(Environmental News Network) Let’s face it, the Great Recession has not been a plus for the green movement overall. Most ordinary Americans are still sympathetic to the cause, but their willingness to spend even a penny extra for environmentally friendly products has been dampened by four dollar gas, five dollar cereal and loss of equity in their homes.
On the other hand, a positive by-product of all this is a lot less enthusiasm for what used to be part of the American dream: a McMansion of your very own, and the extra cars, boats and even planes that went along with this be-careful-what-you-wish-for icon. I know many successful boomers who are now moping around their 8 to 12,000-foot monuments to capitalism (many of them rendered in classic McMansionesque Tuscan style architecture) wondering what to do with the unused acres of space. “The Brady Bunch house seems like a shack compared to the dream of the typical middle class homebuyer/builder,” said New York copywriter Jenny Lazar in an email to me on this subject.
Indeed, her point is well taken, what used to be considered a large house is of modest dimensions by today’s standards. This is not meant to pass judgment on a long-standing tradition and part of the American Dream as we used to know it: a large, spacious home featuring huge foyer, high ceilings, many bedrooms and bathrooms, giant dining room and eat-in kitchen, multi-car garage, and more. Instead, this is to point out that perhaps America’s long-standing love affair with this type of — not very green — home has finally run its course? I can think of a number of successful friends who live in houses of this description. Surprisingly, many of them are empty-nesters or have only one or two children, which is hardly enough to fill a home with six to ten bedrooms.
Other than the several times per year that they host major parties, community events and/or charity functions, they just aren’t getting the value out of their super sized abodes. And a lot more often than you’d think, these homeowners are saying, “boy, if I could get out of this place whole, I’d like to sell it and downsize to a smaller house…” Why do they want out? Usually, it’s not only the unused space, but the carrying costs. Heating, cooling, cleaning and maintaining huge homes is an expensive proposition. Not to mention, the property taxes. The care and feeding of a large home is a big responsibility that seemingly never ends.
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Not to mention, the property taxes. Excuse me? The property taxes can be reduced to ZERO if the voters ensure their Senators and Governors they vote for are ready to remove the taxes entirely. So don’t say it like it’s written in stone. It is NOT a ‘Commandment’. As for heating and cooling, cleaning, that is subjective and dependent on the local weather conditions, who asked you to live in the sub-arctic or sub-saharan part of the country? ” . . . care ,and feeding . . . ” itself is also a moot point.
In the past, long before big government, perhaps in a not so despotic area run in the medieval era of non-overpopulated times, think of subsistence living of rural folk and the amount of space they had, there was no issue as you mention on HUNDREDS of acres which fed and supported them no matter how lean the economy was. Are you sure you’re not all about normalising keeping people cooped up in increasingly smaller and more urban areas rather than the luxury of suburbs, or that house on the hill or that house overlooking acres and acres of space?
Smells like NWO or Big Govt. here . . . not really with the right-minded bunch? With the globalist depopulationists perhaps? The more land the people own the safer they are, ideally a person should own enough land to support their food needs. That should come to a few acres PER family member for a rich diet. So 8000 to 12,000 sq feet isn’t very much at all wouldn’t you say?
Let’s face it, if you want a 50 cent cereal, you can grow it yourself. If you want biofuel at 40 cents, damn well grow it yourself too. Isn’t that nicer than depending on big government or the imported cotton that you could very well grow YOURSELF? As for taxes, make sure you know who your Assemblyman or MP is, make sure they will LOWER or REMOVE those property taxes and assessment and by-fees etc.. Problem solved. Want a road tax free society? Well the trade off might be dirt roads, but so what? Who can afford to pay road tax if there are no jobs or there is nobody hiring?
And no more pushing pigeon coop apartments, rabbit hutch terraces or the even barely tolerable duplexes (semi-detached, ‘half-houses’) on the public or normalising the same LOUSY high density paradigms. So that developers can profit the most off their land banks and focus more on quality homes with reasonable space? No thanks, they all better go back to architecture class AFTER the huigh density paradigm for building homes is scrapped. If your ‘crib’ has a mere 8-10 feet of space on each side or back of the property, don’t presume to call it a bungalow or a mansion, it is but HIGH DENSITY cottage posing as a house, much less a luxury home.
Incidentally some bungalows are fashioned (purposely no doubt) after servants quarters housed at the backs areas of REAL mansions who do have real space. A 1000 sq feet a person? Such a joker, thats the size of the wardrobe or vestibule, much less balcony for the space conscious among us . . .