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McMansions and McBacklash

This article was written by in Real Estate and Home. 9 comments.


Backlash is growing against McMansions, especially in communities where there isn’t enough room for them, according to Les Christie from CNN.

Personally, I’d rather have a smaller house on a larger lot than a larger house on a smaller lot. According to this article, in 1950 the average new house was 963 square feet and today it’s 2,400 squre feet. The average household size was 3.1 people in 1971 and today it’s 2.6. The lot size in 1980 was 9,000 square feet and today it’s gone down to 8,000. Fewer people are living in a larger house on a smaller lot.

Published or updated August 18, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 9 comments }

avatar Doobie

Give me more property any day. With all due respect to my neighbors, I prefer to keep them at respectable length away. It’s nice to be able to do whatever you want in your house without having to be concerned about disturbing those around you.

avatar Madame X

I have a cousin who lives in a huge house in a gated community in CA. His entire “yard” is a small swimming pool, and his next door neighbors are 5 feet away and you can hear everything they’re doing. I just don’t get it– his house must be at least 20 times bigger than my 240 sq ft studio in Brooklyn, and surely costs him 20 times more per month, but it’s not like he has any more quiet and privacy than I do. Who needs all these double height ceilings and enormous rooms? I would prefer a small house with lots of land around it.

avatar mbhunter

A lot of McPeople are McBuying these McMansions using McARMs, so they might end up McBankrupt anyway.

We have almost an acre with a 1300 sq ft house, and I have to agree it’s quiet.

avatar Jose

I would prefer a large yard. But given the fact that I can’t find such a space, I am happy with my half an acre yard.

My house is a 3000sqft colonial.

It is surely larger than what I need.

I could have stayed at the 2500sqft townhouse I had an bought another townhouse in the same place. Both properties, together would be worth the same as the one I am living but one of them would be producing rent.

avatar Doobie

I didn’t RTA, but I’ve noticed that people’s choice of housing usually reflects what they’re accustomed to. I grew up in the suburbs in a rancher with a big finished basement and that’s what I own now. Likewise, those accustomed to living in apartments and condos usually aren’t predisposed to living on a huge property. I suspect that a lot of these McMansion owners are former city dwellers…the lack of spacing between houses wouldn’t bother them as much as, say, someone who lived on a farm.

avatar savvysaver

The big thing in some of the communities here is “zero-lot-line houses”. It’s sold as a plus (no yard work), but it just means builders can squeeze more houses in a development. They sell these lots for a fortune.

I prefer my 1900 square-feet on 3/4 acre. Room for trees and gardening, a deck and a fire pit, what more can you ask for?

avatar Darren R. Sussman

But, again, it’s all relative to the area you live in and the area you want to live in. I just bought a new house and it has very little land. But there wasn’t much option to buy a house that did have a lot of land (at least, not any house that we liked). As savvysaver said, builders are squeezing as many houses onto (expensive) land as they can in order to turn a profit, and if that’s the area/town you want to live in, your options become more limited.

avatar Trista

I’m looking to buy a house, but I won’t buy a home located anywhere near a McMansion house. I don’t want to live anywhere near those things. They are too big and ugly.

avatar Julianne

When I visit people who live in tract mansions, I can’t help but notice they barely have any furniture in their home. Interesting. You’d think if they could afford such a big house, they could also afford some furniture. I bet they’ve maxed themselves out on their mortgage payments to buy these monster homes.

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