Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27

Thread: Amherst, New York - tract mansion goodness

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,539
    Blog entries
    3

    Amherst, New York - tract mansion goodness

    I know Cyburbians loooooooove tract mansions, so I thought I'd post some photos of examples from infill development in Amherst, Buffalo's very own mega-suburb.

    Enjoy.



















    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    South Milwaukee
    Posts
    8,935
    [rant]I just hate it when EFIS is used on tract mansions. If you can't afford a quality building material, buy smaller! [/rant]

    A few of those are not that bad looking though.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,236
    Give margey the developer's number! He'll want to snap one of those up!

    They're kinda light on fencing though. I hope there's no covenant against that. He would want to risk a neighbor chancing a look at him in his lawn.


  4. #4
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    5,502
    Looks like some of the neighbourhoods in St. Albert. At least they have sidewalks... it irks me when they don't put freakin' sidewalks in these mega neighbourhoods. And I will second Chet's comments about the EIFS.

  5. #5

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Oof. I thought you easterners still had the sense of tradition to avoid Sunbelt excess. I see I was wrong

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,057
    These houses are part of a subdivision called Renaissance Park. Cul-de-Sacs have names such as Da Vinci, Gailleo, etc. I think it would be safe to say that this is probably one of the highest priced subdivisions in suburban Buffalo. Sadly it seems the builders have cut corners to maximize profit. The wall blocking the mcMansions from the road seems to be concrete block made to imitate stone, and while the houses have brick or stucco fronts, it seems that the sides and back are clad in vinyl siding.

    Nearby this subdivision, is a lower priced subdivision called Nottingham Village or something like that. For only $200,000 or so you can own a tract home of your very own with scenic views of the back of Target and Wegmans.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Upstate
    Posts
    4,828
    EWWWW.

    I'd give them a zero on a Visual Preference Survey.

  8. #8

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    I guess the problem I have with these houses is that modern "designers" (I hope no licensed architect affixed his stamp to these blighted boxes) have no sense of proportion and scale. Everything is blown up and cartoon-like.

    Makes me wonder if we can ever bring back "traditional" design. The bad/mediocre designers gravitate to serving the needs of posers who don't have much taste. "Good" designers still generally go for the "prestige" of modernism and bizarre experimental architecture.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,472
    I love how they use the garage to get at the ego of the buyer. That one house looks like 3000 sq. ft. of living space and 2000 sq. ft. of garage.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian ludes98's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    1,263
    Quote Originally posted by jresta
    I love how they use the garage to get at the ego of the buyer. That one house looks like 3000 sq. ft. of living space and 2000 sq. ft. of garage.
    Yes, but what a woodshop I could have in 2000sqft! Looks like the same stuff they build here in Paradise Vally, though most in a one story version. A 10,000 square foot home on one story is a lot to look at....

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Intervention
    Posts
    4,475
    Dan, are these recently completed homes, because I thought there was a moritorium on building after everbody's house in NE Swampherst started to sink. And this is after they (U.S. Corps of Engineers) warned them in the '60's, and they made them do another soil survey again last year. Same thing they told them back then.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,057
    Quote Originally posted by Rumpy Tunanator
    Dan, are these recently completed homes, because I thought there was a moritorium on building after everbody's house in NE Swampherst started to sink. And this is after they (U.S. Corps of Engineers) warned them in the '60's, and they made them do another soil survey again last year. Same thing they told them back then.
    I live in Williamsville and a huge tract of land, bounded by Transit on the east, Youngs on the west, Klein on the north, and Maple on the south is all being developed with the type of houses pictured above. I think I heard somewhere that the site had a gypsum mine under it at some point.

  13. #13
    Member margey's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    51
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Give margey the developer's number! He'll want to snap one of those up!

    They're kinda light on fencing though. I hope there's no covenant against that. He would want to risk a neighbor chancing a look at him in his lawn.


    Actually jordanb i do rather like them and you can sod right off, my back garden scratching is a sight to behold. It's not easy to stop them looking after they have their first eyefull.


    Can somebody else who is less likely to be painful about it, please tell me what 'tract' refers to in tract mansions? That is unless it simply refers to Mansions built on large empty tracts of land.



    you should check out this link to other new houses being built in Buffalo, or in fact anywhere in the US. Some really spectular homes.
    http://www.newhomes.com/homedetail.j...&displayarea=1
    Last edited by margey; 12 Sep 2004 at 4:41 PM.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    South Milwaukee
    Posts
    8,935
    Quote Originally posted by margey
    That is unless it simply refers to Mansions built on large empty tracts of land.[/URL]
    You got it.

  15. #15

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    My PERSONAL (biased, very snobby) definition would have to include:

    1. Location in a community, be it a subdivision (or a town) that only allows expensive homes to be built. This can be enforced through private covenants or large lot zoning.

    2. An emphasis on size beyond what "most people" would considered necessary or desirable. For example, a family of three with a 5,000 square feet house. Note that by world standards, even "most people" (i.e., middle class) in the United States of course live sybaritically luxurious lives, but the McMansionites seem to take it to another level. In some communities, these mega-houses overwhelm the lots.

    3. Most McMansions are very, very showy. There is an emphasis on huge multi-car garages, entries with soaring ceilings with gigantic chandeliers, huge "Palladian" windows, big arches, large pools that are rarely used (ditto "formal dining rooms"). Everything is uber-tech, too, with internal wireless networks, intercom systems, gigantic home theatre systems, and showy professional kitchens.

    4. Along with the size and the showiness, many McMansions seem lacking in basic design awareness. McMansions try to draw upon history, but their designers, inspired by their clients,. don't seem to understand the basic rules of proportion that often make traditional, particularly classically based, designs "work." The second house really illustrates this. The front porch columns stretch way, way up into the second story, and the rounded window is out of proportion for the facade. In other cases, McMansion designers try to build flatland houses on sloping hillside lots. This results in lovely retaining walls that really add to a sense of neighborhood visual character.

    McMansions also love complicated roofs. Why have a hip roof when you can have a multi-gabled extravaganza?

    Finally, many of these designs are severely compromised. Rarely are they built by Old Money or the mega-wealthy but by the "merely" successful-attorneys, successful real estate agents, the local McDonalds franchise owner. Thus, since funds are not unlimited, and they are going for size and luxury, things like materials and workmanship (and design-see above) are lacking. Huge houses clad in T-111. Obvious fake stone. Sprayed on stucco. Trim that doesn't go all the way down to the ground

    5. McMansions rarely show much personality. Based on cartoon versions of traditional architecture, McMansions are designed to be easy to sell once the corporation transfers their owner. As a result, they are also largely placeless and based purely on owners' fantasies. "I want to live in Tara" (even though I live in a dry, grass-and-oak hillside in California). There has always been an element of fantasy in big houses, but in today's unified global culture, there are no longer any limits to what is built. Southern California is being replicated now in Beijing!

    That is how I, a mere middle class bureaucrat, would define the McMansion. Take it as one curmudgeon's opinion.
    Last edited by BKM; 13 Sep 2004 at 2:11 AM.

  16. #16
    Member margey's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    51
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    My PERSONAL (biased, very snobby) definition would have to include:

    1. Location in a community, be it a subdivision (or a town) that only allows expensive homes to be built. This can be enforced through private covenants or large lot zoning.

    limits to what is built. Southern California is being replicated now in Beijing!

    That is how I, a mere middle class bureaucrat, would define the McMansion. Take it as one curmudgeon's opinion.
    That was a beautiful description. Never having seen one of these houses up close and personal it is good to know what their drawbacks are. There will soon be 6 of us in our house and therefore we will be looking to move to a bigger house. Our house is a modest 1950's 4 bed 1,550 sq ft semi-d in a very overpriced area in Dublin, Typically such a house would set you back $1,000,000 + thanks to the recent property price boom over here. We also have a lovely system of Stamp duty instead of property tax here so it is not easy to move a slightly bigger house. You must pay about 9% stamp duty (tax) on top of the purchase price at that level for the privilege (okay no annual tax but they each have their drawbacks and relative advantages) If you don't want to move that stamp duty is a much better system, but once you need to move house property tax seems much more attractive. Anyway this all results in a lot of ugly, badly designed extensions and garage conversions in such houses. People who need more space must hire builders as they can't afford to move to another house in the same area. If i swapped houses with my next door neighbour (exact same house) it would cost me $100,000 including fees for nothing.
    These McMansions as you can imagine look very attractive in comparison.

    We would love to have a house with 3,000sq ft +. It's not that we need more rooms, it that they are all way too small for the size family they are aimed at. You always find yourself compromising on space. 2 of the bed rooms are about 8" x 9". you can get a bed in there and a side locker, but forget about much else, no study desk, barely a wardrobe (no built in's).

    I would happily live with a few cut corners and to get such a beautiful looking house. I particularly like no.s 2 and 8. Having said that i completely agree with your assessment on the 2nd house and the columns. That is a bit much.

    In summary though, jordanb really does have my best interests at heart, compared to what we are used to getting for our money, i'd still take one!
    Last edited by margey; 13 Sep 2004 at 4:23 AM.

  17. #17

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Understood.

    If, however, you had said you particularly liked House #5, the pink thing that looks like the kind of house an annoying California car dealer (an annoying one like Cal Worthington, for example) would build, then I would say there is no hope for you

  18. #18
    Member margey's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    51
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Understood.

    If, however, you had said you particularly liked House #5, the pink thing that looks like the kind of house an annoying California car dealer (an annoying one like Cal Worthington, for example) would build, then I would say there is no hope for you

    Any of them look good compared to this little gem on the outskirts of my neighbourhood currently on sale for $516,000.


    Who could resist it's charming interior, it really is fine living, all mod cons, like a floor and window and roof . Some bright estate agent (realtor) took this picture to help sell this property!!!!!?????!!!.


    Lets not forget the competition a few doors up the road for the same money




    Do you understand why I would even take the pink house now? And you might have noticed that Irish sky that we are tired of looking at. That thick never ending blanket of depressing cloud.
    Last edited by margey; 13 Sep 2004 at 11:45 AM.

  19. #19

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Well. At least these houses are modest. I just dislike "showoffiness" so, as bad as they are, I WOULD take these rather blah townhouses over the pink thing.

    But, gems of architecture they certainly are not The prices are almost California crazy.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,472
    Yeah, Dublin's long been listed as one of the hottest real estate markets in the world . . . Since it's looking more and more like we'll be passing each other along the way maybe we should swap houses - not that mine's built yet but i'm working on it.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  21. #21
    Member margey's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    51
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Well. At least these houses are modest. I just dislike "showoffiness" so, as bad as they are, I WOULD take these rather blah townhouses over the pink thing.

    But, gems of architecture they certainly are not The prices are almost California crazy.

    There's modest and there's modest. These are not modest townhouses, these are ex-county council (state) houses that are now being hocked off as artisan dwellings, or even worse wonderful family homes, which they are not. They have no upstairs bathroom, it is off the kitchen, many still have an outside toilet in the back yard. You are talking under 900sq ft for over $500,000. It's not Manhattan you know, It's a suburb of Dublin. I particularly love the one upstairs window effect that they have gone for on these houses.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian drucee's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    229
    Yep, that's about the same as one would pay for the raised ranches in San Francisco and its immediate suburbs... but Ireland does have a much higher per-capita income than the United States. In Montreal, the sorts of homes you saw in Dublin would fetch US$100,000, while in Chicago one might expect to pay $175,000-$225,000.

  23. #23
    Member margey's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    51
    Quote Originally posted by drucee
    Yep, that's about the same as one would pay for the raised ranches in San Francisco and its immediate suburbs... but Ireland does have a much higher per-capita income than the United States. In Montreal, the sorts of homes you saw in Dublin would fetch US$100,000, while in Chicago one might expect to pay $175,000-$225,000.
    You are correct and that is the problem for all new entrants and college leavers. People can afford to pay the mortgages required to buy these outrageously expensive houses. You should only be able to borrow 2.5 times your main income (+ once the second income for a couple) as a standard set down by our Central Bank. If this were strictly adhered to, a couple of say teachers earning $55,000 each could borrow $192,500, yet they are able to borrow probably $300,000 + provided there is enough equity left over against the property they want.

    This property boom started about 7-8 years ago. Houses worth about $100,000 back then could now go for $1,000,000 in certain areas, that's a 900% increase. People who had their first property purchased before 7 years ago rose along with the tide. All others, immigrants, returning ex-pats, college and school leavers etc all drowned. I Jumped in about 5 years ago so it cost me, but i am thankfully swimming now. Even with over 60,000 new housing starts this year, nothing is stopping the price from rising. It may now be down to single figures 7-8% pa, but there is little chance of it reversing. Even an interest rate increase which will affect many peoples ability to repay their huge mortgages, will not give an overall drop in prices as there is simply more demand than supply. This is especially true for the settled popular suburbs which will always be sought after and contested. The outer, commuter belt is where they will suffer if the economy takes a nose dive or it interest rates go up a few points. We have to face it, there is not much hope of our children growing up being able to afford to buy a house in this city.

    It could go as bad as the far east where there are such things as generational mortgages. You borrow the money over such a long period that your children and possibly grand children will continue to pay it back. What a legacy. Instead of leaving them a house, you leave them the rest of your mortgage..

  24. #24

    Registered
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Solano County, California
    Posts
    6,468
    Quote Originally posted by margey
    There's modest and there's modest. These are not modest townhouses, these are ex-county council (state) houses that are now being hocked off as artisan dwellings, or even worse wonderful family homes, which they are not. They have no upstairs bathroom, it is off the kitchen, many still have an outside toilet in the back yard. You are talking under 900sq ft for over $500,000. It's not Manhattan you know, It's a suburb of Dublin. I particularly love the one upstairs window effect that they have gone for on these houses.
    Well. I live in the Bay Area, so.... http://realtor.com/FindHome/HomeList...1&lnksrc=00001

    I see what you mean, though.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian UpstateNYRox's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Buffalo, New York
    Posts
    44
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Understood.
    If, however, you had said you particularly liked House #5, the pink thing that looks like the kind of house an annoying California car dealer (an annoying one like Cal Worthington, for example) would build, then I would say there is no hope for you
    You must be colorblind, that house is not pink, its a light sand color. Those columns are pretty obnoxious though.

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 5
    Last post: 06 Jul 2005, 10:58 AM
  2. Replies: 18
    Last post: 20 Apr 2005, 7:14 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last post: 14 Oct 2004, 6:43 PM
  4. Replies: 20
    Last post: 08 Jan 2003, 8:35 AM