Bigger is not necessarily better. Bigger can certainly be beautiful! And there is nothing inherently wrong in bigger. But bigger can be quite costly in both the short and long term and can bring with it many headaches.
It’s important to be compassionate: many of us could not but help buy into the belief that as we grew up that we, too, could purchase the type of homes our parents did– homes just as “spacious” and stately– even if we were raised in a row home or semi-detached dwelling.
But for chiefly economic reasons– many of which readers of “The Tiny Life” are aware– the purchase (and sustaining) of long-term mortgages has become less likely, less possible, and fraught with more risk.
For the sake of example, let’s suppose you and I can purchase such a home. My father worked for a corporation and was employed 33 consecutive years with that same employer before he retired. In general, such job security today, let alone with a single employer, is not the norm nor the reality for the vast majority of us.
Therefore, taking on a 20-35 year mortgage brings with it the worries of what will happen if one or both incomes become imperiled. What happens to our long-term investment if 23 years into our 25-year mortgage we lose either our jobs or our health? What if savings and the help of family &/or friends is not enough to “save” our home?
I certainly do not blame anyone who has lost a house to foreclosure. That is because my assumption is that they made the best decisions they could with the knowledge and resources they had at the time when they embarked with much excitement upon home ownership!
After all, the right to live implies not only the right to eat but also the right to adequate shelter/housing!
There is nothing wrong in embarking upon the dream to live with one’s spouse or partner (or even live alone) in a dwelling that one desires even if that is considered a “big” home.
Today, though, for various reasons, many of us consciously reflect upon if these decisions for ourselves, and only for ourselves, are the wise ones to make. Certainly, we can invite others to consider stewardship and that is perhaps best done by our example. “Let your life be a sermon,” wrote Emerson.
There are forces or variables in our economy that we do not have control over. If stewardship is the wise use of our energy, time, and other resources, then the tiny life movement is well worth reflecting upon. For in the final analysis, the tiny life is freedom.