New homes make me sick some times.
I'm tired of the mentality of slamming homes together to squeeze one extra lot out of a development. It's sad, really... I grew up in a great house, built some time in the 1960s or 70s I think (my parents bought in 1985, sold in 1999), on a quarter-acre lot. Sure, it was bigger (by some) than many (but not all) of our neighbors. We had a big enough front yard for a tree (later ripped out and replaced with a flower bed), enough grass to be a bitch to cut, and the house was at least 50 feet off the street.
The back yard had a deck with a hot tub, a little half-court (okay, more like a third-court) with a basketball hoop, a small swing set I outgrew quickly, and enough lawn to play soccer or football on until I was about thirteen. I'm not saying this to brag.
I sent an email this morning for a client, for a new home development in Lincoln, CA. The email boasted of "Generous 6,000 square foot lots." Tomorrow I will send another, for a different client, for new homes in Sunnyvale, CA, that mentions, as a feature, "lots of up to nearly 4,000 square feet."
Up to? Nearly? Damn. For a quick comparison, here's an image for you... forgive me, it's as close as Google Maps gets and I had to blow it up to draw on it...
That's my old house. 2747 Marsh Drive in San Ramon. Where I grew up, and where until 7 years ago, my family had called home for a decade and a half. The red box is our quarter-acre lot. The blue box is what 4,000 square feet looks like. It's not quite enough for our house, includes about 1/3 of the front yard, and only the deck in the back yard.
It's just sad. I had so many great memories in that back yard... and in friends' back yards, as well... Greg had a big one, so did Russ, and Sean... ah well. I guess somewhere along the line, home builders decided kids don't need yards, and it must be more cost-efficient to squeeze homes close enough to get that single extra lot, and put in a greenbelt or community park, then it is to give everyone another couple thousand square feet.