13 February 2021

Let's Discuss: Is 5,000 Square Feet A Mansion?


Can you classify a home that is 5,000 square feet to be a mansion? In my humble and professional opinion, absolutely not! To be quite honest, on the streets and in the realtor's boardroom, the word "mansion" has been thrown around far too many times for comfort. When you think of your typical modern mansion, what comes to mind is a stately abode that is well constructed from the outside in. Its exterior alone casts a shadow of opulence and makes a bold statement.

You think of an interior with cascading chandeliers and drapes, floating bridal staircases, exotic stones and woods, and bespoke amenities. Perhaps the historical building in Manhattan that houses a triplex is your idea of a mansion. See, at the end of the day, it is all relative to one's perception. A person who grew up in a modest rancher home in a rural area may look at a 5,000 square foot home as a mansion. On the other hand, someone who comes from the elite class will look at a 5,000 square foot home as nothing more than a modest guest house on their sprawling estate.


Now, Webster's dictionary definition of a mansion is pretty simple, stating that a mansion is "a large and impressive house: the large house of a wealthy person." This sounds pretty darn accurate to me. Most knowledgeable real estate and architectural designs professionals would say that a mansion is a house that has at least 8,000 square feet of interior living space. It will feature luxury amenities that will include but not limited to formal living and dining rooms, family or great rooms, chef-inspired kitchens and catering kitchens, wet bars and wine cellars, billiard rooms, home theaters, and a garage that will accommodate at least three cars. Your outdoor features will include expansive terraces and/or patios and resort-like grounds that will include lush landscaping, swimming pool and a cabana.


When you talk about the wealthy purists who believe that real estate is king, a house that is less than 20,000 square feet is not even a true mansion; in fact at that size, we are now talking about the modern mega mansion! I tell you, it really irks me when I post a mega mansion on my Instagram page and some knucklehead comes by and comments "McMansion"! They clearly don't know sh*t, as McMansions are built with second class quality and are oftentimes very tacky looking. McMansions want to be mansions so bad but the problem is that they can not afford to be one. Comparing a McMansion to a mega mansion is like comparing a Dodge to a Ferrari-it's so disrespectful!

When you have a home that boasts 20,000 square feet or more, now your amenities lists is looking like a luxurious rap sheet. Now we are talking gated entrances, broad motor courts, porte-cocheres and porticos, rotundas, double floating staircases, elevators, two or three kitchens, game rooms, bowling alleys, stadium-style home theaters that can seat 16 to 24 guests, boutique-themed closets, wine cellars with tasting rooms, shooting ranges (yes, you read that correctly), home gyms that will rival a 24-hour fitness facility. And if you are an avid car collector, a mega mansion just may have a subterranean garage that can house 10 to 20 of your finest automobiles. And lets talk about the grounds of a mega mansion. If you are working with some acreage, then you will more than likely see some formal gardens, waterfalls, koi ponds, fire pits, massive free form swimming pools with glistening spas and breathtaking fire features. You may even get a pool house and/or a guest house with living spaces. When you have deep pockets, you can afford to build and maintain the mega mansion of your dreams!


When it is all said and done, there is no clear definition or checklist for what makes a mansion, a mansion. As I mentioned earlier, a mansion to me is not 5,000 square feet but that is just my professional opinion and not a fact. There is simply no right or wrong answer and this "debate" will always be relative to whom you are asking. Just go for what you know!

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