What is a McMansion?

McMansion is a term for houses between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet with grandiose entryways and multicar garages, often built on undersized lots in suburban neighborhoods. McMansion is a twist on the name of the McDonald’s hamburger chain, known for serving billions of uniformly made burgers that are served within minutes.

Deeper definition

McMansion is a slang term that came into use during the housing boom of the later 1990s and early 2000s. Often, these large homes represented a certain status and opulence that middle and upper-middle class families had not previously been able to attain.

Because the demand for these homes accelerated at an unsustainable pace, they were built in rapid fashion, and were often situated next to one another on tiny lots in exclusive neighborhoods. The juxtaposition of McMansions with older, neighboring homes of much smaller size made McMansions objects of scorn.

McMansion example

Wealthier suburbs in many large cities began to see McMansions going up during the housing boom. These homes were built by the dozens, from nearly identical floor plans, customized with decadent add-ons and situated close together on lots smaller than a half-acre, in most cases.

Use this Bankrate calculator to figure out how much house you can afford to buy.

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