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A Modest Home

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In counsel I've read about how we should live, materially speaking, the phrase "modest home" comes up. As in, we should seek to be out of debt, live frugally, and have a modest home.

What is a modest home to you?

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The modesty of my home is going to be a function of my needs and my income. If I'm say a politician or even a businessman who does a lot of networking and makes a fair amount of money I may have a home with features, size, and a polish to it to further that networking (parties and dinner invites) than if I worked for the railroad as an engineer. Likewise if I have 8 kids I'll need more rooms, and room, than if it's just me and my wife.

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I think one thing that happens is families feel pressured to have both parents work to pay the mortgage. If both parents HAVE to work to afford a nicer, bigger home, then maybe they are making the wrong decision. Don't sacrifice your home for your house.

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I think one thing that happens is families feel pressured to have both parents work to pay the mortgage. If both parents HAVE to work to afford a nicer, bigger home, then maybe they are making the wrong decision. Don't sacrifice your home for your house.

But the reality is, house prices can be high depending on the city you live in and there's not much you can do about it. If you want to pay your mortgage payments, sometimes both husband and wife need to work.

M.

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But the reality is, house prices can be high depending on the city you live in and there's not much you can do about it. If you want to pay your mortgage payments, sometimes both husband and wife need to work.

M.

I think what he is saying is that to have a bigger nicer house of your own choice, don't sacrifice.

I think we all realize that sometimes both have to work to meet basic needs including homes in certain areas.

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I feel like our home is modest. It is of a size that fits us and our things and allows us to keep it nice. We can afford it and the cost doesn't put financial pressure on us. I would like to move into a slightly bigger home (nothing grand, but another 500 sq feet or so) and a nicer neighborhood, but our current lifestyle can't support that (school costs a ton of money). So, we sacrifice now by keeping this home until we are in a position to move.

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In counsel I've read about how we should live, materially speaking, the phrase "modest home" comes up. As in, we should seek to be out of debt, live frugally, and have a modest home.

What is a modest home to you?

One that you can and will take care of yourself - without having or relying on others (paying) to do such things. If you require help - it is beyond your modest ability. :)

The Traveler

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But the reality is, house prices can be high depending on the city you live in and there's not much you can do about it. If you want to pay your mortgage payments, sometimes both husband and wife need to work.

M.

Interesting - the way you define the "home of the free".

The Traveler

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Eowyn, I love your posts lately. So thought provoking!

Modest is different to different people. After all, who's to say that living in a big house is not modest? I'm certain the shabbiest of apartments in a low income neighbourhood would blow the minds of many residents in third world countries. I think a modest home (living AND working within your means) directly relates to if you're able to maintain your lifestyle without debt and or the aide of others. So if you're self sufficient and can afford this or that, you'd still be living within your means, and that's being modest IMO.

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One that you can and will take care of yourself - without having or relying on others (paying) to do such things. If you require help - it is beyond your modest ability. :)

The Traveler

At one time our house was modest. We built it when we had four children living at home and my grandmother was living with us.

Now... its too much house. We could sell and downsize and not have a mortgage.

But every time we think about selling and downsizing somebody needs to move home and they bring a child or a spouse. :eek: Maybe I'll turn it into a B&B. Then its a business and the part we would live in would be a modest home again.

hmmmm.... thinking.... if it was a B&B it would be easier to charge rent to the ones moving back in. :D

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I remember just after graduating college, I said to my in laws, "I want to buy a house. Two car garage and backyard for kids". My husband and I were living in apartment and I was almost 30. It felt time, at least to me. They were appalled and chastised me for being worldly and prideful. It was a beautiful moment that really bonded me to my in laws. NOT!

The pride isn't in the house. It's in the heart.

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I was a contractor who built gigantic homes along the Wasatch Front. I got caught up in that materialism and built one of my own on a hill. I ended up losing it and learned a very valuable lesson about life. I have truly learned to let go of the world. It was a process, though. Unlike the rich man that went his way sorrowing when Christ told him to sell all that he had and follow Him, I have undertaken that counsel. A modest home for me is a nice little house just big enough for needs and a big yard for lots of planting and growing of food, just as in my opinion, Joseph Smith intended.

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Modest home:

The curtains are not revealing; The siding goes all the way down to the foundation so as not to reveal whats underneath; No excessive glitz, accessories or tatoos (signage) to draw attention; Roof is not overly fancy; and also a welcoming spirit.

;)

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Modest home:

The curtains are not revealing; The siding goes all the way down to the foundation so as not to reveal whats underneath; No excessive glitz, accessories or tatoos (signage) to draw attention; Roof is not overly fancy; and also a welcoming spirit.

;)

I walked right into that, didn't I? :lol:

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Just after 9/11 I was on a flight on the East Coast on a small commuter sitting next to a man (type A) in a tailored suit. As we traveled – we talked. The man was feeling badly because of financial problem he was going to have to sell one of his 4 homes. The man was an investment banker. I told him to sell all of his homes and all but one car and a bunch of his toys (boats, RV’s and other stuff). He asked me why he should take such drastic measures – his financial problems were not that bad. I simply responded – not for the money – for your sanity.

The bottom line is – if you are so attached to things that you think they give you happiness – get rid of such things – invest more in people and life will be much more rewarding.

We talked and the man told me he had never talked to anyone like me. I was shocked -- I grew up in the home of a wealthy man that lived simply. I shared a bedroom with 2 brothers and the 3 of us slept sideways in a single bed with our legs hanging off the end. I recommend to anyone that feels like they are poor and do not have enough money that they read the book “The Richest Man in Babylon”.

To those that think a couple of extra thousand would bring some happiness. I honestly believe you are doomed to live your entire life mostly unhappy – and any happiness you think you have obtained will be short lived.

Happiness is not so much getting what you want most as much as it is appreciating what you got; at least, at a minimum, enough to take care of it yourself.

The Traveler

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Right now, we are renting a basement apartment. Nothing at all fancy, rather dated, but it's spacious, affordable, and protects us from the elements.

I have a very wealthy uncle who built an extravagant home. A beautiful home, but it was also disgusting. When his finances went downhill, he moved himself, his wife, and the youngest (of 11) children to a smaller home. My mom went to visit, thought the new home beautiful and big, but even then my aunt and uncle acted ashamed of it.

This is a fascinating topic.

I don't think one has to be in a shed to have a modest home, but one can look at a home and see where the heart lies.

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I have thought of moving into a larger home. My payments would actually stay the same since I purcahsed my property [cringe/gasp] at the height of the housing bubble. With what we put down on the home and making payments, I think it is still worth what we owe. We have enough room for my daughters to each habve their own room and the boys bunk. I am sure they would like there own room one day, but I think about me growing up... I sometimes shared a room with 2 other brothers. I only have good memories about that. Staying up at night talking and messing around, then dad yells at everyone to be quiet. Then it starts all over again.

The ward is great, the neighbors aer good, the area is fine. If I moved just to get into a larger home (which really, I wouldnt complain if I did) I think it would be for vanity.

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Even though we have no kids and both of us work, our guiding rule as far as all bills (including the house) is that one persons salary has to cover all bills with money left over. That insures not only a modest house but modest cars too - and a savings account and retirement plans and food storage.

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That's pretty much how we try to live, mnn. We have 5 little ones at home and our house gets to feeling pretty crowded and chaotic. I'd love a bigger house with enough room that they can play reasonably noisily without me going crazy, and rooms enough that grandkids will enjoy coming to stay with us. Nothing crazy, just more space than we have. Mountain views wouldn't hurt, either. :) But if that never happens, we do like our home and ward and as they say, "love grows in small houses".

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One that you can and will take care of yourself - without having or relying on others (paying) to do such things. If you require help - it is beyond your modest ability. :)

The Traveler

If we follow your guideline my modest home will not be more than 200 square feet.

Sorry, I don't like to clean. And that's why I got me a big enough house that can hold a home office that doesn't require that the dogs don't bark while I work. Then I can do work that I love to do and get paid for it. Then I can pay people to do the stuff I hate to do - like scrubbing toilets used by 3 boys. This then allows me to keep my sanity and energy so I can be a quality mother and wife. See how that works?

Anyway, a modest house is a house that you can afford without sacrificing the quality of the home. Period. If you make a gazillion dollars, your modest home can be the Buckingham Palace.

Resources - this includes money and assets (like the house, the car, etc.) are nothing more than enablers. This means that you acquire these things to enable you to enhance your capacity to do good. If acquiring such reduces your capacity to do good, you need to rethink your resources.

What does the house enable you to do? First and foremost, a safety haven for your family. Second, a safety haven for your extended family. Third, a safety haven for others in dire straits. One family lost their household income in my ward. Their extended family are in Utah. They lived off of their food storage, short sold their home, and moved in with another family in our ward. Now, that other family in our ward has a big house because they happen to make good money with their business (their business provides jobs for some people in the church). If they didn't have that big house, they wouldn't have been able to extend aid to this family. That family is a poster child for acquiring assets to enable them to increase their capacity to do good. See how that works?

Edited by anatess

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It's all relative.

I live in the SF Bay area where a starter home in Silicon Valley goes for $500k. No luxury here, probably a 3-2 fixer upper. SFO is again experiencing bidding wars for condos that would cost $100k in most areas of the country but are well over $500k here.

Traveler's story is a good one. We can become burdened by our possessions. My current main home is much too large (four bedrooms 3 baths + living, and two! family rooms) for only my wife and I now. It's hard to believe that we once had seven of us living there!!! It was crowded then. When the kids left we remodeled figuring we wouldbe there at least another ten+ years, and my wife said we finally had the house "decent" after Kids.

About 4 years ago we bought our "retirement" home, now our vacation home, thinking the market was down. Well it wasn't down far enough!!! It's not a good time to sell our main house as it took a market hit relative to the "remodeling" loan, and the vacation home has slid considerable below loan value. Luckily my income has held up even in this recession, but if I could sell my main house and pay everything off, I would. It's too large for our needs except we seem to have filled it up with "junk".:eek:

Investment yields are such that if you can pay off your house, that's a real good use of your money. This going against a lifetime of me telling people to do the opposite as a financial advisor!

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In one of few instances.

Anatess, you are taking care of your home by hiring a cleaner. We dont all have to take care of things in the same way. :)

Exactly. That's why I responded to Traveler's post. Because he has a different way of seeing things that doesn't encompass people like me.

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