Sunday, November 19, 2006

How Big does your House need to be?

I was watching an episode of House Hunters on HGTV the other day. In that show, HGTV featured a couple who had 3700 square feet of space and were looking for another house because they needed more room.

"More room," I thought? "How can they need more than 3700 square feet of space?"

They had two small children, so they were a family of four. That means they need 3 bedrooms, right? Well, they needed four bedrooms. They wanted a guest room. No, maybe it was five. I think they wanted a separate home office, too.

Where does it end?

Obviously not there. They also wanted a "formal" dining room and living room. That means they need a separate "informal" eating space, and a den or family room so that they can actually sit somewhere and watch TV. God forbid they watch TV in the formal living room!

Oh, and I forgot to mention that one of the criteria for their new house was that it have a 4 car garage. They had a boat, a jet ski, and two cars.

OK, it was becoming clear to me. They needed more room because they had alot of stuff.

Now, obviously, it's not up to me to tell people how many "things" they should buy. If they have the money to buy and maintain boats and jet skis and cars, that's their choice.

But, when you think about it, you begin to see just how expensive these things become. Think about it - These people had to buy a bigger house because of their things. I would say that significantly increases the cost of these things.

How much are you willing to pay for a boat, and a jet ski, and two cars? Is an additional $50,000 for a bigger house with a 4-car garage too much? If we divide $50,000 by 4 we get $12,500 added to the cost and maintenance of each item.

I don't know how much this couple paid for their boat, jet ski, and two cars, but that extra $12,500 puts them in the way-too-high category, in my opinion.

This show illustrates a question that I think we all have to ask ourselves. How many "things" do we really need to buy?

When do we finally have enough?

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