How would you react if someone started building their dream home next to yours? Would you be happy to invite them into the neighborhood, or would a part of you be envious of their testament to success? While you know you shouldn’t criticize someone for going after their dream, it can be hard to resist – especially if their home puts yours and all the others in the neighborhood to shame.
Many residents and homeowners on the 900 block of Indian Hills Parkway outside of Atlanta in Marietta, Georgia are outraged with their neighbors’ new construction. The couple who is moving in has leveled the lot and started building their 5,600-square-foot dream home that towers over the other modest homes on the block with three stories. Not only does the large house attract a lot of attention, but it also mocks the much smaller homes on the block – and locals are outraged at the couple.
Bill Torpy wrote a column for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution where he criticizes Brett Flury and his wife for building their “McMansion.”
But the Flurys wanted to build their perfect, forever home. In Brett’s words, “I’ve lived in this area all my life. We want to get along with the neighbors. My wife and I are trying to live in the home we’ll live in for the next 40 or 50 years.”
But Torpy used his column to attack Flury, saying: “The term ‘McMansion’ has been used to denigrate the huge homes built by those who are said to have more money than taste.”
The new construction is so out of whack with the rest of the neighborhood, and tourists stop on the street to take photos of the mansion.
“People stop and take pictures because it’s such a monstrosity,” resident Violeta Toma said. “It just doesn’t fit the gist of the neighborhood.”
Toma is hardly the only person outraged that Brett Flury and his wife are building their dream home. They are outraged that they’re showcasing their money and income with the huge “monstrosity.”
“They did that to my childhood neighborhood and its so repulsive looking,” one commenter wrote on Facebook. “You instantly got the feeling that you couldn’t enjoy your nice little house without someone looming over you.”
Another commenter wrote, “If you can’t afford a decent sized lot maybe you shouldn’t be building a tasteless behemoth.”
Although Marietta residents are shaming Brett Flury for building his dream home, this trend to create massive homes has been around since antiquity. Those with money make large domicile to showcase their wealth.
But in America, the trend to go big or go home has escalated in recent decades.
According to statistics from the United States Department of Commerce’s Characteristics of New Housing report, the average home size in 1973 was 1,600 square feet. In 2015, the average had increased to a lavish 2,687 square feet.
Bob Collins is a local civic association standards chief and thinks he has these “new money” people figured out.
“They want something bigger than their parents,” Collins said. “It’s immediate gratification.”
Should neighborhoods be able to stop people from building these McMansions? Or should people be able to build whatever they want on their property?