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View Poll Results: How Many Square Feet Do You Live In? This is your primary residence and can be rented or owned.
Less than 500? 1 0.84%
500-999? 7 5.88%
1000-1499? 26 21.85%
1500-1999? 25 21.01%
2000-2499? 12 10.08%
2500-2999? 16 13.45%
3000-3499? 15 12.61%
3500-3999? 9 7.56%
4000-4499? 1 0.84%
4500-4999? 3 2.52%
5000-5499? 0 0%
5500-5999? 2 1.68%
6000-6499? 1 0.84%
6500-6999? 0 0%
7000-Infinity? 1 0.84%
Voters: 119. You may not vote on this poll

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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-29-2005, 05:57 PM   #21
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

1792. My 'hood has houses ranged from 1500 to 3450, the funny thing is, you can't tell which ones are the big or not so big from the sidewalk. Ah, suburbia.
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-29-2005, 06:56 PM   #22
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

We have 1600 sq ft on our main floor and then another 1600 finished sq feet in our basement. There are all sorts of rules in PA for how you list basement rooms. They have to do with windows and egress. Some would call our house a 2 bedroom, while technically we have 4 (the 2 basement rooms have full length windows that you could exit).
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-29-2005, 07:24 PM   #23
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

My house was 950 when I bought it. Basically a living room and a bedroom side-by-side with a second bedroom created in the attic and a kitchen/bath shed structure on the back. I tore that off and added 250 sf of kitchen - dining space with cathedral ceiling skylights, etc. plus laundry and half-bath. Also upgraded the attic bedroom with dormer.

Finished product: 2 bedroom 1.5 bath, 1200 sf. = perfect. Except I still need a garage.

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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-30-2005, 11:25 AM   #24
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by peggy
1950 livable, plus two-car garage. We have a guest room, about 100 square feet, that's rarely used - we don't have many guests, despite living in Las Vegas, LOL.
My size room. Can I reserve it (no charge, of course) starting next week for about 2 years? Will meals be included?

MJ
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-30-2005, 11:30 AM   #25
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

I have to admit (sheepishly) * that my humble abode is on the high end of the scale. *After buying and selling more than 10 personal residences over the pat 30 years in different parts of the country; some losers and some winners; we plunked down our composite equity into a monster than we knew would continue to grow in value in a highly desirable location. *Once we retire for good, we will sell and take the equity to buy a smaller place with no mortgage. *That is the plan anyway. *

The stats:
6100 sq. feet. *two story with finished basement. *Main floor has a large eat-in kitchen, family room wtih gas fireplace and cherry built ins, living room, dining room two half-baths and master suite. *Second floor has two bedrooms with a connecting full bath. *The walkout basement has an office, full bathroom workout room, two bedrooms, a family room/home theater with gas fireplace, kitchen and a 15X10 cold storage room, and office and a workout room. *The basemement has extra closets for lots of storage.

Lot is 0.65 acres that is fully landscaped heavily wooded (rare here) and has a steep hill that rises over 150 feet behind the house and the lot goes half way up the hill. *There is a waterfall built into the hillside with huge granite rocks and red sandstone slabs that line the whole back yard perimeter patio. *The garage is an oversized 3 car with 12 ft. ceiling. There is an outside wooden shed that is 10X10 for outdoor storage and plant potting. *The yard has full landscape lighing and cement curbing on all flowerbeds. *In short, it is a maintenance nightmare! *

We are updating past of the house and making some minor changes to keep it more or less current. *It is a traditional style so we don't want to go too far modern (like the rest of the neighborhood) to keep it unique but also contemporary. *

We call ourselves the "trailer trash" of the neighborhood since we don't have all the "toys" or higher income debt that appear to exist there. *Lots of younger families with huge houses, expensive SUVs, sports cars, boats, etc. etc. *We got here the old fasioned way....equity. *My mortgage is not all that bad since we put down a ton on the house when we bought it. *The value has gone up over 20% based on recent sales, since we bought it 3 years ago. *Despite the RE bubble, we believe we will still clear more than enough to get a good sized house for our ER home in a couple of years. *

In the meantime, we enjoy the space but can "lose" each other from time to time. *We get the tax breaks for mortgage interest and RE taxes but the downside are utility costs....two gas water heaters, two gas furnaces, two AC units and full yard automatic sprinkler system. *Yuck! *
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-30-2005, 11:48 AM   #26
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

Steve,

What are your monthly utility bills if you don't mind me asking? How much for landscapers, cleaning staff, maintenance workers, etc. monthly or annually?

From an investment perspective, I keep thinking about the notion of buying a whopper house (like yours!! ) and letting it appreciate. In my back of the envelope calcs, it seems all the maintenance, upkeep, insurance, taxes, cleaning, cooling/heating not to mention semi-routine replacements or upgrades (new kitchen/bath fixtures; new roof, new furnace(s), etc) would make this a poor investment. Poor, that is, if you do not value the luxurious amenities a huge house would provide. I wouldn't enjoy them - I'm too cheap simple.
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-30-2005, 11:59 AM   #27
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
Steve,

What are your monthly utility bills if you don't mind me asking?* How much for landscapers, cleaning staff, maintenance workers, etc.* monthly or annually?

* From an investment perspective, I keep thinking about the notion of buying a whopper house (like yours!! ) and letting it appreciate.* In my back of the envelope calcs, it seems all the maintenance, upkeep, insurance, taxes, cleaning, cooling/heating not to mention semi-routine replacements or upgrades (new kitchen/bath fixtures; new roof, new furnace(s), etc) would make this a poor investment.* Poor, that is, if you do not value the luxurious amenities a huge house would provide.* I wouldn't enjoy them - I'm too cheap simple.*
We have a lady who comes to do the heavy cleaning twice a month for $100 a visit.
The yard is done mostly by me except for routine grass cutting triming which I contract out for about $35 a week.
No landscapers other than me. It is a BIG job several times a month but part of the plan is to remove vegetation that takes too much maintenance and replace it with mulch or other things that are easy to maintain.

Everything else I do myself.

The upgrades have been minor on the interior so far and most of the actual work has been done by me. We shop around for the best prices on light fixtures and such so that saves a lot. The biggest upcoming expense will be replacing the driveway which was improperly installed when the house was built and is now heavily cracked and is sinking in some places. This will run about $10k and will be done next spring.

Utility costs for gas run on average about $120/month with electricity about the same. Water/sewer/garbage run about $80/month on average. Winter water rates are under $40/month.
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-30-2005, 12:04 PM   #28
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
I have to admit (sheepishly) that my humble abode is on the high end of the scale....

The stats: 6100 sq. feet.
So, how does it feel to be an admitted McMansioneer? Do you have to register with local law enforcement and report in weekly?
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-30-2005, 12:16 PM   #29
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

$120 a month for electric and $120 a month for gas doesn't sound bad at all for something that big. I'm guessing that, as the houses have gotten bigger they've also made them more energy efficient? For my 1450 square foot former general store built in 1916, I'd say electric averages out to around $100 per month. The big question mark is oil. 2 years ago my bill for the whole year was around $530 ($1.19 per gallon) Last year it was around $850 ($1.74 per gallon). This year they have me paying market price with a cap of $3.19 per gallon. I have a feeling this winter is going to hurt!

My condo, which was 1254 square feet, all electric, and very drafty, averaged around $100-120 per month. Usually there'd be one really bad month in the winter where it might push $200, and maybe 2 bad months in the summer where it would hit $150, but that would balance out in the fall and spring.

Steve, what are the dimensions of your yard? 0.65 acre seems like a pretty decent yard, but does a house that big overpower it? About 3 years ago a McMansion community went up near me where the houses probably averaged 4000 square feet. They advertised them as being on 1 acre lots, but I swear they looked more like 1/2 acre lots, with those big houses on them! Another community was bullt a few hundred feet from my house, where they range from maybe 2500-4000 square feet, on quarter acre lots, and they REALLY look hemmed in! But then there are probably motorhomes that have almost as big of a footprint as my house, and with it sitting on 4 1/4 acres, I'm sure my perspective is distorted!
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-30-2005, 12:18 PM   #30
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
So, how does it feel to be an admitted McMansioneer?* Do you have to register with local law enforcement and report in weekly?
I am an active participant in MA, McMansiond Anonymous. *I am on a 12 step program to stay "on the wagon" and I can report that I am feeling much better now.

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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-30-2005, 12:27 PM   #31
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre1969



Steve, what are the dimensions of your yard?* 0.65 acre seems like a pretty decent yard, but does a house that big overpower it?* About 3 years ago a McMansion community went up near me where the houses probably averaged 4000 square feet.* They advertised them as being on 1 acre lots, but I swear they looked more like 1/2 acre lots, with those big houses on them!* Another community was bullt a few hundred feet from my house, where they range from maybe 2500-4000 square feet, on quarter acre lots, and they REALLY look hemmed in! But then there are probably motorhomes that have almost as big of a footprint as my house, and with it sitting on 4 1/4 acres, I'm sure my perspective is distorted!*
I don't have them with me but the lots in the area are all different sizes. My lot is a rectangle that is about 180 ft. wide and over 250ft. deep; most of it up hill. The house is set back from the street more than most and it is a side entry garage which makes the lot look bigger. Lots across the street are much smaller since they back up to other lots so the lots on "my" side of the subdivision are larger because or the steep hill behind them. Some lots have houses with a bigger footprint than mine on a 1/3 acre or less lot. They look really stupid but their yard work is very limited.

The house is pretty tight as far as drafts and I keep everything sealed up and weather proof. I also keep the house on the cool side in winter to keep the gas bill down. There are lots of trees on the west side and the hill on the south side keeps the house cooler in summer and we can usually open windows at night so we save on AC except during the worse parts of they summer.
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-30-2005, 12:50 PM   #32
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

Justin: I assume you live somewhere in Mid-America. A house that size on either coast would be in the multi-millions.

What I would be curious about is what your property tax bill is for the year.

Your other reported costs, (Utilities, maint. etc.
seem to be manageable.)

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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-30-2005, 01:47 PM   #33
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-Jarhead
Justin:* I assume you live somewhere in Mid-America.* A house that size on either coast would be in the multi-millions.

What I would be curious about is what your property tax bill is for the year.

Your other reported costs, (Utilities, maint. etc.
seem to be manageable.)

I assume you meant this for me rather than Justin.

Taxes are about $5500 and rising.

I live in the Salt Lake City area. The bubble here is still expanding and I got in on a 'distressed" sale so I underbid on the asking price quite a bit and the previous owner was out of work and needed cash so it was a win-win situation. There are $1M houses in my area and several that go $2M or higher a few miles away. The most expensive one on the market today is $29M and it is about 3 miles away. Mine was no where near any of those.

We moved from a high cost area in the Chicago metro area so we got more house for just a little more $$ here at the time. My house payment is actually lower here (lower RE taxes) with a house that is 1500 sq. ft. larger. My IL taxes ran $11K per year. Ouch!
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-30-2005, 01:58 PM   #34
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

Even the taxes don't sound so bad. I've heard that taxes on some of the McMansion-Lites up the street from me (the 2500-4000 square foot ones) have property taxes around $5000-7000 or more. At the same time Timberlake homes built those things they also snapped up a vacant half-acre lot next door to me, threw up one of the little 2500 square foot ones, and it's currently assessed at something like $500,000. My place is assessed at around $232,000 (old age does have its advantages, I guess, and even the land isn't assessed very high). I think my taxes were around $2550 this year, where I'm sure my neighbor's were easily twice that. Of course, they have a much nicer house.

I think they tend to really hit new construction hard with assessments, and when a property gets sold I think they jack up the assessment faster. Normally, when your property gets reassessed, they phase it in over three years.
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-30-2005, 02:00 PM   #35
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR


Taxes are about $5500 and rising.*

I live in the Salt Lake City area.* The bubble here is still expanding and I got in on a 'distressed" sale so I underbid on the asking price quite a bit and the previous owner was out of work and needed cash so it was a win-win situation.* There are $1M houses in my area and several that go $2M or higher a few miles away.* The most expensive one on the market today is $29M and it is about 3 miles away.* Mine was no where near any of those.*

We moved from a high cost area in the Chicago metro area so we got more house for just a little more $$ here at the time.* My house payment is actually lower here (lower RE taxes) with a house that is 1500 sq. ft. larger.* My IL taxes ran $11K per year.* Ouch!
My property taxes are $5500 for 1/4 the size of the your house. :P
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-30-2005, 02:11 PM   #36
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
I assume you meant this for me rather than Justin.
With the way housing prices are these days, my little 1850 SF house on the lake on 1/3 acre might be a multi-million dollar house One day it'll be a multi hundred thousand dollar house where I live.
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-30-2005, 04:07 PM   #37
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
My property taxes are $5500 for 1/4 the size of the your house.* :P
Cube: Your taxes are comparatively high because you're a new buyer. (Prop 13).

From here on, as long as you stay in your home, the max. they can increase your tax, regardless of increase in value is 1% of prev. years taxes.
(Around $55.00).
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-30-2005, 04:57 PM   #38
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

I have very mixed feelings about our situation. We sold our 2800 sf house in the DC suburbs, we had lived there for 26 years, it was paid off and we made 7X what we paid for it - a lot of money. We moved south and purchased a lot in a golf course community. After meeting with several builders, my husband decided to be the general contractor on the house. Nine months later we are ready to move into the house - it ended being much bigger than we planned on building (3800 finished sq plus a 2200 sq unfinished basement) and we didn't intend to spend all the money from our old house, but we did - broke even, so still no mortgage. The only caveat is that we saved probably 100-200K from my husband being the gc and real estate taxes are lower here than Northern Va. It's a really nice house, but I kind of wanted to downsize - but again it is our dream house. We'll have to see how it is to clean and heat. The master bedroom is on the first floor, so we can close off the 3 upstairs bedrooms and keep the heat turned down up there, unless we have guests. Maybe we will just live there a few years and then downsize for real.

I really hate McMansions - although this community is all custom homes on 1/2-1 acre lots - a very attractive community. I still feel this house is much bigger than we need. My husband thinks the size of the house is just fine and he has had a blast building it. We are both retired - this building has kept him busy full time and he doesn't know what he will do with himself once it is done - he is considering building another house to sell - we'll see.
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-30-2005, 05:47 PM   #39
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by becca
I really hate McMansions - although this community is all custom homes on 1/2-1 acre lots - a very attractive community.* I still feel this house is much bigger than we need.* My husband thinks the size of the house is just fine and he has had a blast building it.* We are both retired - this building has kept him busy full time and he doesn't know what he will do with himself once it is done - he is considering building another house to sell - we'll see.
Look at it as a temporary home. Enjoy the space and the location for now. Give it a couple of years and see if you still want a smaller place. Repeat as needed.

We know we will downsize. The question is when. Having a bedroom on the first floor is a blessing most of the time and I will have any future homes that way. We both have some health issues and knowing we don't have to do stairs to get food or take care of 99% of what we need to on a daily basis is almost a requirement.
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?
Old 11-30-2005, 06:50 PM   #40
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Re: How Big is Your McMansion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre1969
$120 a month for electric and $120 a month for gas doesn't sound bad at all for something that big. I'm guessing that, as the houses have gotten bigger they've also made them more energy efficient?
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