Brendan and I have been living in our modest three bedroom one and a half bath home for almost six years now. It is actually our second home, having bought our first house out in Cleveland before moving here to Chicago. I love it, but it is a little small with three kids and a cat. It is also in a terrible school district, prompting us to have to pay for Ian to go to Catholic school. I have watched several of my neighbors, four very close ones in the last two years, move out of our neighborhood and into nicer, newer homes. Hey, we are thinking of looking in the Spring ourselves. But one of the good things about a smaller house with a southern rear exposure is we don't have to run our heat a lot. Our bills are pretty reasonable, although we have turned our thermostat down to 66 at all times and occasionally down to 64 at night with the threat of higher gas bills this year. I sometimes wear three layers (a turtleneck, a sweater, and a sweatshirt over it all) as well as slippers over my socks. But, when the sun is shining, even on a bitterly cold day, our house warms up so much that the heat doesn't run until the sun goes down for the day. This, and the fact that there simply is not a lot of square footage to heat, keeps our gas bill pretty reasonable.
My girlfriend with a new, beautiful home with high ceilings just got her most recent gas bill. It was $465!!!! Our last one was only around $180 or something I think. Not that I'm thrilled with that, but I'll take $180 anyday over $465. I feel bad for her, it sucks to have one bill that high and know we still have at least three more months of temperatures similar to the ones we are having right now. But, I'm happy that for this year, we are still in our little house, with our one and a half bathrooms, and our smaller gas bills.