Is the McMansion era over? How the recession is changing the size of American dream homes
Ezra Lee is the owner of Ezra Lee Design + Build and creates higher-end custom homes. Lee has noticed changes in areas like Alpine, Utah, that have a lot of really big homes. "We are starting to see smaller homes with higher quality," he says.
People are asking themselves what they really need, Lee says. "There are enough homes out there that are awesome," he says, "but utility bills that are $600 to $800 a month are not as awesome."
Lee says people are more interested in the performance of a home than in the past. They want energy efficiency, they want more technology. "They want the creature features," he says.
Back in Libertyville, McLinden took advantage of economic trends and "new urbanist" hopes for smaller, walkable communities.
McLinden says some builders mistakenly believe that in this economy they need to create cheaper homes at the lowest price. "People will recognize and pay for quality," he says.
"I used to feel like a voice in the wilderness," Susanka says. "But there are a lot more people now singing the same song. I think through this recession, as hard as it has been, there will be some really great benefits in how we design and build our future."
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