<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=209258409501153&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Green Builder Media Logo

Readers Tear Apart NAHB's 8,200-Square Foot Show House, Calling it Real Estate Porn

Posted by Matt Power, Editor-In-Chief

Apr 10, 2017 9:47:01 AM

Public reaction to "The New American Home," has ranged from snarky to mocking to straight up outraged—not just toward the home itself, but toward the designers and the “hapless” writer who gushed about it in The Washington Post.nahb new american home washington post.jpg

The $5 million annual project promoted by the NAHB appears to have misfired badly with the general public. The latest iteration of what one of our staffers dubbed "The Next American Hoax" ignores virtually every housing trend currently in play: tiny homes, multifamily, net zero, smart plus solar, resiliency. You name it. They ignored it. The houses show just how far from the mainstream the good old boys at the shrinking national organization have strayed.

Blame it on backlash against Trumpism. Blame it on whomever you want.

The Emperor has been caught bare-assed in the public square.

No need for us to editorialize about this embarrassingly out-of-touch project, described in breathy, airbrushed detail by writer Michelle Lerner of The Washington Post. The comments of readers of that article tell you everything you need to know about how to attract a crowd of people with pitchforks to your neighborhood.

I can’t resist, however, pointing up my favorite awful feature of the home—the retractable screens. As one astute reader points out, once you lower the screens, you trap all of the insects, birds (not to mention alligators and giant pythons) inside.

Here’s a partial selection of some of the most prescient and entertaining comments about The Washington Post’s story on The New American Home:

From the same minds that brought us the short-lived Pepsi Commercial? Yeah, all America needs is "8,200-square foot house with an additional 4,200 square feet of additional outdoor living space." How about designing something in the 1,200 - 3,000 square foot range, which is closer to what the average American can afford? Guess the NAHB doesn't believe that "less is more." —The Shadow Knows

Conspicuous consumption.—NYCgal

I like reading about these vanity projects; occasionally one picks up a tip about a new product or material that actually might have relevance for the average joe. But can we just dispense with the silly nonsense that an 8,000 square foot house costing more than $5M has ANY relevance for the average "multi generational" family? Oh- one more thing. I almost squirted my Green Tea though my nose when I read that the four car garage contained a "dog washing station." Yep, lots of people interested in purchasing this house spend time WASHING their dogs.—Curmudgeon10

How incredibly tone deaf for the NAHB to be designing its model homes for today for "the foreign couple who's acquiring a second or a third home" or perhaps "a golfer who needs space for a nanny." I guess the self-styled Queen of Versailles wasn't available to pitch this one? What a misfire. —Leahna

Wow--great real estate porn! Maybe a little long on water--isn't that a vanishing resource? At the other end of the American consciousness---tiny homes. V. interesting. As for the enhancements, some decades ago, I wrote a story on the house of the future being developed by NASA. They had a test family live in it. The first thing that family did was disable the motion sensors--their dog was setting them off. Their favorite feature? The dishwasher--the wife said she didn't have one at her real home. Do people really need fridges that automatically order food items when you get low? Or in this case--why have central vac--isn't the maid (or houseman) living in that separate suite...she may not love Roombas or central vac. I favor them in my lurid housekeeping fantasies myself.—StarLawrence

They built a home in Florida with no way to keep out the bugs . Obviously the architect and builder didn't do their research.—handofjustice1

The article states that screens come down at the push of a button.—summer sky

Exactly, whoever designed this knows what looks good but is totally clueless about real life and what makes a home livable. Unless the pool can act a moat, animals will wander in and birds will fly through the house pooping all over the place. …—etwas

Looks so antiseptic.—lavender boo

8K square feet for the 1%.—teachscience

$481/square foot.—mossbloomstudio

SUCH a tone-deaf article in this era of millions of us worrying about health care and food.—Whiplashed

But does it wash its own windows?—Bill Kennedy

The home of the future is going to be more like 200 square feet for the masses.—Rat_Fink_Forever

When I read “convertible house” in the first sentence I was expecting a house boat. Climate predictions reported by CBS Miami expect some of South Florida to be under water as soon as 2025 and the Orlando Sentinel reports other areas further north to be submerged by 2100. Florida refugees? NIMBY? Sell them house boats.—DyaknowhatImean

I'd like to see innovative and compelling concept homes that are within the reach of more who could appreciate such impressive ideas and living spaces, that are reasonably attainable. It is doable.  This house is like Trump health care. The designers and builders want anyone to have access to living in one, but for the money.—Taser_This

A smaller house could use some of the same design elements, like moving interior walls and verandahs that can be closed off and opened.—Morticia

Hey, I'm good with this as long as every single family in the world can have something similar for a home. If not, then this is conspicuous consumption that usurps resources and denigrates all but the very rich as "less than." A total redistribution of wealth, harvesting of discarded resources, and strict use of only sustainable materials are the things that will make both humanity and peace with this planet work. I am sick to death of greed, war, disregard for our environment, and our gross neglect of and inhumanity to man.—Byrdr

What a load of crap. 
 Low flow except the showers ... LMAO 
 Gated community ... LMAO 
 Architectural style saves energy ... LMAO 
 8200 SF and then discusses energy savings ... LMAO 
 Professional athletes ... 
 
How embarrassing for the editor who assigned the topic - not to mention the hapless writer.—FactBasedDiscussion

Not big enough. We need to get rid of those Obama Care taxes so they can truly get the square footage they need. Also higher gates so they don't have to see the suffering of the pesky lower caste folks.—Michael Laino

Too much white again.—rrhs

i wanted it when i was reading the paper edition which showed a few pictures. when I saw all the online photos, the house was revealed as vast and impersonal. Whew! Guess I just saved $6 million.—Life-Long Student

When you close the walls (after opening them) how do you get rid of the newly interior insects?—polly

Bug zappers.—Morticia

NABH this is interesting for someone with a large lot and a top 1% income...but sustainable, on trend? Who is your target market? The sustainable houses that university students design and build on the Mall in DC each year (I think they still do that), are much more clever, affordable and trend setting. This is a nice little resort though.—DemVet69

Not very cozy. Interesting for a hotel and a visit. To live there, a person could get used to it if there were servants.—Zeke M

Over 8,000 square feet and not one book or bookshelf in sight. But lots of flat screen TVs and gas log fireplaces.—stevenjay

A TV these days is treated as an appliance in the design industry. No one lives here yet. So there aren't any books, nor photos of family. So much negativity in yours and other's posts. This is a concept home and a work of art.—Barbara Vance

There is negativity because this is a stupid house ... ya think the professional athletes that build here are big readers? Work of art? What nonsense.—FactBasedDiscussion

Was mentally walking the fence on whether I like this house or not, then read about the dog washing station and the built in coffee maker and now I'm totally sold.—Wgator

 

Share This Article
    

© 2019, Green Builder Media. All rights reserved. This article is the exclusive property of Green Builder Media. If you would like to reprint this content, you are free to extract a short excerpt (no more than 1/4th of the total article), as long as you 1. credit the author, and 2. include a live link back to the original post on our site. Please contact a member of our editorial staff if you need more information.

 

Connect with us on social media

facebook Instagram-logo1.gif twitter youtube linkedin pinterest 

Latest Blogs

California's 2019 Title 24 Code
New Call-to-action

New Call-to-action