Despite the housing downturn, houses in excess of 20,000 square feet are still being built by the very wealthy — with no sign of a slowdown.
The unabated construction of mega-mansions has a few explanations:
"People are spending much more time at home. They want to be comfortable," says one real estate expert, while another has a different take: it just happens. "You keep adding the rooms you think you need. The ballroom. The screening room. Masters with his and hers and a beauty salon and a massage room. And the house keeps growing." Then there's that age-old explanation: ego.
Whatever the reason, the incursion of mega-mansions into some neighborhoods has also ruffled some feathers.
Prospective neighbors often complain that "mansionization" ruins the character of neighborhoods, and that the rumble of trucks during construction are a nuisance. A homeowner in such a neighborhood: "We used to know all our neighbors. We'd socialize with them. If they had a project, moving furniture, we'd help them out. The sort of thing neighbors do. . . . That doesn't exist anymore."