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View Poll Results: What's your reaction to super-sized houses?
Repulsion 30 30.93%
Pity 16 16.49%
Envy 5 5.15%
Apathy 46 47.42%
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Re: Vulgaria
Old 03-23-2007, 09:42 PM   #21
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Re: Vulgaria

Not a big fan of new construction and especially over sized new construction. We have a 3300 sq ft three story twin which I have to admit is large for the two of us. Built in the 1920's beautiful mill work through out the house. We were looking to down size to a one level home and was hit with "sticker shock". This old house is cheaper to live in than buying a smaller new house ( cheap low rate mortgage and low property taxes) so were staying put and up grading this one. We intend to age in place so we are making the place "geezer friendly". Biggest challenge is heating the place in the winter without breaking the bank so we're insulating the hell out of the place.
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Re: Vulgaria
Old 03-23-2007, 10:03 PM   #22
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Re: Vulgaria

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surreal
...so we're insulating the hell out of the place.
Wouldn't it be a lot more efficient to insulate it in the place?

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Re: Vulgaria
Old 03-23-2007, 10:49 PM   #23
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Re: Vulgaria

my parents live in the land of mcmansions and crazy thing is that people were selling their home when prices were high ($700-800k for 2000+sq ft track homes, that were built in 1994 for about $280k) for 5000 sq ft homes for about $400k in Vegas that were just built.

people are nuts.

one of the first things they mention is the square foot...nothing about architecture, craftsmanship etc. blah!

i don't want to sweep, mop or vacuum that many feet!

i also heard a stat about how the size of the avg american home has increased a large percentage (over 20?) - and how the number of people with personal storage spaces has also ballooned ! and then consider all the debt and we've all just lost our minds.
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Re: Vulgaria
Old 03-24-2007, 05:53 AM   #24
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Re: Vulgaria

I'm always amazed at the size of houses being built now, no way would I want to clean and heat one of those. Our whole house can be put on one of the "great rooms" of one of those mcmansions. The only way I would have a big house is if I could find an old victorian, I think they are the most beautiful houses, but then I think about heating it and I change my mind.

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Re: Vulgaria
Old 03-24-2007, 07:14 AM   #25
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Re: Vulgaria

I have no desire for a McMansion. The heating, cooling, and upkeep sound like a lot of work and expense to me, and I would never have any use for all the space.

What I do like are the frills, like granite countertops, detailed crown molding and other beautiful molding everywhere, lots of French doors, stunning light fixtures, plenty of arches, alcoves, and other architectural detail, and such. My present home has all of these and more, and it is not a McMansion.

It was hard to find these frills in a smaller house, though, and it would take more remodeling and upheaval than I care for to take a standard small house and upgrade the whole place to this extent. Probably the best approach for me in the future might be to build the house from scratch. That's a pain, too. I'm not sure I've ever heard of construction finishing on schedule.

Many people do seem to think that square footage is a higher priority than niceties, and that this is true for everyone. Not so. I don't want to heat and cool, clean, or maintain a huge house when I would not even use many of the rooms. It's not a matter of expense. There are a lot of disadvantage to being stuck with a huge home. For example, I don't want to have to lug laundry up stairs or half a mile from the laundry room to my closet.

Really I don't want stairs at all, and so many homes have them these days that I am beginning to wonder if we are all that far removed from monkeys? I don't enjoy climbing stairs now, and I know I won't when I am 80.

Oh well. What is, is, but there is definitely a market for smaller, high quality homes with a lot of luxuries and amenities.
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Re: Vulgaria
Old 03-24-2007, 08:29 AM   #26
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Re: Vulgaria

We spend a lot of time in our house so I want it to be as comfortable and nice as possible with some decent amenities. I'm all for the biggest and nicest house that we can afford - and be willing to maintain - provided the financial piece fits within the FI program. Currently in a nice custom house - with very convenient location to schools and shopping - and large, private back yard. Downsizing certainly may be an option in the ER years though.
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Re: Vulgaria
Old 03-24-2007, 10:23 AM   #27
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Re: Vulgaria

I don't want a McMansion but I do want decent square footage and the niceties. 1100 square feet would make me claustrophobic. I currently have 2200 and it's just right .It's elevated because I live on the water so the steps are my stair master. I 'll probably move at some point .Same size house just further from the water.Not downsizing but still saving a huge chunk of money .
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Re: Vulgaria
Old 03-24-2007, 11:16 AM   #28
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Re: Vulgaria

When I see those monstrosities I imagine them surrounded by people with torches and pitchforks.
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Re: Vulgaria
Old 03-24-2007, 12:24 PM   #29
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Re: Vulgaria

My husband and I built our small 1300+ sq. foot home in 1999. It was the right size for the 3 of us. Now, that only my daughter and I live here, it's still the right size. After having my auction last weekend, for selling my husband's collections, I really feel like we have sooo much more room to spread out. We had storage area galore and now not much to store. I can't imagine that I will ever want to live in another house larger than what I have. I love my house even tho it's small by most standards.
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Re: Vulgaria
Old 03-24-2007, 12:32 PM   #30
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Re: Vulgaria

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linney
I'm drawn to the designs of Sarah Susanka, author of "The Not So Big House". She is a residential architect who challenges the conventions of typical design with the proposition that we ought to design homes for the way people actually live, focusing on the quality of living environment rather than its quantity.

I agree. Her designs are beautiful and "fit" the occupants just right. Before reading her books, I wondered why I would sometimes feel overwhelmed just touring some of the huge cookie-cutter, mock McMansions in my area. Susanka's explanation of how people relate to their surroundings was right on target.

DH and I are looking for a home to downsize to that reflects Susanka's thinking. Like others on this thread, I'm finding it hard to find well designed, smaller homes with quality features that are close to the community amenities we'd like. We'll keep looking!
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Re: Vulgaria
Old 03-24-2007, 01:05 PM   #31
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Re: Vulgaria

Another thing: with those huge vaulted 2 and 3 story ceilings, how do you keep the bottom level warm in areas with with cool/cold winters?
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Re: Vulgaria
Old 03-24-2007, 02:53 PM   #32
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Re: Vulgaria

We have a vaulted living room, 2 stories high. There are vents in the ceiling than draw warm air down to floor registers. The home was designed by an architect, DH, for efficient heating and passive cooling.

The house looks very modest from the street, it is even hard to see from the water.
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Re: Vulgaria
Old 03-25-2007, 05:50 PM   #33
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Re: Vulgaria

We will be downsizing as soon as our house sells (I should say "if"). We raised three boys in our 2100 sq ft home. When we move, we're looking for about 1000 to 1200 sq ft in the country on about 5 acres. I can't imagine wanting a McMansion; too much work and expense!
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Re: Vulgaria
Old 03-25-2007, 05:59 PM   #34
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Re: Vulgaria

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat
We have a vaulted living room, 2 stories high. There are vents in the ceiling than draw warm air down to floor registers. The home was designed by an architect, DH, for efficient heating and passive cooling.

The house looks very modest from the street, it is even hard to see from the water.
Excellent.

But I wonder if yours is in the minority.
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Re: Vulgaria
Old 03-25-2007, 06:56 PM   #35
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Re: Vulgaria

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Originally Posted by Khan
Excellent.

But I wonder if yours is in the minority.
No denying that!! We designed our home for a lifetime and it was built by the best contractor in the area. DH shuttered at the construction practices of the spec builders in the area.
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Re: Vulgaria
Old 03-25-2007, 09:39 PM   #36
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Re: Vulgaria

My cousin, who is a very well-paid executive with a major company here in the Pacific Northwest, just completed building her custom-made house on Lake Sammamish about a year ago. It is 7,000 sq. feet (main floor, upper floor, and finished (liveable) basement. Attended her house-warming party last summer. It is a beautiful home and nicely furnished. For her and her family, which includes her husband and 2 young children, I think it is wonderful. I say, if a person can afford it and it suits their lifestyle, go for it!

I can't afford something like that and it wouldn't fit my lifestyle because I'm single, live alone, and don't need or want a lot of space. That's just more cleaning and maintenance for a rather lazy person like me. The house I live in is about 3,000 sq. feet, and I spend most of my time in about 1/3 of the house. I pay a gardener about $60 per month to mow my grass and edge the lawn; I am getting tired of regular maintenance like getting on a ladder and cleaning out the gutters, fertilizing the lawn, weeding, etc. I am not mechanically inclined, so even minor house repairs have to be done by paid professionals or handymen.

I think I would like to live in a square box (with self-cleaning windows and an indestructible roof) about 1,000 sq. feet that consists of a very large kitchen with a sitting/dining area, a bedroom, and bathroom. Parking space for 2 cars. Living room not necessary. No stairs. No lawn. Closest neighbor at least 1/4 mile away.

Maybe a large yurt will do.
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Re: Vulgaria
Old 03-26-2007, 12:03 PM   #37
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Re: Vulgaria

Toejam, we're going to Mongolia next summer and are thinking of buying a ger (Mongolian yurt) to have shipped home! Put in your order before we go!
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Re: Vulgaria
Old 04-01-2007, 06:09 PM   #38
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Re: Vulgaria

Quote:
Originally Posted by mclesters
Toejam, we're going to Mongolia next summer and are thinking of buying a ger (Mongolian yurt) to have shipped home! Put in your order before we go!
Sarah
Hi Sarah:

Thanks for the offer. But after image googling "ger" and "Mongolian yurt", I decided to stay with a regular house, just one that's smaller and re-configured differently. The "gers" were a little too "basic" for me . . .

But your trip to Mongolia sure sounds exciting and very exotic! A rather unusual vacation destination. It'd be neat to hear about it after you return from your trip. I don't know anyone that's been there.
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Re: Vulgaria
Old 04-01-2007, 06:21 PM   #39
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Re: Vulgaria

So called McMansions seem to be all the rage there days. One NBA player is building a house with a casino, barber shop and 2 floor closet and another NBA player is erecting a 50000sf monster that has an indoor basketball court and a water park (I guess that the water park is outdoors, but maybe not).

If you can afford it and it makes you feel fulfilled I say go for it. I'm ready to downsize from our 2200sf place to about half of that. Anyone want to buy my upstairs?
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