OT - I don't _hate_ McMansions

Dave Smith dave at thesmithfam.org
Thu Jun 19 16:34:17 MDT 2008

Bryan Sant wrote:
> Seems like the market is bearing this strategy.  If perspective home
> owners began to pass up these homes due to the lack of lot size, then
> developers would get the message and subdivide with larger lots.  Some
> developers do actually do this, but the most do not, because the
> majority of home buyers clearly don't care.

I surmise that this hasn't happened because Utah's population is growing 
so fast. Demand has more than kept up with supply so developers get to 
"have their way" with the lots and landscape. I anticipate this to be 
the trend for the near- to medium-term. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing 
with what anyone has said on the topic -- just offering an explanation.

> Or buyers could self-regulate and not purchase a home with an
> unattractive community landscape, and then complain about the fact
> later.

If you're buying a new home today, you don't have a choice. This is 
partly because of developer choice, but mostly because pretty much every 
tree along the Wasatch front was planted by humans. As a result, the 
only mature trees in the state exist only in older neighborhoods. 
Daybreak is poised to change this since every house has at least two 
maple or sycamore trees in front (most lot sizes are still too small for 
my cup of 1/4 acre decaff though).

> 1) Laws are passed in Utah that no lot may be smaller than 1 acre, no
> trees may be bulldozed, and no hill may be flattened.
> 2) The cost of building a new home skyrockets.  The raw lot is more
> expensive, more curb, more pipe, more wire, more grass seed, etc.
> 3) The cost to buy a new home skyrockets to cover the new expense, so
> drastically fewer homes are sold.
> 4) Average families can't afford a stand-alone home so they end up
> buying a townhome/condo instead.
> ...
> ...
> 10) Nuclear holocaust

You forgot: 11) Profit.

> Why not just buy in a city or community that has current rules on the
> books that meet your requirements without imposing those restrictions
> on me or anyone else who wants an affordable house firstly and a big
> lot secondly?

Because such a city does not exist in Utah for the reasons I outlined 
above. Bummer, eh? Check out North Carolina: Lots of inexpensive 
beautiful real estate. Try Charlottesville or the tri-city area (Red Hat 
is hiring in Raleigh, I believe).


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