According to this description of McMansions, they offer suburban homeowners the basics:
When Sandy and Chris Ross were in Portland, Ore., they lived in a house built for those who buy large suburban dwellings.
“Our house was a McMansion, designed for most people who want a front and rear entrance, a dining room, and a recreation room,” says Chris Ross, a software engineer.
But the Rosses are not most people.
When they moved to Bryn Mawr, they wanted a house built to accommodate their family’s special needs, limited finances, and environmental awareness.
The main contrast developed here is between a McMansion and a custom-built home designed by an architect. McMansions provide the basics of a suburban home: a front and back door, some basic rooms, and plenty of space for living. In contrast, the home designed by an architect allowed the couple to have a kitchen that met their needs, a house that highlighted a notable Japanese maple in the front yard, and a good insulation and design that helps keep utility costs low.
Perhaps the bigger issue here is that most suburban homes are not built by architects nor are they really customized for their buyers. The article seems to suggest the custom home is desirable but a majority of homebuyers choose not to go this route. This particular story does not say how much this custom home cost. Additionally, a custom design might take longer and many homeowners may not feel equipped to help put together or desire a more customized home. Yet, a custom-designed home could allow more homeowners to really say their home reflects them.