Grand homes come in small packages

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Now and then I get discouraged seeing the sorts of houses developers are peddling these days. I get even more discouraged seeing how many people flock to buy them. Like the Victorians before us, we've bought into the idea that a huge house is a thing to be coveted. And, like the Victorians before us, we're going to find out we're wrong. Building bigger and bigger houses flies squarely in the face of reason. Families are smaller than they used to be, yet people keep thirsting for more and more square-footage. This addiction to size kicks in a number of almost comically ironic side effects. Since people have less buying power than they used to, an ever-larger fraction of their income goes into mortgage payments. That means they have to work more to pay for the big homes they want, which means they have less time to spend living in them, let alone maintaining them. To be able to afford even more space, some people are willing to move to far-flung suburbs where prices are lower, which me...