Study of the Rich
Does Money Matter?
By KT Holly, Bizz writer. Feb. 2007.
In recent months, I've been privy to more than a few households of the afluent.
We're talking luxury homes on 2+ acre wooded lots. 3 levels. typically 5 - 7,000 square feet of space. Just the lots alone run $150K. My career is in the housing and building trades and I've seen and spent significant time inside what I can assure you, are Rich peoples homes.
Executives of fortune 500 companies. Lawyers and Title company owners. Doctors of you name it. They all live in these million dollar minimum homes that I work on. Some of these homes are on PGA Tour Golf courses, 8,000+ sq. ft. and run 2 Million, plus.
The perception that I think most of us has about these families is - Clean cut. Strapping husbands and trophy wives. Great kids. The kind of kids that are well mannered and subdued in nature. One also can imagine the bright, shiny floors. Cleaning staff on a weekly basis. Maybe even a nannys quarters or guest house. Impecable granite counters and marble tile floors. Esquisitly furnished with every nook and cranie dusted and well kept. Towels and bathrooms imaculate. Not much clutter at all.
Boy, you would be surprised.
On average, I'd say that rich people are just as slobby as us regular folk. A couple places I've been in, even worse slobs. Dust still lingers months after the new homeowners have moved in. Baby and toddler toys strewn about like a cheap daycare. Laundry tossed in every direction. Kids rooms barely furnished with proper bedding and furniture. Used dishes everywhere. Quite the mess.
And the kids. Lets just say to describe most of them is difficult. I know kids take time but. Some are whining constantly. I mean; every sentence comes out in this mealy whine, that just iritates me. Stop the whining!
Some totally defy anything they're told to do. Most talk back, with a resounding; "No!" when told to do something. And for the most part, they reamain dressed in their jammies, as well as their moms, well into the afternoon. Eating chips and crap that's not good at all for them. I've even been working inside, while they slept well past 11:00am. Incredible. How can that be setting a good example for 3 - 4 year olds?
So; the next time you're driving by some massive mansion filled neighborhood, and you start envying the rich people inside those castles; think again. Just because they have 10 times the money most of us has, doesn't mean they live ten times better.
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A little background:
My family and I (in our 40's now) live in a modest 3 bdr. ranch style home on one third of an acre in the city limits of a smallish middle Michigan suburban bedroom community. We basically earn just below the median when it comes to family income, and slightly above median home value. Throw in a 2 car driveway, a dog and a guinea pig, and you pretty much get the picture.
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