The McMansion craze seems to be over in the Dallas market. There is still a healthy demand for new homes in desirable neighborhoods, but the attitude of the buyer is changing. Today’s homebuyer is more conservative. They are more conservative with their finances, but also with perceptions. Today it doesn’t seem to be “chic” to have the biggest house on the street, prudence seems to be more esteemed than pretense. Lower energy bills are more desirable than two story foyers and spiraling staircases. However, the idea of living in the suburbs and expending time and resources on a long commute doesn’t seem as practical or as socially acceptable either. Our value systems are changing once again, with the economic recession an attitude of getting back to the basics prevails. We long for simpler times, bigger back yards and homes that are livable not just a statement to our prosperity. We value time with our kids more than time at the office. Today, time spent on the tollway is viewed as not only a waste or time, but a waste of resources.
At True North Custom Homes we are seeing a trend of homebuyers deciding to invest in homes that are smaller, energy efficient and well designed. These homes are being built in established neighborhoods that are, well, quaint. They remind us our childhood. The streets are wide and less traveled. The trees are mature, the homes actually have front yards! We are building homes that are prestigious, but not pretentious. These homes are designed to add value to the neighborhood, not detract like many of the McMansions ultimately do.
The concept of tearing down old homes and building new homes would be better received if the new homes didn’t dwarf the old ones. Everyone realizes we are facing a problem with aging homes. Many of these homes were simply not designed or built to last the test of time. With the rising cost of utilities and the focus on conservation tearing these environmentally unfriendly homes down and building new homes that use less energy is an attractive option. However, the environmentally conscious homebuyer must be careful that they do not cancel out their positive addition to the environment by replacing a 4000 square foot home with an 8000 square foot home. Even if you slash your utility cost in half with a new home, you have offset the savings if you overbuild.
There are many reasons to build a new home, conserving energy is now at the top of the list, but it should not be done at the expense of the neighborhood. By choosing a home site that is large enough to accommodate the home that meets your needs with out the majority of the living space being on the second floor and it’s possible to have a wonderful new home in Dallas that isn’t a McMansion! You’ll love it and the neighbors will love you. If you are set on living in the Park Cities it’s going to be difficult (or expensive) to accomplish the goal of building a new home that isn’t a McMansion. If you are interested in finding a lot that will actually have more square footage than your home, there are many wonderful neighborhoods to choose from. A great tip is to go to GoogleMaps and look for areas that have winding streets and big lots. You’ll be surprised at some of the jewels that are right under your nose. Wonderful neighborhoods like Northwood Hills, Prestonwood, Bent Tree, Melshire Estates and even Canyon Creek (Richardson)
It is possible to have a beautiful, energy efficient, new home in an established neighborhood. Let’s build homes that add value to the neighborhood, instead of detracting from it.
Is this the end of McMansions? Probably not. But, it’s nice to know that there are options and that homebuyers are trending towards pleasing aesthetics in lieu of pretentious statements.
True North Custom Homes