Is your house too large?
Tyrades! by Danny Tyree
When I was five years old and my father worked for a subdivision developer, the Tyree family was giddily comparing floorplans for constructing a new house on a wooded lot next to our crowded domicile.
My mother still owns the wooded lot, but twists and turns of fate (involving two relocations) saw to it that we never built that dream house.
And yet, I have no regrets about appreciating a little elbow room.
Alas, an article in the Wall Street Journal reveals the impact of spiraling labor costs, skyrocketing materials prices and soaring mortgage rates on the American Dream.
Since 2018 the average unit size for new housing starts has declined 10 percent nationally, with no end in sight. Dining areas, bathtubs and separate living rooms are on the chopping block as builders brainstorm ways to keep homes marginally affordable.
Sure, young couples looking for a temporary starter-home may not care. (“Oopsie. I started carrying you over the threshold, but now we’re in the neighbor’s back yard. Let’s try again.”)
And, yes, empty-nesters may welcome the incentive to downsize their clutter, although diminished space doesn’t automatically cure packrats. (“This rear end of a ’57 Chevy may come in handy someday. I’m sure it will fit snugly with me in my sleeping bag.”)
But for the rest of us, housing shrinkage is just one more indignity to go along with self-check-out, ice cream “quarts” conspicuously shy of 32 ounces and gas mileage compromised by ethanol additives. (“Please tell me there’s room for a porch swing. I want to sit and await the sweet embrace of Death.”)
Homebuilders are scrambling to lower expectations and acclimate buyers to the New Normal. I understand Neil deGrasse Tyson has been hired to deliver the message “Height. Width. Depth. Science says you’re wrong if you think you need all three dimensions.”
Copyright 2023 Danny Tyree, All Rights Reserved. Credit: Cagle.com