Living in the Shoe Box

Real Estate Agent with (Ballenger Realty) 27941


Sometimes, its tough to keep a sense of humor in tough economic times. The news hasn't been good lately. 

Let me give you a reason to feel better about your particular situation, as dire as it may seem. Think about these numbers: 

1700 (4).... 2700 (5)...... 2300 (5)...... 4000 (7)........4000 (7)......... 900 (8)

It's not a logic test. You're not being asked to figure out the next set of numbers in the sequence.

The emboldened, italicized numbers are the square footage of each house my family has lived in since moving to Beaufort, SC in 1996. The numbers in parenthesis are the number of people in our household at the time of each move. For example, there were two parents and two kids (four family members in all, for you non-math majors) in 1996, when we moved into a 1700-square-foot home, our first in Beaufort.

The number of parents hasn't changed. The number of kids, though, has tripled. And, in the last few months, our living space has shriveled up like a grape.  While our family size has exploded,  our home size has imploded.

So, take another look at that sequence of numbers. That's right, we are living in a 900-square-foot house with six kids and two adults. That's about 112 square feet of living space per person. Not a heckuva lot of elbow room.

Here's the Reader's Digest version: We had a contract on a house, moved in on an interim basis, and then the contract didn't pan out. Fortunately, we owned this little rental home around the corner from the house we had contracted to buy, which had coincidentally been recently vacated by our tenant.

So, here we are, all 900-square-feet of us. Daddy, mommy, Bryan, Rebecca, Kitty, Panyue, Grace, and Hayden. Oldest to youngest.

The house is so small that I can sit in the living room and hear my wife typing at the computer, "back" in the bedroom.

Our house is so small, you can stand in the front yard, and broad jump your way through the house and out the back door with two decent jumps.

A friend of mine likes to ask me how things are "in the shoebox." Believe it or not, things are not bad at all. 

All six of our kids, ages 14 months to 13 years, are healthy. My wife and I are healthy. Although you wouldn't know it from the square footage of our house, I've had a pretty darn good year selling real estate. We are blessed. 

As we head towards Thanksgiving, let's take a moment and be thankful for the true gifts in our lives. 



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Chris & Maria Skrip
RE/MAX 1st Advantage - Beaufort, SC
Beaufort, Bluffton, Hilton Head, Sun City SC

Keith, This is one of the best post I have ever read!  You made me smile.  Maria

Nov 12, 2008 08:18 AM #1
Cherimie Crane
Cherimie Crane & Associates - Beaufort, SC

Awesome Keith.....

Don't be so stingy with the posts!! Keep em coming.

Nov 12, 2008 08:34 AM #2
Keith Strawn (Ballenger Realty) - Beaufort, SC

Thanks, Cherimie and Maria. The house actually lives much bigger than 900  square feet. It's actually, the opposite of something like "the Castle," in the Old Point. Well, I personally don't think the Castle looks like it would be 8000 square feet, or whatever it is. Likewise, our house, which we have dubbed "The Mini Manor,"  is bigger than it looks.

Nov 12, 2008 08:23 PM #3
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Keith Strawn
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