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monsoon

Beginning of the end to McMansions

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This article discusses what might be the end of the McMansion trend in the USA. It appears that many people are opting out of owning a "Trophy" home as they don't really need the huge amount of space. Further maintenance, energy costs, and time to maintain are beyond what many people find acceptable. Current owners of these monsters however are finding the re-sale market for these homes is drying up and some might lose out bigtime as their investment continues to fall in value.

I have always wondered why a couple feels like they need 5000, 10,000 or more sq-ft to live in.

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This is America, the land of the free.

If I had the means to build a 5,000 sq. ft. house, who can stop me?

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This is America, the land of the free.

If I had the means to build a 5,000 sq. ft. house, who can stop me?

I think that is the point of the article. Having the means does not necessairly mean that it is a good idea as many of these people are finding.

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I think that is the point of the article. Having the means does not necessairly mean that it is a good idea as many of these people are finding.

I do know one of my friends who lives in a "McMansion" wishes he'd stayed with his 2,000 sq. ft, historic bungalow.

I just wish, for once, I had the means to live in a "McMansion." Then let me decide. :D

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True, you definitely should be able to buy and live in any size house you please. Some folks do need the space or are simply more comfortable in a larger showier house for whatever reason.

There does seem to be a trend for more quality over quantity though-some architectural detailing, truly livable spaces that the family uses every day-a country kitchen, a corner for reading.

The huge, what I call, Texas or Florida two-story entrys, multiple complex roofs spilling forth and grand volume ceiling never used living rooms of just a couple of years ago are a little tired I think.

I tend to prefer smaller homes and don't have a big family so don't need a larger one but have seen some amazing, wonderfully designed very large homes. I don't think it is even density that is necessarily problematic because whether it is a "temple on the hill" large setting for a house or a tight urban lot, there can be thoughtful architecture taking full advantage of its site or just a grandious statement posing as a house.

I say who are you trying to impress with that huge entry, five bedrooms/baths and 4 car garage if all your neighbors houses are nearly identical?

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I don't have a problem with McMansions, I have a problem with cheap ones. If someone is building a top quality 5,000+ sq ft house, with things like large open areas big kitchen, gaming room, large bathroom(s), dedicated home theater or indoor pool I can under stand why you need the space. But if its for a couple and they have 6 bedrooms and like 3 family rooms it becomes pointless, especially when you squeez it on a 1/4 acre lot or less. I have always thought that if I were rich I would either live in a big high rise condo or a mansion sitting on about 50 acres of woodlands, maybe both, but never in an "exclusive" neighborhood.

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True, you definitely should be able to buy and live in any size house you please. Some folks do need the space or are simply more comfortable in a larger showier house for whatever reason.

There does seem to be a trend for more quality over quantity though-some architectural detailing, truly livable spaces that the family uses every day-a country kitchen, a corner for reading.

The huge, what I call, Texas or Florida two-story entrys, multiple complex roofs spilling forth and grand volume ceiling never used living rooms of just a couple of years ago are a little tired I think.

I tend to prefer smaller homes and don't have a big family so don't need a larger one but have seen some amazing, wonderfully designed very large homes. I don't think it is even density that is necessarily problematic because whether it is a "temple on the hill" large setting for a house or a tight urban lot, there can be thoughtful architecture taking full advantage of its site or just a grandious statement posing as a house.

I say who are you trying to impress with that huge entry, five bedrooms/baths and 4 car garage if all your neighbors houses are nearly identical?

Very true... one aspect I hadn't considered. If you live in a McMansion, all your neighbors' homes are the same and the only person you're impressing (aside from yourself) is the garbage man. :)

I live in a 1400 sq. ft. house, what would be considered a cookie-cutter patio home (ranch style to some)... 2-car garage on the front, facing the street (which I don't prefer but it hit well within my price range.) What my house is lacking in size, it more than makes up for in detailing. I have heavy crown moulding throughout, which in this area isn't found in most houses below 1500 sq. ft. I have a nice, huge cathedral ceiling in my living room, a dining "area," kitchen with bar that opens to the living room and dining area. I have a small front porch (for design purposes only) and a decent 10x10 rear porch. My home is mostly brick, with siding only as accents under the porches and in the gable above the garage door. For a small home, it's quite charming and every single person who's been inside has been absolutely blown away. They expected the typical small patio home from the outside, but found that it's very well-appointed inside.

But I still would love to at least have the means for a McMansion. :D

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SBC Metro your house sounds great, exactly the quality spaces and detailing that I try to imbue in my designs. And the size I say would be deemed -A not so Big House-that is a quality well-designed home that feels comfortable, spacious and is filled with the kind of detailing one might find in a much grander home.

I bet even if you did have the resources you wouldn't up-size too much.

My house is similarily modest in size but full of the architectural detailing that a 80 y.o. Spanish Revival home was designed in. And I have a stunning setting in the great city neighborhood on the edge of Balboa Park-canyons and trees. I can honestly say if I won the $100 million in the lotto I would not move- though I might get me a fishing cabin in the woods somewhere. ;-)

CasaFront.jpg

Garden4days.jpg

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SBC Metro your house sounds great, exactly the quality spaces and detailing that I try to imbue in my designs. And the size I say would be deemed -A not so Big House-that is a quality well-designed home that feels comfortable, spacious and is filled with the kind of detailing one might find in a much grander home.

I bet even if you did have the resources you wouldn't up-size too much.

My house is similarily modest in size but full of the architectural detailing that a 80 y.o. Spanish Revival home was designed in. And I have a stunning setting in the great city neighborhood on the edge of Balboa Park-canyons and trees. I can honestly say if I won the $100 million in the lotto I would not move- though I might get me a fishing cabin in the woods somewhere. ;-)

Thanks, man. :)

Yours sounds great as well! That setting sounds awesome. My home is in a typical suburban cookie-cutter subdivision, about 5-10 different floor plans arranged in a straight row. Nothing exciting, but it works for me. :)

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My house is an 1800 sq ft all above ground bi-level, that almost looks like a colonial with a garage on front. It's pretty plain on the outside, with all siding except for some stone on the small porch, the interior is basic, but it does have cathedral celings spanning over the living room, dining room and kitchen. But hey, it's a brand new house for barely over $150,000.

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My house is an 1800 sq ft all above ground bi-level, that almost looks like a colonial with a garage on front. It's pretty plain on the outside, with all siding except for some stone on the small porch, the interior is basic, but it does have cathedral celings spanning over the living room, dining room and kitchen. But hey, it's a brand new house for barely over $150,000.

:shok::shok: For an 1800 sq. ft. brand new home!?!? My home was $20,000 lower than that and it's only about 1400 sq. ft.!

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:shok::shok: For an 1800 sq. ft. brand new home!?!? My home was $20,000 lower than that and it's only about 1400 sq. ft.!

Yeah, it was pretty much one shot deal and my parents jumped on it, they pretty much saw it as their only chance to move out of their old house, and here it is a year and a half later and the real estate market is down the tubes. We sold our house for $108k, it was a ~1100 sq ft built in 1933, they would be extremely lucky to sell it at $100k right now, while we could probably get $170k for ours without breaking a sweat and if the market goes back up to where it was I'd say closer to $200k.

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This Norwich, CT Castle, located a stone's throw away from the heart of gang/drug/hookerland, can be yours for $150,000.

on edit: OH MY LORD!!! The housing shortage around here is really putting prices in the stratosphere.... :rofl::rofl: I can't believe anyone would buy this house for that much.

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I bought from one of the national builders listed in the article (K.Hovnanian, at the time under their Westminster label which is no more.) The largest floor plan in my neighborhood is right at 2200 sqft and most houses are on 1/4 to 1/3 acre lots. While many people said these houses are to close together, I feel the layout looks very similar to older neighborhoods closer to the downtown area. McMansions have been popular in other areas around here, and I detest K.Hovnanian's floor plans that are offered here, they're just boxes with some adornments. Other builders have better plans for that square footage range. But I agree, that end of the market is in trouble with longer periods of time for sale/resale. The action seems to be more in the townhome/condo/and 2500- sq ft single family homes.

I don't think many people actually need a McMansion and it certainly isn't helping sprawl or the environment to build endless neighborhoods of them. We should all try to live closer to "just what we need" instead of "the max of what I can afford."

I will say though I have seen some very well thought out, planned and executed developments where these homes were filled with character/quality/charm that I would entertain to live in if I could afford it.

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I've wondered why one-story houses aren't built anymore? And it burns me up Richmond had torn down many of its one room Italianates or shotguns. My house when it was built was a plain rectangle, two rooms up and two rooms down. Can't do that anymore?

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My coworker recently sold 750sq. ft. 50's ranch in Central Mass for $218,000.

We are seeing LOTS of homes around here in the $350,000 - $400,000 range being built (actually most of them - anything else isusually more). Son't expect the market to come crashing doon soon.

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I agree that I'm not a huge fan of big houses. We moved from a 1600sf house to a 2800sf house last year and I kinda liked the smaller one better; it was more intimate. I think it's proof that you don't have to have a big house to have a nice house. I think 1500-2000sf is about the ideal size. Any smaller is just smaller, and any bigger is just bigger.

That said, if someone has the money, it's not mine or anybody else's place to stop em from building or buying what they want. More power to them, I say. And frankly, I think my house would end up big if I were building it and had the budget, too. Those midcentury postmodern style places just don't look right when they're small, do they? :)

Now if you want housing prices that are in the stratosphere, how bout our old house? The 1600sf mentioned above on 1/10th acre of land, built in '63 sold last year for $727.000 in the SF Bay Area in California. If that's not completely off the scale nuts, then I don't know what is.

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Architecture should be taught in High School, along with "good taste". Most people have terrible taste, and it shows in the homes being built.

This article discusses what might be the end of the McMansion trend in the USA. It appears that many people are opting out of owning a "Trophy" home as they don't really need the huge amount of space. Further maintenance, energy costs, and time to maintain are beyond what many people find acceptable. Current owners of these monsters however are finding the re-sale market for these homes is drying up and some might lose out bigtime as their investment continues to fall in value.

I have always wondered why a couple feels like they need 5000, 10,000 or more sq-ft to live in.

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Architecture should be taught in High School, along with "good taste". Most people have terrible taste, and it shows in the homes being built.

"Taste" is a matter of personal opinion, there are amny people who I'm sure would say you have bad taste, that doesn't make you or them right.

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SBC Metro your house sounds great, exactly the quality spaces and detailing that I try to imbue in my designs. And the size I say would be deemed -A not so Big House-that is a quality well-designed home that feels comfortable, spacious and is filled with the kind of detailing one might find in a much grander home.

I bet even if you did have the resources you wouldn't up-size too much.

My house is similarily modest in size but full of the architectural detailing that a 80 y.o. Spanish Revival home was designed in. And I have a stunning setting in the great city neighborhood on the edge of Balboa Park-canyons and trees. I can honestly say if I won the $100 million in the lotto I would not move- though I might get me a fishing cabin in the woods somewhere. ;-)

CasaFront.jpg

Garden4days.jpg

Wow, that is gorgeous! Very nice! Much nicer than mine, that's for sure.

Here's mine, for comparison...

post-9805-1151352102_thumb.jpg

I love my house, but I'd trade with you in a heartbeat!

post-9805-1151352102_thumb.jpg

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SBC Metro your house sounds great, exactly the quality spaces and detailing that I try to imbue in my designs. And the size I say would be deemed -A not so Big House-that is a quality well-designed home that feels comfortable, spacious and is filled with the kind of detailing one might find in a much grander home.

I bet even if you did have the resources you wouldn't up-size too much.

My house is similarily modest in size but full of the architectural detailing that a 80 y.o. Spanish Revival home was designed in. And I have a stunning setting in the great city neighborhood on the edge of Balboa Park-canyons and trees. I can honestly say if I won the $100 million in the lotto I would not move- though I might get me a fishing cabin in the woods somewhere. ;-)

CasaFront.jpg

Garden4days.jpg

:rofl: There is no way that house in San Diego is even close to $150,000. Try closer to $1,500,000. Ah the joys of California lving.

This thread was about the declining desire of "McMansions", and is it really happening around the country. I know there are some books and a growing group of "Small House" advocates out there. But can it really be the end of "McMansions". I'd like to know what the definition of "McMansion" is.

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:rofl: There is no way that house in San Diego is even close to $150,000. Try closer to $1,500,000. Ah the joys of California lving.

This thread was about the declining desire of "McMansions", and is it really happening around the country. I know there are some books and a growing group of "Small House" advocates out there. But can it really be the end of "McMansions". I'd like to know what the definition of "McMansion" is.

I will be the first one to admit that prices are totally insane out here.

I wasn't gonna comment on these folks being able to buy a 1800s.f. (the same as my house above) house for 150k these days-but was rolling my eyes-as if!- you can't buy a doghouse for that in this neighborhood. It is actually is pushing 7 figures don't ask me why-Of course that paper money is worthless to me because I'm not selling- but I bought nine years ago for around 170k- I have no idea how people can afford to buy houses here-little ones like mine much less McMansions. Our pay scale is right in line with other cities. It really shuts out young families that bring a lot of life to a community-I don't want to live around a bunch of Rich folks-Yikes!

Which is why as a designer I am very much in favor of smaller homes, a bit more density-allowing for more folks to get the benefits of home ownership-which benefits the community. Even if that is a much smaller than the traditional American suburban home.

It is totally wasteful to use so much resources for building and maintaining these huge houses all over the place for families that are half the size of a couple of generations ago. There are more than a few of us here who grew up sharing bedrooms, bathrooms and much smaller houses with our siblings and parents and we came out allright. Now the expectations that folks now have is to have at least 4-5 public rooms. Every kid with their own bedroom and bath. Come on! How do you learn to share that way?

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I don't live in a house and probably never will. I'll be lucky to own a studio or 1-br apt one day in the North Jersey market!

Here's listings near where I work

3-BR, 2-BA ranch style on 0.21 acre built in 1951: $609,900

3-BR split-level: $630,000

A 1-BR ugly 1970s garden apartment next to my office bldg is $260,000

Standard McMansion, 4 BR, 6800 SF, 0.75 acre: $1,800,000

^ Where I live it's more urban and prices are a bit lower, but your money gets you less space.

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I don't live in a house and probably never will. I'll be lucky to own a studio or 1-br apt one day in the North Jersey market!

Here's listings near where I work

3-BR, 2-BA ranch style on 0.21 acre built in 1951: $609,900

3-BR split-level: $630,000

A 1-BR ugly 1970s garden apartment next to my office bldg is $260,000

Standard McMansion, 4 BR, 6800 SF, 0.75 acre: $1,800,000

^ Where I live it's more urban and prices are a bit lower, but your money gets you less space.

Sorry to be so nosey, but if you won't ever live in a house and don't even know if you'll be able to live in an apartment, what exactly do you live in? Or is it that you're renting an apartment and doubt you'll be able to own a studio or 1 bedroom apartment?

Sorry, I think I took your post out of context.

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I second architecture in high school. I had a class on it and it introduced me to real architecture.

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