Wednesday, May 16, 2007

How big is your house?

Here is an interesting stat:

The average size of a new home from approximately 1000 square feet at the end of World War II to nearly 2500 square feet by the end of the 20th century.[1] Meanwhile, the number of people per household has shrunk dramatically, from 3.14 persons per household in 1970 to 2.63 person per household in 1990.[2]

Isn't it ironic that our homes have exploded in size, while our families have decreased in number. We talk about needing to work longer today. But what we are actually working longer for is a perceived middle class lifestyle--which is vastly inflated from past years. If people 50 years ago saw most of our homes, they would think that we are all rich. And most us us are.

We are finishing out our basement--most of it ourselves--because it adds value to our home, is a big tax shelter for ministers, and can be used for fellowship. We are looking forward to this being done in the next month, and we believe we can really use this as a gathering place for both churched and unchurched Christians. But we can hardly make the argument that we "need" a bigger home.

What is up with the bigger houses today all across America? Hmm . . .

[1] Robert Bruegmann, Sprawl: A Compact History (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2005), 58.

[2] Ibid., 60.