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What "is" A Mcmansion?


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From Garden Villas! Different houses on 3/4 acre lots of the type in this discussion:

McMansion currently under construction:

http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd244/WEVK/DSC06843.jpg

Modest bungalow build a few years ago:

http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd244/WEVK/DSC06840.jpg

Old Shotgun under renovation:

http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd244/WEVK/DSC06841.jpg

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I once read that the multi-angle roof lines came about due to efforts from roofing products manufacturers. Roofs on these homes would be very expensive to replace.

There are many different reasons that the roof on a particular structure could end up complex and cut up.......but, the idea that that shingle manufacturers influenced whether that became prevalent is ridiculous.

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There are many different reasons that the roof on a particular structure could end up complex and cut up.......but, the idea that that shingle manufacturers influenced whether that became prevalent is ridiculous.

I concur. A flat or low-angle roof cannot distribute its weight as effectively towards the sides of a building and for large structures. This is especially problematic in areas prone to large snowfalls, and every winter I hear about cases where homes or whole buildings have collapsed as a consequence of the weight of snow on a roof. Also, because a flat or low-angle roof dramatically reduces the amount of headroom in the attic, it often results in problems with energy efficiency. This is especially problematic in areas with warm-weather climates. And flat roofs in particular invariably have problems with water intrusion and wood rot. I've witnessed instances where trees have started to grow on flat roofs and the owner didn't catch it in time, instead just opting to let the tree continue to grow because yanking it out would cause more damage than leaving it alone--it probably wouldn't have gone down that way if the owner could just glance upwards at a higher-angle roof to inspect for damage from ground level.

Edited by TheNiche
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So what are regular mansions "clearly about" if not showing one's wealth?

Yeah I think McMansion refers to something inappropriately designed/sized/styled compared to its surroundings. Flaunting wealth can be done very tastefully and appropriately. Each may be abhorred by a different type of hater, but I don't think the sentiment of the thread is "big = bad", I think it's about style and fit with regards to a home's surroundings. Ain't nothin wrong with a River Oaks mansion, most are done well and done right (to the owner's taste).

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I am just harkening back to a different era when REAL mansions were built on large lots. Many times, you couldn't see the main houses from the public roads (think Bayou Bend or Rienzi). Even today, there are places where the new super houses hide behind a grove of trees, behind ornamental hedges, or back along the bayou/golf course.

The thing that gets me about the Cherokee house is that it is HUGE. The square footage of the house represents more than 50% of the lot size. That footprint is totally out of scale with the original neighborhood. I've seen this one in person many times and it just looks out of place.

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Yeah I think McMansion refers to something inappropriately designed/sized/styled compared to its surroundings. Flaunting wealth can be done very tastefully and appropriately. Each may be abhorred by a different type of hater, but I don't think the sentiment of the thread is "big = bad", I think it's about style and fit with regards to a home's surroundings. Ain't nothin wrong with a River Oaks mansion, most are done well and done right (to the owner's taste).

I definitely agree that a McMansion is something altogether different than merely a show of wealth. Given the "Mc" prefix, I'd be most inclined to think that the term is derived from the McDonald's business model: provide a limited menu of options (allowing the customer to only superficially customize their order), then do enough business that you can keep quickly cranking out the same product over and over in a basically-competent fashion without slowing down to be creative. In so doing, the builders of McMansions can keep their price down, which is important because when it really comes down to it, the vast majority of the population does care about price--even at the high end--far more than they care about the creative elements of the home. In that sense, the McMansion is in some ways the antithesis of a show of wealth. It is a product that appeals to the budget-conscious who are willing to forgo the maximal show of wealth.

Drive through Bellaire some time and see if you disagree with me. The price point isn't the issue that defines a McMansion; there are inexpensive ones and there are expensive ones...not unlike how Whataburger has a 99-cent justaburger on the same menu as a $6 triple cheeseburger. It's about the production process, the interchangeability and convenience of the designs, and the fact that customization of one of these homes is only ever engaged in superficially.

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I am just harkening back to a different era when REAL mansions were built on large lots. Many times, you couldn't see the main houses from the public roads (think Bayou Bend or Rienzi). Even today, there are places where the new super houses hide behind a grove of trees, behind ornamental hedges, or back along the bayou/golf course.

The thing that gets me about the Cherokee house is that it is HUGE. The square footage of the house represents more than 50% of the lot size. That footprint is totally out of scale with the original neighborhood. I've seen this one in person many times and it just looks out of place.

Until somebody figures out a way to inexpensively manufacture more land in the urban core, you're only going to see more of the same. We're a growing, densifying city with many inner-city neighborhoods that had originally been planned as middle-class or upper-middle-class which are transitioning by virtue of their locations to an uber-wealthy demographic. That category of people want large homes, but there's just no way to get around the dimensions of a postage-stamp-sized lot.

They still make mansions the way that you describe, but aside from the Memorial area where lot sizes are more forgiving, you have to go out to the exurbs. It shouldn't come as a surprise; River Oaks and the Memorial area began their life as exurbs, too.

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Adding to the differences between a regular and a "mc" -

I think the ratio of house size to lot square footage is key. Secondly, there is the design. I keep going back to Bellaire since I am familiar with homes there, but much of the newer construction is speculative, out of a book, and put together rather hastily. I toured a house last weekend (this one, actually) and I thought the design, layout, and finishes were mediocre if not bad. Not to mention the construction left a lot to be desired (noticeable flaws in fixtures, stone, etc).

Not that the above would fit everyone's mcmansion definition, but for the price (~$870,000) and the product, to me it definitely fits it and is ripe for the buying of folks who conspicuously consume and don't give a second thought about how home fits in to landscape, how interiors fit within a home, and those who value vanity over utility. But they're selling. For nearly a million dollars. On 8,775 square foot lots.

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Yeah I think McMansion refers to something inappropriately designed/sized/styled compared to its surroundings. Flaunting wealth can be done very tastefully and appropriately. Each may be abhorred by a different type of hater, but I don't think the sentiment of the thread is "big = bad", I think it's about style and fit with regards to a home's surroundings. Ain't nothin wrong with a River Oaks mansion, most are done well and done right (to the owner's taste).

A River Oaks mansion looks great in River Oaks, but looks downright silly surrounded by little houses. There is a house in the Heights, I think it is on 25th somewhere around Oxford. It is on a corner, goes from 25th - 24th and several lots running east and west. It is HUGE, has a mother-in-laws quarters, and is stuffed full of stuff like a gazebo, pool, shuffleboard courts, etc. Gauche doesn't even begin to describe it. Now, take that same house and put it in upscale Spring Branch and it would look beautiful.

The other funny thing is people who live in these homes that say, "a dinky little low dollar house has no business next to a $300,000 dollar house." To that I say, "so don't build one there!"

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Adding to the differences between a regular and a "mc" -

I think the ratio of house size to lot square footage is key. Secondly, there is the design. I keep going back to Bellaire since I am familiar with homes there, but much of the newer construction is speculative, out of a book, and put together rather hastily. I toured a house last weekend (this one, actually) and I thought the design, layout, and finishes were mediocre if not bad. Not to mention the construction left a lot to be desired (noticeable flaws in fixtures, stone, etc).

Not that the above would fit everyone's mcmansion definition, but for the price (~$870,000) and the product, to me it definitely fits it and is ripe for the buying of folks who conspicuously consume and don't give a second thought about how home fits in to landscape, how interiors fit within a home, and those who value vanity over utility. But they're selling. For nearly a million dollars. On 8,775 square foot lots.

I don't hold anything against 8,775-square-foot lots. I don't think that that's a key criteria in judging whether something is a mansion or McMansion. There's a home at the northeast corner of Bellaire Blvd. and N. 2nd Street which by lot size and home size might be confused for a McMansion--if somebody is just browsing tax rolls--but it has a contemporary/minimalist design that was very clearly a one-off home, built to the owner's exacting specifications. It is surrounded by McMansions but it is not a McMansion.

Other good examples that come to mind are the homes at the northwest corner of Colquitt and Ferndale as well as the northwest corner of Kirby and Amherst.

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A River Oaks mansion looks great in River Oaks, but looks downright silly surrounded by little houses. There is a house in the Heights, I think it is on 25th somewhere around Oxford. It is on a corner, goes from 25th - 24th and several lots running east and west. It is HUGE, has a mother-in-laws quarters, and is stuffed full of stuff like a gazebo, pool, shuffleboard courts, etc. Gauche doesn't even begin to describe it.

No worries. In another 10 years, the lone house will have plenty company. And then the old smaller houses will look out of place, just like they do in West U.

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I don't hold anything against 8,775-square-foot lots. I don't think that that's a key criteria in judging whether something is a mansion or McMansion. There's a home at the northeast corner of Bellaire Blvd. and N. 2nd Street which by lot size and home size might be confused for a McMansion--if somebody is just browsing tax rolls--but it has a contemporary/minimalist design that was very clearly a one-off home, built to the owner's exacting specifications. It is surrounded by McMansions but it is not a McMansion.

Other good examples that come to mind are the homes at the northwest corner of Colquitt and Ferndale as well as the northwest corner of Kirby and Amherst.

I love that house.

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Niche, I almost entirely agree with you on your point about the McDonald's business model being a key for McMansions. However, I fail to see how that house on Cherokee is helping "densify" the Inner Loop. That home doesn't appear to house children (no evidence of play equipment, kid's bedrooms, pools, etc...). In fact, judging the interiors and furnishings, it looks like a couple lives there. That's not densifying anything, it's just hogging the land mass.

And SEV, that house is so unappealing to me, but I do appreciate the small efforts it looks like the builder made (a front porch, a garage that doesn't face the street). Of course, I would really need to see it in its context to judge whether or not I'd throw it in the McMansion category.

So much of Bellaire is just totally gone by now that that house might actually be the smallest on the block!

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Niche, I almost entirely agree with you on your point about the McDonald's business model being a key for McMansions. However, I fail to see how that house on Cherokee is helping "densify" the Inner Loop. That home doesn't appear to house children (no evidence of play equipment, kid's bedrooms, pools, etc...). In fact, judging the interiors and furnishings, it looks like a couple lives there. That's not densifying anything, it's just hogging the land mass.

Densification manifests itself in many ways. Population density is part of that, however in the context of a discussion about spatial concepts rather than social concepts, I'm really talking about physical density. Although I believe my description to be accurate, on second glance I do see how it is imprecise. My word choice could've been better.

So much of Bellaire is just totally gone by now that that house might actually be the smallest on the block!

Would that make it any less of a McMansion?

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I don't hold anything against 8,775-square-foot lots. I don't think that that's a key criteria in judging whether something is a mansion or McMansion. There's a home at the northeast corner of Bellaire Blvd. and N. 2nd Street which by lot size and home size might be confused for a McMansion--if somebody is just browsing tax rolls--but it has a contemporary/minimalist design that was very clearly a one-off home, built to the owner's exacting specifications. It is surrounded by McMansions but it is not a McMansion.

I'm pretty sure this house was built by the architect for himself/his family. It was on a home tour a few years back & it's quite nice. It is big, but I do think it's less than half the lot size. We have lots of 3,000+ sq ft houses on 5,000 sq ft lots around here. And about the large & larger McMansions: the first wave of the McMansions did not have wine cellars, butlers pantries, the grand entry/staircases, 'quarters' and so on. They weren't as gauche as the newer ones. They were also less square footage on the whole, and that's why they list at ~$600,000 and the newer ones go for closer to a million.

We live in a 1,200 sq ft house in Bellaire. I never thought it was 'small' until we had the kiddo. We have 3 bedrooms which is more than enough, even though they are small. One bathroom is starting to get tight with 3 people vying for it, so I'd add that if I could. The kitchen is tiny, but again - didn't seem so tiny when I wasn't buying groceries for a family. I never missed having a pantry back then.

Beyond the size, though, and going back to the house mentioned above - it was architect designed for a specific client (be it himself or not.) The McMansions, to me, are so cookie cutter, stamp it out, straight from the book of plans, boring. Why would I want a 2nd floor balcony to look out on my neighbor's roof (if the small house still exists next door) or on to his postage stamp sized backyard, and mine (if it's been mowed down for a McMansion already.) Or even better - I can sit out there in the morning and have my coffee while watching the traffic go by on 610. Why?! Who wants this? Obviously, some people do or they wouldn't sell. It's like Johnson's Glass House - I love it and I think it's gorgeous, but I wouldn't build something like that in the middle of a block in Bellaire (there's one that reminds me of this off Bissonnet.) We go look at houses all the time, McMansions included, and some of them just make no sense to me at all. The layout is strange; they'll have one huge bedroom and then 3 tiny ones; the house itself is enormous but there's really not much storage space ... that kind of stuff. Some are better than others, but I'm still waiting to tour the McMansion that I could actually imagine living in.

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I'm pretty sure this house was built by the architect for himself/his family. It was on a home tour a few years back & it's quite nice. It is big, but I do think it's less than half the lot size. We have lots of 3,000+ sq ft houses on 5,000 sq ft lots around here. And about the large & larger McMansions: the first wave of the McMansions did not have wine cellars, butlers pantries, the grand entry/staircases, 'quarters' and so on. They weren't as gauche as the newer ones. They were also less square footage on the whole, and that's why they list at ~$600,000 and the newer ones go for closer to a million.

We live in a 1,200 sq ft house in Bellaire. I never thought it was 'small' until we had the kiddo. We have 3 bedrooms which is more than enough, even though they are small. One bathroom is starting to get tight with 3 people vying for it, so I'd add that if I could. The kitchen is tiny, but again - didn't seem so tiny when I wasn't buying groceries for a family. I never missed having a pantry back then.

Beyond the size, though, and going back to the house mentioned above - it was architect designed for a specific client (be it himself or not.) The McMansions, to me, are so cookie cutter, stamp it out, straight from the book of plans, boring. Why would I want a 2nd floor balcony to look out on my neighbor's roof (if the small house still exists next door) or on to his postage stamp sized backyard, and mine (if it's been mowed down for a McMansion already.) Or even better - I can sit out there in the morning and have my coffee while watching the traffic go by on 610. Why?! Who wants this? Obviously, some people do or they wouldn't sell. It's like Johnson's Glass House - I love it and I think it's gorgeous, but I wouldn't build something like that in the middle of a block in Bellaire (there's one that reminds me of this off Bissonnet.) We go look at houses all the time, McMansions included, and some of them just make no sense to me at all. The layout is strange; they'll have one huge bedroom and then 3 tiny ones; the house itself is enormous but there's really not much storage space ... that kind of stuff. Some are better than others, but I'm still waiting to tour the McMansion that I could actually imagine living in.

It's 11000+ sf on a 20,000 sf lot, so yes it is more than 50%, however, it still appears to be appropriately set. Imay be with you on this one Niche.

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I don't hold anything against 8,775-square-foot lots. I don't think that that's a key criteria in judging whether something is a mansion or McMansion. There's a home at the northeast corner of Bellaire Blvd. and N. 2nd Street which by lot size and home size might be confused for a McMansion--if somebody is just browsing tax rolls--but it has a contemporary/minimalist design that was very clearly a one-off home, built to the owner's exacting specifications. It is surrounded by McMansions but it is not a McMansion.

Other good examples that come to mind are the homes at the northwest corner of Colquitt and Ferndale as well as the northwest corner of Kirby and Amherst.

Oh, I don't have anything against the lot size, either...but in my opinion (which isn't shared by too many folks) a house more than 2,500 square feet or so just looks uncomfortable to me unless the design somehow hides the space better.

That home on Bellaire (4826 I think?) looks uncomfortable to me, too - mainly the way the east side is snug against the neighbor. Those lots do seem a little narrow, though, so maybe there wasn't any other option when they decided to build a that house on that sized lot.

And those lots along Bellaire - I think they were originally much larger or were not residential lots (farmland) - most of the homes along that stretch weren't built until the mid 1980s (inlcuding the one torn down at 4826), and there are a couple 1950s home, and even fewer 1920s homes sprinkled in.

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It's 11000+ sf on a 20,000 sf lot, so yes it is more than 50%, however, it still appears to be appropriately set. Imay be with you on this one Niche.

My mistake. :blush:

I incorrectly thought Niche was referring to the house at 4901 Cedar, which is a block back & the other side of 2nd. I forgot about the bigger, newer one over there. I actually don't like the one on Bellaire Blvd. that much. Like I was saying with the Glass House, I might like it more if it was in another location. I'd still like to see the inside, though.

The one I was thinking of is (according to HCAD) 2965 sf on a 7000 sf lot. So it's pretty darn close close to half! :lol:

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I'm trying to wean myself off of the pejorative "McMansion", since I one day hope to find a nice lot in a blighted residential neighborhood and put my McCompound on it, a one-story collection of shipping containers in a spur shape. Who knows, I may end up down the road from Niche and his cement McFortress overlooking the ship channel.

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I'm trying to wean myself off of the pejorative "McMansion", since I one day hope to find a nice lot in a blighted residential neighborhood and put my McCompound on it, a one-story collection of shipping containers in a spur shape. Who knows, I may end up down the road from Niche and his cement McFortress overlooking the ship channel.

Not too close to the ship channel. They might think the containers were stolen and come take your house. :lol:

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Right in the middle of Kingwood. Fill up the whole lot, too.

No, the appropriate place for crunch's container house and for NicheLair II is definitely Magnolia Park. Or possibly La Porte, Shoreacres, or Morgan's Point.

Kingwood is a better candidate for NicheLair I, which as you may recall is to be built near an elementary school or church (ideally both) from a large steel storage tank erected vertically, alongside which I will place two spherical pressure vessels--one used as guest quarters and one for a shower. The pressure vessels will be covered with wire mesh and vines will cover them. Atascocita would be better, though, not only because deed restrictions are fewer and further in between but because it'd be visible to many of the flights coming into IAH. Still, there's something that would be especially satisfying about placing it in a swanky inner-city neighborhood with a bunch of uppity bluebloods.

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When I see a big house built on a small lot it always looks like it might fall over to me, like it's feet are too small for its body.

" A giant with feet of clay." How my soviet history prof in school referred to the communist mid-century world, but also, perhaps an apt description for large ugly houses and the current housing/mortgage market, in general.

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Surely the term arose to describe a "mansion" built for the mass market--a rather oxymoronic thing. Some houses seem to be built by formula or to conform to a flow chart, as if someone did a marketing survey that told them that folks paying n for a house expect it to have x, y, and z, so they set out to build within those parameters but with little understanding of the value of the intangibles about a house that can't be listed on a brochure. They are the housing equivalent of "two all beef patties..." They may meet someone's needs, particularly if that's all that's available where they want to live, but I can't help but think that those neighborhoods have just been Supersized. Houses are bigger, but not better. There's little recognition of the value of a smaller, but well-designed space, and building to the lot line seems to totally negate the value of some space outside the walls that's also part of your home.

This is starting to sound like a rant, sorry. I'll stop now.

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Surely the term arose to describe a "mansion" built for the mass market--a rather oxymoronic thing. Some houses seem to be built by formula or to conform to a flow chart, as if someone did a marketing survey that told them that folks paying n for a house expect it to have x, y, and z, so they set out to build within those parameters but with little understanding of the value of the intangibles about a house that can't be listed on a brochure. They are the housing equivalent of "two all beef patties..." They may meet someone's needs, particularly if that's all that's available where they want to live, but I can't help but think that those neighborhoods have just been Supersized. Houses are bigger, but not better. There's little recognition of the value of a smaller, but well-designed space, and building to the lot line seems to totally negate the value of some space outside the walls that's also part of your home.

This is starting to sound like a rant, sorry. I'll stop now.

Is there anything wrong with any of that? Surely, some people really would prefer that there be a full bath attached to every bedroom. Surely some people really would prefer gargantuan walk-in closets. Surely some people would prefer having a den, dining room, and his/hers studies instead of just a single great room. I know of lots of folks who make use of all of these spaces, but only ever bother to use their lawn when they're showing the yard guy how high they want the hedges to be. ...and if they can afford it, then why not?

There are a lot of folks like that, actually. I'm not one of them, but I do not begrudge them their housing or lifestyle preference.

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Is there anything wrong with any of that? Surely, some people really would prefer that there be a full bath attached to every bedroom. Surely some people really would prefer gargantuan walk-in closets. Surely some people would prefer having a den, dining room, and his/hers studies instead of just a single great room. I know of lots of folks who make use of all of these spaces, but only ever bother to use their lawn when they're showing the yard guy how high they want the hedges to be. ...and if they can afford it, then why not?

There are a lot of folks like that, actually. I'm not one of them, but I do not begrudge them their housing or lifestyle preference.

Nothing wrong with any of it per se....just expressing my disdain for anything trendy and a little added disdain for trendiness in general, especially as regards a house you conceivably will still be living in thirty years from now.

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Nothing wrong with any of it per se....just expressing my disdain for anything trendy and a little added disdain for trendiness in general, especially as regards a house you conceivably will still be living in thirty years from now.

What aspect of housing is not and has never been trendy? Describe a home that is non-trendy.

Edited by TheNiche
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Surely the term arose to describe a "mansion" built for the mass market--a rather oxymoronic thing. Some houses seem to be built by formula or to conform to a flow chart, as if someone did a marketing survey that told them that folks paying n for a house expect it to have x, y, and z, so they set out to build within those parameters but with little understanding of the value of the intangibles about a house that can't be listed on a brochure. They are the housing equivalent of "two all beef patties..." They may meet someone's needs, particularly if that's all that's available where they want to live, but I can't help but think that those neighborhoods have just been Supersized. Houses are bigger, but not better. There's little recognition of the value of a smaller, but well-designed space, and building to the lot line seems to totally negate the value of some space outside the walls that's also part of your home.

This is starting to sound like a rant, sorry. I'll stop now.

That is a PERFECT description of what I think is a McMansion.

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  • 5 weeks later...

For those who think so poorly of 'McMansions', what do you think of garden/patio homes, townhomes, or condos? They all serve their purpose of having more living space than there is land. Do they carry such negative perceptions? A lot of these McMansions that are popping up are in neighborhoods with traditional 1/6 acre lots but in very sought after areas. So when you're paying $250k+ for the land alone, it'd be hard to build just a 2000 sq ft bungalow on there just to hit some magical 1:3 house to lot ratio.

Edited by Yonkers
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For those who think so poorly of 'McMansions', what do you think of garden/patio homes, townhomes, or condos? They all serve their purpose of having more living space than there is land. Do they carry such negative perceptions? A lot of these McMansions that are popping up are in neighborhoods with traditional 1/6 acre lots but in very sought after areas. So when you're paying $250k+ for the land alone, it'd be hard to build just a 2000 sq ft bungalow on there just to hit some magical 1:3 house to lot ratio.

it's preference. does a single person need 2000 sq ft?

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it's preference. does a single person need 2000 sq ft?

Like you said, it's a preference. Does a single person need more than a scooter? Cause even a motorcycle is too much really. Or maybe a Smart car if you need to carry two people... or maybe a sack of groceries? Surely you would never see a single person drive something as audacious and self serving as a Camry or Accord? Because there'd be room for 3 more people and unless they were carpooling that'd be a huge waste of resources.

Of course those are extreme and perhaps ridiculous examples. And I surely have seen some of the grotesques examples of McMansions some people have talked about. But a lot of the houses I've seen in Bellaire are about 4000 sq ft on 8000 sq ft lots and they look good to me. And likely, only a family of 3 live in that house... but so what. If you go by what someone needs... then none of us should be living in anything more than 2000 sq ft for a family of 5.

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I always find these topics interesting, as they are all variations on the same theme. The McMansion argument, the SUV/Hummer argument, the environmental/recycle argument, and even the free market/capitalism argument, all revolve around the same things...the right to be greedy, wasteful, boastful and conspicuous consumers, versus the values of being thrifty, conserving of resources and not using more than is needed. What is most amusing about it is the way both sides try to cover their real motives in discussing the issue. The fact is, the McMansion owners enjoy showing off their appearance of wealth. They do not care that it is wasteful, or that it is financilly not a wise move to buy more house than they need, with the attendant mortgage and maintenance costs. But, they also do not want to admit that they are greedy, selfish and self-centered, either. So, they go with the space argument, or some other argument that masks or ignores those traits.

In much the same way, the detractors of McMansions have their own character flaws. Many are jealous of the ostentatious displays of perceived affluence, or perhaps annoyed that their conscious efforts to conserve resourcesare not more appreciated. The back and forth, all while trying not to come right out and accuse the McMansion owners of being wasteful and greedy pigs, can be quite amusing.

Well, the McMansion owners can take comfort in the fact that there are indeed some who are envious of your perceived affluence, You can usually find them watching HGTV. And, you thrifty conservationists? Well, you can take solace in knowing that your thrifty ways pay off during recessions like the one we are in, and that the perceived affluence of the McMansion owners is generally just that...a perception. Here's an article on the troubles of the living large set...

http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-...mentid=20336824

Edited by RedScare
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I always find these topics interesting, as they are all variations on the same theme. The McMansion argument, the SUV/Hummer argument, the environmental/recycle argument, and even the free market/capitalism argument, all revolve around the same things...the right to be greedy, wasteful, boastful and conspicuous consumers, versus the values of being thrifty, conserving of resources and not using more than is needed. What is most amusing about it is the way both sides try to cover their real motives in discussing the issue. The fact is, the McMansion owners enjoy showing off their appearance of wealth. They do not care that it is wasteful, or that it is financilly not a wise move to buy more house than they need, with the attendant mortgage and maintenance costs. But, they also do not want to admit that they are greedy, selfish and self-centered, either. So, they go with the space argument, or some other argument that masks or ignores those traits.

In much the same way, the detractors of McMansions have their own character flaws. Many are jealous of the ostentatious displays of perceived affluence, or perhaps annoyed that their conscious efforts to conserve resourcesare not more appreciated. The back and forth, all while trying not to come right out and accuse the McMansion owners of being wasteful and greedy pigs, can be quite amusing.

Well, the McMansion owners can take comfort in the fact that there are indeed some who are envious of your perceived affluence, You can usually find them watching HGTV. And, you thrifty conservationists? Well, you can take solace in knowing that your thrifty ways pay off during recessions like the one we are in, and that the perceived affluence of the McMansion owners is generally just that...a perception. Here's an article on the troubles of the living large set...

http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-...mentid=20336824

Hahah. Thanks for the post. I literally laughed out loud. :)

Some insightful words there and I cringed in parts as felt that broad brush stroke over me.

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Is there anything wrong with any of that? Surely, some people really would prefer that there be a full bath attached to every bedroom. Surely some people really would prefer gargantuan walk-in closets. Surely some people would prefer having a den, dining room, and his/hers studies instead of just a single great room. I know of lots of folks who make use of all of these spaces, but only ever bother to use their lawn when they're showing the yard guy how high they want the hedges to be. ...and if they can afford it, then why not?

There are a lot of folks like that, actually. I'm not one of them, but I do not begrudge them their housing or lifestyle preference.

Niche, this may be a month late, but I must say that to say that you "put it well" wouldn't be enough. I agree with the points you made.

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