See ya, McMansions!
I’ve noticed something interesting in Nashville lately that
reflects a larger trend nationwide: We’re starting to see more luxury homes with
less square footage but with all the same high-end fixtures and finishes of
their much larger peers. In years previous, downsizing was more about
simplifying, doing with less. Now, many homeowners say they still want all the
nice stuff—the high-end refrigerator and the heated marble floors and the
swimming pool out back—but want to put it in a smaller footprint. How awesome is that?
I attribute this at least partly to everyone and their
mother’s new penchant for the “open floor plan,” which instantly makes homes
feel bigger and airier and tends to make rooms more multipurpose. Because of
modern floor plans, a 1,700 to 2,000-square-foot house might feel more like a 2,500-square-foot
house—all because of the way it’s laid out. All around town, old ranches and
craftsman bungalows are being opened up and walls are coming down to
accommodate the modern homeowner’s tastes, which blur the kitchen, dining room,
and living room into a single space.
A new Wall Street
Journal piece called “Luxury Homes That Are Better, Not Bigger” states, “Luxury in American homes has
long been defined by size—a newly built home grew from an average of 1,660
square feet in 1973 to over 2,500 square feet today, according to the U.S.
Lots of homeowners are forgoing excessive square footage
specifically so that they can spend their money on the high-end fixtures of
their dreams. Why have four bedrooms when you can instead build the kitchen
you’ve always wanted, without skimping on a thing?
And of course the “micro-apartment” craze in the biggest
cities has been raging for years now—and has almost become a competition to see
who can cleverly fit the most stuff (or the least) into, says, a
I’ve written before about how the dining room is being
phased out; the
WSJ piece also suggest that homeowners use space more economically by adding a
guest “niche” rather than a guest room and by pimping out their outdoor space
like an outdoor living room.
This trend toward less square footage has some of my clients
scratching their heads about why home prices remain so high. It’s important to
remember that if you’re looking at a home with less square footage and the
price per square foot seems high or if you’re looking at a home with higher
square footage and the price seems low, you have to consider the neighborhood and
the average square footage for that neighborhood. In East Nashville, 12 South,
and Sylvan Park especially you may high price tags affixed to diminutive homes. The truth is: The taste for massive houses is a specific
one, but it’s likely not going anywhere anytime soon. Many, many people love
their mansions. But I love that this trend creates a space for people who love
luxury but don’t necessarily love to keep up with—and furnish—a cavernous house
that’s simply too big for them.
What do you think about this trend?
Author:TJ Anderson Phone: 615-364-1530 Dated: February 27th 2014 Views: 3,447 About TJ: TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a h...
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