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Thread: The McMansions have arrived

  1. #61
    Hit By Ban Bus! DisruptiveHair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernbelle View Post
    I don't know if any of you are familiar with Katy, Texas, but it's McMansionland. An entire town of pretentious people living beyond their means in McMansions that they can barely pay for. The houses aren't necessarily huge, but they're all "big" houses that are cheaply built and look exactly the same.





    LOL...those aren't McMansions, that's just what's on the market in suburban Austin. We looked at several houses that look just like those! I mean...if that's all there is for sale in our price range, what do we do?

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    Elite Member southernbelle's Avatar
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    It's not so much the size that makes me think they are McMansions (most are only 3-4 br) but the fact that they were all built within the past 5-10 years, look exactly the same, and tend to attract people who like the idea of living in a big home and giving off a "Look at us, we're so rich!" image. They're all built to look a lot larger than they actually are inside. I've just never liked this particular area. Every family I know who lives in Katy consists of a working father, a stay-at-home mother who refuses to work even though the family needs the money, and 2 -3 children who brag to their friends about their giant house.

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    Gold Member piperdiva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disruptivehair View Post
    LOL...those aren't McMansions, that's just what's on the market in suburban Austin. We looked at several houses that look just like those! I mean...if that's all there is for sale in our price range, what do we do?
    Houses just like these go for $800k to over a mil where I live. It's insanity.
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    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    I've never been able to fathom why people do this kind of thing on purpose. It's frustrating enough not being able to find any real land in the older, historic downtown areas populated with cute, tall but narrow Victorian style houses all crammed in together - at least there is some intrinsic charm in neighbourhoods like that, and you know that the area was built up organically, because a lot of people wanted to live there over many years, and it doesn't encourage urban spawl outside of the city.

    But why developers would choose to cram massive new houses onto tiny plots way out in the 'burbs escapes me. If I was to live outside of the city, sacrificing the liveliness and easy access/transit to all, I'd better be getting some sweet land out of the deal. Why not just build 2/3 the amount of houses they usually do, charge a little bit more (not that I don't shudder at that though also), and make the lots a little bigger? It would be better for the environment, for wildlife, for children to play, for privacy, etc.
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    Hit By Ban Bus! DisruptiveHair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by piperdiva View Post
    Houses just like these go for $800k to over a mil where I live. It's insanity.

    ROFL; I wouldn't pay a dime over $250k for those houses in Austin.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    I know someone who was a city commissioner and worked on one of these McMansion areas. When I asked her why these rather large houses were sitting on such small plots of land, she said it was because there was one huge plot of land that was sub-divided and they decided smaller plots would allow them to have a 'play area' which included a soccer pitch. Well, at the end of the day, no one used the play area and the whole thing looked like hell. People were putting up fences left, right and center because the neighbors were so close. I hate these areas. I agree that if I leave the convenience of the city, I want some bloody space.
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    I HATE seeing houses sell for 250k with NO YARDS!
    It is obscene.

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    Elite Member Algernon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tati View Post
    I've never been able to fathom why people do this kind of thing on purpose. It's frustrating enough not being able to find any real land in the older, historic downtown areas populated with cute, tall but narrow Victorian style houses all crammed in together - at least there is some intrinsic charm in neighbourhoods like that, and you know that the area was built up organically, because a lot of people wanted to live there over many years, and it doesn't encourage urban spawl outside of the city.

    But why developers would choose to cram massive new houses onto tiny plots way out in the 'burbs escapes me. If I was to live outside of the city, sacrificing the liveliness and easy access/transit to all, I'd better be getting some sweet land out of the deal. Why not just build 2/3 the amount of houses they usually do, charge a little bit more (not that I don't shudder at that though also), and make the lots a little bigger? It would be better for the environment, for wildlife, for children to play, for privacy, etc.

    I totally agree with you. And I just don't get the attraction of the 'brand spankin' new overpriced home'. I can't tell you how many housewarming parties I've attented the past few years of friends who've fallen for that shit. Only the houses they are buying aren't like the huge ones posted above. They are these 1000-1200 sf homes with no yards. BUT THEY ARE NEW! And they are in the 'good' part of town. Please. They are spending 3 times the amount of money on these cheaply built peices of crap than I spent on my 40 year old solid-as-a-rock home closer to the city. FOR WHAT????

    I wouldn't live in one of those character-less homes if you paid me. Well...if you paid me I might think about it. But I wouldn't like it.
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    McMansions have taken over my area of the country too.

    The area of the country where I live is very hilly, and it's positively frightening to look out from a hilltop and see tracts of ugly looking houses, as far as the eye can see. My husband jokes that they look like ant colonies, he can just see the husbands leaving at the same time each morning, in identical outfits and matching briefcases.

    The tendency to tear down and build anew has infected every segment of the population. It is a shame, because there are a lot of beautiful old buildings in my town, but the town council and mayor tend tear them down and build new monstrosities. Some of the buildings they tear down aren't even "old" (thirty years), they just want something newer.

    We live in an old brick Victorian, and its charm is incomparable to the new houses we have been in, IMHO. We have antique chandeliers, fireplaces, woodwork and frettwork, brocade wallpaper, pocket doors, high ceilings, etc. It is located in a nice neighborhood, in the historic district of our small town. We lucked out, because most people don't want old houses any more, so we only paid $110,000. Plus, we haven't done much renovation because the house has been well taken care of throughout the years. I would never in a million years or for a million dollars trade my house for a McMansion!!!

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    Elite Member olivia720's Avatar
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    i am very fascinated by this thread. its something i havent thought that much about, since ive never bought a home.
    I fell into that line of thinking, that if you lived in one of these homes, you'd "made it". my cousin has a million dollar mcmansion, and its on a small plot. but its like 6000 sq feet. Wayyy to freakin big for a four person family. i dont see the need for such a large house. i dont think it really adds to the quality of your life.
    and so many people are house poor. they just have to show everyone how well they're doing. and those mortgage payments are killing them.

  11. #71
    Elite Member Algernon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olivia720 View Post
    and so many people are house poor. they just have to show everyone how well they're doing. and those mortgage payments are killing them.
    Exactly. When we searched for a house (we bought one 4 years ago) there were a lot of things we 'wanted'. However, we had to stay in a certain range...because we knew that life is uncertain. We wanted a very comfortable house payment that we could still afford if, say, one of us lost our jobs. Which, sure enough, we've been through some big money issues, unforeseen, which started right after buying the house. Making the payment, however, has never been an issue, because we chose to live below our means.

    One of my friends has been married for 10 years and has been waiting to get pregnant until they bought a house. Well, 6 months ago they finally bought a house...brand new with a huge mortgage. Now she is saying they can't afford a baby. When she was looking for homes I tried telling her there are great homes in our area in the 70-80k range (we paid 77k for ours). She wouldn't hear it. She wanted a 'maintenance free' home that no one lived in before. I tried to help her! They spent 140k for waaaaaaaay less home than we have.

    ETA: I know that 140K may not qualify as HUGE to a lot of people, but my friend and her husband make minimum wage. So it's HUGE for them.
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    They must have had to get an "interest only" loan to even qualify for a mortgage making minimum wage. Bad deal because you're never really playing off the principal, it's only good if you only plan on living in the house a few years and you know the value will sky rocket. Buying more than you can afford is never smart. We scrimped, saved and worked extra jobs several years before we bought our house and we didn't get anything too large.

    Good thing they're not in our area. The smallest brand new homes are starting at something like 300K, not the McMansions.

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    Elite Member olivia720's Avatar
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    some people have to learn lessons the hard way. for me, the thought of having a too high mortage really scares me. some people arent bright enough to see around corners for some reason.

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    Elite Member Algernon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UndercoverGator View Post
    They must have had to get an "interest only" loan to even qualify for a mortgage making minimum wage. Bad deal because you're never really playing off the principal, it's only good if you only plan on living in the house a few years and you know the value will sky rocket. Buying more than you can afford is never smart. We scrimped, saved and worked extra jobs several years before we bought our house and we didn't get anything too large.

    Good thing they're not in our area. The smallest brand new homes are starting at something like 300K, not the McMansions.

    I am pretty certain that they have an interest only loan. It's just one of those situations that makes you go 'huh?'
    Value the future on a timescale longer than your own. -Richard Dawkins

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