Does a bigger house make people happier? Based on housing trends, you would assume so. The average size of U.S. houses keeps going up and up and up. I know plenty of people — individuals and couples — who own houses that are several thousand square feet or larger. Many of them are filled with empty rooms, but at least the houses look impressive to the neighbors, right? A new study shows that a bigger house does not necessarily make people happier, but it also shows that people tend to become unhappy when someone else builds a bigger house near them, presumably because this makes them feel less successful. Personally, I would rather have a house of reasonable size that’s well-designed and built using quality craftsmanship, as opposed to the cookie-cutter design and shameful construction quality of most houses today. I would far prefer this 1,650-square-foot home (above) than a 4,000-square-foot monstrosity of a McMansion. Years ago, I discovered Kelly Davis, the architect who designed the house above and talked with him about building a house for me one day. He was based in Minneapolis, but could work anywhere in the country. A huge house won’t make you happy, but a house that’s just right for you just might. And I would prefer to have it on the middle of a piece of property where I can’t seen the neighbors and they can’t see me. Comparing yourself to the neighbors doesn’t lead to anywhere good.
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