Drawing the line: an 18,000 square foot, $45 million home IS NOT a McMansion

I know the line and price point between a mansion and a McMansion is not exact but this goes way over the line: an 18,000 square foot, $45 million home in the Hamptons is definitely not a McMansion.

Even in a rich man’s playground lined with one McMansion after another, the Linden Estate in Southampton, N.Y., stands out as one of the best. The stately — and gigantic — home sprawls across 18,000 square feet on a 9.11-acre plot, and it has not one but two outdoor pavilions and a bevy of resort-style amenities (including indoor and outdoor pools). But it seems like that might not have been enough to satisfy one tech tycoon.

James H. Clark, co-founder of Netscape (you remember that, right?), was reportedly under contract to buy the glorious property at a $49 million price tag last July — after the mansion spent a staggering four years on the market. Clark and his wife (both pictured at left) even gave Haute Living magazine a tour of the home’s immaculate grounds. But the sale was never completed, and now, less than a year later, the home is once again up for sale for $45 million, Curbed reported. It’s unclear exactly what happened, but man, what a bummer for the owner.

I’m not sure exactly what McMansion means in this setting. Mass-produced? Probably not homes of this size. A large house? This one is extra large, or gigantic as noted in the story. A home for the wealthy? Clearly.

I wonder if there is something else going on here. One idea about McMansions is that they are about excessive consumption. This often refers to the average American taking on too big of a mortgage or purchasing a lot of space that they don’t need. But, might this also refer to excessive consumption by the ultra-wealthy? Of course, the wealthy may not have the financial difficulties in purchasing some homes but the tone here might be that the even the wealthy don’t need a home like this. Then, the term McMansion applies even more broadly to any home consumption that might be considered out of the ordinary.

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