Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Downsizing the Dream

Sarah Susanka starts off The Not So Big House with a story about a couple who came up to her after one of her lectures. They'd spent over $500,000 for a house that they hated. "All we've got is square footage with no soul," they said. Of course, the book is a few years old, or maybe they just didn't live in Chapel Hill. Either way, the price seems low for what they are describing.

In my neighborhood, the houses in a new development are priced upwards of $750,000. This one could be yours for $1.4 million.

But it has been on the market for over a year--possibly a sign of a trend indicating that more people are thinking like that couple that spoke with Susan Susanka. Says the Wall Street Journal,

The golden age of McMansions may be coming to an end. These oversized homes _ characterized by sprawling layouts on small lots, and built in cookie-cutter style by big developers _ fueled much of the housing boom. But thanks to rising energy and mortgage costs, shrinking families and a growing number of retirement-age baby boomers set on downsizing, there are signs of an emerging glut.

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