What to do with a big home

Many people dream of living in a huge mansion, set back miles from the road, with a gate, two swimming pools, a tennis court, a huge lawn, a gigantic dining room and more bedrooms than they’ll ever need. They want everyone to know what a ridiculously huge price tag it had on it and to admire them for having achieved the dream – to live in a bigger house than anyone else they know.

Well, that’s all good fun until you’ve been in your huge house for a few months and you’re starting to discover all the annoyances of living in a big property. If you’ve bought your house on a mortgage, you’d better make sure that you keep brown nosing the right people at work – you don’t want to be job hunting ever again, because if you are, you’ll likely be house hunting again, too – but for something much smaller. And you’ll probably have to sell your mansion for way less than what it’s valued at. The pool of buyers is obviously much smaller when you hit the top end of the market – not everyone can afford to live in a big home and many of those who can, simply don’t want to.

Firstly, you’ve got the costs of keeping the house warm, or perhaps cool and well lit, maintaining a good security system, keeping the pool clean and, in some cases, heated, and you’ve got a good amount of money steadily leaving your hands every month just for the pleasure of keeping your home in a decent condition.

If you are trying to hold down a job to make those mortgage payments, then there is no way that you’re going to be able to maintain it, keep it clean and tidy and do the same with the garden. You’ll have to employ people to do all that for you, which means you’ll have to work even harder to pay their wages on top of what you already pay – which, in turn, means you’re likely to be at home less, and so you won’t even notice whether they’re doing a good job of keeping your home spick and span or not. If you bought your big home because you thought you’d have more privacy, what with being so spacious and far away from anything else – you’ve just lost it, because now you have housekeepers, cleaners, gardeners, security guards and God knows who else roaming about the place all the time.

Even if money and time aren’t issues for you – perhaps you live off the royalties of your best-selling books or CDs – there are other problems associated with living in big homes. Communication is one of them. Intercoms are often useless if you don’t know which room a person is in. You could use your mobile phone, but that’s no good if there’s no signal, or if either one of you are using it for another purpose, or if you need to communicate with multiple people. You can try to get around this by setting up Bluetooth speakers in every room (http://www.speakerdigital.com/best-under-50/) which you can then connect to individual microphones which feed back – kind of like conference calling. Anyone who speaks anywhere in the house will be able to be heard in all other parts of the house. This is great for carrying on conversations when you are in different rooms, or sitting at opposite ends of your huge dining table, but it can be extremely inconvenient if you forget to turn it off when you’re trying to have privacy and intimacy.

If you bought your house with the intention of hosting lots of guests and big parties, you’d better pray that your house is sufficiently far away from the neighbors. The police are well aware that, when they receive complaints about noise in affluent areas, they’ll most likely be rolling up outside a mansion. You could end up having a problem with your neighbors and the police if you don’t control the noise. On the other hand, if you start trying to throw silent parties, the novelty will last about ten minutes, and after that, you’ll start getting known as the one who throws lame parties in their big house.