McMansions taking over 


The massive, oversized houses filling Melbourne’s suburbs, causing our city to become one of the most spread out cities worldwide. I hear Melbourne has the highest home ownership per capita in the world these days. Most of these McMansions are epitome of bad taste and poor judgement. What happened to the lovely old fashioned weatherboard 2 bedroom home with a rusty front gate and small veggie patch out the back of our childhood? Checking the houses for sale online shows they are selling, but developers are snapping them up and bulldozing them to build McMansions.

 Beautiful house

The quintessential Aussie suburban home


What defines a McManion

There’s no hard-and-fast definition of a McMansion, but most are equipped with five or more bedrooms and a garage for three or more cars, typically too large for the size of their lot and cost the homeowner a lot more than they can comfortably afford. The McMansions of Australia are just the babies of the giant housing market compared to America, but it just Australian.

Another beautiful house 

McMansion with pool


One of the defining factors of the McMansion is this concept of waste and the proliferation of excess and pushing this illusion of wealth. They’re also identified by poor craftsmanship, often covered in trendy but cheap materials like faux stonework. And they’re usually a jumble of styles from different periods, with out-of place columns and turrets, fake balconies, and windows that are a mix of shapes and sizes.

What people are loving

A perfect example of a suburban McMansion


The old Aussie dream

I dream of owning my own home one day, but it just isn’t an option in the current housing market in Melbourne. I would love to own a house typical of the cobourg area, typical weatherboard house with a cute rusty fence out front and a vegetable patch out back. I love the old veranda’s of my grandparents generation, and a couple of old ornamental pots that look like white swans.  

My nana and pa were a funny old pair, they were in their 90’s when they passed. My Pa was an old cattleman from the High Country. He was a legend in the area, and there is a couple of the old wooden cattlemens huts named after my family. He helped build 2 as far as I can remember.

I did an interview with him for Year 9 english. I recorded the interview on tape. It was really interesting to ask him questions and record his ramblings. There have been a few books done about our family, and some people did interview him, but he told me many stories, that no one else had heard. There was one great old story he told about this particular year that flooded really badly, and now this horse and cart had tried to cross the flooded river bank and how the whole thing had got swept away and how the horses ended up breaking away and swimming to shore and the passengers (I can’t remember their names now) floating off and, well to be honest, I can’t remember, I think one managed to swim to shore and another drowned, but I remember vividly the way he would laugh as he told the story.


Anyway, so I have digressed slightly, but there is such a connection between families our homes and the community, and well these McMansions are taking away from that community. I spend countless hours searching the real estate sections of the papers, looking for affordable housing, reading about the property market in Melbourne, and it seems to just wind up making me feel depressed. It seems to be getting worse every year. I have also spent a lot of time pondering about the possibilities of leaving Melbourne all together and finding a small self sufficient property and living off the grid. Live like John Williams sang about, “give me a home amongst the gum tree’s, with lots of plum trees, a sheep or two and a kangaroo, a clothesline out the back, veranda out the front and an old rocking chair!”.



A real off the grid home amongst the gum trees

Underwhelmed by the options

I don’t know what to do anymore, I spend so much time weighing up the options, I feel I will never make a decision, and every year the housing market, just gets more and more expensive, and the beautiful old rustic houses of Melbournes suburbs, become few and far between, are replaced by the shiny glitzy McMansions.


If the government set some stronger regulations on developers, then we wouldn’t have half the issues, and the housing market would be much more affordable for everyone. But, sadly that isn’t in the interest of our government, only money speaks here,  and instead our city is losing its charm. If you are ever lucky enough to be in the market to actually purchase your own piece of land, then make sure you check out all the government information available online, you might be entitled to a first home owners grant or need advice about mortgages.  

Good luck out there guys, I’m off to eat a McFlurry to drown my sorrows.