We will have a couple of rooms and a bathroom to ourselves but all the other facilities — kitchen, dining room, living room, garden, etc — are shared with 6-8 other adults and several very young children. By the square foot, that will probably be even less private space than the one-bedroom flat we shared when we first got married. What impells us to such privations when we could probably stretch to a 2-3 bedroom place all of our very own?
It is true that we are giving up some things taken for granted by most other people in the UK (although that comparison does not hold up on a global scale) but we are gaining a lot as well: a mansion to live in; the kind of kitchen, garden and other living areas we could only have dreamed of; facilities like a study and an in-house library. Although the property is large, economies of scale mean that sustainability should be up and our carbon footprint down.
Most of all, we are taking on the risk and opportunity of rich fellowship with the other occupants of the house. Compared to living in close proximity to people but separated by walls, doors and the decision to ignore each other most of the time, we think the balance may be worth it.
Want to add something? Please join the conversation about this posting (nb. Yahoo! account required to log into Flickr).