With the great recession of 2008, a void or vacuum appeared in the housing market, and it is not where one would think it is. The McMansions are thriving with larger and more unique designs every day.
These buyers are a move up from the previous level of buyers as well as buyers already in that niche that want something bigger or as a result of having to move. So, if one follows the buyers backwards, one finds a niche that has fallen on hard times in the housing market.
That niche was filled with 1st time buyers as well builders that carved out a niche for themselves with this market share. As these buyers started being locked out of the housing market because they were unable to qualify for started homes, it impacted those builders also.
The mortgage industry, after taking a beating on loans from 1st time buyers, changed the requirements to qualify for a loan. That meant increasing the down payments from 5% to 10- 20% and more. The 1st time buyer using this loan plus their meager savings is considered by many to be the foundation of the housing market. And no one in the housing market gains move up equity until the entry level buyer does. With no one buying in the entry level market, the next level of homes does not gain equity very fast, so they become stuck.
However, the people that own McMansions have deep pockets, so equity is less of a concern and keeping up appearances is more so. I helped build a mansion that was over 25,000 square feet, and one of the owner comments was that he had to build a place that large for entertaining clients as well as business partners.
It had 4 levels, with a nanny’s quarters in the trusses of the house that was 2000 square feet. The great room could hold 6 Tinys easily. The place was huge and it required 2 years to build. It is a beautiful elegant home and one could get lost in it easily. It also kept many people busy during the build, and I am sure the decorating and furnishing budget being about 25% of the build cost would mean that furnishing was at least 3-4 million. That is a lot of tiny houses in comparison.
And the McMansions and its owners keep caretakers, housekeepers, cooks, chauffeurs, and nannies employed, so the McMansions are a benefit to many people in the workforce.
The recovery in housing is becoming “supersized” as these people build bigger driving up the average square feet of housing with square footages growing faster now than during the peak of the housing boom. The average square foot has grown from 2,392 square feet in 2010 to 2,600 square feet last year. This growth is size has resulted in a new word for McMansions, ginormous homes. Homes over 4000 square feet have increased by 12%.
So, where have the people in the starter home market gone? Some have moved in with parents and some parents have moved in with children, a lot of them are renting rather than buying. And some are buying or building tiny houses. Except these tiny houses are on wheels and not classified as housing and do not impact traditional single family square footages.
This supersizing of McMansions is in direct opposition to the tiny house movement of people downsizing to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
And some call it a small or tiny movement and a trend. No one knew how big it is, or if it will grow much, but after last weekend and the Tiny House Jamboree in Colorado Springs, Colorado, people may rethink the size of the movement. The tiny house movement may become more than just a small, tiny movement. Facebook groups that have 150000, 100,000, and 20,000 fans are growing faster than butter melts on a sizzling hot griddle. The Tiny House Jamboree that was expecting maybe 10,000 visitors had well over 16,000 visitors for the weekend event. That is a lot of people that are more than curious about tiny houses and kicking tires.
Tiny Green Cabins is expanding and evolving along with the movement to better serve our customers; from an average of 1 to 2 homes a year, we are now employing 3+ people and have room for building 3 Tinys at a time in our new shop area.
As the movement grows, companies that build park models are making an entrance into the tiny house market. They offer basic floor plans with standard features as well as standardized furniture. And when it comes to options, you may want hardwood floors, or a custom exterior you need to go a custom tiny house builder. And that is where Tiny Green Cabins excel. We have over 40 years’ experience in building custom homes, so we enjoy creating a new look for the discerning customer.
So, when you are ready to start your build, give us a call or email us to start the process rolling.