Should you criticize a family for building their dream home? The obvious answer is no, but what if that residence doesn't fit it with the size, scale, and look of the rest of the houses in the neighborhood?
Some residents on the 900 block of Indian Hills Parkway in Marietta, Georgia, are upset about the grand three-story, 5,600-square-foot house their new neighbor is building on a lot close to the smaller, surrounding homes—and apparently, it's an increasingly common problem in Atlanta. "The term 'McMansion' has been used to denigrate the huge homes built by those who are said to have more money than taste," Bill Torpy wrote in his column for , which covers the new housing trend.
Brett Flury and his wife, the homeowners of this new property began the project in hopes of building their perfect, forever home. "I've lived in this area all my life. We want to get along with the neighbors," he told . "My wife and I are trying to live in the home we'll live in for the next 40 or 50 years." To make it possible, they bought the former house and lot, and tore the original structure down to build this one.
"People stop and take pictures because it's such a monstrosity," local resident Violeta Toma said. "It just doesn't fit the gist of the neighborhood." And she's not the only one unhappy about this new norm. "They did that to my childhood neighborhood and its so repulsive looking," one commenter wrote on ."You instantly got the feeling that you couldn't enjoy your nice little house without someone looming over you."
"If you can't afford a decent sized lot maybe you shouldn't be building a tasteless behemoth," another wrote. Despite their disapproval, massive houses are nothing new and aren't going away any time soon. The average size of a new home built in 2015 was 2,687 square feet, according to U.S. Department of Commerce's Characteristics of , whereas the average was 1,660 square feet in 1973.
What's more—it's also becoming more common to tear down homes to build new ones, Bob Collins, a local civic association standards chief explained to . The original homes in this neighborhood were designed to be simpler and to complement the surrounding wooded area. Nowadays, buyers want an eye-catching house. "They want something bigger than their parents," Bob said. "It's immediate gratification."
The property also ran into some troubles recently when the inspectors deemed it 7-feet too tall. The homeowners and the county are now in talks to resolve the issue. But not everyone nearby has a problem with the large house—or the new residents. They're great neighbors, Deborah Coyne, a fellow parkway homeowner said. "At first, it was the initial shock of seeing it," she said. "But it kind of grows on you."