With the steady and dramatic drop in the US birth rate–it has never been lower than it is now, and it continues dropping–most couples now rarely have more than one or two children, if they have children at all. And single mothers follow the same pattern, one or two children. This means that there will soon be–within a decade, maybe–a glut of homes with three, four and five bedrooms. Indeed, as boomers die or sell off their large homes, these houses will begin hitting the market in huge numbers. Very few families with one or two kids will buy a five bedroom home. Childless couples will be even less likely to buy one. Yet suburbia, older urban neighborhoods, small towns and rural America contain far more homes with more than two bedrooms than they do homes with one of two bedrooms. Who will buy these houses? The prices will have to fall, indeed, a five bedroom house might be cheaper than a two bedroom house. And will renters, as there will still be a lack of places to rent (in large part because there are so many homes with too many bedrooms that make them expensive for a single family to rent) begin moving into these large homes, four or five tenants per home? It could be cheaper to rent a bedroom in a plush four or five bedroom home in Palos Verdes Estates than it would be to rent a studio apartment in Silver Lake. And I think we will see this begin happening within ten years. This is becoming a country of families with very few children or no children at all, in a land full of houses built for families with four and five children. We’re not the only country having less kids, of course, but we’re the only one that’s so full of sprawling ranch houses and three floor Victorians and four bedroom row houses. Things will be a lot better soon enough. Those Generation X kids will live out their fifties and sixties without spending half their monthly income on rent. As for us late period baby boomers, those of us born in the late fifties and early sixties….well, we’re screwed. We came of age in the 70’s and are getting old in the teens, two economically fucked up decades, complete messes, with politics just as horrid and everyone too broke to make the mortgage or rent. Oh well. It’s all in the timing.