, 10, 5 and 2 in one room. And, a 12 year old girl and 7 year old girl in another. Bedtime is torture. I’d really like another bedroom or two. And, I’d like a family room so we don’t have to do our schooling in the dining room.

But, hey, the pioneers lived in just one room, didn’t they?


#4

We could give each child their own bedroom, and boy oh boy, did that cut down on the fights! Best thing we ever did.


#5

We moved from a 3 bedroom condo to a house now that I can’t see moving out of. We just moved here 1 and 1/2 yrs ago and it is 4 bedrooms w/ a family room, kitchen, formal dining room (which I made into a toy room since we don’t need a “formal” dining room). and I couldn’t be happier with the bigger house. I don’t feel so squished in here and we have a bedroom for our daughter which she will eventually share, a bedroom for our 8 yr old son which my 2 year old will be moving into soon, then we have a baby room that will be for the new baby on the way. We are going to leave the baby room a baby room until God is finished giving us little blessings from heaven and the other rooms will be a girls room and a boys room and then of course our bedroom is the other one I forgot to mention. Our home is not huge by any means but it works and I couldn’t be happier with the space it provides. It just depends on each individual person’s needs I think, because I have friends who are perfectly content with a house half the size of ours…just pray over your decision


#6

I only have the 2 so far, so martha can give you a better opinion. BUT
I say you need at least 1 other bedroom and your school room :smiley:
But the 12/10 year old in one room, the 5/2 year old in another, then the girls in another.
Never hurt for kids to share rooms, but 4 in 1 seems a bit crowded.

I moved from a smaller house into my current house. I LOVE IT though we will be selling it most likely due to financial reasons and go back to a smaller house.


#7

We were in an approx. 1000 sq ft home and we moved Easter weekend into this house which is just under 2700 sq ft.

I think if you can honestly afford it, not just scrape by, but actually make room in a realistic and regular budget for it. Then it can be a great improvement to your life to have the right house.

By the right house I mean, not a money pit and one that is more than just mere sq footage. A home that you enjoy being in and look forward to returning to.

Know what your top priorities are and do not settle for less than those.

Mine were:
at least 2500 sq ft
**a large dining area **
a large living area
at least 1 extra living/dining area (for school stuff!)
no less than 5 bedrooms, 4 big enough for 2 sets of bunks because I have no idea how many blessings we’ll end up with
no less than a 2 car garage
no major physical repairs needed (read: not a money pit!)
either a nice neighborhood very close to Rob’s work or
cheap acreage in boonies
it couldn’t cost more than $150K because that’s what I figured we could swing if we really sacrificed everything to get it.

We looked for years before it happened, but it did happen! So now let’s see…


**I love being home. I have never been able to say that before now. We stayed fairly busy putside the home because otherwise we got what I refer to as “kennel craze.” **

The kids can play without fear in the neighborhood. The yard is nice enough to play in even the next morning after a hard rain. We have plenty of space to stock up the pantry, rather than constantly having to wait to buy things. The rooms are big enough that we could comfortably fit more in them and have one empty for playing only.

**negatives. yes, there’s always negatives to everything.:wink: **
We have found that the kids have to be forced to blend “territories”. They’ve become rather argumentative about their space. Some respect for another’s stuff has always been accepted, but now we have to work harder at it. Basicly, it is easy to go from a snug family to lots of people living under one roof - everyone doing their own thing, but not really “together” if that makes any sense. Before we had to work things out that minute and forgive much or go insane. Now it’s too easy to just walk away and hold a grudge or ignore each other. So rules had to be instituted to make sure we don’t get lazy about loving one another as we should.

Cleaning! You know, I used to joke that I didn’t envy anyone their big house because they just had more to clean. Well it’s coming back to bite me in the bum. :stuck_out_tongue: However, I must admit I get a good deal more satisfaction from it here vs the other house where it seemed so futile to bother.

I still can’t park in the 2 car garage. The van is too tall! I take some selfish joy in that dh can’t park his little sunfire in there either because of all the bikes, yard toys, and science experiments.

utilities are more expensive, bigger house = bigger area to heat, more water running at once, nicer area = higher taxes.

we have given up a lot to get this house, but all others see is the big expensive house. they make assumptions that we cannot afford them to have.:blush: This includes the kids. The kids are happy in the new house, but we had to make it clear to them that they would be sacrificing too. They are down to just 1 extracurriculiar - homeschool pe. and that’s it. No piano lessons, no competitive sports, no scouts, no CCD, that’s it. We do a LOT as a family. Online piano lessons, bought a guitar instruction manual, they play sports together, and we do lots of the stuff in the scout books ourselves. And daddy is not home much because he is working 2 jobs. (hope he won’t have to work 2 for more than a year) So far the kids have not made one single complaint about any of this except missing their dad. They say it’s worth it.

So that’s all I can think of at the moment. Time for a second cup of java and grade homework.


#8

We moved from a little house to a big house and somehow felt out of place in it. It was so nice with the wood floors and molding I always felt like I was visiting. And the upkeep and maintenance was a bit pricey for us.

We moved back to a smaller house and still have 4 bedrooms and 2 baths and love it. It’s more affordable. With the money we saved we put the kids in the private Catholic schools and that was a blessing.

And in a pinch this year when our youngest was diagnosed with brain cancer and my wife quit her job to be with him at St. Jude, although the budget was tight(er), my job covers the house note easily. He is doing fine today and wife is back at work - Amen.

Follow your heart and make sure you need it for the right reasons and not just want it for the sake of wanting it. Good luck.


#9

We’ve done a range in our 7 residences since marrying 17 years ago. The 1000 sq. ft. condo was great for young marrieds–couldn’t imagine having kids in such a small space. The largest place we ever had was 5600 sq. ft. and tooooo big. We’ve done 1800 sq. ft. with 3 little kids and about went nuts…the 4500 we’re in now feels about right and despite having a br for every kid–my girls have always shared a room and/or had bedrooms connected by a Jack & Jill bath.


#10

One of the things that is important to know is WHY you need more space?

Are there too many children for the number/size of bedrooms? Are the rooms big enough but the doors/windows/closets locations don’t allow room for beds, dressers, or desks?

Is there a need for certain bedrooms to be in certain places? In the case of a two story house do you need at least one room downstairs?

Do you need storage space but don’t have attics, basements, or closets?

Is the kitchen big enough for cooking and food storage?

Do you need both a kitchen eating area and a dining room?

Do you need both a living room and a family room?

Do you need the family room connected to the kitchen?

Do you need a specialty room? A sewing room, a home office, a study/home school room, a playroom?

Not everyone needs more room for the same thing so getting the wrong bigger house is just more to heat, cool, and/or clean. Getting the right bigger house can make life simpler overall.


#11

especially if you have kids, your available possessions will swell to fill your new house. If there is a reason kids need separate bedrooms that is a good reason, if you need to change locations because of work or school, that is a good reason, if you can get a larger house on good terms for not much more than your old payment, that is a good reason but it depends on the market. We made a killing buying the last house we owned because we got more floor space and more rooms, bigger lot, for same base price of the house, but cheaper payment but this was for a lot of market reasons.

If you love your location, consider adding on to get space you need, for instance a family room with one small or two large bedrooms above, a dormer bedroom etc.

my brother did a remodel where a garage became a kitchen and family room, and old, small kitchen became utility room, office and dining area. In-laws took a porch-patio, extended it to a much needed family room and dining area, make living room a 3d bedroom, and made dormer a teen bedroom. They did not add a bathroom, now wish they had, but it was the most expensive option.

All the usual caveats on home improvement and contractors apply of course.

A lot of new house construction today seems to us to have a lot of wasted space, cathedral ceilings, great rooms, 2-story front hallways etc. that add to sq. footage but do not add to usable living space. DD bought a house like that. It gave them 2 more bedrooms, but for double the square footage of the small ranch house, not much more actual space, except the basement playroom and workshop.


#12

I was kind of hoping that people would say that the size of the house didn’t make much difference in the standard of living. sigh.

Now, how to be content when everyday I’m assaulted by feelings of being trapped in this house!!!


#13

I think the comfort level of individuals inside the house is a cultural thing. I know our parents raised 8-10 kids in small cape cod type houses that were build in our town after WW2, but we also spent most of our waking hours outdoors or at school, summer and winter. Todays families need more space, and yes cabin fever can be a real problem especially in the winter. One thing to look at is how we use space. If all kids do in their rooms is sleep, that is fairly straightforward, and you can sleep as many kids as you have beds for one one room. If their bedrooms are also for clothing storage, toy storage, play area, study area, and a place to socialize with their friends, that does not translate well to shared space, especially with a big gap in ages. If the family room or basement, or rec room will double as some of that multiple use space, the bedrooms can be smaller and fewer. But it makes no sense to have toys everywhere. Pick a place where each type of play or activitiy takes place, and stick with it.

If you need more room for a growing family there is absolutely nothing to apologize for. If my grandkids had to share bedrooms there would probably be regular blow-ups. One needs his own room because his brother has asthma and snores, which keeps him awake. His school performance and mood have improved greatly since he got his own room and can finally get a good nights sleep.


#14

We have resisted moving from our townhouse for several years while others of our friends move to bigger and bigger houses. We don’t have children sharing bedrooms, but they don’t use their rooms for much more than sleeping and dressing.

I shared rooms growing up (2 kids, not 4) as did many people. It can be done and won’t automatically harm them, despite what some people might say.

However, if you find it very difficult to live in your current house and you can afford a larger one, than don’t feel guilty about moving. I would question a move just to get the “one up on the Jones” feeling though!


#15

We moved from a 1800 sq foot house to a 3000 sq foot house seven years ago. At first (with three small children) it seemed huge, but now with four growing children we’ve found that we need more space, hence we are renovating our kitchen and adding a much needed mud room.

I think having some personal space is really important. I grew up in a large family and we were packed like sardines. To this day, I really crave alone time. Who knows, maybe it’s just my personality. My kids don’t seem to care how we live. They don’t like being upstairs by themselves or down in the play room by themselves. They just like being together. I, on the other hand, like the space and the fact that I can find a place for everything in my house.

If you have the opportunity to move to a larger place, go for it.


#16

Wait I was going to say that. We moved from a 1100 sq foot mobile home into a 1824 sq foot (living) brick home 5 years ago and I can’t say that its better. Its much harder to keep up!!!


#17

You be content with knowing that there ARE perks to your current home.


1. less to clean and less to maintain
2. smaller mortgage, usually anyhow
3. more funds to do other things, often things away from the little house
4. you are not trapped! - leave to do things as often as possible, even if it’s just the library or the park. Our little house was a place for rest and regrouping, but the majority of our lives was away from home or outside.


For us, it was a loss of family time that was the biggest factor in moving, not the size of the house. The commute to events and work. I don’t mind driving somewhere, but I don’t want to live out of my van either. Now, when I want to go somewhere, 10 mintues later I’m there. 20 with terrible traffic. Dh can come home for lunch and dinner now vs the kids literally not seeing him at all unless it was Sunday or right before bed on Tuesday and Thursday.


#18

We actually have a very good location. Here’s some complications to moving:

  1. my dh (a former farm boy) refuses to consider living in a neighborhood (like a subdivision or city block).

  2. We live in a row of houses: in order my inlaws, my sil, us, and my bil, so it would be difficult in family relations to sell outside the family.

  3. We can’t afford any big enough houses in the “country” unless we move an hour southwest of here–leaving our families, parish, homeschool community and adding an hour’s commute each way to dh’s work.

So, really it makes more sense to add on. But…my dh though very handy hates, despise, loathes home repair. So, I can’t imagine the misery of months of me frustrated that he won’t work on the addition. And, he would be mad, resentful and miserable with it.

And, without doing much of an addition ourselves, I can’t see how we can swing it financially.

so, that is why I feel trapped. Here I am homeschooling six kids–so, we are all here almost every day. If my dh was more flexible about where we can live, it would be a lot better. There are lots of big houses around us pretty cheap, but in subdivisions.

It’s not so bad right now, but I know that November through March, I’ll be stressed and miserable again. And, now that I think about it–the hot days of July and August aren’t so much fun either.

I just wish the housing situation didn’t consume so much of my thoughts.


#19

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