I am not sure about other parts of the country, but there is an absolute explosion of what is commonly called McMansions in our area. It is so weird that we are in these economically depressed (yes depressed) times and there are these houses popping up all around us that cost two, three or even four times the average price of a house in our area.
They have 10 foot ceilings. Reside on a SMALL lot. And totally DOMINATE the landscape. In other words, you can’t miss their ostentatious nature.
They are the total opposite of a Usonian House!
But what is funny about them is they are beginning to decorate them with a very distinctive Frank Lloyd Wright-ish Praire-look…just done really bad. I can actually tell you in my sleep the look of the next house that will be going up in one of these McSubdivisions. I can tell you the color of the brick, the use of rock veneer and simulated limestone capping and stucco painted a hideous color. Three car garages and MONSTER insulated roofs (so they can use the attic as storage…as if three floors was not enough room to put your stuff) finish it off.
What is appalling is they are usually taking an old-growth forest area, clearing the trees out until it creates a tree-line around the subdivision and smacking these suckers up and down that tree line…then advertising them as “nature-living”!
I’m sorry about my tone in this post as it really didn’t bother me much until I found out I was being beat out of really nice pieces of property for the sake of another McMansion (make that a super-size bathroom please). Not only that, many older beautiful 1960′s designed homes are being torn-down and these cancerous moles taking up their place.
I did talk to the owners of one and these homes a few months back and showed them the Usonian house plans for our future house that displayed the beauty it can access and the couple almost cried knowing that is REALLY what they wanted… but the builder was only offering the latest McMansion to them. Instead, they are stuck with paying $5,500 a year in taxes for a piece of property 70 X 100 and A LOT of empty space inside the house that takes up most of the property. Heating bills also top out and more importantly AC bills are more than the mortgage on most homes in my city. I mean sure you do not have to worry about landscaping… because there is no more room for it. Sure your neighbor is 5 feet away, but there is a “Forest” behind us (yes, they actually call a line of spared trees about 50 feet wide a forest).
I remember reading a book recently called the Millionaire Mind. A guy did a study of the average home a millionaire owns and I can tell you the people living in these McMansions are what is described as “Income Rich” not “Balance Sheet Rich”. In other words, they make A LOT of money, but at the end of the day, it all goes out in bills. Again, in other words, more actual millionaires are living the Usonian Lifestyle than you may think..no way they are putting out $5,000 to $7,000/mn for a McMansion.
To me, what the McMansion represents is a backwards view of wealth and ultimately happiness. I do not know anyone that would not be happy and have assets and live in a work of art, versus being broke and unhappy at the end of the month, but living in a McMansion.
McHappiness does not exist in my opinion…what do you think? Usonian with a balance of Wealth or a McCashflow supersized nightmare?