Friday, September 14, 2012

Why can't we afford large houses?

When I grew up we lived in a huge house, and each of us kids had our own rooms.  We had a huge basement, large living room and a family room.  There was plenty of room for all of us.  When we wanted alone time there was always somewhere to go.

My grandparents likewise had a large house. They lived in a large Victorian house with lots of rooms.  Like ours, the kitchen and living room were separate, which I think is a good thing.  You could run around that old house all day and get lost in it.  And both my parents and grandparents could afford these homes on their modest wages.

So here I am with four kids and my house is a clutter.  It's a small ranch house that has a kitchen and living room combination room.  It has only four rooms, which means I have to stack kids up.  The rooms are so small there's no place to put my kid's toys but as cluttered messes on the floor.

I do, however, life in a nice subdivision.  That I love.

Now I'm not complaining, merely making an observation.  Thus:  Why is it my parents and grandparents could afford big houses, and I have to stuff my family in a small one?

I think the answer falls in value of the dollar and real wages.  I think the value of the dollar has diminished greatly in our time.  I think what you used to buy for $2 now costs $4, so your money goes less far.  Thus, the value of the dollar is lower than it was 30 years ago.

Likewise, there has been no increase in real wages in several years.  When adjusted for inflation, the wages I'm making are less than my parents and grandparents.  Likewise, the cost of living is more.  The result is I can't afford to live the way they did.  And they struggled to, but still were able to have a big house with many rooms and a deck.  My parents even had 10 acres for us kids to play on.

A new president, perhaps, will come up with solutions to help us live better.

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