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(Mother Nature Network)   Americans are so obsessed with big homes it's almost like they're overcompensating for something   ( mnn.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, director Thomas Bena, popular Tumblr page, architecture critic Kate, smaller homes, new single-family home, sociologist Brian Miller, Big Home, shorter filming window  
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1549 clicks; posted to Geek » on 14 Mar 2017 at 5:13 AM (31 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-03-14 01:41:56 AM  
the mansions with more bathrooms than bedrooms are either compensating for rich food or spastic colons
 
2017-03-14 01:42:56 AM  
Oh peanut, someone popped your hyphen. MAZEL TOV
 
2017-03-14 01:52:36 AM  
Bedroom for me and Mrs. Ous, bedroom for kid #1, bedroom for kid #2, bedroom for home office / mancave, bedroom for guests.

5, ha ha ha, 5 bedrooms!

The problem is that in new construction, bedrooms are >2x the size of bedrooms build in the 1960's.

/grew up in a 3 bedroom, 900 sqft house.
//my bedroom was 10x9 feet.
//my bedroom now is 14x16 and it's the "small" one.
 
2017-03-14 03:31:40 AM  
Because we all want restaurant size kitchens and tend to hoard a bit more crap than we need.
 
2017-03-14 04:22:47 AM  
look - I don't need a 'big home' to survive.....I just need a nice, easily defensible bunker complex with independent energy source, renewable food and water supplies and a decent plot of land around to I can call my own.  then the rest of the world can go f*ck off while I and the woman go about our bidness.
 
2017-03-14 06:00:12 AM  
Canadian Bacon (7/12) Movie CLIP - Anti-Canada Propaganda (1995) HD
Youtube pbfBzWJVbX4
 
2017-03-14 06:08:19 AM  

dv-ous: Bedroom for me and Mrs. Ous, bedroom for kid #1, bedroom for kid #2, bedroom for home office / mancave, bedroom for guests.

5, ha ha ha, 5 bedrooms!

The problem is that in new construction, bedrooms are >2x the size of bedrooms build in the 1960's.

/grew up in a 3 bedroom, 900 sqft house.
//my bedroom was 10x9 feet.
//my bedroom now is 14x16 and it's the "small" one.


This is part of it for me. I like big rooms, but I don't need a lot of them.

If I could just wish two bedrooms of my house off to the cornfield I'd do it. The thing I'm totallly addicted to now is a huge bathroom. I'm pretty sure we could fit all 2 1/2 of my parents' 70's era bathrooms into the smaller of my 2 bathrooms.

My ideal set up would be no more than 1400 sf for 2 bed 2 bath.
 
2017-03-14 06:11:43 AM  
I live across the street from a McMansion development. The houses there cost somewhere around $700K. YUUUGE houses each on a postage stamp-sized property. I can't imagine paying the property taxes, let alone the monthly mortgage, electric and gas bills. My house isn't tiny, but damn....
 
2017-03-14 06:16:07 AM  
And so many of them are just poorly constructed monstrosities with thin veneers to cover it. Acres of
crappy tan siding covering poorly joined framing with a crappy bit of stone or brick veneer on the front.
Building the house on a slight hill of trucked in dirt so all of the houses sit up above street level, and
the "basements" are actually filled around, not dug into the ground. Sitting on a lot with about 6 feet sometimes to spare between houses. And for all of that you get to take out a loan for more than you can afford and pay an HOA fee for the privilege of living in that neighborhood too.
 
2017-03-14 06:29:24 AM  
Would you want to be crammed into a small home with a bunch of Americans?
 
2017-03-14 06:31:27 AM  
Two bedroom, one bath.  Cozy, not a McMansion.
 
2017-03-14 06:54:29 AM  
Yet you still have to park in your driveway because the tiny amount of garage space they include with every house is filled up with bicycles and trash cans and the lawn mower and an old fridge and that baby crib you keep meaning to give away.
 
2017-03-14 07:01:39 AM  
What up, homes?
 
2017-03-14 07:08:18 AM  
These homes all seem to use the same low-grade white carpet. Who the fark thought white carpet was a good idea? It's an unforgiving blank slate for every spill and stain. Even if you never set foot on it, it still gets those dark lines along the edges, or discolored by sun damage. You can't win.
 
2017-03-14 07:10:51 AM  

Streetwise Hercules: These homes all seem to use the same low-grade white carpet. Who the fark thought white carpet was a good idea? It's an unforgiving blank slate for every spill and stain. Even if you never set foot on it, it still gets those dark lines along the edges, or discolored by sun damage. You can't win.


To be fair dark carpets suck too.  They show every single piece of lint, you're forever vacuuming.  They hide stains though.
 
2017-03-14 07:14:31 AM  
I live in an area of Michigan where large homes dominate the Lakeshore. There is a 26000 sq ft one going up right now, last I heard it had 21 bathrooms. Most of these homes are like what is described in the article. They sit empty for ten months of the year. But hey it keeps me working and it keeps the landscaping companies busy.
 
2017-03-14 07:18:26 AM  

45cal: I live in an area of Michigan where large homes dominate the Lakeshore. There is a 26000 sq ft one going up right now, last I heard it had 21 bathrooms. Most of these homes are like what is described in the article. They sit empty for ten months of the year. But hey it keeps me working and it keeps the landscaping companies busy.


We have those too.

 It's fantastic, they pay more property taxes than I do, so we have great schools at a cheap (for me) price.
 
2017-03-14 07:19:22 AM  

J Noble Daggett: the mansions with more bathrooms than bedrooms are either compensating for rich food or spastic colons


I have a friend whose parents built a new home when she was in high school. I don't think it's in any way a mansion, but it has 9 bathrooms. For two parents and four kids. That was the maximum number of bathrooms the local zoning laws allowed. I still can't figure that one out. Even if every member of the family was on the pot at the same time, they'd still have three left over...
 
2017-03-14 07:23:13 AM  
I like roominess. Also, plenty of outdoor living, patio space, etc. It's much nicer to work on the patio than in my office all day.
 
2017-03-14 07:29:56 AM  
I live alone in a house which is really too large for me just because I got a bomb ass deal on it.  Did I mention that it is adjacent to a railroad track (which is awesome if you have hobo inclinations).  My great spirit takes up a lot of space to fill the voids so to speak.  Which I fill with empty beer bottles, crystals and dried beets.  The whole thing should probably get demolished like the House of Usher.
 
2017-03-14 08:31:20 AM  
We have a large house because, at the moment, we need one.  Four bedrooms -- one for me and my wife, one each for my two daughters, and a fourth that doubles as gym and office (I work from home, so I need a dedicated work area).  It's temporary, though.  Once the kids are both off to college/in the working world, we're planning on downsizing to something with less square feet/fewer bedrooms, but more land.
 
2017-03-14 08:31:54 AM  

dittybopper: Two bedroom, one bath.  Cozy, not a McMansion.


I have a house that size, but it was also built in 1921.  It doesn't seem like people build smaller houses anymore.  You don't get the return you do with a McMansion.
 
2017-03-14 08:33:04 AM  
The funny thing is that I see older people building huge houses because they finally have the money for it, but a few years later they are complaining that they are too old to keep the place clean and maintained.
 
2017-03-14 08:41:24 AM  
I have a house 15 minutes from downtown, built in the 50s. Three small bedrooms, 11x11 kitchen, 1 and a half bathrooms, and a single car garage. On a 10k sqft lot. I love it

Could not pay me to live in one of those particle board hellholes
 
2017-03-14 08:43:17 AM  

EvilEgg: Streetwise Hercules: These homes all seem to use the same low-grade white carpet. Who the fark thought white carpet was a good idea? It's an unforgiving blank slate for every spill and stain. Even if you never set foot on it, it still gets those dark lines along the edges, or discolored by sun damage. You can't win.

To be fair dark carpets suck too.  They show every single piece of lint, you're forever vacuuming.  They hide stains though.


Yep.  Carpet is garbage.

When I was a kid we had red and black checkerboard shag carpet.  I loved Legos.  My dad worked third shift.  I can't count the number of times I woke up to a bellowed "Goddamnit!" as he found a brick on his way in in the morning.
 
2017-03-14 08:49:23 AM  
the housing issues on martha's vineyard go far beyond some rich people building massive vanity castles, but at least the extreme desire to preserve the natural surroundings on the island makes it very difficult to get them approved
 
2017-03-14 08:50:48 AM  
A big house is just more stuff to clean. But I do dream of a huge ass-kitchen one day. Japanese kitchens are pitifully small and poorly designed. Counter intuitive, considering how much they value cooking and how many women are still housewives. I dream of counter space and cupboards I can reach without a step stool! A sink that's not so low is kills my back! Two electrical outlets? Luxury!
 
2017-03-14 08:56:01 AM  
Our house is a bit odd, even though it is 2700 sf, the living area is more on the order of 1200 sf. The original house was built in the 1960s and has 3 small bedrooms and 1 1/2 baths. In the 1980s the owners decided to open a daycare and added a huge room (almost 1000 sf) and another 1/2 bath to the lower floor. So, we have this great party room complete with its own kitchen, but are rather cramped otherwise.

They also put low-quality carpeting over the oak flooring in the original house. That's coming out this summer.
 
2017-03-14 09:13:38 AM  
I own a 900something sq ft house with 3 bedrooms and two full baths, full basement and 2 car garage.  Need to add on another garage-sized room for my woodshop because the garage ain't big enough.

The only thing extravagant is the shower in the master bath that the previous owners put in.  It's 24 sq feet and wonnnnnnderful.
 
2017-03-14 09:29:40 AM  

wildcardjack: Because we all want restaurant size kitchens and tend to hoard a bit more crap than we need.


And then go out to eat every meal.
 
2017-03-14 09:30:36 AM  
We went from this 1196 square foot bungalow-style 50s house in Dallas:
img.fark.net

To this out in the 'burbs north of Dallas:

img.fark.net

The old house was mine before I got married, so it was never really "our" house.  It was small, but had a great back yard.  We had thought about adding on to the original house, adding a pool, and doing some other upgrades, but the reality of that neighborhood is that most of the surrounding homes are rental properties, and the lots are being sold as scrapers to build McMansions.

The new house was built in the late 90s and is over three times the size of our old house, but amazingly, we only had to buy one extra bedroom's worth of furniture, and a new downstairs sofa/loveseat combination.

My must-haves for moving were a 3 car oversized garage, and hers were a pool and lots of seasonal storage for decorations.  Also, not on a dinky lot with neighbors so close you can hear their toilets flush.

We have neighbors relatively close, but the lots are wide enough, and the house layouts positioned that none of us can see into each other's back yards.

I would have been happy with about 1000 less square feet, but finding a home with an oversized garage and that much storage is impossible without building.
 
2017-03-14 09:32:03 AM  

Omnis_evil_twin: A big house is just more stuff to clean. But I do dream of a huge ass-kitchen one day. Japanese kitchens are pitifully small and poorly designed. Counter intuitive, considering how much they value cooking and how many women are still housewives. I dream of counter space and cupboards I can reach without a step stool! A sink that's not so low is kills my back! Two electrical outlets? Luxury!


What, exactly, is an ass-kitchen?
 
2017-03-14 09:34:12 AM  

markie_farkie: We went from this 1196 square foot bungalow-style 50s house in Dallas:
[img.fark.net image 640x370]

To this out in the 'burbs north of Dallas:

[img.fark.net image 640x426]

The old house was mine before I got married, so it was never really "our" house.  It was small, but had a great back yard.  We had thought about adding on to the original house, adding a pool, and doing some other upgrades, but the reality of that neighborhood is that most of the surrounding homes are rental properties, and the lots are being sold as scrapers to build McMansions.

The new house was built in the late 90s and is over three times the size of our old house, but amazingly, we only had to buy one extra bedroom's worth of furniture, and a new downstairs sofa/loveseat combination.

My must-haves for moving were a 3 car oversized garage, and hers were a pool and lots of seasonal storage for decorations.  Also, not on a dinky lot with neighbors so close you can hear their toilets flush.

We have neighbors relatively close, but the lots are wide enough, and the house layouts positioned that none of us can see into each other's back yards.

I would have been happy with about 1000 less square feet, but finding a home with an oversized garage and that much storage is impossible without building.


looks more like a church than a house NTTAWWT
 
2017-03-14 09:34:13 AM  

Xythero: dittybopper: Two bedroom, one bath.  Cozy, not a McMansion.

I have a house that size, but it was also built in 1921.  It doesn't seem like people build smaller houses anymore.  You don't get the return you do with a McMansion.


I had ours built in 1998.  It was supposed to be 3 bedroom, but I had the builder expand one of the bedrooms and the living room and get rid of one of the bedrooms.
 
2017-03-14 09:43:20 AM  
I like the 2400 sq ft ranch we built on 3 acres.  We got exactly what we wanted and there really is no wasted space outside of the master might be a bit too large.  I designed it and it is amazingly simple with no wankery of architectural flourishes, but that is easy to do with a ranch.  One of these days I am going to get my shop  that is just as big as the house.

My take on the enlargement of housing is that a lot of it has to do with land evaluations.  Outside of the mega rich house building looks to be around 4X lot cost.  You can go below that but financing a house that 4X seems to be an economic turning point for cost to return.  You have cheap lots you can have cheap small houses.... good luck finding cheap lots.
 
2017-03-14 09:46:42 AM  

Dead for Tax Reasons: NTTAWWT


Yes, we have pointy windows.  I think the general theme was English Manor as interpreted by Murican homebuilders.

As for the church aspect, I get more religion out of sitting on our patio with a mug of coffee, listening to nature, than I'll ever get in an actual church.

Also, those windows are now 20 years old, and most of the double panes have lost their argon, so they are about as efficient as waxed paper.

The struggle of suburbia goes on......
 
2017-03-14 10:00:18 AM  
I like my small home.  When I see those large homes, all I can think is - "I'd never, ever want to maintain that."
 
2017-03-14 10:13:22 AM  

J Noble Daggett: the mansions with more bathrooms than bedrooms are either compensating for rich food or spastic colons


You can't have the help or guests share your personal bathrooms
 
2017-03-14 10:24:24 AM  

kukukupo: I like my small home.  When I see those large homes, all I can think is - "I'd never, ever want to maintain that."


You get it.  It takes a huge amount of work to maintain a place of any size and without help just fark it. And then the moss creeps.
 
2017-03-14 10:30:46 AM  
www.photographyblogger.net
This must be heaven, Clark.
 
2017-03-14 10:34:18 AM  
We bought an overly large house, mainly because my MIL was living with us. She left a year later, and we have three empty rooms downstairs. We are planning to sell and downsize in the next few months. I can't wait. Its really a pain to maintain.
 
2017-03-14 10:35:04 AM  

kobrakai: Omnis_evil_twin: A big house is just more stuff to clean. But I do dream of a huge ass-kitchen one day. Japanese kitchens are pitifully small and poorly designed. Counter intuitive, considering how much they value cooking and how many women are still housewives. I dream of counter space and cupboards I can reach without a step stool! A sink that's not so low is kills my back! Two electrical outlets? Luxury!

What, exactly, is an ass-kitchen?


imgs.xkcd.com
 
2017-03-14 10:39:15 AM  
Give me a 700 square foot house on 50 acres of land over a 4500 square foot house on 1/4 acre any day. A well designed small house is better than almost all the mcmansions out there
 
2017-03-14 10:52:59 AM  
Wife and I both work from home full time.  So, master bedroom, office for each of us, 2 rooms for the kids, 1 room for guests/family.  That's 6 bedrooms(or 5 and a den/study/bonus/whatever in common new house parlance).  I don't want a big house, but a big house wants me
 
2017-03-14 10:53:40 AM  

markie_farkie: Dead for Tax Reasons: NTTAWWT

Yes, we have pointy windows.  I think the general theme was English Manor as interpreted by Murican homebuilders.

As for the church aspect, I get more religion out of sitting on our patio with a mug of coffee, listening to nature, than I'll ever get in an actual church.

Also, those windows are now 20 years old, and most of the double panes have lost their argon, so they are about as efficient as waxed paper.

The struggle of suburbia goes on......


hey as long as you like it, that's all that matters.  just looks like a bunch of old churches from around here in somewhat miniature
 
2017-03-14 10:58:24 AM  
We have 1300 sq. ft. 3 bedroom/2 bath house and decided to remodel instead of buying or building elsewhere.  We have plenty of indoor living space and don't need 3 bedrooms, so  We are in the process of adding about 600 sq.ft. of porches and taking out one small bedroom to make the living room bigger.

I wish we were  in an area where we could have a basement.  Instead I have a good sized workshop and shed for projects way out back.
 
2017-03-14 11:12:52 AM  
Just built a 750 sq. ft. home. "Heat it with a hair dryer, pay for it with a paper route" were my mantra.
 
2017-03-14 11:14:07 AM  

kobrakai: Omnis_evil_twin: A big house is just more stuff to clean. But I do dream of a huge ass-kitchen one day. Japanese kitchens are pitifully small and poorly designed. Counter intuitive, considering how much they value cooking and how many women are still housewives. I dream of counter space and cupboards I can reach without a step stool! A sink that's not so low is kills my back! Two electrical outlets? Luxury!

What, exactly, is an ass-kitchen?


You ever watch Guy Fieri?
 
2017-03-14 11:17:49 AM  
Also, w/ organic gardening apparently a thing, I wonder why real estate folks are getting rid of all available sunny yard space. I'd rather have a good, sunny spot for a tomato plant than an extra rec room.
 
2017-03-14 11:21:02 AM  
My wife wants I bought a fixer upper in a good neighborhood after we got married.  1400 square feet, three bedrooms, two bath, two car garage, built in the 50s.  We gutted it and renovated the entire thing.  Now we rent it out to college brats for twice the cost of our mortgage.

In retrospect, that house was too large.  If we redesigned it, we could easily be very comfortable in 1000 square feet.  We have been very pleased in apartments at about 800 square feet, that's a happy number to shoot for.

When we settle down, we want to build a cottage less than 1000 square feet.  Something on land with a view.  We don't have kids, don't want any.  Two bedrooms with a nicely sized kitchen is fine.

The land will be three times the cost of the build, I can tell you that much.
 
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