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monsoon

The Fall of the McMansion

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Has anyone noticed that on the roads leading out of SE Mecklenburg county and into Union county, especially around Providence Rd. and points towards Waxhau and Weddington, the huge number of luxury home developments that have been built over the last 5 years. If you are not familiar with this term, "luxury home" you might recognized it by it's better known alias, The McMansion.

This, shouldn't be surprising for the long term readers here, but the scale of it is still mind boggling. The reason for the topic however is there seems to be a great diaspora of people from these places leaving their future uncertain. See this as an example. This is one of the cheap ones. There are neighborhoods out there of $1 - $3 million built in those fields previously inhabited by cows and goats. The people who bought these things on exotic credit terms are now finding that not only can they not afford these places, but there are no buyers for them either.

It would seem to be one of the untold stories of this current economy.

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That actually looks like a really nice house lol. Damn thats a high house payment though! Over 3k a month!

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Has anyone noticed that on the roads leading out of SE Mecklenburg county and into Union county, especially around Providence Rd. and points towards Waxhau and Weddington, the huge number of luxury home developments that have been built over the last 5 years. If you are not familiar with this term, "luxury home" you might recognized it by it's better known alias, The McMansion.

This, shouldn't be surprising for the long term readers here, but the scale of it is still mind boggling. The reason for the topic however is there seems to be a great diaspora of people from these places leaving their future uncertain. See this as an example. This is one of the cheap ones. There are neighborhoods out there of $1 - $3 million built in those fields previously inhabited by cows and goats. The people who bought these things on exotic credit terms are now finding that not only can they not afford these places, but there are no buyers for them either.

It would seem to be one of the untold stories of this current economy.

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Same could be said for all the "pocket" neighborhoods lining the arteries of S Charlotte (Park, Sharon, Providence, etc) where 5 or 6 5000 sqft monsters were piled on essentially 2 lots with a shared driveway. Would you really pay $800K to live on top of 4 other families and play bumper cars every moring trying to get out of your driveway?

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Same could be said for all the "pocket" neighborhoods lining the arteries of S Charlotte (Park, Sharon, Providence, etc) where 5 or 6 5000 sqft monsters were piled on essentially 2 lots with a shared driveway. Would you really pay $800K to live on top of 4 other families and play bumper cars every moring trying to get out of your driveway?

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It's funny you created this thread because for last couple months I have been watching how the economy has been effecting the home sales in my neighborhood, where it's a mixed bag. I live at the back of Tega Cay in a subdivision of about 75 homes on Lake Wylie. Of those, probably 40 of those are waterfront. There are 3 or 4 homes that aren't on the water currently for sale in the 3,000 - 5,000 sq.ft. range and no one has been able to sell. Included in those is this house that was built as a spec home almost two years ago right across the street from our house. They originally wanted $850,000 and it is now just under $600,000.

7078.jpg

But when you are talking about waterfront homes, there seems to be an endless supply of people wanting the buy and build. These aren't even what I consider prime lakefront properties - the majority of the homes in our neighborhood sit between 60 and 80ft. above the water and still have boat slips! Granted, they all have at least one basement level that is opens to the water. I have only seen one on the market in the past year or so and it sold in a little over a month for $1.5 million. There are two waterfront homes almost complete that are above $1 million a piece. This one is supposedly for Joe Perry; guess I'll find out in about two months!

JP1.jpg

And this one is for some German businessman I have yet to meet. His sits right next to George Shinn's old house (which currently is a pile of rubble as you will see below).

Germanguy.jpg

The only home that never sold on the water was Shinn's old house, which many reasons were attributed to that. Some include the fact that he had a giant Charlotte Hornet tiled into the bottom of his pool, the whole rape allegations that took place there, and the asking price was over $2 million for it. Last year it was struck by lightning, burned to the ground and not a thing has been done to it since.

Shinn.jpg

And I have to give credit to my co-photographer who is now asleep on the air vent.

Sophie2.jpg

Getting back to the subject at hand, this is similar in other neighborhoods around Lake Wylie as well. The Palisades can't sell a single home, unless it's on the water. The Sanctuary seems to have solid sales for its huge estate homes, too. I guess the old adage location, location, location still holds true.

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My original statement probably doesn't apply to unique property such as waterfront property. There is only so much of that. Though what it has done is force people out of these homes that can no longer afford them and has driven down prices a bit. It has also stopped dead any new neighborhoods going on on what little bit of land is left. This is probably more of an issue on Lake Norman since it did experience much more of the irrational building over the last 10 years, than on Lake Wylie.

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There are golf community homes in South Charlotte and Union County that have higher foreclosure rates than many stater home developments in the area. Providence Downs and Providence Country Club have been particularly hard hit. One of the myriad of reasons is they were popping these up as fast as one could watch for a long time, yet there still is no scarcity of land or builder homes for sale. If you have a home to you really need to dump, but are in phase 8 or 20, you are competing with the builder who can offer upgrades, incentives, etc. Don't get me wrong, though, builders aren't getting many sales either and many smaller ones have turned their homes over to their lenders. With very few buyers in the $300,000 + range in general and and over supply of avaiable homes...

I know someone that bought a previously $1.3mil home on Lake Norman for $750,000 a couple of months ago. It wasn't a foreclosure...the sellers were just willing to take a bath to get away from it.

Generally speaking the 'luxury' market overall is hurting in most every segment of the market from in town to the lakes to the 'burbs. Again, there just aren't buyers looking or willing to buy these homes and if they are be certain they expect one hellova deal.

but I'm pretty much priced out.

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Generally speaking the 'luxury' market overall is hurting in most every segment of the market from in town to the lakes to the 'burbs. Again, there just aren't buyers looking or willing to buy these homes and if they are be certain they expect one hellova deal.

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Established communities on the lake will always fair better. However, Crescent's woes might shift this notion. Quality golf course communities hold up well GENERALLY also especially as the land available to build such communities dries up in Mecklenburg Cty. Pallisades was riddled with speculators. Providence was partially built on graded over highly organic soils not to mention catching the last part of EIFS (a la Piper Glen). Part bad planning, part bad luck.

Its the houses that were built with no redeeming value in the lot or the community (not even sure you can call 6 houses a community) where builders/developers completely overestimated demand.

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Thank god for this trend...we don't need anymore McMansions

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... Maybe not, but people haven't stopped wanting these homes, they just can't buy them or are worried about their job. ....

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Agreed, but unfortunately I'd bet that in a few years when things are better you'll see'em all over again. Maybe not, but people haven't stopped wanting these homes, they just can't buy them or are worried about their job. They are also highly profitable for builders -- much of the faux luxury is really cheap to do but a lot can be tacked onto the price from it.

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I'd be happy to make a friendly wager with you that we don't see any more McMansions for at least a generation.

First and foremost, the easy credit isn't there. Neither is the monopoly money. And, frankly, McMansions just aren't practical. Moreover, of those three reasons, I think the practicality aspect is the most overlooked. McMansions are incredibly expensive to maintain. The property taxes alone are more than the mortgage on a nicely appointed 2000 square foot home in most Charlotte neighborhoods. Oh, and paying $600/month for the electric bill is no fun either. Did I mention the gas bill? Do you have $150k to replace the roof when it's time? Or the scratch to shell out 5-10k a year on landscaping to keep up appearances? What happens three years out when you realize you haven't saved enough for retirement or to send junior to Northwestern? Or that you live in less than 1/4 of the house? Or that your ability to afford said house is predicated on how hard and how much you work, meaning you're rarely home anyway.

The really interesting question, to me, is what happens twenty years out when the maintenance has been neglected by cash-strapped owners in it "for the long term" or buyers who swooped in thinking they were getting a deal only to see the values dip by six figures more?

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Hehe, last night John Lassiter referred to some "McMansions in Myers Park." I'm looking forward to reviewing the entire video to get the exact context. I think it was in reference to either property taxes or stormwater. Nevertheless, I cracked up when I heard him say that phrase.

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I'd be happy to make a friendly wager with you that we don't see any more McMansions for at least a generation.

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We've seen this shift in the market before. The turn of the century bungalow/craftsman movement was based on creating smaller spaces with better finishes (i.e. heavy moldings, glass, etc.). We also saw it again slightly in the 60s/70s for energy efficiency. I can't imagine how many houses with 9'/10' ceillings were refitted with drop ceilings in the 70's to reduce energy costs

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Will someone provide a definition of "McMansion"? I have an idea, but I don't know if there is a generally accepted view of what, exactly is and isn't a McMansion.

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Will someone provide a definition of "McMansion"? I have an idea, but I don't know if there is a generally accepted view of what, exactly is and isn't a McMansion.

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Those are pretty good, but they just go downhill from there. Lets go McMansion hunting!

This is classic McMansion - it has multiple garages, a cheesy entryway, and best of all brick only on the front side!

051223_Front.jpg

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This lovely example features stonework alongside vinyl siding, street facing garage, and multiple garages at that!

McMansion1.jpg

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This one gets points for mixing brick and vinyl, street facing garage, and also for the number of roof peaks:

dev_mcmansion_art_257_20080430131828.jpg

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This one is just going all out with the number of roof peaks! Who wants to bet the sides and/or back are vinyl?

mcmansion%20construction.jpg

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This monstrosity just speaks for itself:

06-10-27-mcmansion.jpg

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It can't be summed up any better than at the Urban Dictionary. See McMansion

I like #6 the best. HGTV, and a number of their programs are listed as synonyms. LOL

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It can't be summed up any better than at the Urban Dictionary. See McMansion

I like #6 the best. HGTV, and a number of their programs are listed as synonyms. LOL

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Those are pretty good, but they just go downhill from there. Lets go McMansion hunting!

This is classic McMansion - it has multiple garages, a cheesy entryway, and best of all brick only on the front side!

051223_Front.jpg

Source

I actually know who lives in this house. There are only 3 of them living in 3 levels. I was amazed when I got the grand tour! You could put two families in this house and have them live comfortably on each level!

I'm not sure what is going to happen when they need to "downsize" in about 10 years!

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