Is It Big?


giant sweet pepper

It looks big to me!

A real estate agent told me, “Sixteen hundred feet is pretty small,” when discussing our house. She was quite matter-of-fact about it. Without thinking too much, I agreed with her. (We are, in fact, looking for a larger home.) After I had a chance to mull our conversation over, I decided some things about the agent.

She is opinionated, I concluded, and she’s biased and maybe she’s not the Realtor we want to use to try to sell our house because she might tell the buyers it’s “pretty small.”

I remembered that in the house plans retail store where I worked several years, the most popular design in the store was about 1600 square feet of living space. Having discussed design requirements with hundreds of homeowners, I know that big and small are relative terms and not to be tossed about loosely.

If a couple has been accustomed to a twenty-by-twenty bedroom, anything less is small. They want room for two lounge chairs and a big-screen TV, in addition to two dressers and his and her nightstands. Scaling back to a space only eighteen-foot square means the armoire has to go into the guest room or the dressing table won’t fit.

Conversely, a family of five living in a 1200 foot cottage thinks about scaling down when all the kids move out. A bedroom is for sleeping and if there is room for two chests of drawers, it’s huge.

When Dan and I first married, I thought a 1600 foot home was plenty big. As I moved in and tried to unpack, I realized this house doesn’t have enough storage space for two middle-aged people with fifty years of accumulated junk.

I’ve determined a couple of things about abstract ideas, like big and small and cozy and nice. These things are relative to the needs and experience of the person speaking.

A Realtor can generalize and say a location is nice, the bedrooms are large, the lot is huge and the kitchen is well-equipped. It’s risky, though, a bit like trusting a Texan who tells you the salsa isn’t hot. I need Scoville* units! Give me room sizes, please, and let me decide if it’s big.

*What’s a Scoville unit? http://homecooking.about.com/library/weekly/blhotchiles.htm

Advertisements

About janets123

Children's writer, newspaper columnist, essayist, poet, storyteller
This entry was posted in Short Takes on Life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Is It Big?

  1. Cute! yes, I would rely on Scoville Units, much more reliable. You need my realtor. Sixteen hundred feet is neither large or small.

  2. Becky Wright says:

    So true, Janet!! My opinion of big versus small houses has certainly evolved over time, as well as incomes… How much is enough;) All relative;)

    • janets123 says:

      I don’t think we ever think we have enough. Even if all material needs are met, there’s still art to acquire, flowers to grow, poems to read. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s