The Spare Room Conundrum

When we moved one thing we lost was a spare bedroom. Although our house has 4 bedrooms as well as an office, we decided that we didn’t want to use one of them purely as a spare bedroom for visitors.

Most of our previous houses have had a spare room, and realistically we used it for 2 or 3 weeks a year. Even if the room is 150 sq ft, with house prices in major cities at $200 a sq ft or more that’s $30,000 of house sitting idle for most of the year. At that price you might as well put your visitors up in a hotel, you would still save money.

In many houses these spare rooms even come with spare bathrooms attached. These of course as well are sitting idle most of the year.

The simple fact is that there are 10% more bedrooms than people in the US. With a lot of couples sharing a room, that is a huge number of bedrooms going spare. Apart from any social issues this raises, clearly this means a lot of people are buying bigger homes than they need and are thus spending a lot more for houses than they need to.

As the norm is for more bigger and bigger houses (we were certainly guilty of that, who needs 4000 sq ft?) maybe having a spare bedroom should be more and more of a luxury. Of course it’s nice to have somewhere formal for visitors, but do we really need to have rooms that are only used a small fraction of the year?

So what did we do with our spare bedroom? Well we turned ours into a game room and library. we now have somewhere to keep our books and to store our games. We have a spare table and chairs in there to play on and it’s super handy if we want a long game set up. The table can easily be removed and an air mattress put in for visitors. Is it perfect? No, of course not, but the room at least now gets used on a regular basis.

Do you have a spare room and do you use it? Would you actually miss it if it was gone?


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