The McMansion Age Ends

Good news for the average Decatur home owner.

More similar Trulia “infographics” HERE!

h/t: CNBC: Death of the McMansion

27 thoughts on “The McMansion Age Ends”


  1. Actually, I think house prices are finally going down in Decatur regardless of size and regardless of what we’re hearing from real estate agents. I’m not disputing their statistics but they may be out of date. I just saw a flyer for a house for sale on Coventry for something like $350,000, maybe even less. I haven’t seen a price under $400,000 in that part of town for several years. I’m sure it’s not a McMansion but nonetheless everything was selling high around here even a half year ago. I know this is a “right-sizing” that had to happen and I’m glad for folks breaking into the market but I’m mourning my delusions of great wealth with no effort other than sitting on my property!

    1. Yes, I’ve been giving some thought to moving to a slightly bigger house in Decatur, and I was disappointed to see our current home estimate on Zillow. Not sure how accurate the estimate is (i.e does it take into account the nuances of City of Decatur vs. unincorporated DeKalb), but I think the general downward trend is accurate. On the upside, it should mean that our future home would be more affordable, but it’s still hard to stomach the thought of leaving our current home with little or no equity (other than down payment and mortgage paydown) after many, many years of lovingly maintaining and improving the property. sigh. At least we are nowhere close to upside down like many Americans, though!

      Out of curiosity, I also pulled a few random suburban Atlanta values (the better high school districts in East Cobb). Their home values continued to increase during the same time period. Granted, they had lost some value from the peak of the market, and their annual % increases had slowed down significantly in the past few years. But, overall they had not lost any value over the last 6-7 years and were still increasing at a reasonable annual rate even in the current market. Granted, my sample size was quite small, so maybe I just pulled the few exceptions to the rule. However, it did cause me to question whether the intown housing boom has come to an end and whether my suburban family members made much better home investments than me!

  2. I have seen 10-15 % cuts in sell prices for the downtown condos, though there aren’t a lot available. I believe prices are still too high though. Im thinking there is at least another 10% to go.
    Trulia runs about 2-3 months behind recent sales from what I’ve heard.

  3. That’s kinda unfortunate…I’ll miss the way the self-rightous hipsters seethe when they utter the word ‘McMansion’.

  4. Something I’ve never heard explained is why the term “McMansion.” Is it because they are big but cheaply made? Or is it because people with relatively low paying jobs could buy them thanks to lax lending requirements?

    1. For me the connotation has always been about how they were produced and sold by the billions, as it seemed. As opposed to a truly great, one of a kind, custom built house.
      What mystified me about them was the expense. Not the purchase price, but heating, cooling, and furnishing all those rooms.

      1. My aunt used to live in one and after my uncle died she closed off all the rooms in the house except for the bedroom, kitchen, and living room. This was a 6 bedroom house and she lived alone. The power bill in the summer was nearly as much as her social security check. So whenever I think of “mcmansions” I think of a sad widow closing off all those rooms. (She eventually sold and bought a mobile home on some lake property).

        1. That’s a poignant image, Brianc. The smaller, lakeside house sounds like she made a good move.

    2. I always thought it was because of the homogeneity of architectural design.

      What’s the name for all the oversized cookie-cutter bungalows that have popped up in recent years…McBungsions?

      1. “McBungsions”? Ohhhhh, my…I almost choked on my tea! Just overlook me– my mind’s obviously in the sewer this morning.

      2. My friend calls them “McCraftsmen”, which I think is pretty apt. Of course, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to own one…

    3. Coming in late on this one– I’d read somewhere that the term meant huge cookie-cutter houses on pocket handkerchief-sized lots (or in infills that overwhelmed the smaller houses in the rest of the neighborhood). I think it’s like porn– hard to define exactly, but you know it when you see it.

            1. Yes, I’m well aware of who he was– I was asking chad which Mapplethorpe he was talking about. RM shot hundreds of portraits, still lifes, and naturescapes that had nary a nalga in them (not that nudity itself is inherently pornographic).

    1. lol, hadn’t heard that one. have heard “clutter homes” (referring to what were marketed as “cluster homes”). I also have always associated “McMansion” with mass-produced, cookie-cutter, aesthetically unimaginative, socially short-sighted/narrow-sighted, and environmentally irresponsible. BTW, I’m not being judgmental of individuals who purchase or live in such homes, but of our collective bumble in letting our housing stock and residence patterns evolve that way.

  5. Cuba, thanks to you and the urban dictionary I now know the meaning of nalgas. And the Mapplethorpes I was referring to involved bull whips and, well, nalgas.

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