Is Your House Above Average?

5 years ago

Do you ever drive through your city and stare at houses both larger and more magnificent and smaller and more terrifying and think to yourself, "What is it like to live there? Is that just me?

Credit Image: Brooklyn on Flickr

And really, there's nothing more fun than comparing your situation to the entire rest of the country's, so here are the stats. The U.S. Census Bureau just released the numbers on the Average American Home this week. Turns out it's a three-bedroom, two-bath, two-story with a garage that was built in 1974 (a fine year, I might say, a fine year for anything to be created). And that very average American home has a rent or mortgage of $927.

On the heels of this interesting information came a Wall Street Journal article saying now that more people are renting, rents are shooting up, with the average rent set at $1,048. If that seems crazy, keep in mind how tough it's been to get a bank loan or a down payment pulled together since 2008.

All this is telling me I'm pretty average. I've owned two houses in my life. The first was a three-bedroom, 1.5 bath, two-story with no garage built in 1902. The one we live in now is a four-bedroom, 3.5 bath, two story with a garage built in 1977. My mortgages have both been within $500 of the national average. How average is your pad? Do you rent or own? Why?

Rita Arens authors Surrender, Dorothy and is the editor of the award-winning parenting anthology Sleep is for the Weak. She is the senior editor for

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