Bad options: “grand McMansion” vs. “cookie cutter townhouse”

This description of a Season 87 House Hunters episode suggests the homebuyers have two less than stellar options:

Ryan and Stacey have $300,000 to buy their first home outside Baltimore, but they want very different things. He dreams of a grand McMansion, but she wants a cookie cutter townhouse with a uniform look. And since they’re both a bit stubborn, neither one is willing to give an inch. Can they find a place that they can agree on, or will this house hunt become a Battle in Baltimore?

This sounds like a typical House Hunters episode: the couple have different visions on what they want and perhaps they will compromise on a third option that gives them each a little of what they want. But, the choices set up here are interesting. McMansions are disliked by numerous critics. Does Ryan himself say he wants a McMansion or is this description using this as shorthand to describe a large suburban home? Then, is a “cookie cutter townhouse” a superior alternative? Critics of McMansions might note that at least townhouses are denser developments and tend to not be as large. Yet, townhouses aren’t usually known for their fine architecture and a uniform look doesn’t help anyone distinguish themselves. Both McMansion owners and critics tend to buy into the idea that a home is supposed to express yourself – though they disagree on what should be expressed and how – and a townhouse with this sort of description wouldn’t fit the bill.

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