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Do you regret buying a big dumb house?

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  • Do you regret buying a big dumb house?

    To any med student, resident or new attendings our there, I wish I could go back in time and give myself this advice:

    Just because you can afford a gigantic  “doctor house” doesn’t mean you should buy it.  It’s not about the mortgage - I’m too cheap to overextend myself.

    I’m talking about the constant work it takes to maintain a 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom house with a big yard.  There are plenty of times I wish I could cram this family of 5 into a small townhouse and reclaim some of the time my wife and I spend trying to keep this place in halfway decent shape.  I’m convinced if we owned a 100 bedroom house there would be at least 1 kid shoe, 1 LEGO block and a dirty dish in each room.

    “The things you own end up owning you”

  • #2
    what do you consider gigantic "doctor house"? 4+ Bedrooms? 3000+sqft?

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    • #3




      what do you consider gigantic “doctor house”? 4+ Bedrooms? 3000+sqft?
      Click to expand...


      It’s different for everyone.  I know for me 5 bedroom 5500 square feet was too much.

      Here are a few signs you may be living in too big a house:

      -There are multiple rooms you haven’t set foot in this month

      -You’ve bought a piece of furniture you’ve never sat in for a room you never use

      -You have to look in at least 8 rooms for your kid’s shoes before you can leave to catch the school bus.

      - You can fit you and your spouse’s childhood houses inside your house and still have enough living space left over for a family of 5.

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      • #4
        no

        my wife loves her house.

         

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        • #5
          I have lived in my house 19+ years, and I have come to despise it. It is my enemy.

          Young docs, don’t be in such a hurry to buy one. It will eventually own you.

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          • #6







            what do you consider gigantic “doctor house”? 4+ Bedrooms? 3000+sqft?
            Click to expand…


            It’s different for everyone.  I know for me 5 bedroom 5500 square feet was too much.

            Here are a few signs you may be living in too big a house:

            -There are multiple rooms you haven’t set foot in this month

            -You’ve bought a piece of furniture you’ve never sat in for a room you never use

            -You have to look in at least 8 rooms for your kid’s shoes before you can leave to catch the school bus.

            – You can fit you and your spouse’s childhood houses inside your house and still have enough living space left over for a family of 5.
            Click to expand...


            Fun list. My wife and I had a multi-year argument over whether or not we should buy expensive chairs for a room that we almost never visit. It is so infrequently used that one of my dogs thinks it is outside (if you catch the drift). She has recently acquiesced (my wife, not the dog).

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            • #7
              We have a love-hate relationship with ours. It's "only" 3,300 sq ft and we do use all of the rooms, but I do miss the townhouse lifestyle and not spending so much of our day cleaning. I dream about downsizing after the kids are older, moving to New York City and living in a small flat.

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              • #8
                Not a huge house, but 5k sq ft on a 3/4 acre lot.  I often wish I had a nice 3500 sq ft on a 1/2 acre or less.  I never wish I had gone bigger.

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                • #9
                  No, our house is pretty well consumed, but we also designed it that way.  No formal dining room, no dead space.  Everything has an intended purpose.  3500 sq ft for the 5 of us.  We actually bought a house in residency that was slightly bigger by square footage but felt smaller because of the layout.  I may be regretting the big dumb yard however...

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                  • #10


                    I dream about downsizing after the kids are older, moving to New York City and living in a small flat.
                    Click to expand...


                    And pay 4x as much on a per square foot basis .

                    In our hometown, it is twice as much on a per square foot basis to be 'close' to downtown (4 to 5 blocks) versus further out.  It is close to the same pricing on a per square foot basis as some Chicago neighborhoods (Lakeview, West Town, etc.).

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                    • #11
                      I really like my house, although it is a little bit big and unnecessary (somewhere in the 3200-3500 sq ft range). On one hand it is nice to have a little extra space, but honestly we could lose about 1000 sq ft and probably not miss it much. I would but differently if I were to do it all over again, but we made pretty reasonable decision based on what we knew at the time. One odd thing I've noticed about the housing market it there seems to be rapidly diminishing returns (as evidenced by sale price per square foot) once the size is over 2500 sq ft., so he extra space doesn't cost much (excluding cleaning time and maintenance).

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                      • #12
                        During the years we had 3 teens, and all their friends, our 5000+ ft. square house was the right size. No regrets. Now as empty nesters, it's too big.

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                        • #13
                          My house is definitely too small: 4 bdrm 3 bath  3100 sq ft house (ranch)  on 1/4 acre (11,000 sq ft ) .  2 kids.  House and yard definitely too small.  I would prefer 1/2 acre+.   I could easily use 4500 to 5000 sf.

                          OP:  Even in a 2 br NYC apartment you would not be able to find the missing shoe, and you would still be walking on lego pieces.

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                          • #14
                            Hmm, I seem to have a small/mid size doc house (3300 sf feet on 1/4 acre). In it, we raised two kids and always had a dog or two. I want to move when my youngest goes off to college in 2020, to a smaller house or townhouse. I am not sure I am ready for apartment living, but I would enjoy not having to deal with upkeep and improvements.

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                            • #15
                              we bought too big for two people when I got my first job (I think it's around 2900 sf, four bedroom). we did it intentionally because I really, really hate moving.

                              in the past 4 years we have had two kids, the house has gone up in value by more than 25%, and I refinanced to a 15 yr 2.875% mortgage. yeah we have some things that need maintenance (siding needs replacement in a couple areas, roofing has to be cleaned of moss a couple times a year) but overall I am happy with the choice to purchase. we do have two bedrooms that are rarely used, but we hope to have a third kid and at that point (especially as they get bigger/ older) we will be pretty much filling the house up.

                              I have no desire to share a wall, floor, or ceiling with any other person that I'm not related to. I also have a kick-****************** garden that I play around in and get to make pretty (lifting tree stumps out of the ground is a great workout!). so no, I don't regret buying a house that was too big for us when we moved here. that being said, our mortgage was about 1.5 times my annual salary, we can comfortably pay it. I don't even know if our house qualifies as "big and dumb" but it was bigger than what was essential.

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