Opponent of teardown McMansions switches sides

One owner of an older suburban home says she can see the benefits of a teardown McMansion:

I would have taken Huetinck’s explanation personally several months ago, when I used to sigh as I walked by these construction sites that were seemingly engulfing us. But now that our kids are getting older and our space feels tighter, I can see the benefits of these “shiny and new” homes.

Although my husband and I like taking our two toddlers on walks to the farmers market at Bethesda Elementary School on the weekends and for strolls to the playground around the corner, I’ve found myself growing increasingly frustrated trying to navigate our living room without stepping on a toy, cramming clothes into closets that seem to grow smaller by the day, and making do with no garage. As much as I hate to say it, I’m starting to lose my allegiance to these older homes.

That’s not because I want to see our neighborhood turn into a cookie-cutter development, but it’s because I see the ease that something as simple as a mudroom can provide, especially with kids and a dog…

But the allure of a mammoth open kitchen, a two-car garage and a walk-in closet in the master bedroom is hard to ignore.

These sterile, user-friendly McMansions are looking better to me every day. Unlike our friend and neighbor Marjorie, I think we could come up with a price.

I would be interested to hear about what kind of interactions this writer/resident has with her neighbors after writing this piece in the Washington Post. It sounds like the neighbors have taken sides, pitting those who have lived a long time in the neighborhood and what to see it preserved or stay the same versus those who either want or need to sell and like the higher prices they can now get or those who can see the usefulness of a newer home.

Could a teardown McMansion may more defensible if the owner has a larger family? Although more American households than ever are single members, families with children might want more space to spread out. Yet, I imagine at least a few of those opposed to McMansions might also be opposed to overpopulation…

Finally, are there any teardown owners who stay in the same neighborhood? Or, is the act of buying a teardown so disruptive that one can’t remain a neighbor in good standing if they are the one bringing the disruption?


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