“…Now, although multigenerational households are more common among low-income families, architects and builders are designing multimillion-dollar homes that cater to the more wealthy among this niche market, and owners of existing homes are adding 5,000 to 6,000 square feet to accommodate relatives…”
I am unsure precisely when the United States housing market lost its mind. I don’t know at what point architects and builders agreed that the only homes worth building are those for the super-rich. There is a large part of me that absolutely detests the trend in our cultural consciousness of wanting more, bigger, better. It is that part of our collective unconsciousness that is not satisfied unless what we can somehow be described as owning something that is: luxury, executive, professional.
What really mystifies me is that cultural commentators can bemoan the lack of community, sidewalks, local stores, and markets with the result that developers create faux Seaside communities for the hyper wealthy. Here is Chapel Hill it is places like Meadowmont and Southern Village. Here you can experience community and local shopping options if you are able to buy a $400K condo and shop at places where clothes cost over a $100 for a shirt. In Birmingham you can move miles into the exurbs and live somewhere like Mount Laurel. It is another faux community, this time with an organic farm. You can live in harmony with nature, buying fresh foods, if you are able to buy a $500K house. And of course nothing says commitment to organic living like commuting 25 miles to downtown in your Chevy Suburban and clearing out acres of pristine forest.
This is madness. It sends the message to me, a very low middle class person, that the only people who deserve these things are the hyper-wealthy. Why? I have no desire to live in an artificial community in the midst of nowhere. If you do, that’s okay. What is not okay is that the real root of these efforts has nothing to do with the innate superiority of a way of life, but rather a desire to create a niche market that will cater to a certain group of people. Good economics; bad living.