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Why is Charlotte full of McMansions?

Why is Charlotte full of McMansions?   88 members have voted

  1. 1. Why is Charlotte full of McMansions?

    • Good economy means money to spend on big houses
      22
    • It's the developer's fault. They build these for more profit, instead of more sustainable communities.
      9
    • Lack of Community life in Charlotte - McMansion is a substitute
      5
    • Charlotte is a family town. Families want bigger houses
      8
    • Society pushes people to buy these things to prove they are successful
      29
    • It is a tread, in 20 years, these places will be slums.
      11
    • Other
      4

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I saw this old Creative Loafing Article, McMansions are Us and thought I would ask the question about why we see so many McMansions in Charlotte. We have it running from teardowns in older traditional neighborhoods, to new development such as that in Ballentyne, and the huge monstor houses in as recently shown in Piper's Glen and on the lake front.

These are the SUVs of Houses.

One of the items that caught my eye in this article were these couple of paragraphs.

"Tom Low, a Huntersville architect, is no fan of McMansions. He says McMansions "tend to kind of create their own world." Gone is the simple master bedroom, he says. It's been replaced with a "master resort" complete with juice bar and exercise room. Gone is the den or TV room. It's been replaced with the home theater. And gone is the kitchen or breakfast nook. It's now a caf

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Good question. I think it is "culture of the plenty" syndrome, more is better. When the economy is good and the interest rates are low, it makes the decision even easier. It is not a distant relative to the forces that resulted in Big Macs, biggie fries, buses disguised as SUVs, large screen TVs .. You name it. It's a shame .. Because the decision is less about quality, mostly just size. But I do think that all the factors listed are contributors. The more urban you get, the less Mcmansions you will likely encounter. Developers seem to run this city, no neighborhood rules, city rules or any rules get in their way. Certain types of people will also succumb to societal pressures and will measure their success in life by what they own. I personally don't have anything against large houses, as long as they fit their environment and have the quality to match.

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Charlotte is no differerent than any other wealthy city. McMansions are a scourge on every burgh from Palo Alto, CA to Orlando, FL.

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I notice that all of the answers except the first one all have a negative connotation to them.

Perhaps the answer is that Charlotte has a large middle to upperclass society and that larger houses are popular in such markets.

If you look around the nation today you'll see that Charlotte is hardly alone in building this style of house.

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My guess is because Charlotte (and a lot of suburban Charlotte) is a family town. In reality, it's a combination of all those answers...

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That is an interesting point about the choices. Maybe it was the article as except for the developer questioned, everyone else seemed to think they were a bad thing. I am not sure about that, but I do agree that our society is obsessed with materialism, consumerism, and excess. A McMansion would seem to be the end result of those things when people have the resources, as many do in Charlotte.

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That is an interesting point about the choices. Maybe it was the article as except for the developer questioned, everyone else seemed to think they were a bad thing. I am not sure about that, but I do agree that our society is obsessed with materialism, consumerism, and excess. A McMansion would seem to be the end result of those things when people have the resources, as many do in Charlotte.

One thing I've never understood is at what level does something become too much? I mean, there are real mansions that millionaires own all in a row in Florida and people take tours just to look at them. So, in Charlotte, is it a matter of the "McMansion" being too big, or the houses around it being too small?

I have hated the word McMansion since the first day I heard it. It's a changing world; they're building glass bridges over the Grand Canyon, a natural phenomenon, ruining it, but making it more interesting at the same time. With the good comes the bad. And with the bad comes the good. People have money now; let them buy their Escalades and houses larger than their neighbors'. It's just their way of making their own life more luxurious and gaudy. If you host a party at a double wide, I don't think that you'll get the same kind of response as if you have your friends and business partners pulling up to the largest house on the block.

It's all about the pressure in society to have the best of everything in order to be hip and suave.

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I think this phenomenon is a result of the fact that most newcomers to Charlotte are seeking more than just lower taxes, lower cost of living, and a more attractive city, when they move down from the NorthEast and the Great Lakes area. They are also seeking a higher quality of life, which most people equate to a larger home.

Purchasing power for housing is much stronger here than the cities where people come from, so people apply that to the ability to upsize for their families.

The increase of urban living means that many are choosing to go for a smaller home on a more valuable location. But most simply go for sheer size.

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It's just a phase in house design. People are expressing their wealth through their housing and demanding more than the old ranch style boxes. As a person in the housing industry, I don't have much of an issue with them beyond matters of taste.

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It's just a phase in house design. People are expressing their wealth through their housing and demanding more than the old ranch style boxes. As a person in the housing industry, I don't have much of an issue with them beyond matters of taste.

I agree with this thinking.

I think the word "McMansion" is an invented word for liberal elitists to deride something they don't like or consider inferior to them. I do not wish for everything to look alike (cookiecutter), but these houses do serve a purpose. They do aid in extending home ownership to those who otherwise might not be able to afford them. By building the houses mostly the same, they are able to buy vast amounts of material at lesser prices, which keeps the house price lower than what it would normally be for houses that size. This helps people afford ever more house for an ever more comfortable life. However, I still don't see why they have to LOOK alike. I wish they would alternate the style more than they do, even if they are using similar material, I see no reason why they can't build in more differences within the price range.

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People build massive houses for the same reason they buy massive SUVS. To stroke their overblown egos and try to impress people to look and see " how rich I am" :rolleyes: The whole trend is gross and anti-environmental :sick: I wish they could make the houses totally illegal and in many cities they are becoming so through defacto zoning. I hope Charlotte follows suit.

ooh I will have to add "Liberal Elitist" to my bumper sticker array :lol:

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I voted the "society pushes people to..." because I think it's the best answer that fits, but to say that society pushes people would be a little bit unfair... it's certainly not society's resonsibilty that this trend developed. People in the US tend to think more and bigger is better, and want more and more stuff and thus need a larger place to put them. People put way too much emphasis on things and not enough on people, including being better ones.

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with an automobile dependant society, i wonder how our country will be able to survive if we are ever to truly have an energy crisis. think about how much gas and electricity these houses use up... in the future, these houses could become way too much to keep up, even for the wealthy.

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If people want to have these mega retarded houses that's fine, but do it in the burbs. Not gorgeous places like Dilworth. If you drive down Mcdonald Ave (probably now the ugliest street on the planet) you actually get a little vomit in your throat. 4000 square foot rediculous looking crap quality houses next to 1200 square foot ranches and bungalows. So really it's not just a matter of taste, it's a matter of destroying neigborhoods and not even knowing it. I should take some pics of all the construction on Mcdonald to show everyone just how rediculous it's getting.

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If someone lives in a neighborhood with large lots where there is room without encroaching on neighboring houses and wants to build their castle, thats fine by me. Going into a an already established neighborhood that has a smaller scale and destroying its inherent character is where the problem lies. Mcdonald surely is one of the worst and its spreading like a virus all over that area.

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Houses have inched larger and larger over the decades since "suburbia" really exploded. Times have changed and so have expectations from our homes. With recent low interest rates and "creative mortgages(which may be the undoing of the McMansion craze)" many people have been able to buy more house than they could ever dream of affording. I am a poster child for the recent buying buzz, however I refused several "creative" financing deals offered to my by the bank. I was also able to be in a much bigger house than I dreamed, 2000sf traditional styled new home.

One thing that has happened is many much more younger people and singles have bought houses and have bought large houses. I think it's a side effect of the relatively stable economy and low interest rates that have helped these McMansions take root!

These houses are everywhere Atlanta, Columbia, Triangle, Triad, Wilmington, Richmond, Philadelphia, DC, etc.

I do think that larger McMansions (3000+ sf) are going to be going empty and down in value if energy prices stay this high or go even higher.

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The energy usage is a major problem in my view. I have relatives with monster houses in the north east, and when I visit at Christmastime, they keep the house so cold it isn't even funny. I just wish with such large roofs that it would become en vogue to add some solar panels. It seems like a small expense to add 20k worth of solar panels to a half million dollar mega shelter.

I also wonder about the social impacts to children growing up with so much room. It seems to me that when there is a room for everything, children don't ever have to clean up. Almost like the impact of having a toy for every imaginative use, so kids don't have to pretend as much. They also don't have as much need to walk outdoors.

I don't know, though. There is also a flip side. Having a large house allows families to stay in a single house for the duration of raising their family, as they can handle all the rooms, the stuff, the visitors, etc.

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That is a really cool design!

As one who has a 900 sq foot house, and feels that it is too big, I love seeing innovative designs for smaller spaces.

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It would be really nice to see an intown neighborhood of homes like this. It would address the affordablility issue (which is its purpose for London) and it would add a very nice variety to the available architecture in Charlotte.

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It would be really nice to see an intown neighborhood of homes like this. It would address the affordablility issue (which is its purpose for London) and it would add a very nice variety to the available architecture in Charlotte.

I like your idea, but I would rather see them placed inside existing communities. When you see a torn down house/empty lot for example. One could dit 2-3 Tiny houses on a single lot. A small laundry facility and lots of outdoor play areas would be a lovely way to create more community.

My partner and I have no plans to have children, and don't want a large space to have to heat or cool. I would love to find a smaller home, without having to give up the freedom of not living in a condo/apt.

A Tiny house would be ideal.

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I like your idea, but I would rather see them placed inside existing communities. When you see a torn down house/empty lot for example. One could dit 2-3 Tiny houses on a single lot. A small laundry facility and lots of outdoor play areas would be a lovely way to create more community.

My partner and I have no plans to have children, and don't want a large space to have to heat or cool. I would love to find a smaller home, without having to give up the freedom of not living in a condo/apt.

A Tiny house would be ideal.

There are 4-5 really small homes in Dilworth that look like they were built on maybe 2 lots combined together. I want to say they are on Rensselaer Ave, but im not really sure. It's been awhile since I looked at them, but they are similar to what your talking about. Unfortunetly they are in Dilworth, so I doubt they're affordable.

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There are 4-5 really small homes in Dilworth that look like they were built on maybe 2 lots combined together. I want to say they are on Rensselaer Ave, but im not really sure. It's been awhile since I looked at them, but they are similar to what your talking about. Unfortunetly they are in Dilworth, so I doubt they're affordable.

I know the area that you are are talking about and it is off Rensselaer. Something in my memory makes me think those particular houses were moved onto that property. I went to a party in one once, and it certainly didn't look like new construction.

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