Do you really need to live in such a big place?

(Flickr photo by hoyasmeg)

When I was a real estate broker in the D.C. area, I would check out the open houses of what came to be known as McMansions.

Wandering from room to room, many filled with couches and comfortable chairs, I would wonder how the residents decided where they would sit, what they would do differently in one lushly decorated chamber or another and why they needed such a big house.   In Manhattan, too, I often have the same thoughts as I visit  townhouses and sprawling apartments.

My former business partner in D.C. invariably chuckled at my vocalized comments, which were tinged with indignation, even contempt, in a world of rampant poverty–not that I haven’t been a practitioner of conspicuous consumption myself as well.

What has brought such experiences to mind was an article by Susan Rosenbloom in the New York Times, who explores whether living large makes folks happy.

As unlikely as you may think a real estate broker would take such a position, I firmly believe that buyers should think twice about how big a residence they really need. Continue reading