Before immigrating to Canada, my family lived in a one bedroom condo within a concrete jungle. I never had a backyard or a front yard. I knew no one who "gardened" on the weekend. My family was considered middle class.
Growing up in North America it was pretty apparent what I was supposed to aspire to have. The house in the burbs, multiple car garages, beautiful gardens, a pool, lifestyle things like memberships at various clubs, vacation properties, participation in "have" sports like skiing and golf.
I honestly didn't question it until I was ready to purchase my first home. All of a sudden, the rubber hit the road. I was the one paying for this so I'd better understand if I really wanted it that badly. I credit my loathing for debt for helping me out with this one.
Questions about how much utilities cost, property tax, length of commute overtook the "dream". Thank goodness because in the end, after changing my mind 3 times on various units, I chose a 1000 square foot, 1 bedroom plus den one storey townhome (condo) with attached garage and full basement in a gated community. How American!
I no longer live there but it was a great starting point for my life and I learned a whole lot about real estate from this experience.