According to The Idaho Statesman, McMansions are on their way out. To this I say, “Good riddance!” For some reason, the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses mentality seems to have overridden common sense in the recent past with respect to home size. People believed they hadn’t made it unless they lived in 4000 square foot homes with vaulted ceilings. Whether the economy or greener values or a combination of the two have been responsible for the shift, the good news is that we are seeing a change.
Huge homes mean added expense. Upkeep runs much higher, as do utility bills. These too large homes are big polluters as well as space wasters. More people are realizing that they can be happy in much less space in part thanks to books like The Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka. This series of books helps people learn how to utilize fully the space they have. We don’t need bigger; we need better planning.
Locally, we still have a long way to go in embracing this smaller-can-be-better lifestyle choice. Although builders are building smaller homes in some price ranges, it is still nearly impossible to find small higher end homes. Builders will eventually realize that even people with the money for high end upgrades don’t necessarily want a bunch of extra space. Currently in Boise, anyone looking for a high-end, smaller home option is relegated to condo living or a custom build job. Hopefully, more people will get on the not-too-big bandwagon and options will expand to include reasonable sized, higher end single family houses.