Re: Living quarters

1

The problem I kept running into when apartment-hunting was "well, I could live in this space, but where would my books go?"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:27 AM
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Our house is apparently 2750 square feet, though we don't use the third floor in the summer when it's hot and not all that much in the winter, but it's there. I know we're spoiled and have tons of space. What I really want is quiet.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:30 AM
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Our old apartment was pretty compact for a three bedroom -- no closets particularly, no halls, no basement access for storage -- but never felt enormously crowded until we moved. The instant we had our stuff out of there, it was completely impossible to understand how we had ever fit that much stuff in it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:32 AM
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We have about 1,500 square feet, plus a basement and garage. It feels a bit crowded, possibly because it seems to have been planned in such a way as to maximize the space that is hall, stairs, or landings.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:35 AM
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I sometimes get jealous of houses with basements. Throw all the kid plastic crap down there and call it a playroom!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:38 AM
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We don't have that kind of basement. It's mostly garage.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:39 AM
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The finished half of our basement is kind of like a playroom but... it's for me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:39 AM
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Yeah, no kids in the basement here. But they do have a playroom full of plastic crap!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:41 AM
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I share 620* sq ft with my girlfriend and it's exactly right.

* Some chunk of that is a sizeable balcony. I believe half its area goes into the overall sum, according to German law and custom.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:46 AM
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We had 3 people in 875 square feet this summer. It was... just fine. The only complaint was the bathroom being nowhere near the bedrooms.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:47 AM
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Stuff. Stuff is the enemy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:48 AM
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10: How far away could it be in 875 square feet?

11 is right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:50 AM
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Who said the 875 were contiguous?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:52 AM
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Exactly. Or the apartment could be very, very long.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:53 AM
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Spike's house consists of kitchen, living room, three bedrooms, hallway, and a 300-foot tunnel connecting it to the bathroom, which is on the other side of the street.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:55 AM
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Our place is 850 square feet, according to an earlier version of the building plans I found online. That's fine for us. We could do with more storage space: the hall is larger than it needs to be, and it'd have been better if they'd shrunk it and used the space saving to put in an extra cupboard or two.

We have a balcony, which is maybe 50-60 sq feet, but is basically just a narrow strip along the front of the flat.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:57 AM
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Ours is about halfway between Moby's and Thorn's, but we don't have any kids yet so it's entirely too big for us. It's also very efficiently laid out in a way that maximizes room size and a few are just too big for what we want. Yes, I know, boohoo.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:58 AM
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My parents were recently arguing with me about the size of my apartment. I think it's somewhere between 700 and 800 square feet. They thought that it must be a thousand or so because it didn't seem tiny and even a small one-bedroom apartment (where they live) is usually at least 800 square feet.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:59 AM
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I don't think I've ever lived in a much larger place. Maybe some of the tenements I lived in in Glasgow were larger, although they felt larger largely because the high ceilings and big windows, rather than the floor space available.

The previous flat we had, immediately pre-baby, was probably closer to 1000 sq feet. Same number of rooms, and the bedrooms were a similar size, but the living room was larger, and had a dining area.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 6:59 AM
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I've cleared space in the basement to move the exercise bike there so a hypothetical dog can have a bed in the living room. Related: I still have an exercise bike in the living room because otherwise it's too hard to watch TV while riding it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:01 AM
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1 was exactly the issue I kept running into the last time I moved.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:01 AM
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Yeah, I mean, we have a crazy big house, 6 bedrooms plus our dressing room that we can use as a nursery. It's still cheaper to heat than our stupid 2 bedroom/1 bath we had before. Eventually we'll put in a third bathroom on the third floor and probably make the girls live up there when they're in their teens or something. Though all the other people on our block with the same house layout are couples with no kids, so clearly others don't think it's excessive.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:02 AM
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The smallest place I've had was a small studio I shared with the Ex. It was fine. The largest was our (government) house in NM, which was 1650, with three bedrooms and a garage. Our condo is 1400 with two bedrooms. It's also fine, but what we really miss is a yard. This makes us very American, I think.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:02 AM
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18: I take it that the problem is that you know how fast your apartment is moving? (Sorry, too obvious.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:02 AM
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It's also fine, but what we really miss is a yard. This makes us very American, I think.

What does having a paved yard make us? (I already know; the answer is Portuguese-American.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:03 AM
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How far away could it be in 875 square feet?

Downstairs, across the kitchen and through the pantry.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:03 AM
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27

Our house is listed at 1100 sq. ft, but with the finished basement (that is usable) it's 2200, and it is more space than I want to clean, ever. The plastic crap is still all over the house, because apparently the baby drops Legoes wherever he goes.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:04 AM
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The smallest place I've ever lived was a 65-square-foot room in a student building in Kyoto. It had a miniature sink and gas ring, and a shared shower and toilet with two other students. It was brand-new but built in Tadao Ando style, with bare concrete walls, so was not only small but soul-destroyingly bleak. Moving after a year to an old, run-down apartment three times that size felt utterly luxurious.

So when I then went to grad school in the US I found the complaints about the small size of the dorm rooms rather incomprehensible.

These days, with two teen/pre-teen kids, 800 square feet would be wonderful. I think we have about 700 at the moment.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:04 AM
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Weird British thing of the week: nobody knows the square footage of their home. I mean, it's usually marked on the floor plan but I've never come across anyone who could quote theirs.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:05 AM
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Our current place is about 1300, which feels massive, partly due to the giant-ass balcony.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:06 AM
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We just bought a house that's far too big for us. I didn't especially want to do it, but there were a variety of considerations in play -- including its location being absolutely ideal for our soon-to-be-a-teenager -- so I went along for the ride. Anyway, it's a nice place, but I'm genuinely freaked out by the prospect of having so much space. Plus, furniture is very expensive.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:08 AM
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32

Shitty furniture is pretty cheap.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:09 AM
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33

Plus, furniture is very expensive.

Couches are frequently available after home football victories, if you can overlook the fire damage.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:09 AM
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29: I had no clue and looked on Zillow. Apparently the lot itself is 850 square feet or something.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:10 AM
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34 seems impossible.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:12 AM
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32 is true. But everyone had something about the move that especially pleased them: mine was no more shitty furniture.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:13 AM
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Plus, furniture is very expensive.

And yet has nothing on the cost of heating oil during northeastern winters. Or are you on gas?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:13 AM
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38

I agree, Moby. It says 805 square feet and that can't be right when there's a front yard and a back yard and three feet or so of side yard.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:14 AM
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39

We want to upgrade to non-shitty furniture but our cat has decided since the move that it's awesome to piss on the couch. So, not yet.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:14 AM
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33 is also supposedly true. But this last weekend was the home opener, and it was all very mild. Then the NCAA lifted the sanctions and apparently a bunch of people went apeshit. I should go look for a couch, I guess.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:15 AM
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41

Maybe its not square feet, but one of those weird British units like hectares of furlongs or stone.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:15 AM
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42

Whatever happened to that statue? That would look sharp in your den.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:16 AM
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37: gas (unfortunately). My main objection to the house is that it doesn't have geothermal.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:16 AM
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gas (unfortunately)

No, dude, that's fine. Gas is cheap. Sure, geothermal would be neat, but oil for a large place would put you in the poor house.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:18 AM
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re: 29

Yeah, I had to google the floor plans from a previous planning application by the housing association who original got the permission. I wouldn't have known otherwise.

re: 41

No-one would know the size at all. It's number of rooms, and rough garden space [if there is one] and that's about it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:19 AM
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46

I know this because I used to own a 2700 square foot, 19th century home that burned oil.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:19 AM
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47

The problem with many homes is that too much sqftage is devoted to living/dining room which nobody uses. Those rooms are never used because a) no television and b) the rooms are also used as hallways to get in/out and up/down. Better to put entrance and dining table in kitchen.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:21 AM
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We have a living room and a dining room, neither of which has a television, both of which get used every day. Neither are directly on the path to anywhere. Tunrs out the secret to using your living room and dining room is... to use the living room and dining room.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:24 AM
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49

Our house is too big for us, but it was the one that was pretty and well laid out and on a pleasant street, so there it is. It's a pain to clean it, but on the other hand, more space means it's easier to find places to stow things. We do eat in our dining room and hang out in our living room, even though no television!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:24 AM
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My one bedroom apartment is too small for two people. We put elfa in the closet to maximize the space, then did the front closet which holds junk (coats have to go on racks). We have barely usable cupboards, so we had to put in things that allowed us to pull stuff out.

The dining table in the living room is tight, and we don't have our own washer and dryer.

I'd like a separate office area. I don't know how much space I'm talking about, but damn, I really want my own washing machien and dryer.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:25 AM
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The square footage of a house seems like an utterly impenetrable statistic. I have no idea what sort of building has what sort of square footage. How closely correlated is this statistic to the "number of rooms" statistic?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:25 AM
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What is this no television insanity?

The living room is where the TV lives, and the hi-fi, and my desk.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:28 AM
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Number of rooms and square footage only apply to above-ground space. Number of rooms doesn't take into account walk-in closets and bathrooms and other smallish spaces.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:28 AM
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I have no idea what sort of building has what sort of square footage

It'll happen to you, too! Here's a rough rule of thumb that I'm making up right now: 1500 square feet and three bedroom will give you what you think of as "normal"-sized rooms. Same square footage with four bedrooms means small rooms. Two bedrooms: very large rooms.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:29 AM
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Our living room/dining room/kitchen is just one big space, which I love.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:30 AM
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I think our house is 3400, plus (unpleasant) basement, and pretty much every room gets used every day. The only exceptions are the large 3rd floor room with the toys and the TV, which gets sporadic use, and the guest room (duh), which AB actually uses pretty regularly for laundry/eBay purposes. Oh, and the dining room doesn't get used in the summer, because we eat on our porch. But we eat in the dining room every night that it's not pleasant enough for the porch.

Two home offices make a big difference, of course. But we bought this house with the specific intent of being able to accommodate such things.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:30 AM
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re: 55

Ours, too. It could do with being maybe 10 ft longer. But it's a nice space. Our previous place had a really huge L-shaped living/room diner, and the living room section was perfectly sized for a couple of sofas, stereo, and TV, without the TV dominating the room.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:31 AM
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My FE's parents' place is huge by square-footage with a big basement that was used by the kids as teenagers and is now full of collectible lego sets, but they never use the stuffy-looking living room, and they have these horrible open staircases. And like 4.5 bathrooms. Their lawn is much too small for the size of the house. It is big, but it does not feel spacious.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:34 AM
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Thank you Ogged. Ah, so JRoth's house is more than twice as big as normal.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:39 AM
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JRoth's house is very big. Not by McMansion standards, but by the standards of civilized society.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:40 AM
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Weird British thing of the week: nobody knows the square footage of their home. I mean, it's usually marked on the floor plan but I've never come across anyone who could quote theirs.

I only know mine (714) because I recently bought it. I have no idea what the square footage of anywhere else I've lived is and I certainly wouldn't be able to guesstimate a random house/flat.

As for the OP, my new place feels really spacious, for my current quantum of stuff. Mainly because it has a second bedroom which I'm using as a study, so for the first time my desk and books aren't taking up space in my bedroom or the living room. That said, there's plenty of stuff I would keep/buy if I had more space, but don't because I don't.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:41 AM
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We've nearly completed a years-long process of opening up the living room to the dining room. They originally shared a big (probably 7x7 or bigger) opening with pocket doors, but that was reconfigured into a solid wall with a 3x7 doorway. It's now got a built-in set of shelves & cabinets, and the light is really wonderful. But it's nice having dining clearly delineated from living (that is, sitting). Living in this house has been a nice lesson in the wisdom of the elders.

Here would be a good place to note that Frank Lloyd Wright*, for all his talk about breaking up the box, understood that large, undifferentiated space isn't actually all that great, and used all sorts of methods to create distinct areas/rooms within continuously flowing volumes.

*who, believe it or not, is IMO underrated; he's become an icon and an aesthetic token among the middlebrow, but the highbrow types have always underrated him, and his popularity over the past ~25 years has led to his being treated with near-contempt by the highbrow


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:45 AM
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so JRoth's house is more than twice as big as normal

It's larger than the average for new home construction, but not twice as large.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:48 AM
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Ours is under 1000 sq ft, but no idea how big it actually is. It was fine when we were two, but feeling cramped now we are four.

Visited a friend who had about 2500 sq ft and thought that seemed ideal for us. Having somewhere to put all the kid's mess where we wouldn't have to see it, a separate home office, guest room, and space to accommodate energetic play is the dream.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:49 AM
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Living in this house has been a nice lesson in the wisdom of the elders.

I am constantly delighted about this. We have the original radiators, which are wonderful, and the house breathes beautifully when we can have the windows open. We do still have pocket doors where the living room opens to the entryway and to the dining room, though they don't get much use. I would hate an open kitchen and what I really want is a door that would let me lock myself in the kitchen, but that's because I'm thinking about it as a grumpy parent rather than gracious hostess. Our kitchen is big enough that we have a table that seats us all there, though we now generally eat in the dining room.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:50 AM
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66

The trouble with FLW is his low-ass ceilings!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:50 AM
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63: New home construction is presumably heavily tilted towards suburban locales. Ours is smaller than the new home average, but really big for a city (nevermind that we're near a bunch of giant mansions) and JRoth's is huge.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:51 AM
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66: Also, flat roofs are just a bad idea.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:53 AM
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All I want is a basement with room for a bench press, a pullup bar, and a TV. Maybe in 10 years. OK, I also want the basement to have a ping-pong table.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:54 AM
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Hmm. I think 3400 is bullshit (I was misremembering the county assessment website, which says 3400 for the lot and 3012 for the house, but I'm not sure that's right either).

OK, just took some measurements; it's less than 2800 square feet. 975 for the second floor, maybe 1100 for the ground floor, and 770 for the third floor. That's 2850. For two small businesses and a family of four.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:54 AM
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My first-ever solo apartment was a teeny (by American standards) studio. Definitely less than 300 ft2. I slept on a futon that I actually folded up most days. There was a teeny kitchen in the corner with teeny appliances. A couple of details made it workable: 1) A little counter came out of the wall from the kitchen corner, providing storage for kitchen crap, separating the kitchen area from the rest of the room, and making it so I didn't need a table. (I put a stool on the other side.) 2) There was a very short hallway around the kitchen corner to the bathroom, so you could actually go from one place to another, even in that tiny space. 3) Linen closet, coat closet, clothes closet. 4) I put up so many shelves. So many standards and brackets. 5) Light! A wall of bay windows, plus a window over the sink, and a window in the bathroom.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:55 AM
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The living room is where the TV lives

We don't even have &c.

(I mean that's sort of a lie. We have a projector up on the 3rd floor, which counts as a TV if anything does. But no cable, and I have to haul my laptop up there to watch anything, so it doesn't get an enormous amount of use.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:56 AM
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73

I think the county bases square footage on the outside dimensions and you might be figuring on inside dimensions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:57 AM
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74

All I really want is an island fortress. It doesn't even have to be tropical. With my skin it probably shouldn't be.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:59 AM
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I loved my teeny apartment and lived in it for 3 years, but by the end I was so tired of putting things away. In that small a space, you can never just leave things out. After each activity you do, you have to put everything away, because you're going to need that space for something else.

On the subject of televisions, I tried to get one for that apartment, but it was horrible. There was no way to arrange the space that didn't make the entire apartment into a place for watching television. I would have needed a cart to wheel it in and out of one of the closets, I guess.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:01 AM
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3: a three-bedroom apartment? Fuck the Bay Area. Even finding a two-bedroom apartment around here is almost impossible; I don't know that I've ever seen a three-bedroom. I don't particularly want to buy a single-family detached house, but there are certain things it's basically impossible to have without doing so.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:02 AM
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66, 68: Oh, he and his designs were plenty flawed. Although it's worth noting that, when his clients were legitimately tall people, he tended to accommodate them. And of course his public spaces featured tons of high ceilings - set off by lower ones. If we're talking/thinking in terms of smaller houses, the first place to start is usually small bedrooms, and lower ceilings go hand in hand with smaller bedrooms.

Flat roofs are a fine idea, and the majority of roof in the US is flat*. Wright was ahead of technology, but there's nothing at all wrong with a modern flat roof.

*technically low slope


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:03 AM
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re: 72

Our TV is pretty small for the size of the room; our old one died recently, and I was stupid when I bough the new one. But I can't imagine living without a TV.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:03 AM
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Here would be a good place to note that Frank Lloyd Wright*, for all his talk about breaking up the box, understood that large, undifferentiated space isn't actually all that great, and used all sorts of methods to create distinct areas/rooms within continuously flowing volumes.
*who, believe it or not, is IMO underrated; he's become an icon and an aesthetic token among the middlebrow, but the highbrow types have always underrated him, and his popularity over the past ~25 years has led to his being treated with near-contempt by the highbrow

I live at ground zero for this social phenomenon, and there is a wine-tasting-tour-bus quality about Oak Park or Robie House tours. You've probably observed the same at Falling Water. It's also very evident at Taliesin.

But we looked at a USonian "tadpole" house out in the Iowa countryside a few years ago that exemplified what you're referring to. Although the "head" of the tadpole is a large room it is very well broken-up into separate spaces. A lot of his furniture is plywood, btw, or right out of the Herman Miller catalog.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:03 AM
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We're at 2300 sf but will add a little bit, mostly because the house, which has many beautiful, useful old home features, is currently configured with only one master bath and two very large (and one very tiny, now an office) bedrooms, and there are now four of us, and desire for two separate but equal kid rooms and fear of having to share a bathroom with a tween-teenage daughter makes me willing to spend a lot to change things.

We do have a dining room that we use all the time. But, also, a large, beautiful living room that's definitely underutilized, because the TV's not in there and somehow the furniture or something isn't configured right to be the main hang-out space. Also the fucking cats have peed on the couch in there enough so that there's a faint but noticeable odor.

I also tend to use the deck/outdoors as basically my living room and dining room, especially during the day but often at night.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:04 AM
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average for new home construction

Which is much more than it was, say, twenty years ago when Ned was a lad.

There was a Wright house for sale at a not crazy price when we were buying here. But it was much more of a project than a home.

In that vein, there are homes by Keck & Keck around here that are lovely. We toured one, and the living room/dining room was fabulous--it was smallish but felt like it was part of the outside. The bedrooms were ridiculously cramped, though.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:08 AM
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I'm still pissed that Frank Lloyd Wright's idea of having a staircase going from the living room to a creek didn't catch on more broadly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:08 AM
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73: Yeah, the exterior walls are almost a foot thick. Not living space, though.

75 has always been my fear of really small living (although I don't think I ever contemplated less than ~400 sq ft).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:10 AM
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83.1: For mice it is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:11 AM
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I can never remember how big our apartment is -- big by NY standards, and probably around 1500 sq ft by Ogged's rule of thumb. (It's a not quite three bedroom, but the square footage would make three ordinary bedrooms; the not-quiteness of it is that Newt's space is an illegal (for bedroom purposes) windowless cave. When Sally graduates, he gets the good room.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:11 AM
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I lived in a roughly 250sf apt in NYC for about a year and a half with my then-wife. It was pretty unbearable. You definitely got to "enjoy the city" (and also work all the time) because you never, ever ever wanted to be at home except to sleep. I also can't remember cooking anything in there other than coffee.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:14 AM
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49 is and will be us. Our house is too big but quite nice and located in exactly the right place. Also, we're not having a TV on the main floor. If people want to watch, which is fine, they can go to the basement or the upstairs family room.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:15 AM
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According to zillow our house is 1621 sq ft and for 3 adults and a medium-sized dog it seems pretty small. Only one full bath, tiny kitchen, combined living/dining space that makes it awkward to have more than one guest, woefully inadequate closet space. I suspect heebie is right that layout matters more than square footage. Our house is completely stupidly laid out due to windows, fireplaces, and electrical outlets. (In short, because it is old.)


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:16 AM
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re: 81

That linked Keck & Keck house is rather lovely.

I bought the big Taschen book of Julius Shulman photos of (mostly) Californian modernist houses when it got reissued a couple of years ago, and there is so much desirable stuff in that.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:16 AM
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The hardship of tiny apartments is when the kitchen and bathroom shrink beyond what's reasonable. There was a period when Buck and I were dating, each living in tiny apartments. Mine was more normal than his -- studio living/bedroom, tiny but with room for a foldout futon couch, a chair, a dresser and a bookshelf, teeny kitchen with minibar-size refrigerator and I think no oven, just gas burners, and a bathroom that was so little the fixtures were scaled down, and I am told that it was difficult to pee standing up because there wasn't room in front of the toilet to get the right angle. His was weird: it was an old brownstone that had been cut up oddly, so he had a normal bathroom with a tub, an normal kitchen with room for a kitchen table, a bizarrely tiny living room -- literally no way to put a normal couch in it without blocking a door -- and a bedroom that was the size of a queensize mattress with maybe two or three feet of space at the foot, but touching walls on three sides.

His place was much pleasanter to spend time in, despite being much stranger. (Admittedly, the loft he put in the bedroom so there was storage space and a desk under the bed was absolutely necessary.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:22 AM
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I haven't measured it, but I think my apartment must be around 800 square feet from the property records. Pretty spacious for one person, I feel.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:24 AM
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81: I wanted to build a house here very much like the ones linked. Also, small bedrooms, assuming the master can fit the king-sized bed that any self-respecting married couple requires in order to sleep at our age, are just fine.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:25 AM
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Going from ~1,900 sq feet to 2,500+ sq feet was enough to take us from the occasional feeling of "this is a little cramped" to "this is all the house I could ever need". If the house could be magically re-engineered to reallocate about 75-100 square feet from an underused room to expand the master bath and walk-in closet, it would be perfectly proportioned.

Like 48, we use the dining room and the kitchen all the time. The room with the TV in it is the second least used in the house behind the guest bedroom. (By design, we positioned the TV on the third floor to raise the psychological to go watch it.)


Posted by: kchent rprcht | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:25 AM
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No, dude, that's fine. Gas is cheap. Sure, geothermal would be neat, but oil for a large place would put you in the poor house.

Maybe this should go in the watch-fuel thread, but interesting fact I recently learned: home heating oil is the same thing as diesel. The sulfur content is different in some places, but you can run your oil furnace with what's in your diesel vehicle tank and vice versa. News you can use!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:26 AM
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Although it's worth noting that, when his clients were legitimately tall people, he tended to accommodate them.

The ones who were faking it, fuck 'em.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:26 AM
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84: Solid brick, actually. They live in the heated, insulated spaces between the first floor joists (that is, basement ceiling). Fuckers.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:27 AM
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96: Solid brick on a wood frame? I've always been curious about brick house construction (though apparently not so curious that I'd, like, google it or anything). Brick houses, how do they work?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:32 AM
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95: if you've only become tall by stealing protein from the underclass, Frank Lloyd Wright will not accommodate you.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:33 AM
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97: is this a joke? You put one brick on top of another until the walls are tall enough, then you stick a roof on and call it a day.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:34 AM
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97: No, just solid goddamn bricks. Face brick, common brick, plaster. 0 insulation, but great thermal lag in temperate weather.

Many houses contemporary with ours are, indeed, wood frame with brick veneer, but ours is just brick.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:36 AM
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97: Well, yeah, but at some point (of wall thickness or whatever) you also have a frame, right? Don't brick buildings sometimes burn down? Otherwise, if you had a fire you could be all, let's grab the pizza dough.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:38 AM
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BTW, I know 95 is a joke, but what I mean is that people who are well under 6'* don't actually need ceilings above 6-6 or 7-0 (again, in non-primary spaces). But when he had clients who were above 6', they got "low" ceilings that were higher than 7-0.

*The Kaufmanns of Fallingwater were both under 5-6; I doubt they felt oppressed by ceilings that were less than 2' above their heads, any more than I do in most postwar houses where the ceiling is 22" above my head and I can reach up and touch it


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:40 AM
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See, ajay? That's how to be helpful.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:41 AM
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Don't brick buildings sometimes burn down?

Well the floors aren't made of brick.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:41 AM
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The doors are brick, but covered in a wood veneer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:43 AM
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Many houses contemporary with ours are, indeed, wood frame with brick veneer, but ours is just brick.

Most houses in the UK are too (though increasingly with insulated cavities). Only 9% post-1990 were built with a timber frame, apparently, and that's the highest proportion since 1850.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:43 AM
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I know 95 is a joke, but what I mean is that people who are well under 6'* don't actually need ceilings above 6-6 or 7-0

"Need." I'm pretty short and I often find low ceilings oppressive.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:43 AM
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101: I can't speak for JRoth's house but brick buildings over here do not have a wooden frame. The walls are made of brick. The roof is supported on wooden beams, and so are the floors. When a brick building burns down, all the wood burns and the roof and floors fall in, but the walls are generally left standing.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:44 AM
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107: Me also. It just feels wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:44 AM
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*The Kaufmanns of Fallingwater were both under 5-6; I doubt they felt oppressed by ceilings that were less than 2' above their heads, any more than I do in most postwar houses where the ceiling is 22" above my head and I can reach up and touch it

They also have the advantage that you don't need to stand on a chair to fix lightbulbs and test the smoke alarm.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:46 AM
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Not a good idea to build with solid brick (or, really, brick at all) in earthquake country, including up to where JMQ lives.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:46 AM
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It doesn't burn all the way down to the foundation slab, in the way that wooden houses* do. So I suppose it burns out rather than burning down.

(*or as we call them "kennels")


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:46 AM
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111: true.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:47 AM
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I wouldn't feel oppressed by the low ceilings in Fallingwater because the glassed-off entry to the steps to the creek really open the place up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:48 AM
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re: 112

To be fair, we do call the larger ones, 'huts'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:48 AM
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Or "sheds".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:49 AM
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Low ceilings are heavily dependent on room proportions for me (and unfortunately I'm not great with identifying exactly what I'm talking about). I'm in the right height range for Fallingwater, and it felt cozy, like an airy hobbit-hole with views. In an ugly space, though, low ceilings are oppressive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:50 AM
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111: on the other hand, not a good idea to build from wood in Big Bad Wolf country.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:50 AM
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I may live in a hut, but it's 1,500 square feet, 20 minutes from my office by public transit, and affordable on a university staff salary.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:51 AM
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re: 119

Yeah, I'd need to move around 200 miles to find somewhere that was affordable on a university staff salary. Or travel back in time.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:52 AM
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The house I grew up in was a 1600 square foot two-bedroom (maybe three, if you count the little study) with a smallish living room and huge family room in the finished basement. All of my high school friends lived in houses that were two to three times that size. Flyover country is so cheap.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:01 AM
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It doesn't burn all the way down to the foundation slab, in the way that wooden houses* do. So I suppose it burns out rather than burning down.

A collapsing peaked roof also has a tendency to push out and take down the supporting walls. There are plenty of ruins of stone castles from the pre-gunpowder era that resulted from simple sacking and burning.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:05 AM
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Not a good idea to build with solid brick (or, really, brick at all) in earthquake country, including up to where JMQ lives.

That was what I was thinking. Even the wussy earthquakes we've had here in the last twenty years or so result in collapsed brick buildings. And we're still waiting for the big one.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:09 AM
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It's not simple to do it right.


Posted by: Opinionated Female Viking Arsonist | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:09 AM
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That is to say, the big one. If you live in the region in question, click through; it's a fun read.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:17 AM
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I'm genuinely freaked out by the prospect of having so much space.

Someone I live with who is not the cat keeps saying this and I can't even therewith. I lived in ~200 sqft for the last six years in NYC and am not in the least freaked out by living like someone who is not in college.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:27 AM
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In grad school two of us and a large dog lived in 560 square feet. Our current place, formerly a 3 bedroom and soon to be a 5 bedroom instead, is 1500 square feet. The subdivided bedrooms will actually have more floor area than is measured in the total because they're giant triangular prisms with ceilings that go from 1.5 feet at the corners to 12 feet in the middle, only above 5 feet counts towards floor area. The beds and built-in closets are stuffed under the low part of the ceiling. We also opened up about 300 square feet of crawl space in the attic that's usable, it's a 45-45-90 triangle that's about 4 feet at the peak so definitely will be able to sit up there on the floor and read a book, watch TV, etc. R38 foam insulation goes into the roof space tomorrow, drywall next week.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:28 AM
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It's not simple to do it right.

#WhyISlayed


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:29 AM
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My favorite real estate listing I've seen was a sheet that was faxed and a letter got smudged so "large eat-in kitchen" got changed to "large cat-in kitchen" and we weren't sure if that meant it came with the house, if it was friendly, etc.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:29 AM
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126: I like the way you sort organisms in your living space in the only important way: cats and non-cats.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:30 AM
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"large cat-in kitchen" and we weren't sure if that meant it came with the house, if it was friendly, etc.

If it had been "large cat-in living room" Allen Ginsberg would have been your guy.

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-lion-for-real/


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:31 AM
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I'd need to move around 200 miles to find somewhere that was affordable on a university staff salary. Or travel back in time.

COME WITH ME IF YOU WANT TO LIVE AFFORDABLY.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:33 AM
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132: Nice.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:34 AM
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The smallest place I've ever lived was a 65-square-foot room in a student building in Kyoto. It had a miniature sink and gas ring, and a shared shower and toilet with two other students. It was brand-new but built in Tadao Ando style, with bare concrete walls, so was not only small but soul-destroyingly bleak.

This is amazing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:35 AM
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a shared shower...with two other students.
HOTT


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:36 AM
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formerly a 3 bedroom and soon to be a 5 bedroom instead

At what ages/factors did it become clear that kids needed their own space?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:37 AM
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It hadn't yet, they still mostly liked sharing rooms. We had 9 year old boy with 1 year old girl and 4 year old boy with 7 year old boy. But 9 year old likes quiet space to read and is a neat freak so once baby was out of a crib she'd start ruining his space; the two middle ones were fighting about their things. So oldest kid wanted his own space; at some point girl would need her own room. We probably could have gotten away with just dividing one of the rooms but this was more symmetric and wouldn't cause fights about who has to share.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:46 AM
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The more logical option would have been to buy a bedroom from the downstairs unit- it's a Philadelphia style where first floor is DR, LR, kitchen, bath, BR, with a stairway up to a BR on the second floor. Our unit is second floor LR, FR, DR, kitchen, bath; third floor BR, BR, BR, bath. There even used to be a door to the second floor BR that belongs to the lower unit. But I have no idea how you value/transfer ownership of a single bedroom.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:50 AM
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Brick houses, how do they work?

Around here how they work, apparently, is: fall down, go boom.

The thing I will never understand here* is why nobody ever thought insulation might be a neat idea. Oakland doesn't get very cold at all but in December and January when I was unemployed and home all day, the house felt fucking freezing because it was basically the same temperature indoors as out. It made me miss my million-degrees-in-winter radiator heat.

*ok, fine, one of them.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:53 AM
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There's no insulation and no heat?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:00 AM
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There's heat, but because of the insulation thing, the house returns to outside temperature about five minutes after it goes off. It would be really expensive to maintain a comfortable temperature. I spent a lot of time under the covers which, ok, was also because I had been unemployed for months and was depressed.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:05 AM
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The thing I will never understand here* is why nobody ever thought insulation might be a neat idea

Same thing 600-plus miles north of you, where Jan-Feb temperatures are typically in the 30s with occasional colder snaps.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:06 AM
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This thread makes me think I have too much stuff. My space is approx ~720 sqFt, with a moderately-poor layout (all the rooms are practical, but there's no closet space so I end up with boxes stacked against a wall that end up living their indefinitely). What I need to do is just get rid of my old boxes of books, but every time I try to do that I start looking through them and feeling attached and then I stop.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:06 AM
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Well, win-win. I guess.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:06 AM
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We live comfortably in 950 sq-ft,which I attribute to good layout. We definitely use every room every day.

I am trying to convince my dad to move out of the house he is in. Four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a workout room, other oversize rooms, a separate office over the garage. 4400 sq-ft on an acre, just for him. He doesn't even have a dog right now. The duplex we want to share with him has two 1,200 sq-ft apartments. He insists that no man could live comfortably by himself in 1,200 sq-ft and he can't stand to have his standard of living drop so far.

Bedrooms should be small. They are just for sleeping. That works best if clothes can go elsewhere. When possible, a separate room for dressing is heaven.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:18 AM
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Further to 142: which made me think that heating oil must have been ridiculously inexpensive back then, but AFAICT it wasn't; it was pretty cheap, but not much more than it was in the mid-1990s. Widespread use of cellulose insulation apparently didn't happen until the OPEC embargo.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:20 AM
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Flat roofs are a fine idea, and the majority of roof in the US is flat*. *technically low slope

I'm surprised to hear that. In New England, except in a few towns or neighborhoods of towns, you don't see many flat roofs. Even if you extend it to "low slope" there are far more colonials, Cape Cods, Ranches, etc.

Also, low slope and flat are very different. In NE winters, water accumulates on actual flat roofs and will eventually leak into the house, membrane roof, caulk, whatever: you will get wet. A flat roof just makes your roof one big ice dam.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:49 AM
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132 is awesome.

I love my house and its design is great for current needs, except for the afore-mentioned unused living room, but I just can't see a way to handle 1 additional kid (in a few years, right now he's in a former sleeping porch next to the bedroom which makes an insanely ideal nursery) without a need for substantial addition. Which seems weird in a 2300 sf house but there you go.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 10:55 AM
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||

It is extremely frustrating when a multiple linear regression gives an r^2 of 93%, yet a majority of the predicted y-values are off from the actual y-values by over 100%, and almost half of the predicted y-values are below 0 which does not exist in the data. I probably need to bone up on other methods.

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 11:22 AM
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149: I'm nobody's idea of a statistician, but a high R^2 isn't especially meaningful in a regression model with lots of variables. You can get an arbitrarily high R^2 if you add enough independent variables.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 11:28 AM
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I'm some peoples' idea of a statistician, but I'm just pretending I didn't see 149.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 11:31 AM
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Yeah, I've forgotten too much.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 11:33 AM
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We're about to move from a 3000 sq ft house with 4 br/3 ba to a 2200 sq ft house with 3 br/2 ba because the current house is a terrible layout for children. The current house has the master bathroom on the second floor and the nursery on the first floor. The baby currently sleeps with us, but I want to transition her to a crib soon. It's crazy to have a child with access to the road and us sleeping a floor above her, so we decided to move.

The new house has the master bedroom on the first floor and a study area that will be perfect for a nursery. The only drawback to the new house is there's no TV room.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:22 PM
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I live in 196 square feet. If it were divided up into a bedroom and a living room it would be silly, but the bathroom and shower are normal size and the kitchen's got three counters for dishes, food prep, and microwave. All I really need besides that is a computer desk. Sometimes I feel like a freeloader for never hosting gatherings though.


Posted by: Noumenon72 | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:26 PM
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In anticipation of the move, I've already filled my car three times with books, DVDs, and clothing for donations. I'm really excited about being able to get rid of all the excess stuff. I'm so grateful for e-books and streaming video content.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:28 PM
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147: You're not thinking of commercial. Strip malls and office parks all have flat roofs.

AFAIK, flat roof houses aren't common anywhere.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:28 PM
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149: You probably want to do something that prevents you from predicting negative values. You could try making log y the left-hand side, for example.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:31 PM
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I hate my apartment and will be moving within the year but it will be hard to do much better in my current area with my current job. Wanting a nicer living area is basically the main thing that keeps me thinking about trying to jump to a better paid profession.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:31 PM
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Also flat (or near flat) roofed apartment blocks.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:32 PM
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Also, low slope and flat are very different

You're misunderstanding the jargon (that is, I introduced it without explaining it): for all practical purposes, there's no such thing as a truly flat roof, because water will find a low spot, sit there, and eventually make that spot lower. So you always need to control drainage. But in a low slope roof, you use (usually) tapered rigid insulation to create positive drainage, usually at a 1:48 slope. A roof membrane installation fails if there's ponding water 24 hours after a rain.

By contrast, what you're probably picturing as low slope is more like 2:12 or 4:12; that is, steep enough for asphalt shingles, but barely. And yeah, those are pretty inadvisable for high snow areas.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:32 PM
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better paid profession

Heiress-marrying, right?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:36 PM
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158 How long is your commute?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:38 PM
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If I understand Piketty correctly, we should all be buying heiress futures now.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:38 PM
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I had thought my house was unusually small, but after reading this thread and thinking twice about other houses I've spent time in, maybe I just grew up in unusually large houses. Of the three houses my family lived in before I graduated from college, one had five bedrooms. (Assuming anything with a closet and a door counts, although one was pretty small.) One had four bedrooms, not counting a fully functional attic or basement. And one was big enough to be converted into two good-sized apartments and an office after we moved out. My house has three bedrooms, and at 1,950 square feet (I wouldn't swear to that, but it's the number in my head) maybe it's larger than average. The benefits of growing up in a rural area, if nothing else.

How the space is organized definitely matters, though. We only have four closets, one of which is too narrow to hang a normal-sized clothes hanger in. We definitely plan to renovate the closet(s) a bit. And we definitely have less outdoor space than usual, since it's a rowhouse.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:39 PM
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The heiresses did not call after my Piketty post, which mirrors the amount of discussion it got, I guess.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:41 PM
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162: Depends on mode of transit and traffic but generally between 35-60 minutes to go about 12 miles.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 12:43 PM
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Checking a mirror-image apartment for sale tells me that this one is 50 m2 or about 540 sq ft. 2 bedrooms, hall, bathroom, kitchen, balcony. Kitchen is small but 2 people who are used to it can "dance" around each other. The balcony view makes the place, Dublin is a low city so being on the sixth floor means a great view over half the city and the local hills/ mountains. Not enough storage though, if I didn't have a mother with a large old house within 50 miles I'd have to rent some space somewhere for things that don't get used for half the year.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 2:49 PM
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Our house is 1450 square feet; originally 1200 with a tacked on 250 square foot bath/bed like apartment with a separate apartment where our guest stays.

The original house is well laid out, though each room is about 1' smaller in each dimension than they'd be built today. Since the main house is 2 adults with a master bedroom and two office/hobby rooms. it works out great. Sometimes I get to dreaming about a larger place (usually after checking plans on a new house), and my wife would love a bathroom with a large tub, but it's pretty perfect day to day.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 3:58 PM
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Our house is allegedly ~1750 sq ft, but our real estate agent said that was bullshit. However, we then finished half the attic after living here for a year, so now there's another ~150 sq ft, admittedly not legal for bedroom purposes, due to 45 degree sloped ceilings, but there's a fair amount of space where a 6' tall person can stand up without bumping their head.

The first house I really remember living in was tiny -- probably around 600 sq ft, or maybe a bit less. Must've been grandfathered in on the ceiling slope codes. But I had a nice little play room on the first floor (not sure what the original usage was) of about 9' x 5'. So there weren't too many LEGOs for my parents to step on out in the common areas. After that we had a 1100 or 1200 sq ft house that always felt kinda cramped due to poor layout. And then our huge monstrosity of a 3 story house that had 5 or 6 bedrooms and lots of tall ceilings, but only one bathroom, which definitely gets old when you have 2 adults & 3 kids.

My smallest studio was probably about 250 square feet, and would have been fine if (a) I had not been sharing it with a non-paying roommate and (b) I'd had any furniture.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 5:15 PM
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How are you feeling Natilo?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 5:19 PM
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Added renovation photos to pool.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 5:45 PM
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Our house is listed as 1300 sqft, but on Magic Plan I counted just over 1100. It has a combined living-dining room that's not exceptionally large -- 11 x 20 I think -- but has vaulted ceilings and we divided the space well into dining, living (i.e. TV) and Mrs. K-sky's office. 3 BR are for us, baby, and my office.

It's a 1928 house but the previous owners (who were best friends of the next door neighbors, then went upside down on the mortgage & had to sell, so that feels great) redid it from the sticks up. Unfortunately the bedrooms go from back to front so the master bedroom is across from the kitchen, the baby's room is next to the dining room and the office/guest room is at the front. I'd love to flip the baby's room and the kitchen but that would be a big chunk of work.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 5:46 PM
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Like Cala we've got a rambler with a finished basement of usable space. About 2750 sq ft total with six bedrooms and one and three quarter baths with another bath that could be finished in the downstairs laundry room. Our roofline extends out over the deck that's off of the kitchen/dining room area, which is convenient. Definitely feels like plenty of space. About 20 minute commute to downtown if the traffic is clear, maybe 25-30 if the freeway has some crowding.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:36 PM
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Our house is sort of too big for us but I don't want to go into details because then you'd all be bugging us to have more kids like everybody else.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 7:56 PM
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We have about 1300 sf for three bedrooms (one of which is being the library/den for the foreseeable future, plus a couple hundred square feet of finished but not really climate-controlled attic, which we end up using for storage, plus a basement which is increasingly full of brewing equipment. It mostly seems like enough space but an arrangement with more designated storage, closets, etc. would be nice.

The listing for the property when we bought it mentioned "high ceilings", which was a hilarious lie. I have no idea where they got that idea. Maybe before whoever put in a foot of drop ceiling, but that was clearly 1970s vintage.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:29 PM
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I used to need a lot of room for bookcases -- big, deep ones for LPs and videodisks, normal ones for VHS tapes, CDs, DVDs, and of course books. I had A LOT of all those things -- 8000 books, 700 LPs, 1500 CDs and DVDs, 500 VHS tapes, 200 videodisks. Also a lot of space was needed for the TV, HiFi receiver, turntable, VHS player, videodisk player, speakers, desktop computer, display monitor, keyboard, and floppy disks. (Not all at the same time, of course).

Now the books are on my Kindle, which is 5" x 7" x 1/3rd of an inch thick, the music and movies are all in a cloud somewhere or on the hard drive inside the cigar-box computer, which in turn is fastened to the back of the 65" x one-inch-thick flatscreen display, the speakers are a thin bar mounted along the bottom edge of the display and the woofer is buried between the studs in one wall.

Sadly, my wife and I are still living in a 4500 sq-ft house, purely due to inertia. We'd planned for years to move to something in the 2500 sq-ft range, but now I'm thinking 1200-1500 sq-ft might be preferable, especially because we can still spend what we'd planned for the larger house -- on better fixtures, materials, furniture, and location, location, location.


Posted by: Bob Munck | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:35 PM
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Not counting the bathroom (per dalriata in 53), my place is an 11 x 18' carriage house, so 198 square feet. One big room, containing elevated bed, desk, dresser, a futon for sitting/guests, and a small kitchen along one of the 11' walls. A small bathroom is attached off the back, and I have access to the basement of the main house for laundry.

It's very tiny, but cozy and totally perfect for being a student. Gets a bit awkward if more than three people stop by.

Having been here now for over a year, I'll say Blume in gets this part exactly right: "I loved my teeny apartment and lived in it for 3 years, but by the end I was so tired of putting things away."


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:55 PM
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I like my childish things right out in the open where I can keep my eye on them.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 8:58 PM
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My apartment is about 400 sq ft. It's a pretty well-laid-out studio, and it actually feels pretty spacious. That's mostly because I don't have much furniture, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-14 9:34 PM
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177 reminds me that, for 2 years of college, I lived in a dorm single that was... 8x18? I'm guesstimating based on furniture layouts. Anyway, I loved that little room, which was perfect for a single guest (laydeez), but obviously not viable as a complete living solution. Although I did have a micro kitchen setup where I could (and did) do things like roast a whole chicken. But I don't know what it would have been like had I not had dedicated studio space where A. I did most of my work, and B. I could be in a larger, social space that was still identifiably mine.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 6:13 AM
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177: Not that it matters, but I meant bathrooms aren't counted in the number of rooms. They are counted for floor space, if they're above ground. If they're below ground they aren't counted for either floor space or in the number of bathrooms, even if they're finished. No matter how nice your Pittsburgh toilet is, it won't be reflected on the real estate listing.

(This is my layman's understanding. Might be totally off, but it's the only way to make sense of the data we saw when house shopping.)

Cozy is a good way to describe that. I might be okay with that if I lived on my own but I need much more space in the presence of other people--I need somewhere I can go to be alone.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 6:59 AM
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I love my secret basement toilet.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:06 AM
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They are counted for floor space, if they're above ground. If they're below ground they aren't counted for either floor space or in the number of bathrooms, even if they're finished. No matter how nice your Pittsburgh toilet is, it won't be reflected on the real estate listing.

What if your entire flat is below ground?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:07 AM
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Then you get sick of perpetual damp and move.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:10 AM
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Our apartment is 450 square feet. I think we'd both like one more room, but we would prefer different rooms. I miss having folks over for dinner. We have a small living room with a futon, so there isn't really anywhere to put guests. He'd like a spare bedroom for drying out hockey equipment and having overnight guests. (My argument is that the lack of a guest bedroom is what keeps his mom and her husband from visiting more often.) It has a fantastic kitchen, though, which I think I'd miss, and the location is great. Maybe 500 or 550 would be perfect. Our previous place was 3 bed/2 bath, and we almost never entered the two spare bedrooms. (Well, he did to clean them.)


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:13 AM
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183: Hell if I know. Realtors seems to have made everything as complex and arbitrary as possible to justify their position. And it's probably different in the land of flats.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:22 AM
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Huh. I just looked up our listing, and sure enough the basement bathroom (which is actually a regular half bath, not just a toilet sitting in the open like the savages in coal country prefer) isn't listed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:26 AM
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I once lived in a house with a half bath on the landing at the top of the steps to the basement. Because college. There was a door between the bathroom and the kitchen but it was open to the stairs to the basement.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:28 AM
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183: Then you're Batman, and you don't need a real estate listing.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 7:29 AM
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Doing some actual measuring, it looks like my 1B apartment is actually more like 550 square feet. Still, pretty spacious for me.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 8:11 AM
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I believe 188 describes my MIL's rowhouse in Bloomfield. I mean, the same description applies. Since Moby didn't live in Bloomfield when he was in college.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 8:11 AM
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Do you count bathtub, stove, fridge-covered floor space?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 8:12 AM
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Yes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 8:13 AM
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170: Not too bad. Went to the dr on Monday, and my BP was through the roof, but no more problems with the kidney stone, so that's good.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 10:14 AM
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Well good then. Glad to hear it.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-10-14 11:51 AM
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