Friday, November 1, 2013

Bigger isn't better

Even though my husband and I decided a simpler, pared down lifestyle would be a refreshing start to our post-recession life, last weekend we found ourselves touring a 3,500 square foot house with an endless yard.

The house was to go on the auction block the following weekend, starting at $220,000.

It was, potentially, a steal.

So we went to check it out.

But as we walked through the house, the auctioneer trailing us like a dog, I began to feel stress bundle up inside me. "You'll need a cashier's check of $7,000 at the auction….If you have any questions about financing, this may not be your opportunity…Isn't this master bedroom lovely?…The seller will take care of the city violations….I can send you an email with information about the auction…"

I looked out the window and watched fiery red leaves parachute from a giant tree in the back yard. How long, I wondered, would it take to rake those beautifully colored leaves? I turned around and drank up the empty room, trying to imagine life, my life, in the house. How much would it cost to heat this monstrous home? How much would it cost to update the ancient bathrooms and subpar kitchen? Was the hole in the chimney just the beginning of endless structural issues? What about the rotting wood around the back windows? Could I possibly find the time to clean this place?

I tightened the belt on my coat and brought its collar up around my ears. I headed for the door, knowing, without a doubt, I did not want to live in a large home again. Instead, I realized, I wanted to spend my money on more worthy and memorable causes, like college savings, family vacations, evenings out with my husband.

A sense of calm washed over me as I thought the house would be a great deal: for someone else.


  1. That must have been a good feeling to walk away from that house! 3500 is huge! We should move out of CA. Here people are paying $800k for 1500 square feet.

  2. It took me five tries to get the Captcha right before my last comment would post!

  3. Meghan, I know. It is totally crazy. That house would have easily gone for $1M in New Jersey, even though it is in rough shape. People who live in big cities pay a premium to be there.


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