Ever since I moved to the US I am always asking this question: what is it about oversized houses in America? Why do families of three buy a house with 6 bedrooms, two living rooms, three bathrooms etc.? I get it that there is a status and a dream of “an American Dream” but why people overcomplicate their lives with a huge thing called “a house”? If you think of it as a day to day living, there are so many things you need to be doing with this house: cleaning, heating, paying taxes, paying mortgages, furnishing it, starring at empty corners, looking for each other …
A little bit of reflection into the past: We were a family of four living in 1 bedroom apartment at some point. Well that was tight. Then it turned into 3 bedroom apartment: we were all working, going to school, doing sports, social activities etc. and when we were home, when we had friends over, we were always together, close to each other. Maybe doing our own thing but next to each other. That apartment was always full of warmth and great vibes. I loved it. A few years later, my parents were doing great financially and we ended up having two houses… what happened after? Well…some relationships got broken and needed to be repaired just because people were too far away from each other; some things got overcomplicated logistically & emotionally. Needless to say, we got rid of both houses. Sadly, nobody needed it.
People in Russia are still very sensitive about the ‘real estate’ subject. Real Estate is very expensive there and mortgages just became available several years ago. That allowed people to buy their own condos instead of living in dorms or with their parents. But boy, those mortgages are expensive! Russians do buy it cause they are so hungry for normal living conditions that they don’t care how much they end up paying to the banks.
Not always I’ve been thinking the way I am thinking now. Even after I moved to the US, I was thinking that to prove that we are doing good financially we have to buy a big beautiful house. Well we have a big house but none of us really care if we do or not. We did lots of work in it and made it beautiful but now we want to move back to a smaller house cause we all tired of taking care of it. And at this point of our lives, we don’t care what people think; we care of what makes us happy and what makes a smart financial decision.
One of my wonderful friends recently said: “I bought this house thinking I need it. Turned out – I sure don’t. I am just paying to heat up these dark empty rooms. I will be looking into selling it and moving back to a condo soon”.
I don’t know if it’s our generation, a tiny house movement or some of us are starting to shift our priorities and energy into emotional & mindful living instead of stressing out over how many things we have. But I know one thing for sure: we really don’t need much space to be happy- we just need a comfortable living with people that inspire us and care about us, and we care about them.