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Old 08-20-2010, 09:52 AM
 
4,892 posts, read 11,634,328 times
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if anyone has ever seen that show "small space big style", you will understand what i am about to say. i would LOVE to have a home that was 1000 sq feet--yes that is not a typo. one thousand. that is smaller than where we live now. BUT i would totally change the layout. so many homes i saw looked like the plans were NOT drawn up by an architect. i think the floor plan is everything.
i dont REALLY need 2.5 baths. convenient maybe, but such a pain!
what i really hate is when the kitchen counter cuts the room in half. and when in the world did the formal dining room start appearing at the front door??
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:58 AM
 
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Great question! To be honest, I don’t see the concept going away. I think the media tends to have a kneejerk reaction to stuff and tries to label trends prematurely. Remember when gas prices skyrocketed and all the media outlets starting running stories about how people were flocking to live closer to work and downtown areas? That never really materialized either (though I agree it is a smart move).

I think Mike J makes some good points. I feel that given most families have both the wife and husband working and with the increase in telecommuting this tends to increase the need for more home office space (multiplied by two). That coupled with the fact that the Triangle is a prime destination for people looking to grow their family only increases their need for room. I live in a neighborhood where the homes are around 1,300 to 1,500 sq/ft. whenever a resident moves out of the neighborhood 90% of the time it is because they are expecting a baby and want to have more space.

“Large” homes are here to stay to a certain degree. I think the market for 10,000 sq/ft homes will never quite be the same but there is always going to be a demand for people looking for 3,000 – 5,000 4/5 bedroom homes IMO.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:59 AM
 
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I think part of the challenge is many folks still think of their house as an investment. So they really try to maximize the sg ft for resale comp issues as opposed to buying a home they actually want to live in.

I'm afraid that as soon as the finance folks figure out a way to once again finance $700K for a family of four with $75k in annual income we'll be right back to oversize houses.

Frank
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:04 AM
 
Location: North Carolina; former New York Stater
6,060 posts, read 8,799,831 times
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Although I love our rambling home, I always loved a home that a friend of mine had. It was designed by a woman who was attending architectural school.

All on one floor, the family room, kitchen and dining room were all open, so it felt huge, and large windows and patio door faced the wooded backyard. The living room faced the front, so parents could be away from kids for peace and quiet. Two bedrooms shared a bath, the master had its own bath, and they were all just steps from a washer/dryer in the hallway. It had a full basement for storage. It was simple, but modern, light, and airy, and warm and comfortable. To me, it was the perfect home. I've never seen a layout I liked better, regardless of home size.

This replicates the floor plan: (Sort of.)

<--deck |family room with stone fireplace and cathedral ceiling - garage
|kitchen with cathedral ceiling|wall| powder room
|dining rm w/cathedral ceiling |wall| living room with cathedral ceiling-- front door of house
|hallway with washer and dryer in hallway closet
|Bedroom 1 -->bath<-- Bd2 |wall|bathroom, Master Bedroom 3

Cathedral ceilings may not be "green" because of the energy needed to heat and cool them, but they made a small space very comfortable.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:28 AM
 
232 posts, read 269,459 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Raleigh_Guy View Post
I think the media tends to have a kneejerk reaction to stuff and tries to label trends prematurely. Remember when gas prices skyrocketed and all the media outlets starting running stories about how people were flocking to live closer to work and downtown areas?
The scourge of modern news coverage. Find two people doing it and they call it a trend. Look at the front of USA Today - it's all so-called trend stories.

As the bubble of baby boomers ages, the builders will likely follow them and build to their needs. However, I still think there are plenty of younger folks eager for giant homes, whether they can afford them is another matter.

In my house, Friday is the only night that dinner is eaten in the kitchen. The rest of the week its in the dining room. We are the exception from those we know, who almost *never* eat in the dining room.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:40 AM
 
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I think there is a new emerging market of people that want a really nice home - but a smaller one. The competive housing maket is making builders offer more perks, even on townhomes.

Lots of builders are throwing in granite countertops, stainless pacakges, hardwood floors, extensive crown moulding, etc.

Customers are getting more demading and in this buyers market, builders are having to sweeten the deal on a lot of newer builds.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:50 AM
 
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I like the big quote to the side of the article and have to agree with it, “In a down economy smaller houses sell, and in a good economy bigger houses sell. Unless we have all become rabid anti-materialists this is just a phase. ” — Craig Sawyer

I HATE the term McMansion, I just do. Much like a company I worked for that told us to sell the benefits of a product and said we should say "it is like supersizing your coverage". Umm, nope not going to say that. I despise "supersizing" and the term "mcmansions".

Once our children are out of the house, we are downsizing. Probably to a condo. Although our house has a lot of bells and whistles, I want more non-traditional features in our next home. And granite, cherry cabinets and stainless appliances are not on that list!
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:55 AM
 
Location: NC
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Sales are way down on large, newer homes. More so than the market average. The media is about 3 years late on announcing that as a "trend".
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Cary
476 posts, read 904,042 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cncsmomndad View Post
I like the big quote to the side of the article and have to agree with it, “In a down economy smaller houses sell, and in a good economy bigger houses sell. Unless we have all become rabid anti-materialists this is just a phase. ” — Craig Sawyer
Agreed, the big houses aren't going away. Maybe they'll just get marketed as EcoMansions.

And, as Vicki implied, people have many ideas of what consistutes a McMansion. For an interesting exercise, do a Google image search on the term "McMansion." You'll see the whole range from large-but-not-ostentatious to giant-hodgepodge-eyesore to estates that are undeserving of the "Mc" -- they're just mansions, plain and simple.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,453 posts, read 5,232,248 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurntHombre View Post
Agreed, the big houses aren't going away. Maybe they'll just get marketed as EcoMansions.
You raise an interesting point here. One of the arguments against the larger homes built recently is the extra cost to heat and cool. While this is certainly true relative to a smaller home built similarly at the same time, the newer, larger homes are often less expensive to heat and cool due to improved sealing & insulation, more efficient appliances, etc... as compared to homes from 10-20 years ago.

This is certianly the case for our house. We moved from a 2200 sq. ft. home built in 2000 into a 2900 sq. ft. home built in 2007. Both were well-built traditional homes and efficient relative to similar homes (of course part of that is attributable to how we live). Despite increasing our square footage by over 30%, and adding an additional family member, and now working exclusively from home and having a nanny here all day w/ our kids, our overall utility costs have actually decreased by 5%! Our highest monthly kWh consumption here is 1278 and highest therm consumption is 177, and our house is not energy star certified, nor does it have a sealed attic or crawlspace. Over the next few years, I hope to add solar PV panels and possibly seal the attic or crawl. I believe through doing this we can get our average utility cost down to $50-60 per month compared to our current $125 per month. Add to this that we already have a rainwater cistern for irrigation and you have the makings of an ECOhouse (sorry, but I don't think sub-3000 sq. ft. qualifies for the "mansion" terminology).

Last edited by mdp_az; 08-20-2010 at 12:38 PM..
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