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I’ll take a McMansion with a side of sadness

A home under construction is offered for sale in Palatine, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — McMansions. There are over 700 for sale in the Salt Lake County right now, according to Zillow.

It’s something that Dave Noriega said was always his goal: the big house up on the hillside with beautiful views and three or four or even five-car garages.

“There’s no way now! Now that I know what it takes to live in that mansion. It’s just way too big! It’s TOO BIG!” he said on Dave & Dujanovic Thursday.

So how big of a house do we really need? It’s probably less than you think.

Fewer people are buying a McMansion

The average number of people that are living in any one of these 4,000 sq. ft. plus homes is going down, according to a recent article in The Atlantic.

The average home in the US today has nearly doubled the living space a person has in their home, according to the Census Bureau. Our homes getting bigger, combined with fewer people living inside of them, means that we have a whole bunch more space in which to live.

But Americans aren’t any happier with the bigger digs.

Bigger isn’t always better

“The thing that gets me,” Debbie Dujanovic said, “is that you want this home so badly that you’re willing to roll the dice on the housing market and get that $800 mortgage and it’s not making you happy.”

Much of that might come with the stress that comes with a house that big.

“There’s the stress of having that big of a mortgage,” Dave said, “not to mention all of the cleaning and maintenance that comes with the space.”

On Thursday’s show, Dave and Debbie wondered if a lot of the issues really have their root cause in one of the traditional “seven deadly sins:” envy.

Envy or lifestyle inflation?

Envy can be known by another term used in financial circles: lifestyle inflation, Debbie said. It’s that desire to keep up with the Joneses, to keep going for the bigger, the better and the nicer. Financial experts say it’s also an enemy of wealth building.

“There’s this pressure that’s out there to have the nicest, the latest, the greatest and if you do it with homes. It gets incredibly expensive,” Dave said on Thursday’s show.

So what do you do? Should you downsize? How do you talk to your kids if that’s what you decide to do? Listen to the podcast below.

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon on KSL Newsradio. Users can find the show on the KSL Newsradio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

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