The McMansion – the small idea with the big cost

Australian houses are very big. Since overtaking the US in the 1990s, Australian house sizes have consistently outpaced those of every other country: in 2009, one average Australian house (214m2) could fit almost three average UK houses (76m2) inside of it. Whilst we may have been recently overtaken by the US, and now have only the second-largest houses in the world, over-sized houses – rather than large lot-sizes – have become characteristic of Australian suburbia. The rise of the big, multi-roomed house in Australia – or the ‘McMansion’ to use the American term – has changed the landscape of our suburbs, and the quality of suburban family life.

McMansions are not just maligned for their size, as US sociologist Brian Miller notes in reviewing McMansion descriptions in the popular US media. Miller finds that since the term became popularised in the 1990s, it has been commonly used to imply three additional criticisms beyond simply large dimensions. First, the relative size of the house matters. Replacing a ‘teardown’ with a house disproportionately bigger than those around it “appears to dwarf its land footprint,” and can ruin an existing community’s character, devalue older homes, and simply look wrong “like steroid-stoked biceps on a skinny teen.” Second, McMansions are characterised as aesthetically ugly. On the one hand they are criticised for too little diversity when they are churned out as standardised mass-produced housing: “Instead of stimulating your imagination, the typical McMansion simply deadens your senses.” On the other, they are criticised for too much diversity when the architectural styles on a given street, or even on a single house, are haphazard, incoherent, and jumbled: “Because of its architectural pastiche, the McMansion can be seen as not being “authentic” or is viewed as a caricature.” Third, they are seen as a symbol for more complex issues, including urban sprawl, status-seeking, and excessive consumption. When linked to the proliferation of mega shopping malls, fast-food restaurants, and big cars, their excessiveness has been equated to fast-food: “These stores offer the gastronomic equivalent of McMansions, and show our kids that wasting food (and blowing cash) is all part of family fun.”

This last quality in particular raises the issue of how McMansions change the social landscape: as one of Miller’s paper’s quips: “The McMansion is both pretentious and isolated, an island in a sea of strangers and cars.” Is the rise of such big houses reflecting a desire for private space in an increasingly paranoid suburbia? As captured in the recent ABC documentary ‘Streets of your Town’, voluminous houses now serve as place for our kids to play ‘safely’ inside rather than on the street. Decks and pizza ovens are replacing grassy backyards, traditionally oriented to gardening and child play, and are increasingly used for entertaining select friends privately at home (rather than having to meet our neighbours publicly in the street). And an increasing number of people, particularly retirees, live in gated communities. Jacek Tittenbrun notes that gated communities now comprise 1/3 of all housing construction in the US, and house 1/6 of the US population.

The pursuit of bigger, more private houses has almost certainly impacted on what is arguably the biggest social issue for mainstream middle-class Australia today – housing affordability. With house prices sky rocketing in Australia, and housing debt steadily rising, a report by Jean-Frances Kelly of the Grattan Institute shows that younger people are less likely to own a home than at any time in the last twenty years. At the same time, the proportion of renters in Australia is rising, though legal protections for Australian renters are amongst the most basic of any OECD countries.

It seems a large gap is opening up between the older owners of the large McMansions on the city fringes, and the younger renters clustered in the inner city, working to save an increasingly unrealistic deposit for the most basic of houses. The Grattan Institute report identifies that house size IS a factor in unaffordability in advocating (amongst a host of other changes) for the replacement of stamp duty with land taxThey argue that the former policy encourages people to buy big and then never downsize, while the latter encourages people to use the space they have, or else move without penalty.

Maybe its time for big ideas about thinking small?

#S208UOW17 #Tut8

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39 Comments

  1. Miller’s critique of ‘McMansions’ interestingly enough applies to a new development currently in construction in Gerringong. Those interested can can read the details of it here: http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4613358/fury-at-million-dollar-soul-crime/?cs=2452.

    Essentially, the home being built bears all the hallmark traits of a ‘McMansion’ that miller outlines. Residents claim it’s ruining the existing communities character, it’s aesthetically ugly, and it simply looks out of place. There’s also concerns over whether or not the Indigenous community was consulted thoroughly enough in the early stages of planning, as the home is being built on an area of cultural significance for Aboriginal people.

    It made me wonder if this is a sign of the future to come for McMansions. Are we going to see further resistance to them in the future? And will developments such as this one face increased council scrutiny in the stages of planning?

    #SOC208UOW17 #Wed2:30 #TUT8

    • I find this an interesting and relevant example, which similarly could be related to the issues surrounding the construction of the Dunmore Mansion. I believe such structures (such as these two examples) will face further resistance in the future, particularly when there mere size has damaging effects from varying perspectives. #SOC208UOW17 #Tut8 #Mon1130

  2. The suburbs was an interesting topic this week because of the relevance that topic had to Australia, because Australia is the most suburban nation in the world. The reading this week was interesting because it informed about the reasoning behind the creation of suburbs and then talked about how the suburbs were failing and needed to change to fit Australia’s changing society. Sprawling suburbs have always been an example of how prosperous Australia was as a country. The frontier for young Australians was low-density suburbs that surrounded our coastal cities. Now the suburban way of life, that has for so long defined Australia, is being challenged. Melbourne and Sydney are now planning more compact, higher density cities that are already serviced by public transport.
    Australia’s suburban sprawl is a luxury that is not environmentally or economically friendly. Suburbs are no longer affordable or desirable. The Australian suburbs were created because the colonial government wanted to ensure that the mistakes of the old world were not recreated in the new world. The Suburbs were designed to be open, clean, natural, orderly and healthy. Their appeal was reinforced through the great contemporary movements of that time, Evangelicalism, the Romantic Movement, the public health movement and the class struggle. “The suburban idea was the product of an era when religious, aesthetic, scientific and social ideals combined to create a distinct semi-rural zone, set against the city.” (Davison, 2012). The suburb has always been a compromise between city and country, and as Australia’s cities and countries change so will the suburbs.
    #S208UOW17 #Mon1130 #Tut8

    • I find it very interesting that suburbs were created as a healthy, safe and boring idea and have now become detrimental and causing economic and environmental effects on Australia through the use of water supply for the large back yard pools and green lawns we have and the large garages which hold the cars contributing to higher fossil fuels as mentioned by Davison (2012)
      #S208UOW17 #Mon1130 #Tut8

    • I love that you have highlighted Australian suburbs being a place for luxury, I feel like this is a perfect representation of the rise of McMansions in Australia

      #S208UOW17 #tut8 #mon1130

  3. It is evident that as the years progress, housing and property blocks are changing drastically in constrast to the housing Australians would have typically occupied last century. With the average family size within Australia dropping in the last 50 years, and with divorce rates rising, the stereotypical family of 4-5 members is becoming increasingly rare and as a result, larger houses and properties are not necessary. It is interesting how the Australian households are replacing grassy backyards with pizza ovens and outdoor deck areas, as I kid I remember growing up with a huge grassy backyard with plenty of space to play with my siblings. Could the rise of technology be a factor as to why houses are beginning to have less grassy backyards? The popularity of apartments/town houses and units are also rising, due to families more commonly having less than 4 family members, this is a cheaper alternative to houses. Due to factors such as suburban sprawl, and the affordability of houses, cities and surburbia is becoming far more dense, somewhat packing people into homes within small areas, while the prices rise.

    #S208UOW2017 #TUT8 #MON1130

    • I think the rise of technology along with increased suburban density, for example Melbourne’s Caroline Springs as outlined in the essential reading, has created the effect of less “grassy” homes. While kids do prefer to spend their spare time on technology there is no longer room for a large backyard. Additionally, the increased density has not created a shift from children playing in the backyard to the front due to the subsequent fears for safety and privacy. Consequently changing the entire atmosphere of suburbia as we knew it.

      #S208UOW2017 #Mon1630 #Tut8

    • It is interesting the link you make between your childhood and the suburbs, you mention playing on the grassy lawns but this is a factor that Davison (2012) says has made the suburbs detrimental and each home owner takes pride in the appearance of their house and the bright green grass lawn at the front of it which requires maintaining with water, this leads to high water consumption.
      #S208UOW17 #Mon1130 #Tut8

    • Interesting point, I think there are a large number of factors at play which impact this change.. I don’t feel children today get to enjoy sibling play like we did, rather getting given an ipad and sent for inside play

      #S208UOW17 #tut8 #mon1130

  4. The concept of McMansions and the impacts they have on the surrounding community is particularly interesting. I agree with Miller’s critiques about the ‘teardown’ changing a communities character and drawing the houses around it. Personally, I enjoy seeing small old houses lining suburban streets as it is interesting and has a certain character and warmth that massive houses on with no surrounding land just don’t seem to have. There is nothing worse than seeing them next to a multiple storey home. However, I think another interesting point to bring up is the rise of small apartments in the middle suburbia. Like McMansions, they dwarf the surrounding houses, alter the character of the street and just look out of place in general with their excessive size. There appears to be little consideration to a community as a whole anymore with people more concerned about creating and owning their own little slices of paradise to come home to and show off. It will certainly be interesting to see the changing shape of Australian suburbs in the future whether it is positive or negative.

    #S208UOW2017 #Mon1130 #Tut8

  5. As a young person in the era of McMansions, I continually see my ability of owning my own home in the future dwindling away. Instead of people building the basic shell of a home and letting the home grow with the family via the odd extension and compromise, people now desire to build a house, fit with everything anyone possibly needs and more.

    As the reading ‘Suburbs’ suggests, the old suburban characteristics of peace and privacy are becoming blended with the sophisticated lifestyle of the inner city, McMansions providing clear evidence of this. Thus are we not only seeing rise in McMansions but the decline of “suburbia” all together?
    #S208UOW2017 #Mon1630 #Tut8

  6. Are we supposed to hate McMansion? There are benefits too
    McMansions are commonly viewed as too large and ugly in their design (Miller 2012, p.1102) but is this aspect true to all McMansions? The desire for the McMansion was the need to escape the poverty that was seen in cities; thus, suburbia and McMansions was developed (Miller 2012, p.1095). There was also the view that larger houses will accommodate the family better. The author of the article stop demonising
    McMansions makes a valid point with the McMansions in Kellyville west of Sydney. The dwellings she highlights are of a good design which make good use of small sites to build a house that has the appeal of McMansions but also allows the space for family, to connect with one another but also have their own space.
    Furthermore, McMansions also have positive impacts on the urban renewal of an area as it allows for reduction, in urban sprawl by using the method of an infil approach of tearing down an obsolete house and recycling the land to create a house that can revitalise a suburb (Miller 2012; Nasar et al 2007). There are also negative aspects to McMansions such as elitism and the poor use of space in houses as seen in the lecture of unused formal lounge room. However, I put to you why can’t we achieve this dream of large houses with more than three bedrooms but we use the space of the land more effectively. This could be done by limiting the land size and through restrictions placed on builders like the US example. Also, what could make McMansions more sustainable would be to utilise all spaces in the house and not have unused rooms. This would assist with using the small space of land well but also have a larger house but only have what is necessary.

    #S208UOW17 #Tut1 #Mon1630

    • You do make a lot of good points about the benefits of McMansions. Especially how they can have a positive impact on urban renewal. However my personal criticisms of McMansions is how out of place they can seem. Say for example you have a neighbourhood with older yet still aesthetically pleasing houses and someone comes in and builds what we call a McMansion. It would not fit and could possibly ruin the value of the neighbourhood. Do you think that there should be any preventative measures to stop people doing this or maybe some limitations in the design of the house? I suppose you could still build a big house but make it look similar to the other houses in the neighbourhood.
      #S208UOW17#Mon1130#Tut8

      • To extend on this, I think we’re seeing a lot of communities being started from scratch with almost exclusively McMansions in them as well. For example, Shell Cove and Calderwood Valley (new estates in the Illawarra) are being presented as places to build dream homes and to live in a picture perfect community.

        Why are places like these so popular? Why do we not want to buy into existing communities and existing homes first? Perhaps it’s all about the marketing. I don’t think there should be preventative measures put in place for design, but perhaps placement of the home is the issue.

        #S208UOW17#WED1430#Tut8

  7. As a person who is living in the so called McMansion, from an Asia perspective. I have to agree with the idea that McMasion enforces the idea of status seeking, strip down diversity and prevent certain groups of people. However, a group of McMansion surburbia could create a sense of community, though might not hold positive meaning since the community is exclusive. When it comes down to interactions among citizens of McMansion, I have seen relationship being established which can include business transaction as well as normal friendships. As the area I’m living in is design to not only house high-status residents, they are designed to let them interact with each other through puplic areas (parks, recreational classes, etc.,) as well as high rise apartments for people who have lower income. To sum it up, I think that McMansion itself shouldn’t be at fault for all the shown problems. We should take city planning, as well as cultural background into consideration as it could create very different identity for McMansion.

    #S208UOW2017 #Mon1630 #Tut8

    • McMansions are constantly being shamed and have incredible amounts of negative backlash in terms of how they shape communities and suburbs. So, I find it quite interesting to see different your perception is on McMansions. It’s important to take note of the positives of McMansions, especially through a different cultural outlook. Imagine if all our suburbs were characterised by high rise apartments? Australian’s would lack a severe amount of social interaction and our social capital would also be greatly effected. There are always bad yet good sides to all aspects of everyday life, it’s important to take it all into consideration.
      #S208UOW17 #Tut8 #Wed1430

  8. As a person who is living in a so-called McMansion in Asia, from an Asian perspective, I have to agree with some of the shown problems that McMansion can possess. McMansion can enforce exclusivity and prevent certain people from entering the area (i.e: people who have smaller income), it represents status and strips down diversity. However, when it come to term with community and family building, I have a different experience. The McMasion have spaces for people to interact with each other and connect multiple generations of family as an extended family is the cultural foundation of Asian culture. Furthermore, since the area where I live provies spaces for social interactions such as puplic parks, recreational and fitness classes, cultural weekends, etc,. there are potential of relationships to arise ranging from business to just casual friendships. To sum it up, I personally think McMansion is not to blame for all the above problems. We should take cultural background as well as city planning into consideration when making an objective judgement.

    #S208UOW2017 #Mon1130 #Tut8

  9. As a person who is living in a so-called McMansion in Asia, from an Asian perspective, I have to agree with some of the shown problems that McMansion can possess. McMansion can enforce exclusivity and prevent certain people from entering the area (i.e: people who have smaller income), it represents status and strips down diversity. However, when it come to term with community and family building, I have a different experience. The McMasion have spaces for people to interact with each other and connect multiple generations of family as an extended family is the cultural foundation of Asian culture. Furthermore, since the area where I live provies spaces for social interactions such as puplic parks, recreational and fitness classes, cultural weekends, etc,. there are potential of relationships to arise ranging from business to just casual friendships. To sum it up, I personally think McMansion is not to blame for all the above problems. We should take cultural background as well as city planning into consideration when making an objective judgement.

    #S208UOW17 #Tut1 #Mon1630

  10. The term of the McMansion and how they have affected our communities over the past 30 years is interesting. When driving down a street you can see and compare the houses that have been knocked down and rebuilt in comparison to the older houses that still have a lot more smaller structure. I don’t think the size of the house has any reflection on whether or not the families interact or the children play in or outside more often, because in todays society the influence of technology is going to affect people and how they interact in a small or large house. Having personally grown up in a larger house than most others I still remember playing outside in the backyard with my bothers and sisters. I think larger houses just give people a bit more personal space on the inside, which is not a bad thing considering that a lot University students still live at home and need that personal space to be able to concentrate on studying. In my opinion I don’t think that the size of the house has changed the relationships and communication between people

    #S208 #tut8 #mon1130

  11. The article ‘suburbs’ explores the characteristics of suburbia acknowledging the relaxed lifestyle along with privacy and the intertwining relationship it now has with inner city dwellings. The McMansion is the prime example of this alteration to our suburban living. However, is the concept and “love” for the McMansion slowly diminishing and are other alternatives slowly but surely emerging? From a personal perspective, the idea of ‘tiny houses’ is a strong card that my partner and I plan on investing in. With rental prices sky rocketing and the thought of even buying a house with basic necessities being something rarely considered for our generation, the option of the tiny house is a smart one. The overall average cost of a tiny home is around $32,000 in total! This way of living is sustainable, affordable and practical, and we can all be homeowners free of mortgage! However, given that not all individuals would enjoy this way of living, the problem with McMansions and suburbia will still continue on. Maybe the idea of a tiny home is something you’d never thought of? Why not?

    #S208UOW17 #Tut8 #Mon1130

  12. This topic of McMansions is particularly interesting I find, since as others have stated, there is a strong link between these and the Australian market, as Australia is the most suburbanised country in the world. Also as a millennial in this century, I also feel that the prospect of me eventually owning my own house is an idea that is slowing fading from reality. I find it interesting how Miller pointed out that people believe pulling down an old building and putting one that is much too big to fit in with the rest of the neighbourhood was actually a good point. Sometimes there are buildings that just don’t look like they belong. The aspect of fear among people is increasing these urban McMansions as parents are afraid for their children to be playing in the street or down at the local park, therefore building houses that are large enough for them to play inside as well.
    #S208UOW17 #Tut8 #Mon1130

  13. The topic of McMansions in Australia is intriguing as I am someone who has never left Australia so to learn that the suburban life in other countries may be different due to their smaller housing is really interesting. As a young adult I am always looking into the prices of houses and it seems unachievable for a first homebuyer, and even worse for one who is already renting. This is what forces the rental market to increase and for youth to be living in cramped small spaces in the city rather than family homes in the suburbs. Living in Wollongong I have seen the effects of house prices in the city and outer suburbs of Sydney as North Wollongong is now seeing an increase in prices as the area is highly popular for those wanting more affordable McMansions and living as close to the city as they can for work. The suburban areas of Australia are fighting for more land, which is solved by filling blocks of land with large houses and leaving little private outdoor space. Grassed areas are replaced with pavers and decking for ease of maintenance and entertaining but compromising a child’s space for outdoor activities and exercise. Davison (2012), however, argues that this suburban sprawl will not be afforded and the future of Australia is for families to be living in apartments. This is due to environmental and economic factors.

  14. The topic of McMansions in Australia is intriguing as I am someone who has never left Australia so to learn that the suburban life in other countries may be different due to their smaller housing is really interesting. As a young adult I am always looking into the prices of houses and it seems unachievable for a first homebuyer, and even worse for one who is already renting. This is what forces the rental market to increase and for youth to be living in cramped small spaces in the city rather than family homes in the suburbs. Living in Wollongong I have seen the effects of house prices in the city and outer suburbs of Sydney as North Wollongong is now seeing an increase in prices as the area is highly popular for those wanting more affordable McMansions and living as close to the city as they can for work. The suburban areas of Australia are fighting for more land, which is solved by filling blocks of land with large houses and leaving little private outdoor space. Grassed areas are replaced with pavers and decking for ease of maintenance and entertaining but compromising a child’s space for outdoor activities and exercise. Davison (2012), however, argues that this suburban sprawl will not be afforded and the future of Australia is for families to be living in apartments. This is due to environmental and economic factors.

    #S208UOW17 #Tut8 #Mon1130

    • Like Daivson wrote in ‘Suburbs’ suburban housing is becoming both economically and environmentally unaffordable. Interesting what you said about housing in the Wollongong region in particular, back in 2013 a Shellhabour councilwomen Kellie Marsh suggested that tiny houses, for example ones made form shipping containers, could be the solution to the Illawara’s housing crisis. They are almost the opposite of McMansions, small, sustainable, and affordable, but could they ever catch on?

      #S208UOW17 #tut8 #Mon1630

  15. I agree with the idea that Australians are fighting for more land to build houses on, which are full of everything they need and want. I live in Kiama and since living therefor the last 15 years, it has continued to grow with more and more extended suburbs like communities developing. Houses are growing in sizes and backyards are stinking, becoming pavers rather then grass. What was once a small coastal town is becoming a bigger town with extended suburban town.

  16. A McMansion is defined as a large modern house that is considered ostentatious and lacking in architectural integrity. I agree with Miller’s critiques about replacing ‘tear downs’ with larger, disproportioned houses, creating the idea of ‘dwarf-like’ homes around it. As a result of this action, community character is most definitely tarnished or changed collectively.
    I personally believe that there is a greater desire for personal entertainment spaces, where homeowners can create a comfortable and hospitable home, guest to friends and family. However, I do believe this atmosphere can be created within smaller space, supporting the statement that McMansions ‘deaden your senses’ through their lack of diversity.
    With housing inflation through the roof, it is most definitely a difficult task to save the money needed for a stealthy house deposit in today’s society. My sister and her partner are currently saving to purchase a home of their own however, are finding it extensively difficult regardless of the fact that they both work in qualified full time occupations. They don’t desire anything large or complex, just a simple space that they can create a home amongst filled with memories.
    In saying this, I believe it is most definitely time to begin thinking large about the smaller, more creative spaces that can be inducted through our many Australian suburban communities.
    #S208UOW17 #Tut8 #Mon1630

    • It is in fact these smaller spaces within society that aren’t being utilized there full potential and because of this unwanted space is created if it has no purpose. A lot of these spaces become entertainment space which can be utilized by those who dwell either near or around them and with these ideals mentioned above and it is these smaller spaces that are disregarded over the larger ones which leave objectified reasons into why this is so.

  17. The single family home was a common dream shared by many people from the mid-twentieth century onwards. A number of studies have been conducted to analyse what houses mean and symbolise. Following the expansion of suburbia, houses have become larger and modern leading to the term,’ McMansions’. This topic has greatly been explored in Australia, given the fact that Australian ideals are heavily centred on the home. However with prices soaring in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, this dream of owning a home, let alone a McMansion seems quite a far-fetched for many, particularly young adults who live in those areas. I found it interesting in Miller’s article that McMansions in America has a negative stigma attached to them, as many of these homes are deemed oversized, poorly designed and expensive, with owners demanding ‘the best of the best’. This in turn led to negative connotations of elitism and class privilege amongst the lower classes of society. Also building a modern McMansion in an area that has many older heritage homes that are all similar in design, would not only make the house look out of place, but could possibly lower the value of the neighbourhood.

    #S208UOW17 #Tut1 #Mon1630

  18. There was a time when people built houses just for security. It didn’t matter whether or not the house was perfect just as long as families had a roof over their heads. Rooms may have had more than 2 kids sharing a room, kitchens may have been limited or outside with the toilet and there may or may not have been a proper dining room or lounge room. However, today more and more people dream of the right house, “McMansions” as they say. Many families wish to have a bedroom each for their children, multiple bathrooms and ensuites, a lounge room, an office, a large kitchen and dining room and even media rooms – but is it better? In my opinion, I believe this idea is coming about because of the increasing growth in technology. Instead of spending days together at the beach or in the park, families are sitting in their rooms or media rooms playing on Ipads, computers and play stations. Not only do I believe that this effects the relationship between family members as its not really considered to be spending quality time with each other but it is also is costing families a fortune.

    #S208UOW17 #TUT8 #MON1630

  19. As I am from a different culture, I have not understood the term Mcmansion until I learn what it is in the lecture. I have just thought that it is an Australian culture to live in big houses in the suburbs. Though it is a common trend and one of the cultural factors to live in Mcmansions, I have learned that it needs discussions. As Miller points out in his article that the Mcmansions are a home for the wealthy (2009, p. 1103) and that it can ruin a community’s character (p. 1100), this can be a social problem on distribution of wealth and destroy history of one city or town. Also, Mcmansion are built by the will of the house owner that can decrease the efficiency of the house. A house is too big to live for only four members of the family. Though the house should not be always efficient, lack of efficiency of using space be a waste. Economic issues rise with this context. In considering these issues, I agree that though the houses should not always be small, considering small houses and more efficient use of space is necessary.

  20. As I am from a different culture, I have not understood the term Mcmansion until I learn what it is in the lecture. I have just thought that it is an Australian culture to live in big houses in the suburbs. Though it is a common trend and one of the cultural factors to live in Mcmansions, I have learned that it needs discussions. As Miller points out in his article that the Mcmansions are a home for the wealthy (2009, p. 1103) and that it can ruin a community’s character (p. 1100), this can be a social problem on distribution of wealth and destroy history of one city or town. Also, Mcmansion are built by the will of the house owner that can decrease the efficiency of the house. A house is too big to live for only four members of the family. Though the house should not be always efficient, lack of efficiency of using space be a waste. Economic issues rise with this context. In considering these issues, I agree that though the houses should not always be small, considering small houses and more efficient use of space is necessary.

    #S208UOW17 #TUT8 #WED1430

  21. As society has progressed further and further over the years it is evident that the ideals of houses have changed from a small block of land to huge varieties of space. An example of this are McMansions which are leading astray the idea of a small block of land with a small family dwelling within it. As inner city trafficking increases so does the need for transport as well as housing for these people either moving in to work or moving in to stay. Prices have been skyrocketing over the years and for reasons that aren’t properly justified to say the least and because of this increase in value to houses or block of lands it is proving to be harder for young families or adults to buy homes at a young stage in life. Making them either rent a city apartment or live in town housing estates. Maybe if the prices were dropped or lowered more young Australians would be able to afford more houses and society could possibly move away from this high rise ideal that haunts our ever growing society.

    #S208UOW17 #TUT8 #WED1430

  22. The rise of McMansions have made it increasingly hard for younger Australians to achieve the ‘Great Australia Dream’. These McMansions have placed the importance on status as well as size as being the main components of what a house should be. Instead a home should be a place of security and act as sanctuary. There have completely changed the idea of what a house or home should be. How much futher will the development of these McMansion influence the Australia housing market?

  23. As Davison (2012, p.28) mentioned, living in a big house in suburbia is what Australian people have dreamed. Davison (2008, p.30) writes it was argued that the ideology of separate spheres is the problem. Then it led to supporting the policies of ‘urban consolidation’ to make cities livelier and more socialized. Thus, houses and life styles for Australian people have changed. Recently, McMansions is said to be trends of Australian suburbia. However, it is also reported that young people are less likely to afford to own a big house because of rising house prices. As Roger writes, what people think about their houses would be different between people who own McMansions in suburbia and young people who live in city areas. My impression is that McMansions are built in the residential area, and young people might prefer to live in the apartment house because of their financial reasons. In terms of considering house size, it would be difficult to live with a few people in a big house because it would be waste of space. In addition, people who clustered in the inner cities might have financial reasons.
    Therefore, in my opinion, building small houses for these people in the McMansions area, or using spaces more efficiently in other ways which don’t mar the landscape should be considered.

  24. As Davison (2012, p.28) mentioned, living in a big house in suburbia is what Australian people have dreamed. Davison (2008, p.30) writes it was argued that the ideology of separate spheres is the problem. Then it led to supporting the policies of ‘urban consolidation’ to make cities livelier and more socialized. Thus, houses and life styles for Australian people have changed. Recently, McMansions is said to be trends of Australian suburbia. However, it is also reported that young people are less likely to afford to own a big house because of rising house prices. As Roger writes, what people think about their houses would be different between people who own McMansions in suburbia and young people who live in city areas. My impression is that McMansions are built in the residential area, and young people might prefer to live in the apartment house because of their financial reasons. In terms of considering house size, it would be difficult to live with a few people in a big house because it would be waste of space. In addition, people who clustered in the inner cities might have financial reasons.
    Therefore, in my opinion, building small houses for these people in the McMansions area, or using spaces more efficiently in other ways which don’t mar the landscape should be considered.

    #S208UOW17 #Tut8 #Wed1430

  25. I think McMansions in suburbia are definitely a symbol of wealth and status and as has been stated before this is making it all the more difficult for young people to afford their own home. It is a sad reality that homes aren’t as often being seen as a place of comfort and security but rather an opportunity to show off your wealth and status. There are some people who are desperate for shelter and then there are others who live in multi-million dollar properties with marble and granite bench tops, thousand dollar appliances and drive expensive cars.

    McMansions should be available for those that can afford them however maybe they should only be built within certain areas, not in the middle of suburbs where working class people are struggling to afford the bare-minimum housing.

  26. I feel now like the idea of McMansions are to increase one’s status or image within society in contrast to building a home which will fulfill ones basic needs. For example why not add a pool and 4 ensuites into a home even if you can’t afford it (therefore adding these expenses onto the mortgage), because the bigger the house is the bigger your prestige is.

    I feel like today’s society has so much emphasis on what you have, and materialistic possessions, we don’t take time to sit back and appreciate what we have and be grateful for that.

    #S208UOW17 #tut8 #mon1130

  27. Suburbs are areas of popularity and luxury but there is little consideration for the community as a whole. There has been a great decrease in home ownership because the cost of living continuously rises. Only those who are wealthy are able to buy or build on their own little slices of paradise whilst many Australian’s live in smaller areas which tend to be overcrowded. Graeme Davison states that our sprawling nations are proof of our luck – As Roger states “”filled with inevitable granite counters, marble floors, and $5,000 refrigerators,” of the “the granite-­‐and-­‐stainless set,” … “an army of ‘upscale, seasoned, repeat buyers’ who would demand the best, the latest, the most expensive.”
    McMansions are show homes usually developed without the guidance of architectonical designs. They are seen as over-sized homes, poorly designed and exceptionally expensive. These are now seen in a lot of suburbs, where the wealthiest have the ability to “take over” and creating greater divides between the different classes.
    #S208UOW2017 #Mon1130 #Tut8

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