The Return of the McMansion?

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Cameron Davidson / Getty Images

When the real estate market imploded and ushered in the Great Recession, one of the biggest casualties was the size of our homes. For years, we’d been building increasingly large homes because, well, we could — and because we assumed all those two-story foyers and master suites could only go up in value. The recession put a screeching halt to this trend: After peaking at 2,521 square feet in 2007, the average size of a new home has dropped, a trend many industry observers thought would continue.

But recent data shows that we’re returning to our pre-recession mentality: New home sizes are going up. It looks like we’re thinking big again.

Census data shows that the average size of a new home built last year was 2,480 square feet, the first increase after three years of successive declines. Nearly 40% of new homes built last year had four or more bedrooms, a return to the all-time high reached in 2005 and 2006. And nearly 20% have three-car garages, an increase following two years of declines.

(MORE: Why This May Be the Ideal Time to Buy Real Estate)

According to a new survey conducted by real estate website Trulia.com, 27% of Americans said their ideal home size is more than 2,600 square feet, an increase of 10 percentage points in just a year. The number of people who said their ideal house is 3,200 square feet or more also shot up, from 6% in 2011 to 11% this year. By contrast, about a third of respondents said their ideal home was less than 2,200 square feet in 2010.

This reversal is unexpected. In a 2010 report, the National Association of Home Builders speculated that the trend of smaller homes might be due to a secular shift and that our preference for small houses would continue after the recession ended. “Part can also be attributed to trends in factors like the desire to keep energy costs down, amounts of equity in existing homes available to roll into a new one, tightening credit standards, less emphasis on the pure investment motive for buying a home, and an increased share of homes sold to first-time buyers,” the report says. “Not all of these trends are likely to reverse themselves immediately at the end of a recession.”

(MORE: Market for Investment and Vacation Homes Has Been Booming)

It seems that this prediction — although it sounds logical — can’t compete with our seemingly insatiable appetite for square footage.

79 comments
PhilRozzi
PhilRozzi

I would have never thought that most of these white old people would want to live like rappers some day. And yet they probably make fun of the younger generation about their taste in things

Firozali A.Mulla
Firozali A.Mulla

NO we are too weak in economy now Even if Romney is right and Russia is the USA?s greatest geopolitical foe, his remarks show what a lousy politician and leader he is. Why say it in the open? What purpose it serves to make a statement like that? Romney?s statement indicates that he is unfit for the position he is campaigning for. Further, when Romney made his remarks about Russia, he showed that he lacks basic analytical skills: Which countries are rising as economically, which countries threaten the US?s standing, which parties have an alternative way of living that spans national boundaries, etc.? The answer to all of these questions is not Russia! China is a rising power that threatens American standing in the world. Islamism challenges the western way of living and ?western paradigm.? Russia wants respect, recognition, and the upper hand in Russia?s ?near abroad.? This is not to say that America should plainly provide Russia that, but, also this does not make Russia America?s greatest geopolitical foe. We should make no mistake Russia is not a Canada also. America competes with Russia in certain fields, but, the two countries interests meet when it comes to many vital issues. For example, Russia is needed to balance against China. Russia and China, if the US stops antagonizing both (emphasis added), are destined to collide. As for terrorism the two countries face the same enemy. So, Russia is a partner and a potential ally in the fight against the greatest challenges that the US faces. This does not make Russia America?s greatest foe! Obama is wrong in many foreign policies, but, in the reset with Russia Obama was right yesterday, as the rest of us scarfed down hot dogs, ousted Barclays CEO Bob Diamond was feeling ?physically ill.? The culprit? A set of colourful emails exchanged between Barclays employees, released as part of the bank?s $450 million settlement over accusations of illegal interest-rate manipulation. When Barclays conspired to tell big financial lies, it left a digital paper trail miles long. From January 2005 to June 2009, the bank admitted, its derivative traders repeatedly asked their colleagues to submit fake data to authorities and Thomson Reuters. The goal was to manipulate two of the most important numbers in finance, LIBOR and EURIBOR, rates that underpin everything from mortgages to student loans. The bogus submissions likely did the job, moving the numbers along on a rate roller-coaster?especially during the financial crisis. What does that mean to you? In the simplest possible terms: say you have a $50,000 small-business loan or adjustable-rate mortgage, and its interest rate is ?5 percent plus LIBOR??in fact, a lot are. If Barclays and other banks submit fake figures to raise LIBOR by 1 percent, you?re out $500 more a month. (If they?re the ones who gave you the loan, that?s $500 in their pocket.) And if the banks depress LIBOR, and you?re an investor who owns $50,000 in 5-plus-LIBOR percent bonds (even through a mutual fund), it?s the same story. So how did Barclays, in particular, pull this off? Whispered conversations and glad-handing in smoky London backrooms? No. According to the settlement, ?at least one derivatives trader at Barclays would shout across? the office before making illegal requests of the data submitters. The indiscreet interest-rate impostors even sent seductive salvos over internal email. After trawling through the settlement, we?ve identified some of the most bald-faced messages. While the messages don?t paint a flattering portrait of Barclays, they also raise awkward questions for other banks?as well for the British government, which allegedly encouraged the rate fixing. On all these days, Barclays was trading LIBOR-indexed securities. Be warned, these aren?t for the financially faint of heart.In order to help us understand the evil nature of Russia as compared to the benevolent nature of the NATO allies, could you provide a list of places Russia has bombed the heck out of since 1945, and include a list of countries the NATO allies have tried to send back to the stone age so we can come to a logical decision. That would not include Georgia-Russia Mini-War, since contrary to the false statement in this article, Georgia was the nation which started hostilities. Please don't try to sneak Afghanistan in either, because it has been published in many reliable news sources that the Carter administration induced the peace loving Soviets to make war in Afghanistan as a means of bleeding the peace loving Soviet Union to death.Probably good to include a list of phony "NGOs" trying to influence politics all over the world, as compared with the Russian "Real-Estate-Soccer-Mom-Sleeper-Spy-Ring" recently routed by the FBI to show..."the FBI were not asleep?" , The "Soccer Mom Sleeper Spy Real Estate Agents" were not raising "Russian 'Young Soccer Stars on Steroids' ", spoiling the fairness of youth soccer games on the East Coast? Utilizing "American Exceptionalism", plus ex-Soviet athletic hormone research so as to develop a generation of "Super Athletes" who would then move back to the Motherland and dominate soccer world wide, thumbing their noses at non-Russian teams, causing mass suicide among fans everywhere by beating good soccer teams. (while the Russian teams have one foot tied behind their backs). The final blow to the NATO allies teams will be when the Russians combine a gene from the bat into the ears of their soccer players so their teams can play while wearing blindfolds, and the only fantasy left with any hope in London will be the Royal Navy singing, "Rule Britania, Britania rules the Thames." from their aircraft carrier, "guarding the Olympics" !!! Guarding the Olympics !!! From the river Thames!!! (Perhaps expecting an invasion of "Chinese Sleeper Terrorists" hiding out for generations in Limehouse who have bothered to read the history of the Opium Wars and have decided this is a good time for payback!) One hopes it is a coal fired aircraft carrier, because if it sneaks off to start a new "Falklands War", they had better take their American Express Card with them. Or maybe take some oars to stick through the portholes in the side of that thing!Prime Minister David Cameron, my advice is... become a Catholic like Tony Blair. The Pope has a lot of money, and if you ever get charged with war crimes, (does Libya ring a bell?) the Pope can throw your bail. Your only other chance for staying out of stir is to "poodle up" to the Americans. You can get your own Chevy Suburban and fly down the freeway guzzling fuel on your way to McDonalds. You will have achieved the "American Dream". Too bad Americans can't. Russia with Putin at its helm is a dangerous country. The author does not recognize that there have been huge geo-political shifts lately, things that are easy to look over when you are blindly supporting a single candidate for re-election. Putin only respects strength, if you don't respond with strength Russia will view that as a carte blanche invitation to pursue its goals of expansion both in regaining a foothold over central asia and winning political friends abroad. Obama's foreign policy has been hit and miss, we need someone, whether it is Romney or not, that will have a bit more executive experience, in order to lead America through this next global economic transition of soft power. Does the US really need to invest more in defense? Not really, that could have been a sufficient argument for this author. You cannot negotiate with Russia if they view your position as weak. That is why they have not listened to any of the criticisms from the state department, because their words have been mere paper tigers. We won't go to war with Russia as this author would like us to believe, that would be economically stupid for both countries. Ok I think I have made my point. Life is what happens while you are making other plans I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

Andrew M Hartley
Andrew M Hartley

From the Christian Bible, 1 Timothy 6:8 - "But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that."

Commentary Fortytwo
Commentary Fortytwo

1/2 the space in those houses simply goes to waste. Formal living rooms, never used, guest rooms occupied maybe a couple of nights a year, while everybody hangs out in the kitchen. And what is with all that furniture? You can only sit in one chair at a time. 

pleisch
pleisch

It's possible that the renewed interest in larger homes goes along with the new reality that extended families are likely to be living together again for an indeterminate length of time. Those big farm homes and Victorian homes often housed a different generation on each floor. There are more multigeneration families and unrelated people  living together now than since the Depression. It's simply a fact that people need more space for more people. (Of course, one can always say that we can pile ten people in one room, but let's not argue just to argue.) In addition, the aging boomers are discovering that they may need to age in place and have room for someone to live with them. There are quite a few other reasons I can think of for enlarging one's climate-controlled environment that have nothing to do with being selfish or unaware of the environment or economics. Consolidating resources may actually generate savings in some cases. Let's not arbitrarily dump everyone into the same boat.

Jen Kuhn
Jen Kuhn

Our house is about 4000 sf, but was built in 1901 so I don't think it would be considered a McMansion, but living in a huge house has costs such as energy consumption and more upkeep time that no one mentioned in this article.  We also bought it within our means, which is important. The bank would have loaned us double what we paid, which is a very frightening thought. I cannot imagine having that huge of a mortgage, especially living in NY with the insane taxes to boot.

take_a_step_back
take_a_step_back

You have to figure in the demographics.  A few years ago, when I had 3 younger children, a large home with lots of space to spread (finished lower level game room; rooms that coudl fit the kids and their friends, etc.) out in the winter and plenty of outdoor land in the summer made a lot of sense.  Now, as we move towards being empty nesters, a small place with access to transportation and services is a lot more attractive to us.  So demographics, access to quality schools vs conveniences, climate, etc all rationally affect the choices people make.

Bobby Gold
Bobby Gold

Pigs. Gross. Disgusting. I'm staying in one now. It SUCKS. Why would anyone need these huge rooms. This is the same generation that learned nothing from history.

earl hickey
earl hickey

Building McMansions  produces jobs.   I hopethey make a comeback a big way. 

pua1
pua1

McMansions NEVER left the metropolitan DC area ... even in the "worst of times."   Vienna, Oakton, McLean and Great Falls continued to build mega-homes throughout the economic slowdown.

tsippi
tsippi

One tragedy of the real estate boom, at least in close-in DC, was that well built, charming homes on nice lots were torn down and replaced with huge ugly McMansions.  In some cases, two huge houses were built on lots that formerly contained one house and a nice yard.  Whole neighborhoods, like the lovely Lyon Park where I once fantasized I might live one day, are now, from my perspective, ruined.  I understand that my generation, which grew up with four or five people sharing one bathroom, wants a little more space, but what exactly do people do in Master Bedroom suites that are larger than my parents' first house?  And how does having a living room AND a family room AND a den AND a huge master suite build family unity?  When do you ever see each other?

zaglossus
zaglossus

They build a McMansion in a sterile, car-centered, neighborhood and spend long hours commuting. I don't see the attraction.

bdivad
bdivad

If this article reflects a real trend reversal, it is indeed a sad commentary. In our little corner of the world, it seems that the recession has not adversely affected the lust for bigger and bigger houses; rather things just slowed down a bit.  We have one of the smallest homes in our neighborhood and were distressed to learn last fall when we refinanced, that the national trend (at that time) of valuing smaller square footage more (on a square footage basis) was not happening here ... the opposite trend seemed still to be in play based on comparables. (Fortunately, we still had enough equity to refinance.)

The lust for adding large rooms to existing modest-sized homes is sad for many reasons including  environmental/energy concerns as well as social graces. If bigger is always better, the logical conclusion is indeed having all three (or more) story homes, built right up to the lot lines and NO yards. As with America's rivers, where proof of some progress came with the removal of a few dams, proof of some progress in house renovations will come when some people start to remove rooms and square footage.

Raymond Chuang
Raymond Chuang

I think what we may start seeing is more emphasis on condominiums built close to transportation hubs--a very common practice in much of the world (go to Japan--note the huge number of housing units built near railway or subway stations).

TheThirdCell
TheThirdCell

Who's going to afford a McMansion on $22.50 an hour paying job, the average wages for the American worker?

Ohwoahisme
Ohwoahisme

There will be less emphasis on spacious homes with zero lot lines in metro areas and more emphasis on homes with some property in outlying areas.  This will be done for security purposes for those that have families and the money to spend. Nobody that I know with means is intending to upgrade to a larger home within a metro area under the current economic conditions.  They're currently making provisions for an escape from the city.

ryan singer
ryan singer

I think this article has some oversights that need to be clarified. I work in the architecture industry in Southern California so I understand the issue a little differently. Basically it comes down to the fact that all the projects built in the last year are by people who could had cash to build homes. Most of the project in the last couple of years have been the top and bottom markets with almost no middle.. This is because the average-to-upper middle american income could not get financing to build a home.. so only if you had a ton of money would you be investing in such an endeavor. There aren't a ton of projects being built so contractors lowered their fees which meant it was good to start a project in the past couple of years. Keen investors saw this opportunity and snatched up larger parcels or knock downs and built large homes. 

Side note:

The good thing about what is happening is that things are starting to move again in the market. It took a long time of nothing happen. There's always diversity within the markets and if things start moving in one area, it typically means good for the other areas as well.

Chinga_Tu_Madre
Chinga_Tu_Madre

Whenever McMansions do return, I hope we fall into a recession from which it no recovery is possible.

We Americans are greedy, fat, proudly ignorant, under-read, over-spent, and we never learn. 

Never. ever.

Christopher Kidwell
Christopher Kidwell

No, most people were not building McMansions because they could. Most people were building them because they were tired of being cooped up like sardines in their old homes and figured that a little space for everyone might keep some of the problems with families from cropping up.

decembertheworldends
decembertheworldends

This person who wrote this story must be one of those RICH bastards who made money while most of us took it up the tail pipe . He thinks this is HIS  country and he wants people to spend money and get MORE dept . 

U idot . go back to reading ur dam emails and let US pay our bills of u dam moron . idot sorry sack of CRAP ! 

 

decembertheworldends
decembertheworldends

sure return the MIC double . 

By the way the recession is not even over so who in good mind is even talking ? Until we get the market back this is so silly . 

Why not pay your bills off ? You do understand most people in the USA has lost a lot of money and 2% or more has lost their home . But I have no idea who the idot is who made this story but he is about as smart as a 3rd grader

earl hickey
earl hickey

 do you use all the clothes in your closet every day?  do you wear all the shoes you own every day?  (if you do ,I know a good remedy for fungal infections)   Do you have  some clothes you save just for special occasions?  

Gentler_Reader
Gentler_Reader

 Okay, but enough of these uber-homes are already standing, either vacant or up for short sale. Why build new ones when housing stock is already there?

Talendria
Talendria

Your observation is correct.  McMansions are one of the few ways in which wealth actually does trickle down in this country.

bdivad
bdivad

 Earl, building and fixing other types of more modest unit housing, better, would give you just as much work, provide at least as many jobs (and maybe better jobs), and would be better for the nation from social, economic, energy, and environmental perspectives.

bdivad
bdivad

 I've seen that, too, pua1.

Talendria
Talendria

It is sad when they ruin the visage of a neighborhood by adding homes that don't fit in.  I think the fundamental issue is that most people don't want to live the way we lived 30-40 years ago.  They don't want to share a bathroom with anyone other than their spouse.  They don't want to sleep in a double bed.  They don't want to spend the bulk of their leisure time outdoors.  As a result of these lifestyle changes, people want homes that have 2-4 bathrooms, master suites that comfortably accommodate king-size furniture, and several indoor recreation rooms.  California architects are the best in my opinion at meeting these requirements with small, energy-conscious homes.  East Coast builders seem to just go big.

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 America is the richest nation in the world by far. When you take average

income into considerations, americans are probably more modest than our

counterparts in say India, China, Quatar and the UAE. Are you living

modestly? By choice or by obligation?

gracetoday
gracetoday

Don't isolate this as an American problem. This is a human problem. We build these because, as the author says, we can. America is the richest nation in the world by far. When you take average income into considerations, americans are probably more modest than our counterparts in say India, China, Quatar and the UAE. Are you living modestly? By choice or by obligation?

Talendria
Talendria

I must admit, an extra 500 square feet makes it much easier to tolerate the in-laws.

JonEberle
JonEberle

You write like a third grader and just made yourself out to be an idiot. You've also missed the point entirely.

Justhavefun
Justhavefun

 Don't call people idiots when you have at least five typos in your post.

decembertheworldends
decembertheworldends

Anyone who buys a home that large making under 50 000 a year in todays market is asking for issues . You my friend are nothing more than a evil bastard for taking advantage of poor people who want to do good . 

You need to go drive your car off a dam mountain . You are nothing but a dam MORON .

look at the stock market u dam DUMB person . does it always look good ? how can we buy this sort of HUGE HOMES and have lots of bills when we are such a large ISSUE with our nation . You are nothing more than a pile of horse crap . 

pleisch
pleisch

I don't disagree with you there. Although, I'm sure there are times that nothing suitable is available. For example, in my area, there are very few that are handicap accessible. Virtually all the homes large enough for two families are multistory. We've had a hard time shopping even for a smaller home in some markets because of this need.

bdivad
bdivad

 trickle down and trickle out

Talendria
Talendria

If Americans were truly concerned about energy and the environment, every home in this country would have solar panels.  The truth is there's an envy epidemic among the so-called 99%.

earl hickey
earl hickey

 so you want trailer homes for everyone?   America did not get to where it is by being modest.   Go BIG or go home , to your "modest" home that is, in a trailer park.

ibro247
ibro247

The article is about the trend of Americans' appetite for big homes, and Chinga's response is quite relevant and within the context of the writer's premise. I don't understand how much relevance “America being the richest nation in the world” bears to the individual consumer's penchant for expensive-to-maintain homes. Still, the accuracy of your assertion is in question. What economic indices are you looking at? Yes, we have the biggest economy. Yet, we are not on the list of the world’s top 5 richest countries (per capita income). While Qatar’s GDP (in terms of PPP) is estimated to be about $88K, we come six steps behind with about $47K. On the global pay scale for wage earners, we are #4.

Comparing the U.S. with India, China, Qatar and the UAE is like comparing an apple with oranges. Yet, the costs of maintaining homes in those countries are significantly lower than in the U.S.

We invented the information superhighway and have unbridled access to facts, yet we allow ourselves to be misinformed by politicians and corporations through media propaganda, which has mentally enslaved us to the system. For most of us, the world begins and ends in America.

Yes, I agree with Chinga – we are ignorant. But I think ”fat” and “greedy” are a little over the top.

Be that as it may, America remains the most diverse nation on earth (by all standards) and the land that offers the most opportunities. I love this country!

ibro247
ibro247

The article is about the trend of Americans' appetite for big homes, and Chinga's response is quite relevant and within the context of the writer's premise. I don't understand how much relevance “America being the richest nation in the world” bears to the individual consumer's penchant for expensive-to-maintain homes. Still, the accuracy of your assertion is in question. What economic indices are you looking at? Yes, we have the biggest economy. Yet, we are not on the list of the world’s top 5 richest countries (per capita income). While Qatar’s GDP (in terms of PPP) is estimated to be about $88K, we come six steps behind with about $47K. On the global pay scale for wage earners, we are #4.

ibro247
ibro247

GraceToday:

The article is about the trend of Americans' appetite for big homes, and Chinga's response is quite relevant and within the context of the writer's premise. I don't understand how much relevance “America being the richest nation in the world” bears to the individual consumer's penchant for expensive-to-maintain homes. Still, the accuracy of your assertion is in question. What economic indices are you looking at? Yes, we have the biggest economy. Yet, we are not on the list of the world’s top 5 richest countries (per capita income). While Qatar’s GDP (in terms of PPP) is estimated to be about $88K, we come six steps behind with about $47K. On the global pay scale for wage earners, we are #4.

Comparing the U.S. with India, China, Qatar and the UAE is like comparing an apple with oranges. Yet, the costs of maintaining homes in those countries are significantly lower than in the U.S.

We invented the information superhighway and have unbridled access to facts, yet we allow ourselves to be misinformed by politicians and corporations through media propaganda, which has mentally enslaved us to the system. For most of us, the world begins and ends in America.

Yes, I agree with Chinga – we are ignorant. But I think ”fat” and “greedy” are a little over the top.

Be that as it may, America remains the most diverse nation on earth (by all standards) and the land that offers the most opportunities. I love this country!

JHCover
JHCover

I think you're missing Chinga Tu Madre's point.  We may still be, statistically, the "richest" country in the world, but average incomes have been steadily decreasing, the cost of living is skyrocketing, millions are unemployed, and we've spent a generation out-sourcing jobs galore.  Building new McMansions is indulging in the reckless fantasy that we, as a nation, still have the economic power we once had.  We don't, and these McMansions are part of the problem,  because when we hide inside them, we hide from the dire realities of our own economic situation.

ibro247
ibro247

The article is about the trend of Americans' appetite for big homes, and Chinga's response is quite relevant and within the context of the writer's premise. I don't understand how much relevance “America being the richest nation in the world” bears to the individual consumer's penchant for expensive-to-maintain homes. Still, the accuracy of your assertion is in question. What economic indices are you looking at? Yes, we have the biggest economy. Yet, we are not on the list of the world’s top 5 richest countries (per capita income). While Qatar’s GDP (in terms of PPP) is estimated to be about $88K, we come six steps behind with about $47K. On the global pay scale for wage earners, we are #4.

Comparing the U.S. with India, China, Qatar and the UAE is like comparing an apple with oranges. Yet, the costs of maintaining homes in those countries are significantly lower than in the U.S.

We invented the information superhighway and have unbridled access to facts, yet we allow ourselves to be misinformed by politicians and corporations through media propaganda, which has mentally enslaved us to the system. For most of us, the world begins and ends in America.

Yes, I agree with Chinga – we are ignorant. But I think ”fat” and “greedy” are a little over the top.

Be that as it may, America remains the most diverse nation on earth (by all standards) and the land that offers the most opportunities. I love this country!

ibro247
ibro247

The article is about the trend of Americans' appetite for big homes, and Chinga's response is quite relevant and within the context of the writer's premise. I don't understand how much relevance “America being the richest nation in the world” bears to the individual consumer's penchant for expensive-to-maintain homes. Still, the accuracy of your assertion is in question. What economic indices are you looking at? Yes, we have the biggest economy. Yet, we are not on the list of the world’s top 5 richest countries (per capita income). While Qatar’s GDP (in terms of PPP) is estimated to be about $88K, we come six steps behind with about $47K. On the global pay scale for wage earners, we are #4.

Comparing the U.S. with India, China, Qatar and the UAE is like comparing an apple with oranges. Yet, the costs of maintaining homes in those countries are significantly lower than in the U.S.

We invented the information superhighway and have unbridled access to facts, yet we allow ourselves to be misinformed by politicians and corporations through media propaganda, which has mentally enslaved us to the system. For most of us, the world begins and ends in America.

Yes, I agree with Chinga – we are ignorant. But I think ”fat” and “greedy” are a little over the top.

Be that as it may, America remains the most diverse nation on earth (by all standards) and the land that offers the most opportunities. I love this country!

ibro247
ibro247

The article is about the trend of Americans' appetite for big homes, and Chinga's response is quite relevant and within the context of the writer's premise. I don't understand how much relevance “America being the richest nation in the world” bears to the individual consumer's penchant for expensive-to-maintain homes. Still, the accuracy of your assertion is in question. What economic indices are you looking at? Yes, we have the biggest economy. Yet, we are not on the list of the world’s top 5 richest countries (per capita income). While Qatar’s GDP (in terms of PPP) is estimated to be about $88K, we come six steps behind with about $47K. On the global pay scale for wage earners, we are #4.

Comparing the U.S. with India, China, Qatar and the UAE is like comparing an apple with oranges. Yet, the costs of maintaining homes in those countries are significantly lower than in the U.S.

We invented the information superhighway and have unbridled access to facts, yet we allow ourselves to be misinformed by politicians and corporations through media propaganda, which has mentally enslaved us to the system. For most of us, the world begins and ends in America.

Yes, I agree with Chinga – we are ignorant. But I think ”fat” and “greedy” are a little over the top.

Be that as it may, America remains the most diverse nation on earth (by all standards) and the land that offers the most opportunities. I love this country!

Talendria
Talendria

I don't think you've considered the financial ripple effect of an opulent home:  furniture, draperies, wall coverings, artwork, light fixtures, rugs, electronics, home maintenance, landscaping...  That's a lot of economic stimulus, and most of it benefits the local community.  It's easy to resent people who buy large homes because they seem to be flaunting their wealth, but would you rather they bought a smaller home and sent their excess funds to the Caymans?  

Most Americans claim to hate socialism while secretly despising anyone who has more wealth than they do.  It's hypocritical.

bdivad
bdivad

 I'm sure among the 1%, too, but they maybe do a better job of covering it up from the 99%.

Gentler_Reader
Gentler_Reader

 America didn't get to where it is by being modest, Earl? Tell me, where is America, exactly? Is it where we want to be?

bdivad
bdivad

Uh, Earl, they way you sound, I would guess you must be trolling. I hope so, because otherwise, well, then you know you sound like a you know what. (I believe you're the first person here who has mentioned "trailer parks" as being the alternative to "McMansions" -- you certainly didn't read anything I wrote remotely close to that -- but I also would say that America has plenty of people who deserve much better housing than they now have ... and that does not equate to McMansions that are destructive of many American values, including the value of doing what is best for the common good.)