From Pine View Farm

McMansion Backlash 3

My little three-bedroom one and half bath split clocks in at 1425 square feet. It’s plenty. In fact, as the kids have grown up and moved away, it’s gotten bigger.

And there’s no rule that says that every kid has to have his or her own room. Bunk beds work just fine.

When Martin Focazio and his wife were house-hunting in 2000, they fired some real estate agents unwilling to help them find exactly what they wanted: a small place.

“They couldn’t get out of their heads that, according to their calculations, I should have been able to buy this monstrous estate,” says Focazio, a consultant with Magnani Caruso Dutton, a digital-media agency. (He and his wife, who teaches part time, moved to this area after renting in New York City.)

“They were pushing us into these six-bedroom, five-bath, four-Jacuzzi monstrosities. It was fairly obscene stuff,” Focazio says.

Instead, the couple, since expanded to a family of five, settled into a 1,200-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath house on several acres in Upper Black Eddy, Bucks County.



  1. Opie

    June 20, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Buying less than we could afford turned out to be one of the most life-changing decisions we’ve ever made.

  2. Hilary

    June 21, 2008 at 10:17 am

    we experienced a little of this during our recent house hunting.  there aren’t very many smaller houses in nicer/newer neighborhoods.

  3. Opie

    June 21, 2008 at 11:00 am

    You know, not having been house-shopping lately, I’d never thought of that, but finding a house that’s sized to a family’s true needs, and not intended to make you feel like you’re living in Rockefeller Center, is probably tough these days. Everyone built more space than they needed.On the other hand, if you don’t mind living in a larger house, now’s the time to buy.