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McMansion curbs
Old 08-02-2006, 09:41 AM   #1
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McMansion curbs

http://realestate.msn.com/buying/Art...umentid=418653

Interesting...a lot of areas are clamping down on at least the most whale-like mcmansions.
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Re: McMansion curbs
Old 08-02-2006, 09:45 AM   #2
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Re: McMansion curbs

Interesting article.

I wonder if the restrictions are fueled by real-estate envy...
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Re: McMansion curbs
Old 08-02-2006, 09:45 AM   #3
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Re: McMansion curbs

Good. *I'm happy there's clamping down on these god forsaken eyesores. *I have yet to see McMansions contribute anything viable to long term architectural beauty (to be loved and revered like Frank Lloyd Wright stuff). *Go to Folsom, El Dorado Hills and places in the East Bay and I swear you'll want to puke. * :P
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Re: McMansion curbs
Old 08-02-2006, 09:48 AM   #4
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Re: McMansion curbs

Fine with me. we don't need any more "Beige Farms", as DW calls them.
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Re: McMansion curbs
Old 08-02-2006, 09:52 AM   #5
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Re: McMansion curbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
Good. *I'm happy there's clamping down on these god forsaken eyesores. *I have yet to see McMansions contribute anything viable to long term architectural beauty (to be loved and revered like Frank Lloyd Wright stuff). *Go to Folsom, El Dorado Hills and places in the East Bay and I swear you'll want to puke. * :P
Go look up in Lake Tahoe. Any new house being put up is a monster. You got 1 mill houses sitting next to little A frames Damn lil A frames and a small lot are going for 300k.
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Re: McMansion curbs
Old 08-02-2006, 09:55 AM   #6
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Re: McMansion curbs

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Originally Posted by Mwsinron
Go look up in Lake Tahoe. Any new house being put up is a monster. You got 1 mill houses sitting next to little A frames Damn lil A frames and a small lot are going for 300k.
UGH!!!!! My eyes!
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Re: McMansion curbs
Old 08-02-2006, 10:06 AM   #7
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Re: McMansion curbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by cube_rat
Go to Folsom, El Dorado Hills and I swear you'll want to puke. :P
HEYY! Thats where MY mcmansion was! Funny part is, when I bought there back in 96, only about 1/3 of the lots were developed and the rest were left lying fallow since the sacramento boom/bust from 88-95. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY wanted to buy there. 3500-4000 square feet on an acre for low to mid 300's, nearly new, close to the lake. Taco bell was fine dining and we all got excited when Target planned to open a store.

Now they've got their own mercedes dealership, fine dining, all the retail you could ask for, and its got a definite south bay wealth feel.

Just gotta get a little of that magic to work up here in yuba city...
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Re: McMansion curbs
Old 08-02-2006, 10:09 AM   #8
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Re: McMansion curbs

It doesnt bother me so much. Since it should raise the value of my house. It could be worse people could be slopping down shacks with rusty cars in their yards
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Re: McMansion curbs
Old 08-02-2006, 10:15 AM   #9
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Re: McMansion curbs

While it's sad to lose farmland, wild land, and any open space to development, I see a difference between a new, contained development of McMansions and random replacement of smaller homes within a developed community with the McMansions hulking over their neighbors. As for 4000 - 10,000 sq ft being a Mcmansion, to me something that's 6,000 sq ft is a mansion!

As an editor in my former life, I find the term McMansion interesting. I think it implies jealousy as well as horror at the wasted space and dollars. It reminds me of rat-trap as a demeaning term for a small, perhaps squalid, house or apartment. What about an average house on a huge lot wiht a lot of lawn (unproductive land)--we don't have a demeaning term for that, eh. Well, suburbia is demeaning in some circles
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Re: McMansion curbs
Old 08-02-2006, 10:22 AM   #10
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Re: McMansion curbs

I kinda look at these McMansions today as kind of like what a Cadillac or Lincoln became in the 70's. Prior to that, a Caddy or Lincoln was an expensive, exlusive automobile. You didn't see them everywhere you turned, and you had to have money to buy one...at least a new one.

By the 70's though, even though the times were rough, somehow they must have been easier to obtain, either with more people having more income or longer-term car loans, or both, because suddenly sales of both brands exploded. With the exception of a few bad years like 1974-75, when fuel was expensive/scarce.

But suddenly everybody had these things, and they weren't so "special" anymore. And to this day they really aren't. A big, roomy house used to be much more special when it was comparatively rare. I remember as a kid, the three biggest houses in my zip code were probably about 3,000 square feet each, if that. And older houses, built before 1900. Back then they really stood out for their size, and today they have a style that makes them unique. But they're simply dwarfed by these McMansions that are shooting up all over the place. Now we don't have any of the 10,000 square foot monsters sprouting up around here, but there seem to be plenty in the 3500-5000 square foot range. And even if the square footage isn't so massive, they give them large, imposing roofs to make them look bigger than they really are.

Back in 1999, one of my co-workers had this ~5000 square foot monster built out in Annapolis. It was on a 2 acre lot that had a lot of woods, so it wasn't too out-of-place. But it was just so generic looking, and you could tell where they cut corners. For example, the whole thing was just sided in generic, white vinyl. No brick, stone, stucco veneer or anything to break up the monotony. And the front porch just had lattice skirting around it, like what you'd expect to see in a trailer park! Now I'll admit, my grandma's house has lattice skirting under her front porch, and used to have some under the back deck until the dogs tore it apart, but on her modest little cape cod, it just didn't seem so out of place.
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Re: McMansion curbs
Old 08-02-2006, 10:27 AM   #11
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Re: McMansion curbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by astromeria
As an editor in my former life, I find the term McMansion interesting. I think it implies jealousy as well as horror at the wasted space and dollars.
To me, McMansion connotes a certain sense of these supposed icons of individuality and uniqueness ("my home") being cookie-cutter and generic in style. Everyone has one these days. The barrier to entry these days is easily overcome by the middle class ($300k+ around here for a McMansion).
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Re: McMansion curbs
Old 08-02-2006, 10:33 AM   #12
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Re: McMansion curbs

I have a different take on the 'mcmansion' term, and i've been using it for about 10 years!

A real 'mansion' is a custom home. Its a demonstration of ones wealth and its unique in its design, layout, furnishings and style.

A Mcmansion is a huge square foot tract house that is also a demonstration of ones wealth, but it is not unique in any way. In a development of a hundred homes, 20-30 other people live in exactly the same home, plus or minus some furniture and maybe the kitchen counter material. And fifty thousand people around the country living in the same builders developments live in the same home as well.

Its not unique, its not custom, it has limited individual characteristic excepting the decorating.

This is Justins four patty burger at burger king vs the $15 burger at the local high fahlutin non-chain restaurant. Taken on their own for what they are, there are many similarities. But anyone and everyone that can pay the bill can get that four patty burger anywhere in the world...its nothing special.
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Re: McMansion curbs
Old 08-02-2006, 10:39 AM   #13
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Re: McMansion curbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by astromeria
As an editor in my former life, I find the term McMansion interesting. I think it implies jealousy as well as horror at the wasted space and dollars.
My wife and I call them "megahouses" or "megaboxes" (there are 4 going up in our block, replacing 1960s split-levels). *I find this evolution an interesting social and financial phenomenon. *Social: the desire for such bigness in house -- I think its a status thing. *Financial: the ability to pay ($1.8 M, say) -- I take it as an illustration of the rich-get-richer era we are in -- the accelerating skewing of the income distribution towards the top.

Also, the style phenomenon! *Vinyl siding on a $1.8M house! *Impractical huge kitchen layouts! *Entrances with no coat closet anywhere near! *The houses near us are going for that rich-but-tasteless market.

At least if this keeps up, selling our house can help us finance our planned luxurious retirement.
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Re: McMansion curbs
Old 08-02-2006, 10:41 AM   #14
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Re: McMansion curbs

We used to live here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_Point

Our house was a modest sized house on the beach side of the point. *Next to our house used to be a small school. *It was torn down. *The land was bought by a construction contractor. *He first brought in fill to raise the height of the lot, (so he could see both the lake and the bay from all rooms) then built the largest house on the point. *A montrosity. *Ugly too. *It was on a huge lot so it was a ways away from our house. *Nevertheless, it felt like it loomed over us. *Never liked it there at all. *

We sold our place for a number of reasons 9 years ago. *Our old place was recently bought for *big bucks, torn down, a replaced with a big box.

Yup, as Robert says, rich but tasteless.

Square feet rules.
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Old 08-02-2006, 11:24 AM   #15
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Re: McMansion curbs

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Originally Posted by Andre1969
... this ~5000 square foot monster ... so generic looking... just sided in generic, white vinyl.* No brick, stone, stucco veneer ... lattice skirting around it
Perhaps we could take pictures and show them to would-be illegal immigrants at the border? That way they would know how awful life is in this country (white vinyl! eek!) and won't try to come here?*
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Old 08-02-2006, 11:45 AM   #16
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Re: McMansion curbs

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Originally Posted by Scrooge
Perhaps we could take pictures and show them to would-be illegal immigrants at the border? That way they would know how awful life is in this country (white vinyl! eek!) and won't try to come here?
Better not show em pictures of McMansions! That's jobs, man, jobs! Building them and cleaning them are two primary sectors of the informal economy open to illegal immigrants.
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Old 08-02-2006, 12:25 PM   #17
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Re: McMansion curbs

Here's a picture of the McMansion orchard that sprouted up the street from me a few years back: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...iseyFields.jpg

I photoshopped it together from a few aerial photos from local.live.com, so please forgive the less-than-perfect blending. Now this particular community isn't THAT overdone. I think the smallest houses are about 2500 square feet and the largest are a bit over 4,000. But they're just so crammed together, and they try to make them tall and imposing, too many needless angles on the roof and other little styling tricks in an attempt to make them look more pretentious.

On the other side of the street from this orchard, they put in a community park. I guess if nothing else, that'll stave off the developers, until one of them makes a big enough campaign contribution to a politician. As for where my house is located in this picture, it's in the upper left-hand corner, second from the top, real close to the road. At one time, a developer wanted to buy my place, the neighbor's (house at the top of the picture) and the next house over (not in this picture) and put up townhouses! Both neighbors wanted to sell but I didn't. Finally, my neighbor decided to stay put while the other place did get sold to a developer, who got permission to put up 6 McMansions. But then the environmental dept caught wind of it, designated part of it wetlands, and now he can only build three. I dunno what's going to ultimately happen though. Now that house just sits there, empty. Grass hasn't been cut yet this year, and people are starting to dump on the property.
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Re: McMansion curbs
Old 08-02-2006, 01:09 PM   #18
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Re: McMansion curbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
http://realestate.msn.com/buying/Art...umentid=418653

Interesting...a lot of areas are clamping down on at least the most whale-like mcmansions.
Several big battles have broken out over this in the DC area in places like Arlington, VA, Tacoma Park, MD, etc. These are close in suburbs that are close to the core city. They have moderate to large houses built close together with sidewalks - the kind of comfy neighborhoods that people returning to the cities from far out suburbs are drawn to. There is no room for new development so people addon and/or rehab or knock down and rebuild. The problem is the few who want to replicate the space they had (or could get) in the far out surburbs. They overbuild the lot both horizontally and vertically and end up with something that is completely out of character with the nieghborhood and dominates the nearby houses. We have friends in North Arlington and it is amazing how ridiculous some of the collosi are. Other people who are willing to forego a few square feet can achieve the basics of what they want while staying in keeping with the surroundings - and probably achieve a better resale value to boot.

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Old 08-02-2006, 01:32 PM   #19
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Re: McMansion curbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
I have a different take on the 'mcmansion' term, and i've been using it for about 10 years!

A real 'mansion' is a custom home. Its a demonstration of ones wealth and its unique in its design, layout, furnishings and style.

A Mcmansion is a huge square foot tract house that is also a demonstration of ones wealth, but it is not unique in any way. In a development of a hundred homes, 20-30 other people live in exactly the same home, plus or minus some furniture and maybe the kitchen counter material.
OK, I see. I think the first community I lived in in CA was approaching this. We lived in the smallest model (2250 sq ft IIRC) on a corner with no 2nd stories looming over us (largest model was 3800 sq ft). But I began to see its less attractive qualities more clearly over time...most of the hubbies were in sales, most of the wives SAHMS, they were always complaining about their kids' teachers not paying enough attention to their kid or giving the parents enough respect, bragging about new cars and boats. We only made 2 friends in the whole neighborhood. One day while waiting in line to vote, I killed time by perusing the voter rolls and noticed that we were 2 of the 6 registered Democrats in our entire voting district--I suspected the 4 decline-to-state folks were closet Democrats . I put the house on the market within a couple of months and moved into San Francisco. (OK, the increasingly intolerable commute was a major factor .

In the city we were apparently regarded as conservatives (actually worse--moderate Democrats) for insufficiently lefty views. But geez, I was shopping at Global Exchange, getting felafel takeout from the Jordanian deli and oocasional items from the Palestinian coffe shop/convenience store, gave thousands of dollars to the local avant garad theatre group <The Marsh> and Mission District middle school--what more do they want!! hmmm--we were owners rather than renters (the horror!), and our attendance at Symphony and good-paying jobs were probably suspicious as well...not to mention that we lived a couple of blocks from Nader headquarters and never went in to help bash the rich :
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