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Several family members and their huge houses - Page 2

post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaskyla View Post
I'm just envious of everyone who actually owns their home. We have a niceish place, but they haven't kept it up as well as it should be...and it's not OURS.

I still keep thinking 'maybe one day, somehow', but I really don't know how.
Ditto this completely! My sister and her bf own 2 homes now (by age 25) and I always worry people are comparing us. But different strokes for different folks - I know there's no way I'd be able to stay home for a year with this little one if we had a mortgage in our area, so I tell myself we made the right choices for our little family.
post #22 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyster View Post
I have a larger home. I have to admit, I love it. I grew up poor and homeless at times, and it wasn't so much the size that made me fall in love, it was just the layout and the fact that everything has a place...or should were we tidier. Plus our home has room to grow through the many stages of our lives. Did we work harder than anyone else? Not necessarily, we did work hard, but we also had great opportunities and made some good choices and had some good luck thrown in the mixture.

Really, I don't care about what other people have, it's not a big deal. The way I grew up, what you have, even if it's a miniscule amount, you share it, so my house is often filled with friends and family dropping in.


If people are looking down on you because of material goods, then I wouldn't have those folks in my life. I spent a great deal of my life being looked down on by family and folks because we were so poor and lived in the "ghetto" I wouldn't tolerate that kind of nonsense now.

If I'm feeling a little green because someone has a nicer this or cooler that, then that's my thing and I have to own it and put it into perspective.

(((Hugs)))

I know exactly where you are coming from. Exactly.

I now take a very small, very guilty pleasure in a certain family member who held her financial status over my mom and I my entire childhood. Then my mom started making more than her husband. Then I grew up. I believe she's learned to eat her words.

Our home is often filled with friends. I love that. I love that people find us welcoming. We make fun of where we live on a regular basis - partly because we aren't completely comfortable with it but also because we'd never ever want guests/friends to think we took it seriously or held it over them. We lovingly call our neighborhood Bushwood, we even found Bushwood tshirts for next year's 4th party.

We did have an issue with a couple of people when we moved to our current house (our last house was deceptively *normal* unless you really knew the housing prices of the area) and, well, their loss. We really tried.

OP, I bet your hosts would be mortified to know you felt out of place at all. I'm guessing they want you to be comfortable and feel welcomed in their home. Gush over things you love. I've done that in other homes - I went into DH's old partner's house with a custom, circular wine celler - ***drool*** - I let the owner know how gorgeous it was and how much I wanted one. I don't have a turret, no way I can have one without some mega structural changes. But that's ok, feel free to gush! Just don't have that twinge of jealousy to your voice, just appreciation.

And remember, there's always someone with a bigger, more expensively decorated house. But that's really not what is important.
post #23 of 57
I just wanted to add to the convo. I live in a 777 square foot 2/1 home. It is certainly the smallest in the neighborhood, and needs a new paint job in and out, carpets, and the kitchen is original to '47.

My brother lives in a million dollar condo in the city and honestly I'm not the least bit jealous. They give up so much of their lives to make money, their daughter is left to CIO because they don't have the time/energy/care to meet her needs. They have her in full-time daycare so they can afford that life.

Us, we are comfortable enough for me to be a homemaker (I still work part-time 5 hours a week). We have time to love each other and meet each others needs. We also do all home improvements ourselves which gives us a great sense of accomplishment and gets us working and playing together, instead of hiring out for everything.

And the best part is our tiny little home is always full of guests. And no one is EVER out of earshot. Having a small house keeps us living to our principals of low-impact and simplicity.

I grew up in a 3,000 sq foot plus house with a miserable family and almost no sense of home.
post #24 of 57
Ahhhh home is where the heart is! I used to get that tingle of jealousness until I had my home totally deep cleaned I realized this little shack ain't so bad
post #25 of 57


Quote:
Originally Posted by iamama View Post
Ahhhh home is where the heart is! I used to get that tingle of jealousness until I had my home totally deep cleaned I realized this little shack ain't so bad
post #26 of 57
I would rather have a smaller home that I can pay for than a big home that I can "make ends meet". I work in the real estate business and I cannot tell you how many people can barely afford their mortgage. They live off of credit, have no savings, and the parents work tons of hours just to pay the bills. It looks great on the outside, but get into the nitty gritty and it's very gloomy.

My idea of success is having a loving home, money in the bank and good friends and family over to enjoy the warmth of the home. You can always add on to a smaller home and expand it slowly.

There is more to life than who has the biggest/best of things and it's sad to see that people still get caught up in the "image" that they forget the important stuff in life.

Of course, there are people who really truly can afford those houses and still have everything important taken care of (kids, etc). Success means different things to different people and the people who would "look down" on you are not the people you want in your life anyways.
post #27 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaskyla View Post
I'm just envious of everyone who actually owns their home. We have a niceish place, but they haven't kept it up as well as it should be...and it's not OURS.

I still keep thinking 'maybe one day, somehow', but I really don't know how.


But I'm not going to stress it. We have a comfortable place to call home, and that's good enough.
post #28 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethla View Post
I feel like their homes are a sign of their accomplishments in life which is frustrating because dh and I work so hard. I wonder if they look at us and think we're losers.
Had to respond!



I'm sorry you feel this way. Big houses aren't a sign of hard work. Success isn't always linked to hard work. A lot of it is luck. It often takes money to make money, at least big money.

I definitely don't want to be poor, but I always think (and I know in my heart) that I would not do what most other people do with money if I had it. I know that for sure because I once had money (well, a nice savings from being really frugal) and I did not do what other people do with money. What I did is save and help other people less fortunate than myself. I once had more than $50,000 in savings from earnings and I still shopped at Goodwill and helped other people. So, I know that if I had $100k or $1 million I would not buy a big house or fancy car or anything like that.

That helps me make peace (a little) with where I am in life. We don't have everything we need, and we're far from everything we want. My goal is to some time get to having everything we need. That would make me happy.

I also think a lot about ecological footprint. I mean, sure, a person may be able to afford a 3500 square foot house and 4 or 5 kids, but can the planet? If you can afford a Hummer or Escalade, should you get a Hummer or Escalade? Should we maximize the finite resources just because we can afford them in today's dollars? I'd argue no, but it's a value choice.

As for feeling like losers, I guess you just have to look at your work and if it feels like hard, honest work, I wouldn't label yourself a loser. Like I said, there is a lot of luck involved in accumulating "things" in life, including big houses.



Good luck!
post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethla View Post
I feel like their homes are a sign of their accomplishments in life which is frustrating because dh and I work so hard. I wonder if they look at us and think we're losers.
I also wanted to respond to this and say that home ownership does not always equate to 'accomplishments in life.' The only reason my hubby and I own a home is because of my parents. My dad gifted us 5K and mom loaned us the 8k tax credit and we had our closing costs covered by the seller. I'm not saying that my we don't work hard to be financially responsible because we do, but I am saying that if it wasn't for my parents we probably wouldn't own a home for another 10 years.
post #30 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldingoddess View Post
I also wanted to respond to this and say that home ownership does not always equate to 'accomplishments in life.' The only reason my hubby and I own a home is because of my parents. My dad gifted us 5K and mom loaned us the 8k tax credit and we had our closing costs covered by the seller. I'm not saying that my we don't work hard to be financially responsible because we do, but I am saying that if it wasn't for my parents we probably wouldn't own a home for another 10 years.
Yeah, I echo that. DH and I are the only couple we know who had a downpayment that we saved on our own from paychecks. Everyone else we know either had zero down or they received a gift.

I really think home ownership is all about luck. Seriously. Luck with when you buy in, luck with when you sell, luck with having a down payment.

I don't think home ownership is a sign of accomplishments at all, especially if it's a large home. You know there is more than hard work at play there, 9 times out of 10.

Also, it always seems like people who make a lot of money (I'm talking a lot) who aren't, I don't know actors or musicians or sports stars, probably made their money off other people in a way I might not be comfortable making money. Some of the richest people in our world are some of the least ethical. That's not a given, but it seems to be a rule in general. Given that, it seems like big houses and fancy cars should indicate shadiness more often than success.
post #31 of 57
I totally understand what you are saying. I don't envy the brand new homes in developments but DH's aunt just built (themselves no builder) a log cabin in the country. THAT I an jealous of, not in a bad way but before we got married DH drew up the plans for our dream home. A little log cabin. His aunts house it really close to our drawing!

I don't like the new homes, they are built bad (coming from friends who have bought them and are dissapointed) and I think for some it is a status thing. We have a old home, not but not small and needs tons of work but it is home and we love it.

I do like to look at houses and try to get ideas for when I get to build my cabin but most homes don't have anything I can use lol
post #32 of 57
My sister just bought a million dollar home that's like, 5200 square feet and I live in a decent but modest 3-brm bungalow with a dated kitchen and weird basement so...I feel your pain.

She and her husband totally out earn me and mine. By like, a factor of 5. She's in a better field, but she also works really hard AND knows how to bargain. She's also moved around a lot to get new opportunities - like to different countries.

My husband and I work really hard but we're the people who don't negotiate contracts well and end up doing a lot of the behind the scenes work while others get more kudos. I don't know if I'm explaining this right. We work like entrepreneurs but we don't take risks like them, nor do we end up compensated like successful ones.

But I like my house and the lack of guilt and the not needing to clean all that. And, if our good fortune (and I do mean good fortune) continues we'll be paid off in about 10 years and that will be nice. I like my life pretty well. So, hey. Go visit and enjoy the jacuzzi tubs, I say!
post #33 of 57
We live in a 1904 Sears house. There is constantly work due to the age of the house. Any house is work, but it is just more with an older home.

We are in our 40's and within the next 5 yrs plan to build our "forever house". This house is two stories, steep steps, all bedrooms upstairs and we have a lot of acreage. We will build a one level with open loft for kids and less acreage but still in the country.

Do we want the mcmansion even if we could afford it? no. I get easily overwhelmed with cleaning and keeping things neat. We want to build a nicer house to have an easier life. Its going to be as maintainence free as possible.

And we want a user friendly floor plan. Wide hallway, main floor utility room, lots of storage. Fancy heck no.
post #34 of 57
I think liking and bein ga bit jealous of what others have is human nature. We all are guilty of it. You'd be surprised at what one person may covet and want and it may be very different than what you would think.

I have a pretty large home. Its an old house (1912) and needs work that we've been doing for the past 6 years. I couldn't live in a small house, I need my space, BUT I envy so many of them. Less cleaning, less heating costs, less electricity. There are good an bad of both and I don't think one is better than the other. House size is a very personal choice and preference. My BIL and SIL recently moved nearer to us and we stayed over at thier new house. They have a smallish (1950s) house and we literally were tripping over each other in it with our 3 kids. BUT, I was constantly finding myself saying "Oh, I love THAT!" (especially their new bathroom!) The size means nothing, it fits them perfectly and I still love so much about thier new home. I could probably fit 3 of thier house in mine, but it doesn't make mine any better nor do I look down on them because of it.

House size doesn't mean anything about accomplishments. And many people take on far more house than they can afford as well! I think an accomplishment is buying a home that fits your family and is in your budget without feeling the need to out-do the Joneses.

And just because someone has a large house doesn't mean they make more money or are more well off. That's a HUGE pet peeve of mine! We live on a street in town which is considered the "historic" ave. The houses are larger and were owned by the "wealthy" back when the town was booming. Its where the lumber barons and business owners lived. Thus it has a reputation even now. People ASSUME we have money, we most definitely DON'T! We paid peanuts for our home, our mortgage was less than our car payment when we bought it and we put %0 down. It needed a lot of work and TLC. I had a neighbor behind us on a side street snipe a comment about how the people on our ave shouldn't complain about street repairs because we can afford it. Um, no. Dude, Dh has been off work for a year and a half getting unemployment (which is squat - he took the opportunity to go back to school to retrain though) and I work part time. We live paycheck to paycheck just like everyone else. We have 3 kids and are both full time college students as well. The ONLY reason we have this large of a house is because it needed the work so we found it at a steal. It cost half the price of houses we looked at half the size even.

So the point is, don't let something like house size bug you. Your house is YOURS, it is unique to you and I'm sure there are things about your house they are probably envious of as well!
post #35 of 57
I definitely would love some of the things about a newer house - the modern closet or the modern style of bathroom. I have standard 1950's style closets and bathrooms and they are *cute* and tiny. But some of my friends envy my house's little nooks and crannies - I have a whole mechanical room under the stairs and a laundry room. Modern houses don't have wasted spaces like that. Sometimes it's good to remember what you take for granted is envied by someone else.
That said, I wish that all the projects were done! There's no siding around the new windows. There is a curtain-moving-strength draft in front of the single pane windows that haven't been replaced. It needs paint. The yard is...uh, unkept-ish.
If I won the lotto (uh, would have to play first), I'd still live here, but all the projects would be done. I'd stay in a cat-friendly hotel while craftspeople worked 40 hours a week until it was all done. Tada!
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
Also, it always seems like people who make a lot of money (I'm talking a lot) who aren't, I don't know actors or musicians or sports stars, probably made their money off other people in a way I might not be comfortable making money. Some of the richest people in our world are some of the least ethical. That's not a given, but it seems to be a rule in general. Given that, it seems like big houses and fancy cars should indicate shadiness more often than success.
I wish you wouldn't generalize like that because it truly isn't accurate.

I'm surrounded by neighbors who have tried to make a difference, who employ hundreds or thousands of people, who take risks so that others benefit. Sure, we have some of the kind of people you mention (3 doors down is a Madam. Oh yes, that kind. She's reformed now but, yeah.

My husband is currently fighting against politics and unions to bring grocers to grocery deserts. He's been working 10 months so far without one penny in payment. If he's successful, yes, there will be a substantial monetary profit to us. But it is a huge risk that may not ever pay out. Beyond our profit, think of all the people who will finally be able to walk to the corner and buy an apple. That is HUGE if you live in an area without access to fresh produce and no car. Think about the thousands of jobs he'll be creating. Think about the vacant lots and vacant buildings that will be cleared, made safe and have businesses built who will start paying taxes to the city to benefit everyone. Think about the established rules and boundaries he is working to destroy so others can do the same.

Generalizing the wealthy as evil doers may be socially accepted to some but it doesn't make it right.
post #37 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethla View Post
I feel like their homes are a sign of their accomplishments in life which is frustrating because dh and I work so hard.
I know a few other people already responded to this bit, but my immediate reaction to it was this: Perhaps their big homes are a sign of their willingness to go way into debt and sacrifice time doing more important things than working to make the money it takes to pay the mortgage.

Good friends of ours bought a huge, gorgeous Victorian in a desirable Boston suburb a few years ago. After watching them settle into this extravagant house, I've realized that the extravagant mortgage forces them to work ALL THE TIME. They are caught up in the status race and are losing sight of what really matters to be happy. We have a very nice house ourselves, with lots of land (and nowhere near Boston, thank goodness. We lived there for years and are NOT city people!), but our mortgage is probably a fifth of theirs because we did most of the work building our house ourselves and built things up gradually. I'm sure people see our home and think we have way more money than we do.
post #38 of 57
Thread Starter 
Thanks for everyones perspectives. I've been home battling shingles and I guess feeling a little "woe is me". I grew up in a large old home that my parents poured their time and money into. It's a beautiful, one of a kind place. It's basically my parents pride and joy. They give everyone tours. They are very judgemental about other peoples' homes. Picking apart the craftsmanship, design, cleanliness. I do not want to live in a showpiece, nor do I want to spend the time and money it takes to create one.
post #39 of 57
There is so much luck involved in houses.

We have 2 bedrooms and 1 bath with a tiny yard. My sister has 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths and a large yard. The major kicker is her house cost $70K less than ours.

The sole reason her house is so much bigger for less money is that we live 15 minutes from NYC and she lives 45 from Philly. It's pure luck that she works outside of Philly but DH works in midtown Manhattan.
post #40 of 57
Sometimes its just all in the timing -- we paid $430,000 for our home several years ago and the homes on our street are selling for almost a million now. We couldnt afford to buy our own home right now!

THere was a $100,000 spread between the home we sold and the one we are in now -- however -- to do that same transaction now there would be more like a $400,000 spread..... timing is everything :-)
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