A narrative about McMansions at the heart of the economic crisis

With an ongoing economic crisis and housing slump, there are plenty of stories about who has been hit the hardest. But one writer suggests that perhaps we can’t just simply say that those who were excessive in their consumption and purchased McMansions are the only ones affected:

With an ongoing economic crisis and housing slump, one target of blame is McMansion buyers. But one writer suggests the economic crisis affects more people than just those who consumed beyond their means:

The nation’s lingering housing foreclosure mess is too often about folks with McMansion-size aspirations and duplex paychecks, granite counter appetites and laminate budgets.

And when we hear that one of the nation’s hot spots for foreclosures is Prince William County, we nod knowingly, thinking of the vast tracts of huge new homes and the dreamers who drowned in them.

But the other day, I met some of the folks who lost their homes or are fighting with banks to try to keep them. And McMansion isn’t what comes to mind.

The rest of the story goes on to describe the stories of a few people who lived more modest lifestyles and yet have still fallen into housing issues.

I would be interested in seeing some figures about what kinds of homes or types of owners are those who have experienced the most foreclosures or mortgage difficulties. Is it really McMansion owners or others? We hear quite a bit about regional differences, such as high vacancy rates in Florida and high foreclosure rates in certain states or cities, but less about other factors.

In reading this one particular story, I wonder why people might be quick to jump on people like those who live in Prince William County (a wealthy county – this Wikipedia list has it as the 14th highest county in the country in terms of median household income). How much of this is a moral judgment leveled against McMansion owners and houses more broadly? With this housing crisis, it now looks like McMansions are also a bad economic deal, adding to the other issues that critics say McMansions have.