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What do you consider a 'big' home?

Posted by pekemom (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 6, 12 at 18:47

If under 2000sq ft is considered a "small" home, what would you consider "big"? My SIL has a 5000 sq ft home,
to me that's more than "big", it's huge! To her it's not. My house is 1640 sq ft and I don't think it's small, I think it's more "medium".
That's just my perception.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I think anything over 2300 or so is large. I live in a 1670 sq ft home which I also consider "medium". I have a family member (my mother) who thinks my house is a "small starter home" and keeps telling me that we need to get a bigger house.

House size is a personal thing. Personally I like cozy.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

Anything over 2000 sq ft seems too big for me. That would be twice the size of my house now. I have friends with bigger homes and the family is always so spread apart. We have a feeling of being close, but can still each be in a room alone if necessary. Our utility bills are super low and my house doesn't take days to clean.

This was supposed to be our starter house, but somehow I think our grandchildren will be visiting us here! We can retire in our small comfy home, with no stairs to navigate. We are currently thinking about buying a vacation home in the mountains. It will probably be the same size as our current home.

If you have a very large family, of course you may need more space, but we are 2 adults, 1 teen, & 2 pets, so 980 sg ft works for us!


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

The largest house we had was 1850 SQ FT and it really was too large.We actually had two 1850 SW FT houses. At first I loved the larger size but who needs a 35 foot long living room dinning room??? Took too long to clean. We really did not use all of them I just filled them up with crap and clutter. We have lived comfortably in 800 or so SQ FT. We are very comfortable in out 1375 SQ FT now. I do keep moving furniture around but I think that is because I like new looks now and then.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I think anything 2000 SQ FT and over is big.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I'm with 2000 or more is large. around 1500 give or take a 100 or so sq ft is medium. 1100 or less is small. 5000 would be huge!

I was planning on about 1800 sq ft until I got sick, now 1400 is just fine for me. I'll only be using about 1200 sq ft on a regular basis.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

Erma Bombeck used to say that she wanted a bathroom big enough so that if she fell down, she wouldn't hit her head on anything. That would be pretty big!

I've read that 500 sq ft per person was about 'right'. I tend to agree. With a large family, 2500 sq ft isn't big; for one person, it would be huge. Our current home is about 1500 sq ft, and it is plenty for 3-4 people; I would call it medium. Our new home will be about 1250 sq ft (plus a basement), and I feel it will be more than adequate for two empty-nesters.

My BIL recently bought a 3500 sq ft home (plus a basement) for the two of them. It's definitely too big.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I've always thought 2000 sq ft was big too. LOL on Erma Bombeck. I always wanted a bathroom big enough to have a ceiling fan in it so I could use my curling iron without sweating. Haven't had one big enough yet.

Any house over 3000 sq ft seems huge to me, and those houses I hear of with over 5000 seem gigantic. (Or whatever is next after huge.)


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

Oops, I wanted to say that I used to think under 1500 was small and anything over was big. I've changed over time and probably because of this website.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I think once you get past 3,000 square feet you're in "big" territory. Because at that point, unless you have 6 or more bedrooms (an who does?), you're dealing either with "bonus rooms" or bedrooms and family rooms that are larger than necessary.

A few weeks ago we went to look at an amazing custom MCM home, ca. 1960. It was clearly designed for entertaining, and DH and I would have been swallowed up in the place. It was only 3/2.5 + office, but had 3,700 square feet. As I wandered through trying to envision how I would fill the space with what little furniture I had, I arrived at a new method of "measuring" the size of houses: the butt factor. Meaning, excluding ottomans and beds, how many "butts" can be seated in this house at one time? And keep in mind that one did not need to turn sideways to get past the furniture in this place. The final tally:

Our current house (2,000 sq. ft): 17
The big house (3,700 sq. ft): 70

(!)


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

Jakabedy, lol, 10 butts in our great room and 4 in our spare room that has been converted to a media room. 70 is way too many butts! :)


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I judge a house's size by how long it takes me to clean just the basics(dusting, mopping, vacuumn, sinks and toilets). A small house I can do in 3 hours or less. A medium house takes closer to 5 hours and a big or huge house takes all day or more. Of course the number of people in the house makes a difference too. Currently I have a 1700 square foot home (no basement) that I can do the basics in 3 hours. But I'm getting older and as I get older it's going to take longer to clean which will take it from a small home to a medium home. Of course right now I have 4 adults living here but that changes each year and sometimes I only have the two of us. My kids just keep coming back!


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I raised 3 kids in 1800sf side-to-side split. It was 4bed-2 1/2bath, with formal living room, dining room and family room. Far too much wasted space in too many smaller rooms! This cottage w/1200 would be too small for more than three, but perfect for the two of us. I like the concept of 500/person... space to be together or 'away'.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I once had a house that was 2400 sqft and it was big. I have close family that have a 8000 sqft house and that is simply huge. They manage to make it warm and comfortable and use most of it, but it is still huge.

I agree that it depends on the number of people, but for me I think of small as 1200 or less, medium 1200-2200, large as 2200-4000 and over that is huge.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

8000!! Wow! They must have help, yes?
My house could probably fit in their master bedroom.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

8000?! I'm trying to imagine a house 4-5 times the size of mine. Where would I put the bowling alley and Christmas tree room? :)


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I remember when HGTV was young, there was a show that was about the building of one family's house. It may have been called "Dream House." They would follow from the design to the finished project over 8 - 12 episodes. The build I saw was about a professional African American couple with one child and a second on the way. I think they were moving from a 1600 sq ft home. This couple started out around 3000 - 3500 sq ft, and by the time they were done, had grown to 6000! I can remember seeing the huge amounts of electrical wiring, audio, computer, phone, and TV cable, and they had to have a room about the size of a bedroom in one of OUR houses just for the hook-ups. All the walls were lined with cables going into control boxes. It took hundreds of pot lights for basic lighting.

I just googled it and this show is STILL on! I saw Season 9, with the Landry Family. I think now that the baby due was their first one, not the second.

Anyhow, this house was so big that they could get lost in it. I could not imagine living where even a shout could not reach the other family members.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I can not imagine 8000 SQ FT house much less trying to keep it up.

We were talking last night about house size. With the heat wave we have been having my husband commented on how he was happy to not have to try to cool more of a house. Imagine the cooling costs. I have a friend in CA that told me is costs about 300 a month to cool her place.

Heating in winter would be so much more expensive too. We close off the rooms we are not using and throttle down the floor vents to put more heat into the rooms we are in.

Just one more consideration on deciding on how big is enough.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

Yes, I agree shades! I have 3 friends that live in my same neighborhood and the larger houses, especially the 2 story houses have high utility bills.

I still think it stinks, that because my electricity bill is never close to $150, I don't qualify for solar panel rebates. I would love to get solar panels, but the cost isn't worth it, without the rebates.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

Anything over 1500 sq feet is way too big for the average family. It wastes natural resources, makes work for the family, and in the end doesn't serve the purpose of any family. It took us almost two years though to find a seller who would tolerate a 1200 sq ft house, multi-generational, they call it. Laundry is upstairs YEAH! Only two bedrooms upstairs so bedrooms are sufficient. The third den/bedroom is in the lower level/basement just in case company does show up. A very cost effective build.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I have friends with over 3000 sq feet and are still looking for bigger, I think they are crazy.

My hubby was raised in the house we live in now, I thought it was a little on the small side for us and two kids even though his mom raised 4 kids here and her mom raised 7 kids here. The house was 1500 sq. ft, but my biggest issue was that of the three tiny bedrooms, you had to walk through all the bedrooms to get to any of the others. That was just not going to work for me as my kids grew up.

Because we had to rip off one of the old additions anyway, we added on and increased to about 1900 sq. ft. Now I feel the house is huge. I didn't realize that under 2000 was considered small.

Of course, we are still renovating and the four of us are still living out of 3 rooms downstairs so maybe it is just that my perspective has changed from over a year of living in extremely cramped quarters with two toddlers in a construction zone, but either way my house will seem like a mansion to me :-)


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I think the 2000 sq ft is just a cut off point - because some amount had to be. 2000 is a pretty good sized house for most people. tho, nowadays everyone seems to want a man cave, an office, each kid has to have his/her own bedroom etc. Yrs ago you had your own room if you were an only child or 2 kids of opposite gender.

What rooms did you add on?

back in the 70's we added on probably a little more than doubling our sq ft. We had a 3 room (plus small bath) A-frame and when we got to 2 kids and another on the way we built on. I remember thinking there was no way I'd ever be able to fill up all that new space (3 bdrms, a large bath, a laundry room and small play room/family room). The rooms weren't very big - the largest bdrm was probably 12x 12 including the closet. the play room maybe 12 x 14. It might have been about 1700 sf of usable space. We thought it was HUGE tho. By the time kid 4 showed up we were juggling again - lol!


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

The only rooms we actually added was a master bedroom with a decent size walk in closet and a very very small second bath. But we did add on an extra couple feet to the existing bath downstairs, which made a HUGE difference.

We are turning the old 3 tiny bedrooms, to 2 bedrooms and a hallway and moving the stairs to a new location. Funny enough, this house is so old and been re-worked so many times the stairs are going back to an almost original location. We have two kids and only plan on having two kids so unless there are some sort of huge surprises, we are good. And if there are huge surprises, well, I shared a room with my brother and my husband actually had to share a bed with his, so I see no issues.

Your right, things have changed. My mother in law grew up here with three tiny bedrooms, 6 other siblings, and her grandparents in their later years. Same as she took care of her parents with her kids when they got older. All under this roof (without a master bedroom and extra tiny second bath).

Although we did just visit my friends with the much larger house and they always had this room in the front of their house that was completely empty. Huge empty room, for years. Until they had kids. Now it is a huge playroom. And my 3 year old is in love. All she keeps saying is why don't we have a playroom? UGH!


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

Well, in our town, 1500 sq ft would be a small house...in fact the smallest you could build as that is the minimum sq footage allowed for a residence. Many homes in our town are 5,000 sq ft and up.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I guess it would depend on how I'm judging it.

In our area, big would be 4000+. Most neighborhoods have sqft minimums, and they are quite high. That drives up the average so that 2500 is "small." And, I have had trouble finding neighborhoods that will accept less than 2700 (all of which must be above grade).

If thinking what's "big" for us, I would end up with a totally different number, however. Right now, we're at 1740, and it's way more than enough space for two people. We lack storage and a garage, so it doesn't FEEL big, but in reality, it is.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

kati- glad that you added on a mstr bdrm, closet and bath (even if small) - that'll serve you well over the yrs with kids around! splitting the 3 into 2 is also a good move. Those 2 changes will also increase the value of the house.

growing up, one of my gfs lived in a house that had the bdrms 3 in a row. the first bdrm was the parents, then walking thru into her brother's room (just 1 boy) and off of his room was 1 room for the 3 girls. Their bdrms were all a generous size - BUT what a bad layout w/kids! Back then people just lived with it. remodeling would have been considered wasteful.

Annie - it's hard to imagine a town would limit the size of the houses like that! I know developments do, but a whole town? just seems weird to me. A lot of singles or couples wouldn't want that much space - to heat, cool and clean.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

Well our town is weird that way. If you want a small house, go to another town. Of course the taxes are so high that most singles or couples starting out can't afford to live here.

They don't allow any new business in town...just the 3 existing businesses that were pre-zoning continue.

I remember when they voted that it was no longer a dry town back in the 60s. Prior to that, it was illegal to have alcohol in your home...not that anyone paid attention to that one.

It was also a big deal when the town got it's first and only traffic light!


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I consider big anything over 2500 sq. ft. Our house is 2000 sq. ft. and I would consider it a medium size. My daughter and sil are in 1250 and I consider that small.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

Interesting conversation. It's just what you are used to.

I too am having a hard time picturing houses under 1200 sq. ft. In our area a starter house is a townhouse and most are about 1400-1900 sq. ft. (or bigger). You might find a condo ~1100. I have a friend who loves her older 3-BR ranch, which is about 1500. But they haven't built single homes that small here in decades.

Our house is one of the smallest in the neighborhood at 2300. Everything else is 3000+. We are very happy with it of course. It was a good deal, and there is only DH, DS and me, and it's a nice neighborhood. It doesn't look small from the front, but I call it a billboard because it's so narrow! :)

And I worry about selling it someday because it is SO SMALL. Honestly, we don't have the big master bath like everyone else. I know people are going to walk out when they see how small the kitchen is. We've carefully bought undersized furniture so the rooms look more spacious! Furniture stores in our area sell pieces that look like the Giant in Jack and the Beanstalk would use them. It's all for 2-story great rooms.

Which is another issue, our ceilings are under 8'. Didn't find that out until we redid the kitchen. No high cabinets here. I seriously think of my house as small, but you all must think I'm nuts! LOL!

:)


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I remember when our little town got it's first traffic light. what a bummer. Now they're everywhere as city folks moved out here - after developers bought up the cheap desert land. The don't tell anyone buying out here that we have at least 10 mountain lions living out here with us... it was about 10 about 6 yrs ago. Probably more now.

Before I got sick I planned to get a mfg home about 1800 - 2000 sq ft for me and the dogs. depended on the layout. I looked at some that were 1800 that seemed to have more space than some that were 2000 sq ft. use of halls, storage space etc all play into it.

Then I got sick, lived about 14 yrs in about 700 sq ft and now I'm moving into a mfg home about 1400 sq ft. The friend I got it from disagrees with me on that! But with those yrs passing I'm downsizing (from a place half the size - lol!). ok, don't even ask...but I think it's the most (and maybe more) than I can take care of. I do have maybe 2 extra rooms to put 'stuff' in so it's out of my everyday way. Like crafts, scrapping, fabric, boxes (all that Xmas stuff that I don't even put out anymore and will be sorting thru anyway) and a room for a desk, bookcases and my spare dresser, chest and dressing table, (old) and a file cabinet.
Doors I can close off but when I need to use I can and if I make a mess I can shut the door behind me until I'm up to finishing whatever I was doing in there.

Now if I had to share this place with someone else or had kids here I'd think it was too small. I'm down from 2 dogs to 1 and it'll probably remain that because of vet bills. I spent a small fortune on my furbabies in the past and just can't afford that anymore. of course, I did buy a lottery ticket this week so who knows - lol! hadn't bought one in yrs and was shocked that they are now 2.00. Guess I won't do that very often!


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

2000 sq ft would be my dream house and anything over 3000 is huge! My son is looking for a house & everything around here is 3000+ & ridiculously expensive. People are crazy! He really wants something the size he grew up in. We raised 2 boys in our 1500 sq. ft ranch with 1 bathroom and a toilet in the basement & we survived!! He is actually looking at a 900 sq ft ranch, because of the 4 acre lot that he loves. I just got my second full bath in the basement & I'm in heaven. We reworked our kitchen recently also. I could never fill up those large houses or heat & cool them. I can age in this house and be OK.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I'm from the UK and when I bought my first US house (1750 Sq Ft) I thought it was jaw droppingly HUGE. Growing up "Posh" homes had 2 bathrooms, most had 1 or 1 and a half bath. I saw something recently that said the average new home in the UK is around 900 Sq Ft.

After a few years here (and now fully acclimated to the much larger home sizes) DH and I bought a 1600 Sq Ft fixer and rebuilt it over 9 years to a 3000 Sq Ft home that we realized we didn't fully utilize. A few months ago we sold it and bought another fixer (1900 Sq Ft this time). We're remodeling but keeping to no more than 2400 Sq Ft as we know we overbuilt last time. We have 3 kids and live in California so we're concentrating on the outdoor living spaces this time.

Most of our family live in homes smaller than 900 Sq Ft and I've never heard anyone complain of it being too small. Funny how perception changes depending on what you're used to.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

We plan on building a home that is right under 1500 sqft, and we think it's laid out very well. Our current home is around that size, but it's so inefficient in the design. There is so much 'empty' walk through space so it feels bigger especially when I have to clean it (I'm a SAHM with a 20 month old, and we're trying to sell it). So I think the layout makes all the difference. I don't like big empty walk through spaces because when you clean it it's going to feel bigger. I don't want to spend half of my day cleaning.

The 500 sqft per person sounds right. It is nice to spread out.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I just found this forum, and I'm surprised (although I wouldn't be if I thought about the general trend of bigger, bigger, bigger in everything) that 2000 sq. ft. is considered small! My 2-storey cape is about 1700 sq. ft., excluding the unfinished basement, and I think of it as "medium." It's just my husband and me (and was just him when he bought it), so it's true that we can use two out of the three bedrooms for non-bedroom uses, making the house seem bigger. We're also on about 9 acres and have a big deck, so that also makes us feel less cramped (even if it's winter half the year!) But, I grew up in a 950 sq. ft. old house, no basement, and a tiny in-town lot, and frankly, save for the lack of storage space because of the age of the house, I never even gave much thought to it being particularly small. And we had 5 people living there!

It's hard to say just what square footage is "large," because configuration of the space affects perception (and usefulness.) I might think that a 3,000 sq. ft. house would be fairly large, but then I realize that if my basement were finished, we'd have about that much, and the house wouldn't seem large... maybe because each floor would be quite small, and maybe because the traditional cape floor plan doesn't make the best use of the space. On the other hand, if I had two floors which were each 1,500 sq. ft, or a single 3,000 sq. ft. floor, that would seem very spacious. Because of where I grew up (in an area with a lot of old houses, and in which single-storey houses simply couldn't be found) I really, really do not like single-storey houses. But, I have to admit that if our house had 1,700 sq. ft. all on one level, it would seem a lot larger. I would hate the exterior appearance, but I'd have much longer sight lines inside. Sometimes my house seem very doll house-like.

What seems big in relation to my house is one thing, what simply seems BIG is another. I guess I'd say a 3,500 sq. ft. house begins to seem pretty big for a family of 4. But depending on who is living in a house, even 1,700 sq. ft. can seem unnecessarily large. Frankly, my husband and I could easily be comfortable in half the space if it were very carefully planned. I don't think we'll ever go larger than we have now.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

Just to add... unfortunately our house isn't cheap to heat (several thousand dollars each winter, even with programmable thermostats), but that's because the norm around here is fuel oil which is very expensive. I don't think it would cost significantly less to heat the house if it were a bit smaller or all on one level. Fortunately, though, in the summer we just stick in one window AC unit and only turn it on for the rare heat wave.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

The size of a house depends on the size of the family and *their* comfort level. Some people need space, others like to be cozy. What we feel is large or small is only *our*, 1 sided idea and our personal issue of space.

3,000 sq ft im my opinion, isn't too big is you have family who visit. I live alone in a 2640 sq ft home, 4 br, 3 bath, and even tho it may be more space than I personally need I have 5 children/3 spouses, and 6 grandchildren. They visit at different times or sometimes all at once, and every sq ft of space is used. If my home were any smaller, we would be on top of each other, and not having the fun time we all look forward to.

If it were the other way around, and I only had 1-2 children and fewer Grands, I would certainly opt for a smaller home. For me, a 1500 sq ft condo(2 br/2 1/2 bath)would be ideal. ;o)


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I think I know what would be too small...spent a weekend in a hunting cabin with 2 full of energy boys and the dog and about 600 sq feet is too small!!! Of course we had to stay inside to not scare off the deer but yowsa, that was tight quarters. I think for 2 people though it'd be more than fine - so quaint.


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RE: What do you consider a 'big' home?

I think it also depends on whether you have a basement and garage. Oh, and storage space like in the attic. Hubby and I had 3 boys and two dogs. No garage, basement or any storage area besides closets. We have 2058 square feet/3 bedrooms. It was small! Kids have sports equipment, computers, toys, life jackets, etc, just stuff! Plus, with no garage/attic, where do you keep your Christmas tree/decorations?
Now that two out of three boys have moved out, dogs still here, the house is just about perfect. Son #3 has a bedroom, hubby and I have one, and I have a guest room for when mom/dad or a child comes to visit. I can use the guest closet for Christmas storage now. I still wish I had a garage for my car though.
So, I guess what I am saying is, there is more to a house than just square feet. If you have all kinds of extra storage space, that really frees up a lot of room in your house.
S


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