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Always live in the ugliest house on the street - then you don't have to look at it.
- David Hockney

Perhaps you have let the Zen-Rich concept that your creativity is worth at least a cool million go to your head. There is no question in your mind that you are destined for financial greatness...




And what better way is there to feel prosperous than to live in a nice home located in an exclusive superb? You have convinced yourself that a spacious, comfortable house will make you more creative and productive in your occupational pursuits.

I suppose I passed it a hundred times,
But I always stop for a minute.
And look at the house, the tragic house,
The house with nobody in it.
- Joyce Kilmer

Another reason for buying this home is that you will be inspired by the successful people living in this area. Still another reason is the larger the house you buy, the more it will go up in value, and the wealthier you will become in the future.

With all this in mind, you have decided to buy the largest house that can be financed with first, second, and even third mortgages. Your decision to purchase a swanky home will be supported by many financial wizards. They advocate that you should never extend yourself to buy a car; however, if there is one thing for which you can go out on a financial limb, it's a house.

Why waste so much time, energy, and money trying to buy the biggest house that your credit rating will allow? Truth be known, a small house can hold as much happiness as a large one. Sometimes it will hold even more.
- from Life's Secret Guide to Happiness

This concept is supported by Harvey Mackay who advises us to, "Buy cheap cars and expensive houses." The basis behind this strategy is the opportunity for long-term gain. Chances are fairly high that the value of the house will escalate and it's almost certain that the value of the car will do the opposite. Because houses don't normally depreciate, financing the purchase of a house is a good forced-savings plan which builds wealth for the future.

Clearly, purchasing a house is one of the best financial and lifestyle decisions you could have madee a few years ago. Even in his day, Samuel Johnson advised others, "No money is better spent than what is laid out for domestic satisfaction."

He makes his home where the living is best.
- Latin Proverb

Nonetheless, Zen-Rich philosophy advocates restraint when acquiring a house. Purchasing too expensive of a home can make you "house poor." even when prices are going up. With the high monthly mortgage payments, you won't be able to enjoy some of life's little pleasures. As you can well imagine, it's difficult to feel relaxed and prosperous if you are concerned whether you can make next month's mortgage payment every time you take the family out to dinner.

There is no end to our reasons for purchasing something we want, including a fancy home. However, these reasons may be a way of covering up or suppressing the emotional needs that are driving us to make the purchase. We all end up rationalizing any larger-than-necessary purchase. To avoid future disillusionment and pain, any rationalization should e questioned further to ensure that there is some basis to it.



"Home" is any four walls that enclose the right person.
- Helen Rowland (1875-1950), U.S. journalist.

For example, the idea that there is a big profit potential with a large house may not hold anymore. Experts are now predicting that prices don't go up nearly as fast as they did in the past. Moreover, demographics indicate that, due to the aging population, the trend will be towards smaller homes. Thus, selling prices of large homes could easily come down due to lower demand. So much for profit potential as a reason to purchase a large home! The point is, it's easy to rationalize any purchase without giving it much thought.

Many a man who thinks to found a home discovers that he has merely opened a tavern for his friends.
- Norman Douglas (1868-1952), British author.

The issue of underlying emotional needs shouldn't be avoided with expensive houses just as it shouldn't be avoided with expensive cars. To be sure, many people buy large houses because they feel that they must project a certain image to attract attention. Their goal is to impress the heck out of others with their stately mansions filled with the most expensive furniture money can buy.

To the ultimate status seeker, it's not only how large and richly furnished the house is, but where it is located. Moreover, the location is important, not for the proximity to work and shopping malls, but for what it represents.

In the matter of furnishing [houses], I find a certain absence of ugliness far worse than ugliness.
- Colette (1873-1954), French author

Strangely enough, even zip codes associated with exclusive suburbs have become worthy of pursuit. In order that they can make a statement about themselves, status seekers are looking to move to Harvard Square, MA for zip code 02238, Beverly Hills, CA for 90210, Winnetka, IL for 60093, or Bellevue, WA, for 98004.

Money can build a house, but it takes love to make it a home.
- Author Unknown

Unlike these crazed status-seekers, you, as a Zen-Rich individual wishing to simplify your life, should question why you would want to buy a much bigger and fancier house than you need. Houses in certain suburbs are now 3000 to 4000 square feet, when 1500 square feet will be more than enough for the typical family. Who really needs four bedrooms, three baths, a dining room, a den, a family room, and a living room?

This is not to say that all luxury should be avoided. Some luxury is a good way of rewarding oneself for being creative and productive, but it's amazing how many people don't ever use their fireplaces, family rooms, and swimming pools. In this regard, William Morris offers some wise advice: "If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

Houses are built to live in, and not to look on: therefore let use be preferred before uniformity.
- Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman.

Realistically, houses will always play some role in our self-image,
personal identity, and social standing. For this reason, it's important that you get in touch with all the factors that may influence you to choose the house you want, especially if it is large and luxuriously equipped. You must ask yourself, "Beyond the physical functions, what are the psychological functions that this house serves?

Next, you have to be realistic about how well the house can satisfy any of these underlying emotional needs, such as respect of others, a better self-identity, or more self-worth. Only then can you make the optimum choice for purchasing a home. Keep in mind that one of the psychological benefits of purchasing a house is the satisfaction that comes from ownership.

I want a house that has got over all its troubles; I don't want to spend the rest of my life bringing up a young and inexperienced house.
- Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927), British author.

However, true or complete ownership isn't realized until the day that the mortgage is paid off. To the degree your ego drives you to purchase a larger house than you can afford will determine when, if ever, you attain true ownership.

Once again, let's look to the low-profile millionaires of America
for guidance, this time on how extravagant we should allow ourselves to be when buying a home. Research has shown that these psychologically healthy people have become wealthy by living well below their means. Thus, they haven't financially extended themselves on their homes in an attempt to display wealth they don't have.

True ownership has always been their priority instead of apparent ownership. Even after they acquire

substantial wealth, most millionaires still don't purchase the biggest homes that their money can buy. According to The Millionaire Next Door, typical American millionaires live in homes valued at $278,000, which is not extravagant considering their average net worth is several million.

What the Nation must realize is that the home, when both parents work, is non-existent. Once we have honestly faced that fact, we must act accordingly.
- Agnes Meyer (1887-1970), U.S. author, journalist.

Contrary to popular belief, the largest and most luxuriously equipped house in the most exclusive neighborhood doesn't guarantee personal satisfaction and fulfillment. In terms of physical features, it's important to like your house and neighborhood and have it well-suited for your needs and lifestyle. However, for a house to be truly a home, it must be filled with strong human relationships, family cohesiveness, and meaningful life experiences.The bottom line is, bigger and fancier houses don't mean happier homes.
More Quotes about Houses and Homes

Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.
- Charles Dickens

Go and live somewhere else [in your retirement]. Try doing what you think you’ve always wanted to do.
- John Osborne, Retirement Seminar Presenter

There is no place like home if you haven't got the money to go out.
- Author Unknown

A comfortable house is a great source of happiness. It ranks immediately after health and a good conscience.
- Sydney Smith, English writer

If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
- William Morris (1834-96), English artist, writer, printer.

No money is better spent than what is laid out for domestic satisfaction.
- Samuel Johnson, English author, lexicographer.

A house is a machine for living in.
-Le Corbusier, Swiss-born French architect.

[Real] Estate agents. You can't live with them, you can't live with them. The first sign of these nasty purulent sores appeared round about 1894. With their jangling keys, nasty suits, revolting beards, moustaches and tinted spectacles, [rea] estate agents roam the land causing perturbation and despair. If you try and kill them, you're put in prison: if you try and talk to them, you vomit. There's only one thing worse than a [real] estate agent but at least that can be safely lanced, drained and surgically dressed. [Real} Estate agents. Love them or loathe them, you'd be mad not to loathe them.
- Stephen Fry, British comic actor, author.

People's backyards are much more interesting than their front gardens, and houses that back on to railways are public benefactors.
- John Betjeman

Owning your own home is America's unique recipe for avoiding revolution and promoting pseudo-equality at the same time. To keep citizens puttering in their yards instead of sputtering on the barricades, the government has gladly deprived itself of billions in tax revenues by letting home "owners" deduct mortgage interest payments.
- Florence King, U.S. author.

I live in my house as I live inside my skin: I know more beautiful, more ample, more sturdy and more picturesque skins: but it would seem to me unnatural to exchange them for mine.
- Primo Levi, Italian chemist, author.

If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.
- Gaston Bachelard, French scientist, philosopher, literary theorist.

It is the personality of the mistress that the home expresses. Men are forever guests in our homes, no matter how much happiness they may find there.
- Elsie de Wolfe, British actor, hostess.
 

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