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Mcmansions, Dallas And Elsewhere

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McMansions

Not in my neighbourhood

Nov 3rd 2005 | DALLAS

From The Economist print edition

Monstrosities, or just monsters?

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Lakewood is my favorite hood in Dallas. My friend restored a house on a ravine. I think it's on Perry Street.

But this solidifies my argument that McMansions are only found as a result of teardowns in established hoods. Kinda like Bellaire.

I laugh everytime someone calls a house in a new sububurb a McMansion.

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I wonder, will energy prices affect home sizes the way they are starting to affect vehicle sizes? Gasoline tends to get more press, since the price is listed on every street corner, but natural gas is projected to increase 40 to 70% this winter. Additionally, Texas' grand plan to drastically lower electric bills by deregulation has, so far, increased electricity prices by 50%. A column in the Chronicle this past Sunday (Loren Steffy, I believe) stated that Reliant's prices may increase by another 50% this next year, due to natural gas prices and the selling off of all of their cheaper coal fired plants. Other electric companies will follow Reliant's lead, which is NOT the way they told us it would happen. If true, electricity would cost in the neighborhood of 18 cents a KWH. Many of these McMansions use 3000 to 4000 KWH per month in the summer, resulting in future electric bills of $500 to $700.

Makes me love my 1358 sq bungalow more every day.

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I wonder, will energy prices affect home sizes the way they are starting to affect vehicle sizes?

No way. Little cars AND little houses?

What's next? Little beers?

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the trend will slowly ebb...make a couple extra doorways, and there will be a surplus of duplexes, triplexes, and quads! heh

just my prediction ;)

Edited by sevfiv

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I think terming any house a mansion at 3000-4000 sq. feet a joke. Some of the 60's rambling ranchs dwarf that in sq. footage. We live in a new 3,800 sq foot house, and it takes up less sprawl than our 1961 Tanglewood ranch that was the same size. Its just going up, instead of out.

I think mini-mansions start at around 5000 sq ft. Mansions are 10,000 and up.

JMHO

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Apparently, Mini-Mansions begin at 7.09 square feet.

MYMiniMansion2(300x218).jpg

Man, wouldn't my dog love that!

Edited by RedScare

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I think terming any house a mansion at 3000-4000 sq. feet a joke.

i tend to agree - they are just rather large homes (although living in teeny apartments and modest-sized houses for most of my life may skew my perception a bit)...

Edited by sevfiv

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You guys are probably correct in terminology. However, these Lakewood homes were...at least, initially...called "McMansions". I tend to agree with Midtown Coog that a "McMansion" is a house oversized for a neighborhood, as opposed to an entire neighborhood of large homes, such as where KatieDidIt resides. One wouldn't call River Oaks homes "McMansions", even though they are routinely 4 to 6 times the size of the 4,500 sq house built in Lakewood.

I believe the derogatory term "McMansion" also refers to the rather ordinary construction of the home. Like a Hummer H2, the quality of construction is often mediocre, at best, relying strictly on size and options to impress the buyer.

Edited by RedScare

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I wonder, will energy prices affect home sizes the way they are starting to affect vehicle sizes? ... Makes me love my 1358 sq bungalow more every day.

I read an article (can't remember where) in just the past week about how builders are already getting prospective buyers that are shying AWAY from vaulted ceilings, and asking how well insulated the houses are and how much the utility estimates are. People are paying attention to this stuff.

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I think terming any house a mansion at 3000-4000 sq. feet a joke. Some of the 60's rambling ranchs dwarf that in sq. footage. We live in a new 3,800 sq foot house, and it takes up less sprawl than our 1961 Tanglewood ranch that was the same size. Its just going up, instead of out.

Yes, but what you think of as "taking up less sprawl" is actually a trick of McMansionism. Going up, while more impressive in looks, is actually a cheaper route since there is less roof per square foot. To a McMansion builder, it's a win win. And cheaper is one of the defining aspects of McMansions.

I walked up to a new quasi-victorian patio McMansions in Shady Acres and saw a pile of scraps in the front yard, and the trim was the same pressboard and plastic you see in mobile homes. I tapped on an interior door and got the unmistakable hollow sound of a $20 Home Depot special. This was a house with a $260,000.00 price tag. If you blindfolded me and plopped me into the middle of one of these, the only way I could determine that I was in a house vs. a mobile home would be the 2 story ceiling. Every year I keep saying there is no way details (baseboards, interior doors, etc.) can get any cheaper looking, and every year I am proved wrong.

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There's a lot of 'luxury townhomes' being built in and around my neighborhood. It will be interesting to see how these McMansions weather the market.

When you're childless and in your 30s, it's OK that the living room is on the first floor, the kitchen on the second, the bedrooms on the third, and the hotub on the roof. But imagine trying to keep up with a few rugrats in such a setting. And as our population ages, suddenly the idea of negotiating a spiral staircase with a walker seems less appealling.

Twenty-five years from now, who's going to want a dated design poorly executed with inferior materials?

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There's a lot of 'luxury townhomes' being built in and around my neighborhood. It will be interesting to see how these McMansions weather the market.

When you're childless and in your 30s, it's OK that the living room is on the first floor, the kitchen on the second, the bedrooms on the third, and the hotub on the roof. But imagine trying to keep up with a few rugrats in such a setting. And as our population ages, suddenly the idea of negotiating a spiral staircase with a walker seems less appealling.

Twenty-five years from now, who's going to want a dated design poorly executed with inferior materials?

But With Texas "Being the new California", with such an extremely large (young) population, We'll all age, and new generations will come, its not like were the last of our kind, as of the last birth 1 second ago.

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We'll all age, and new generations will come

hopefully they'll know better ;)

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I wonder, will energy prices affect home sizes the way they are starting to affect vehicle sizes? Gasoline tends to get more press, since the price is listed on every street corner, but natural gas is projected to increase 40 to 70% this winter. Additionally, Texas' grand plan to drastically lower electric bills by deregulation has, so far, increased electricity prices by 50%. A column in the Chronicle this past Sunday (Loren Steffy, I believe) stated that Reliant's prices may increase by another 50% this next year, due to natural gas prices and the selling off of all of their cheaper coal fired plants. Other electric companies will follow Reliant's lead, which is NOT the way they told us it would happen. If true, electricity would cost in the neighborhood of 18 cents a KWH. Many of these McMansions use 3000 to 4000 KWH per month in the summer, resulting in future electric bills of $500 to $700.

Makes me love my 1358 sq bungalow more every day.

Easy solution: Just add solar panels!

One Braeswood house near me has a group of solar panels.

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