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Old 02-01-2010, 06:01 PM   #1
vanshnookenraggen
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Is the McMansion dead?

This caught my eye. There is a video to go along with this text which is pretty interesting: [link]

Quote:
Is the McMansion dead? At last week's International Builders' Show in Las Vegas, designer Marianne Cusato unveiled a 1,771-square-foot model home for 2010 that left many attendees with the feeling that, for homes, trim is in. The four-bedroom home has scarcely a foot of unusable space. The casual dining room can double as a formal one, while the extra bedroom can double as a home office or a rental apartment. It would cost an estimated $500 per year to heat and cool. "During the last decade, we saw a boom in housing sizes," said Boyce Thompson, editorial director of Builder Magazine. "There was so much cheap money out there and anyone with a pulse could get it? builders, recognizing that everything was going to sell, paid way less attention to how the house actually operated," he said. In the video above, MarketWatch takes a look inside Cusato's vision for this year's alternative to the McMansion.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:57 AM   #2
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Re: Is the McMansion dead?

They're just reacting to the current economic situation. 5 years down the road, McMansions will be back in vogue.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:13 PM   #3
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Re: Is the McMansion dead?

^ Bingo. High finance wizards will go back to working their derivatives magic and the public will go back to buying the biggest houses they can(not) afford.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:45 PM   #4
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Re: Is the McMansion dead?

The house I grew up in was just over 1,900 square feet, and it is big in comparison to most homes in the area. True, there are many bigger, but this house was NOT small. It had 4 bedrooms, a sunroom, a finished attic, storage, and a partially finished basement, not to mention a kitchen, dinning room and living room. To hear the guy in this video say its amazing that this woman could build a 4 bedroom house in 1,700 square feet is laughable. They are marketing "mini" loft condos in Toronto and elsewhere at 240 square feet. that's not a typo, not 2,400, but 240! that's efficient. Modern dwelling sheds are efficient. a 1,700 square foot house is probably closer to what has traditionally been built in this country. New urbanism is neo traditional. its old urbanism. this stuff is old too. old ideas are labeled something else and marketed as new. I realize no one on here is disputing any of this but I just felt I had to respond to the video a bit.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:51 PM   #5
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Re: Is the McMansion dead?

I <3 Modern Dwelling sheds! Those lofts in Toronto sounds pretty awesome. Efficient living is key for the future. I'd elaborate on my opinions but I'm short on time, maybe later.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:55 PM   #6
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Re: Is the McMansion dead?

?Our beds are empty two-thirds of the time.
Our living rooms are empty seven-eighths of the time.
Our office buildings are empty one-half of the time.
It?s time we gave this some thought.?
? R. Buckminster Fuller
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:50 PM   #7
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Re: Is the McMansion dead?

The Metabolists were onto something.

So was Paul Rudolph.

So does Ken Yeang.

And Shigeru Ban.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:14 PM   #8
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Re: Is the McMansion dead?

Oops actually they are 270 square feet. I just checked my facts. Another small factual error is that theya re in Vancouver not Toronto. Canada is Canada though, its all the same, right?


here is one even smaller (250) in san francisco




reminds me a bit of a dorm
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:23 PM   #9
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Re: Is the McMansion dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by czsz View Post
?Our beds are empty two-thirds of the time.
Our living rooms are empty seven-eighths of the time.
Our office buildings are empty one-half of the time.
It?s time we gave this some thought.?
? R. Buckminster Fuller
Thanks for sharing this, it is very intriguing. It definitely is something to think about, and it sounds like its intuitive answer would be to double use certain rooms for other functions. However, the counter argument I can think of would be the following:

a.) actually, rooms are being used even when we are not in them. where would office supplies go if people resided in their workplaces? The point is that storage is a major use. If we could recycle more, use electronic messaging more, etc, then we could reduce the amount of physical space needed for this function and then the quote would be on to something a bit more I think. But, that brings me to my second point...

b.) people are stimulated by diversity. no one wants to see the same landscape everywhere they look. nice streets are active and ever changing theaters with variation in scale, use, appearance, etc. its the whole idea of 'sense of place' pointing to unique atmospheres as somehow more enjoyable to be in. I can't imagine this desire for stimulation would be well served if places served too many different functions. If you think about it, assuming people only do laundry once a week, then we only wear a shirt 1/7 of the week, but that doesn't justify tossing it or somehow imply that it should double as a pillow case when not being worn.

All this said, though, the quote is still a very good point to think about, and I think as it is we may be TOO far in the opposite direction in terms of wasteful uses of places. I just think any condensing should be cautious not to go too far.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:36 PM   #10
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Re: Is the McMansion dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by czsz View Post
?Our beds are empty two-thirds of the time.
Our living rooms are empty seven-eighths of the time.
Our office buildings are empty one-half of the time.
It?s time we gave this some thought.?
? R. Buckminster Fuller

DONE!
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:32 AM   #11
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Re: Is the McMansion dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
Oops actually they are 270 square feet. I just checked my facts. Another small factual error is that theya re in Vancouver not Toronto. Canada is Canada though, its all the same, right?


here is one even smaller (250) in san francisco




reminds me a bit of a dorm
wow, one of these would be perfect for me right now if the price was right!
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:07 PM   #12
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Re: Is the McMansion dead?

Within the downtown Boston neighborhoods, if this was built I imagine it would be listed for sale at approximately $1,000 per square foot.

The ones with balconies, a bit higher.

Would that price be "right" for you?
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:12 PM   #13
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Re: Is the McMansion dead?

Seriously? That's an absurdly high amount for a small condo, even if it's packed full of high quality design and neat efficiency features. I would expect to be paying 150,000 or less, but I guess I'd be dreaming. But honestly, it's just a glorified dorm.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:29 PM   #14
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Re: Is the McMansion dead?

Well, that's my estimate and you know how I'm often wrong about real estate ... ha, ha.

But, yes, seriously. The cost of the land would be the biggest factor in setting the price, I believe. Also, simple supply and demand - what would people pay for this and how tall and dense could you make it?

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts wants to build a ultra-low income housing development on Essex Street, in Chinatown. It would be 40 units or so, with an estimated cost of $18 million or so.

Ultra-low income housing, state financing, low-to-medium quality, and it's already at $450,000 per unit.

That's crazy but, apparently, the truth.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:03 AM   #15
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Re: Is the McMansion dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnAKeith View Post
Within the downtown Boston neighborhoods, if this was built I imagine it would be listed for sale at approximately $1,000 per square foot.

The ones with balconies, a bit higher.

Would that price be "right" for you?
I'm taking rentals. I don't think I would ever consider buying something like that, but if i could rent it for around $800/month then it would be perfect. Is $800/m reasonable for something like that?
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:16 PM   #16
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Re: Is the McMansion dead?

I wouldn't think so. The studios at the Archstone Boston Common (sic) start at $1,800 or so, no? (If we get another building that looks like that, I'll kill myself.)

If rent = mortgage, then a $250,000 condo with a 6% mortgage loan would be the equivalent of $1,500 per month in rent.

I think one of the big issues would be getting zoning approval. I don't know anything about new construction but I wonder if there'd be issues with FAR. All those single-person occupancy homes would bring in lots and lots of single people - single, young people. And that means catastrophes of epic proportions.
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Old 02-10-2010, 07:05 PM   #17
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Re: Is the McMansion dead?

Long piece from a few years but well well worth the read:

http://gladwell.com/2004/2004_03_15_a_malls.html
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:52 AM   #18
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Re: Is the McMansion dead?

I thought we had a "what to do with the emerging suburban slum" thread but I can't find it so I'll just post this here:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com...slumburbia/?hp

"Slumburbia"
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:30 AM   #19
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Re: Is the McMansion dead?

That's a pretty good piece. Most "slumburbia" pieces are more "omg look at this!" while this one had the part at the end that I liked:

Quote:
Through immigration and high birth rates, the United States is expected to add another 100 million people by 2050. If you don?t believe me, consider that we?ve added 105 million people since 1970. This is more than the population of France. More than Italy. More than Germany. Currently, we have a net gain of one person every 13 seconds.

At some point, the market will settle on proper pricing levels. At its peak, only 11 percent of the people in this valley could afford the median home price.
Once again suburbs aren't going away but the suburbs we have in 2050 will, for the most part, be very different places that they are today. Slumburbia will just make it more interesting to see what happens.

Quote:
In the meantime, during these low, ragged years, a few lessons about urban planning can be picked from the stucco pile.

One is that, at least here in California, the outlying cities themselves encouraged the boom, spurred by the state?s broken tax system. Hemmed in by property tax limitations, cities were compelled to increase revenue by the easiest route: expanding urban boundaries. They let developers plow up walnut groves and vineyards and places that were supposed to be strawberry fields forever to pay for services demanded by new school parents and park users.

Second, look at the cities with stable and recovering home markets. On this coast, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and San Diego come to mind. All of these cities have fairly strict development codes, trying to hem in their excess sprawl. Developers, many of them, hate these restrictions. They said the coastal cities would eventually price the middle class out, and start to empty.

It hasn?t happened. Just the opposite. The developers? favorite role models, the laissez faire free-for-alls ? Las Vegas, the Phoenix metro area, South Florida, this valley ? are the most troubled, the suburban slums.


Come see: this is what happens when money and market, alone, guide the way we live.
The sad thing is that nothing in the financial world has changed and we really risk repeating these same mistakes once the economy recovers.
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