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(Mother Nature Network)   After years of existing in condensed squalor, Americans decide they want to live in impractically big McMansions again. Finally, everything's back to normal   (mnn.com) divider line 158
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5838 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Jun 2013 at 9:21 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-06 09:22:54 AM  
Another example of the Flat Learning Curve.
 
2013-06-06 09:24:22 AM  
McMansion appears to have been taking pointers from Jason Vorhees

encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com
 
2013-06-06 09:26:03 AM  
If you can afford it, why not?  It's only the lowest form of human that tells other people how to spend their money.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2013-06-06 09:26:36 AM  
When you're one of the "productive class" you gotta show it!
 
2013-06-06 09:28:02 AM  
I remember the largest house I ever considered buying was 2700sq ft and I thought that was positively cavernous. No matter how rich I get I can't imagine wanting one bigger than that.
 
2013-06-06 09:28:06 AM  
Clearly it's because the morbidly obese don't fit in normal sized houses!
 
2013-06-06 09:29:12 AM  
Just found out the lady I've been renting a house from hasn't paid the taxes in 3 years and I probably have to move.

Can I get a McMansion?
 
2013-06-06 09:29:18 AM  

d23: When you're one of the "productive class" you have to hide it from the world if you want to keep it.

FTFY

 
2013-06-06 09:31:18 AM  
In general, as land prices are one of the biggest expense and yards are a pain to maintain, increasing the sqft of your home can make sense.

Until you get the electricity bill for a grand a month to keep the damn thing cool.
 
2013-06-06 09:31:55 AM  
There is a change from before the housing crash.  Most of these McMansions are now being built in areas near city centers, instead of out in the sticks, like was happening before the crash.  In the town where my parents live, the tiny 40s-50s era Cape Cods are coming down and McMansions are going up in their place.....usually taking up almost the entire lot.
 
2013-06-06 09:32:11 AM  
The size a house "feels" depends more on the layout than the actual square footage.

Interesting that comparatively fewer four bedroom houses get built overall, but also interesting that more of them are getting built as people are having fewer kids. Rise of the home office?
 
2013-06-06 09:32:44 AM  
I can't imagine what possesses people to want to live that way unless you can afford to hire a maid and lawn care service on top of the exorbitant heating and cooling and upkeep and taxes.

I recently bought myself a 1200 sq ft condo and I've got half the rooms closed off at this point because it's too damn much space, but I couldn't find anything smaller in my price range and ideal area that still had a really nice kitchen.

My boyfriend's family in the 'burbs is just two people and their master suite alone is over a thousand square feet.  I feel so, so sorry for his mom who has to clean the place.
 
2013-06-06 09:33:09 AM  
I have always said that the recent trend in smaller houses has nothing to do with people not wanting big houses, it's the fact they they could not afford the bigger houses.
 
2013-06-06 09:33:15 AM  
I never understood why someone would buy a 3000 square foot house on a half acre lot.

CSB: I live on 5 acres in the country.  Much better arrangement.  4 acres of trees, lots of grass for the kidlings to run about.
 
2013-06-06 09:34:06 AM  

mesmer242: The size a house "feels" depends more on the layout than the actual square footage.

Interesting that comparatively fewer four bedroom houses get built overall, but also interesting that more of them are getting built as people are having fewer kids. Rise of the home office?


Preach it. I have to have the home office... nowhere else to stick my computers and musical instruments away from the kids, at least until they are old enough to handle them without breaking them.
 
2013-06-06 09:34:06 AM  
What do they call McMansion?  I get the distinct impression they think we should all live in 1500sf cottages.  Having enough bedrooms so each kid gets their own, with an extra for a craft room for the wife, and a bonus room to use as a "theater" room... that's just about perfect.  And a 5-car garage (just 3, really, with two tandems) makes for a nice workshop for Dad :-).  IMO a McMansion is something in the 5K+sf range that still only has 3 or 4 bedrooms.  Even then, if you have the means to afford it and that's what you want, why not?
 
2013-06-06 09:34:52 AM  

DubtodaIll: If you can afford it, why not?  It's only the lowest form of human that tells other people how to spend their money.


Ordinarily, I agree with that.

My problem is that I bought a house I could actually afford, even though I wanted one of those big new nice houses.  And peeps who made less than me got the big new nice houses, but with a mortgage that was going to have a balloon payment and bite them in the ass.  THEN, instead of receiving the consequences of their poor decisions, the mother farking government farking bailed them the fark out with guaranteed refinancing, often for less than the house was worth.

THAT is what pisses me off.
 
2013-06-06 09:35:25 AM  

doosh: I remember the largest house I ever considered buying was 2700sq ft and I thought that was positively cavernous. No matter how rich I get I can't imagine wanting one bigger than that.


For real.

We own one of the smaller homes in our neighborhood, and I never feel cramped at all. We might build an addition if/when the second kid comes along.

However, I also know someone that just bought a 6500 sf home. It's ridiculous, and I can't figure out why you'd want 6 bedrooms when you have two kids.
 
2013-06-06 09:36:06 AM  

DubtodaIll: If you can afford it, why not?  It's only the lowest form of human that tells other people how to spend their money.


The complaint (I think) is that some/most people who purchase these CAN'T afford it.
 
2013-06-06 09:36:10 AM  

Rootus: What do they call McMansion?  I get the distinct impression they think we should all live in 1500sf cottages.  Having enough bedrooms so each kid gets their own, with an extra for a craft room for the wife, and a bonus room to use as a "theater" room... that's just about perfect.  And a 5-car garage (just 3, really, with two tandems) makes for a nice workshop for Dad :-).  IMO a McMansion is something in the 5K+sf range that still only has 3 or 4 bedrooms.  Even then, if you have the means to afford it and that's what you want, why not?


Because people shouldn't like what I don't like. People who like what I don't like are defective and maybe evil.

Diogenes: Just found out the lady I've been renting a house from hasn't paid the taxes in 3 years and I probably have to move.

Can I get a McMansion?


You might be able to buy it at auction for a pretty low price. Usually the county/city/school district is only looking to make what they're owed.
 
2013-06-06 09:36:40 AM  

GORDON: DubtodaIll: If you can afford it, why not?  It's only the lowest form of human that tells other people how to spend their money.

Ordinarily, I agree with that.

My problem is that I bought a house I could actually afford, even though I wanted one of those big new nice houses.  And peeps who made less than me got the big new nice houses, but with a mortgage that was going to have a balloon payment and bite them in the ass.  THEN, instead of receiving the consequences of their poor decisions, the mother farking government farking bailed them the fark out with guaranteed refinancing, often for less than the house was worth.

THAT is what pisses me off.


The biggest problem with freedom and capitalism is the ease with which lowlifes band together.
 
2013-06-06 09:37:31 AM  
Hmm.  Maybe there's something to this whole boom bust cycle thing after all.
 
2013-06-06 09:38:48 AM  

MindStalker: Until you get the electricity bill for a grand a month to keep the damn thing cool.


When we moved into our new place last year, that's kinda what I expected to happen.  We were moving from a little 1500sf 1960's ranch into a brand new home exactly twice the size.  Then I got the first full electric bill -- no change.  And it's not like the 60's ranch was original -- I had replaced the windows with double-pane, blown in insulation in the attic, walls, etc.  Still, new construction is pretty damn tight I guess.  I was pleasantly surprised.
 
2013-06-06 09:39:38 AM  
Considering the price of some of these monstrosities has dropped considerably, I'm not sure why this is a surprise.

//sellers should be required to disclose average utility costs too (I asked, but I know not everyone does).
 
2013-06-06 09:41:28 AM  
I'm not sure that the median of square footage is so interesting in this case. Average is probably better.
 
2013-06-06 09:41:42 AM  

Diogenes: Just found out the lady I've been renting a house from hasn't paid the taxes in 3 years and I probably have to move.

Can I get a McMansion?


You might be able to buy the house you're currently in at a tax auction in the near future...
 
2013-06-06 09:42:06 AM  

YixilTesiphon: Diogenes: Just found out the lady I've been renting a house from hasn't paid the taxes in 3 years and I probably have to move.

Can I get a McMansion?

You might be able to buy it at auction for a pretty low price. Usually the county/city/school district is only looking to make what they're owed.


I didn't intend to threadjack.  But I may open a TF Discussion on it for ideas later.  I'm still very short on details.  Place needs work.  She was supposed to put a new roof on it this year.  Guess that's not happening.  But I wonder if things like the roof would alter the price in this situation - since if it gets bad it will be the county/city/school district trying to unload it as opposed to a private seller negotiating a selling price.

Suffice it to say, I'm HIGHLY pissed off.
 
2013-06-06 09:42:25 AM  

Target Builder: Diogenes: Just found out the lady I've been renting a house from hasn't paid the taxes in 3 years and I probably have to move.

Can I get a McMansion?

You might be able to buy the house you're currently in at a tax auction in the near future...


And on technicality depending on your state, you might have legal claim to be first in line at that auction
 
2013-06-06 09:42:46 AM  

Rootus: MindStalker: Until you get the electricity bill for a grand a month to keep the damn thing cool.

When we moved into our new place last year, that's kinda what I expected to happen.  We were moving from a little 1500sf 1960's ranch into a brand new home exactly twice the size.  Then I got the first full electric bill -- no change.  And it's not like the 60's ranch was original -- I had replaced the windows with double-pane, blown in insulation in the attic, walls, etc.  Still, new construction is pretty damn tight I guess.  I was pleasantly surprised.


I have a 1970s house that is for some reason really big (but I bought it as a foreclosure and the county/bank didn't know how big it was; they fixed that when I thought the taxes were way out of line for its size).

I have one wall that when I replaced the outlets in in December was just frigid inside. I'm having all the warped wood paneling on the other side torn out; I am betting there is some serious insulation lacking. I hardly had any insulation in my attic either. Doesn't surprise me that your utility bills didn't change.

If the stimulus had actually gone to re-insulating houses, it might have really done something.
 
2013-06-06 09:42:50 AM  
I can't understand why people don't spend their money exactly the way I do on the same things I spend it on.

Why aren't people exactly like me?
 
2013-06-06 09:42:50 AM  
2300 square feet was plenty with 2 kids and all their stuff and friends. These days hubby and I want to build a smaller single story home with a more practical floor plan. Like 1500 SF. We're tired of the upkeep. architects/builders have gotten gotten very 'concise' with smaller floor plans, making every inch count. The rest of the country can have their McMansions. Never appealed to us.
 
2013-06-06 09:44:05 AM  
Is this the thread where I tell people that do not live the exact same way I do that they are doing it wrong?

/Land of the free my ass, conform or be cast out!
 
2013-06-06 09:44:08 AM  

Sharksfan: I never understood why someone would buy a 3000 square foot house on a half acre lot.

CSB: I live on 5 acres in the country.  Much better arrangement.  4 acres of trees, lots of grass for the kidlings to run about.


Because not everyone can live in the country.  And buying a two acre plot in the city will cost you a few million dollars.  I live in a 3000+ sqft house on a lot less than a quarte acre, and other than the guest room and the formal dining room, we use every part of it daily.  How much of your five acres do you use on any sort of a regular basis?
 
2013-06-06 09:44:16 AM  

GORDON: DubtodaIll: If you can afford it, why not?  It's only the lowest form of human that tells other people how to spend their money.

Ordinarily, I agree with that.

My problem is that I bought a house I could actually afford, even though I wanted one of those big new nice houses.  And peeps who made less than me got the big new nice houses, but with a mortgage that was going to have a balloon payment and bite them in the ass.  THEN, instead of receiving the consequences of their poor decisions, the mother farking government farking bailed them the fark out with guaranteed refinancing, often for less than the house was worth.

THAT is what pisses me off.


You sound like a 1%er or racist or something  bad because you oppose having your money used to  protect people from the consequences of their stupidity.  Besides it was not their fault it was the banks or GWB or something like that but not theirs.
 
2013-06-06 09:44:24 AM  

TheYeti: However, I also know someone that just bought a 6500 sf home. It's ridiculous, and I can't figure out why you'd want 6 bedrooms when you have two kids.


If I had the money for it, I could easily find a use for those extra 3 bedrooms. Arcade room, pool table room, bar, storage, sealing it off and telling the kids that their evil brother lives in there, sewing room for the wife, and I could probably come up with a dozen more potential uses.
 
2013-06-06 09:44:54 AM  

Diogenes: YixilTesiphon: Diogenes: Just found out the lady I've been renting a house from hasn't paid the taxes in 3 years and I probably have to move.

Can I get a McMansion?

You might be able to buy it at auction for a pretty low price. Usually the county/city/school district is only looking to make what they're owed.

I didn't intend to threadjack.  But I may open a TF Discussion on it for ideas later.  I'm still very short on details.  Place needs work.  She was supposed to put a new roof on it this year.  Guess that's not happening.  But I wonder if things like the roof would alter the price in this situation - since if it gets bad it will be the county/city/school district trying to unload it as opposed to a private seller negotiating a selling price.

Suffice it to say, I'm HIGHLY pissed off.


You should be able to find out what the back taxes are on the county website if you live in a sufficiently populated county.

Alternately if she still owns it, you might be able to negotiate a sale with her and avoid it going through a sheriff's sale entirely.

A new roof might cost $20k, but if you get a house for $17,500 (what the school district I live in recently sold a house for), who cares?

/IANAL!
//IANAR!
 
2013-06-06 09:45:26 AM  

IdBeCrazyIf: Target Builder: Diogenes: Just found out the lady I've been renting a house from hasn't paid the taxes in 3 years and I probably have to move.

Can I get a McMansion?

You might be able to buy the house you're currently in at a tax auction in the near future...

And on technicality depending on your state, you might have legal claim to be first in line at that auction


This is exactly what I need advice with.  TFD later, and when I have more details on how bad the situation actually is.  I paid the rent over the weekend and she asked me if I wanted to buy it.  Not sure how that can work when she's facing the back tax and penalties.  Unless she intends to take that off the price so she can pay the state or whatever.  I'm totally ignorant on these things, regrettably.
 
2013-06-06 09:45:47 AM  

Rootus: What do they call McMansion?


Large but cheaply built houses.
 
2013-06-06 09:46:36 AM  

Ute Man: Clearly it's because the morbidly obese don't fit in normal sized houses!


The morbidly obese don't really do stairs well. Hence, y'know, the whole "morbidly obese" thing.

Put a great big fat person in a two-story house, and put the kitchen and bathroom on different floors. Problems will fix themselves, one way or another.
 
2013-06-06 09:46:49 AM  

sigdiamond2000: I can't understand why people don't spend their money exactly the way I do on the same things I spend it on.

Why aren't people exactly like me?


Damnit!

You got me by a minute. Feel the wrath of my seething hatred.

/That's all I gots these days.
 
2013-06-06 09:47:16 AM  
I could use a little more space, but fark a gorram lawn. If I can't plow up the parasitic grass and install raised beds to actually get some productivity out of my land, then I'm just fine with a little planter strip off the front porch.

Basically, either an urban situation with very little upkeep, or a rural spread with no Joneses to fark with my differing domestic aesthetic.
 
2013-06-06 09:47:17 AM  

hasty ambush: GORDON: DubtodaIll: If you can afford it, why not?  It's only the lowest form of human that tells other people how to spend their money.

Ordinarily, I agree with that.

My problem is that I bought a house I could actually afford, even though I wanted one of those big new nice houses.  And peeps who made less than me got the big new nice houses, but with a mortgage that was going to have a balloon payment and bite them in the ass.  THEN, instead of receiving the consequences of their poor decisions, the mother farking government farking bailed them the fark out with guaranteed refinancing, often for less than the house was worth.

THAT is what pisses me off.

You sound like a 1%er or racist or something  bad because you oppose having your money used to  protect people from the consequences of their stupidity.  Besides it was not their fault it was the banks or GWB or something like that but not theirs.


/Besides those votes are not going to buy themselves
 
2013-06-06 09:47:37 AM  

mesmer242: The size a house "feels" depends more on the layout than the actual square footage.

Interesting that comparatively fewer four bedroom houses get built overall, but also interesting that more of them are getting built as people are having fewer kids. Rise of the home office?


Maybe it's the rise of the man cave. With fewer kids, stuff like that can become more affordable.
 
2013-06-06 09:48:37 AM  

hasty ambush: hasty ambush: GORDON: DubtodaIll: If you can afford it, why not?  It's only the lowest form of human that tells other people how to spend their money.

Ordinarily, I agree with that.

My problem is that I bought a house I could actually afford, even though I wanted one of those big new nice houses.  And peeps who made less than me got the big new nice houses, but with a mortgage that was going to have a balloon payment and bite them in the ass.  THEN, instead of receiving the consequences of their poor decisions, the mother farking government farking bailed them the fark out with guaranteed refinancing, often for less than the house was worth.

THAT is what pisses me off.

You sound like a 1%er or racist or something  bad because you oppose having your money used to  protect people from the consequences of their stupidity.  Besides it was not their fault it was the banks or GWB or something like that but not theirs.

/Besides those votes are not going to buy themselves


This is an intriguing conversation you're having with yourself. Let me know how it turns out.
 
Ant
2013-06-06 09:48:37 AM  
I thought a McMansion was not just a large house on a small plot, but a poorly constructed large house on a small plot.

I'd like to have a home office. I have been in MS training classes all week that I could've done from home, but I have nowhere to do them in privacy and quiet there, so here I am in a conference room at the office.
 
2013-06-06 09:48:40 AM  

thurstonxhowell: TheYeti: However, I also know someone that just bought a 6500 sf home. It's ridiculous, and I can't figure out why you'd want 6 bedrooms when you have two kids.

If I had the money for it, I could easily find a use for those extra 3 bedrooms. Arcade room, pool table room, bar, storage, sealing it off and telling the kids that their evil brother lives in there, sewing room for the wife, and I could probably come up with a dozen more potential uses.


I suppose so...and they will find some use for it, I am sure.
My viewpoint is probably skewed from all those years of urban condo living.
 
2013-06-06 09:49:44 AM  

Diogenes: This is exactly what I need advice with.  TFD later, and when I have more details on how bad the situation actually is.  I paid the rent over the weekend and she asked me if I wanted to buy it.  Not sure how that can work when she's facing the back tax and penalties.  Unless she intends to take that off the price so she can pay the state or whatever.  I'm totally ignorant on these things, regrettably.


The problem is, if the county sells it at auction for back taxes, the bank might still have a mortgage on it. But the liabilities on it might still be a significant discount to the real value. Maybe she'd be willing to work with you.

What the hell has she been using your rent money for if she hasn't been paying the taxes?
 
2013-06-06 09:50:10 AM  

sotua: mesmer242: The size a house "feels" depends more on the layout than the actual square footage.

Interesting that comparatively fewer four bedroom houses get built overall, but also interesting that more of them are getting built as people are having fewer kids. Rise of the home office?

Preach it. I have to have the home office... nowhere else to stick my computers and musical instruments away from the kids, at least until they are old enough to handle them without breaking them.


We tried to look at new houses recently and found that you couldn't get a four or five bedroom house without drastically increasing the size overall. I don't want to live in a 3000 sq ft. house. I don't want 12 foot ceilings either.  I asked one of the salespeople who was buying these 3500 sq ft. houses and he rolled his eyes (at the buyers, not me) - he was older and it turns out he lives in a house about the same size as ours. Everything we saw was comically oversized and overpriced, so we're remodeling instead.
 
2013-06-06 09:50:30 AM  

Ant: I thought a McMansion was not just a large house on a small plot, but a poorly constructed large house on a small plot.

I'd like to have a home office. I have been in MS training classes all week that I could've done from home, but I have nowhere to do them in privacy and quiet there, so here I am in a conference room at the office.


Get rid of your family.  Why must you people overcomplicate everything?
 
2013-06-06 09:51:00 AM  

thurstonxhowell: TheYeti: However, I also know someone that just bought a 6500 sf home. It's ridiculous, and I can't figure out why you'd want 6 bedrooms when you have two kids.

If I had the money for it, I could easily find a use for those extra 3 bedrooms. Arcade room, pool table room, bar, storage, sealing it off and telling the kids that their evil brother lives in there, sewing room for the wife, and I could probably come up with a dozen more potential uses.


A sewing room for the wife?  Isn't that sexist?  Do women even know how to sew anymore?  Aren't they too busy trying to be like men and also women at the same time now?
 
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