whaas_5a

Why the snout garages?

whaas_5a
last year

I'm guessing these where started because of small lots and tight setbacks? Or are they otherwise much cheaper to build?


The troubling thing is that builders continue to offer them and build them as specs homes on 1+ acre lots. I feel ecspeically bad a younger family that is building right down the road and they have one of these 3 car snout garages. The kicker is that they did the minimum front setback and have side entry to the garage as you drive up. So they literally can't see the front of their house when the drive up. That is just crazy to me if you're spending $1/2 million on a new home with that much land.


Who should be held responsible?


I feel like this is an epidemic in my area as there are 4 of these in my subdivision of now 18 homes that are all different custom home builders.


Comments (145)

  • queenvictorian
    last year

    Suru11, your house is lovely and the garage is handled very well. The house is well balanced, the human entryway is on the other side (and therefore you avoid the common issue of the garage door visually competing with/overshadowing the entryway), and I think it's also helped by being a single car garage and less prominent.


    Here's a listing pic for an older house in my area with a similar handling of the attached, front-facing garage:


    The garage is RIGHT THERE, but it's done in such a way that the human entryway dominates (as it should) and it's a very welcoming and charming house overall.


    Where I start to dislike attached garages is when they take away from the human-centric aspects of a house, like making it less accessible to those arriving by foot than by car, and visually dominate the front of the house.

  • Holly Stockley
    last year

    Whatever happened to "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all"?

    The internet.

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  • Alison
    last year
    Virgil do you no realize that you’ve made this personal not I? Not sure why you are fixated on what I have to say and started quoting my comment specifically and then now feel the need to accuse me of lack of niceties. I accept that you don’t like the way I post and while you have some amazing ideas to share I fully admit that I often find them laced with condescension. But that often happens when someone is an expert in their field and balances sharing that expertise with talking down to others who don’t have the same expertise. Just like you are entitled to your view I am mine.
  • Suru
    last year



    Does this count as a snout garage even though it had bedrooms on top? This was my last house in SoCal. The front yard was very deep so we installed the block wall and created a nicely landscaped courtyard behind. I had a big tree in the center but had just recently cut it down because we couldn't water for 4 years due to the drought and it got diseased and died. That's why the lawn & landscaping looks so bad. Anyway, I think the wall might have helped negate the snout feeling.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art
    last year

    Allison, you know as well as I do that I am talking about the very nasty and demeaning post you made, which is no longer on this thread. Fortunately, the moderators deleted it. It was you who posted and made an unnecessary and uncalled for personal posting.

  • Alison
    last year
    I literally have no idea what you are talking about! I did not say or do anything personal.
  • Alison
    last year
    You do all realize there are more than one people named Alison and I am with one l. All of my comments are still listed and I have no idea what this personal attack is that keeps being referred to.
  • jmm1837
    last year
    First, can I just say, I do not find this thread "mean." There has been a bit of unneccesary crossfire, but the gist of the discussion has been informative. I came here to learn about good design, and that means being educated about what is bad (or, to avoid ruffling feathers, "less than optimal"). That's not snobbery in my book - that's trying to understand why some structures are appealing and some aren't. And I'm sorry if feelings get hurt but critiquing bad design is a pretty important part of the process.

    As I've already said, I happen not to agree with the argument that snouts are a necessity in higher density neighborhoods. I live in such a neighborhood - a mix of units, duplexes and single homes, a few dating from the 30s, but most from redevelopments in the 70s, the 90s, and the last five years. Only the oldest houses are on large lots, and they all have detached garages; the rest of us are squashed together, cheek by jowl as they say. Every house has a front facing garage because there are no back alleys and many of the houses abut their lot boundaries on the sides. But, no snouts. So it certainly is possible to find other solutions.(And while the quality of the architecture is variable, I would describe my neighborhood as reasonably attractive, given the constraints of living on pocket sized lots a stone's throw from Main Street.)
  • whaas_5a
    Original Author
    last year

    Alison, moderator must have deleted your comment if someone flagged it.

    I can still see it as I get notifications of all the comments as the thread author. I will say its not that bad though, lol.


    At the end of the day its electronic communication. Its tough to read tone and I bet most don't intend it that way otherwise we have some serious sociopaths on this forum!





  • Alison
    last year
    Can someone tell me what comment is so rude? I’m utterly baffled!
  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last year

    Is that Trashcanman's missing trashcan in that image?

  • Alison
    last year
    Ah I see now. I can find it on my thread as I posted it but you cannot as someone flagged it. A post where I said that not considering affordability was ignorant has been deemed inappropriate. Really? I can’t believe that is what gets moderated out. I stand by the comment fully. It is not personal at Virgil but a statement about the many contributing factors one faces when buying a home. And how closing your eyes to those factors is ignorance. Ignorance is defined as a lack of knowledge or information or unawareness. It is entirely fitting in this discussion. It in no way means Virgil, the person, is ignorant. It fully means, as I intended it to, that a discussion of why any design decision exists, that excludes affordability and availability is ignorant.
  • PRO
    Anglophilia
    last year

    Many have stated that they think this is a trivial subject - we should be thinking about far more important things such as great schools etc when buying a house.

    i can’t speak for others, but my house is the costliest purchase I’ve ever made or ever will make. So how it looks matters to me a lot. It’s not like a blouse one bought at Target, wore twice and hated it and then donated it to Goodwill. Most of us are stuck with our house for many years - perhaps even a lifetime. In my city, the best schools are not in areas with snout houses. In fact, they’re in areas where most of the houses are at least reasonably attractive,

    Most of the subdivisions with these, being built in my city, are at the low end of cost for a single family home. Buyers typically buy these as they are either trying to get out of a neighborhood that has deteriorated and is no longer very safe, or they are totally seduced by all the bells and whistle “finishes” they see on HGTV and want these. I feel very badly for the latter as they don’t realize the very poor quality of those kitchen cabinets and other things, and that the drawer fronts are going to fall off within 3-5 years. They will have been “taken”.

    My son’s 2nd house had a snout garage. It was a modest house built right after WWII in a part of CT that had become more and more desirable over the years. It didn’t start life like that - it was a classic 2 story clapboard colonial with a front-facing attached garage. The previous owners turned the garage into a family room and laundry room. They then built a one-car garage that was a snout, and used the space over it to enlarge their MBR. They added a pull-off to the side for a 2nd car.

    The only thing that saved this house from being hideous was that they used a very expensive all-wood garage door that was attractive, and painted it white like the house. Also, the house itself was not covered - only the old garage was. Then, they spent thousands on some really lovely landscaping that brought ones eye to the entrance/house, not the garage. It was not perfect, but it could have been far worse. They sold it in 2008 for 1.2 million. For that kind of money, I would have hoped for better! Not in that HCOLA!

    I have no idea what I would do if all I could afford was a house in a subdivision with narrow lots and street after street of ugly house with snout garages. I’d probably try to figure out how to move to another part of the country where I could afford better. Good design and beauty are very much a part of who I am, and living in ugly would depress me greatly. My parents built a very modest house in 1952 but it sure looked better than those pictured.

  • jmm1837
    last year

    Alison - the word "ignorant" has connotations beyond what you're attributing to it. It also means uniformed, uneducated, discourteous and rude. I don't believe that's what you intended, but that's how the use of the word in this context can come across. That may be what's ruffling a few feathers here.

    I think your point is fair enough: that one has to take affordability into account in these discussions. I think the point being made by the anti-snouters is also fair enough: that aesthetics should be included in the evaluation too. It doesn't need to be a "one or the other" argument, however: both should be taken into account. If it's possible to design and build an affordable house without a snout, why not explore that option?

  • Alison
    last year
    Ah jmm you hit the nail on the head! I absolutely meant ignorant as the way I defined it, which is from the dictionary, so I assumed accurate. That’s how the internet rolls...intent is assumed by the reader and not always what the writer was going for. Virgil I can honestly say I did not mean this as an attack on you personally and remained baffled through much of this because my intent was different than how you clearly received it.
  • einportlandor
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Well, Anglophilla, let me tell you what I did when all I could afford was "a house in a subdivision with narrow lots and street after street of ugly house with snout garages". I bought the "ugly" house and did my best to make it a warm and cozy home. As a single parent with limited means I wanted my children to attend excellent public schools and that's what was available in my price range. It paid off big time. No regrets -- it was the smartest decision I made as a parent.

  • Alison
    last year
    Erin this, in a nutshell, was my point. Thank you.
  • One Devoted Dame
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Okay, well, that's all well and good and whatever....

    Can we now cease the personal exploration of various demographic disadvantages that seemingly force poor architectural choices (and their justifications, however rational or irrational), and return to the general lamentation of the unnecessary loss of residential architectural beauty, while attempting to propose/theorize on corrective measures? Unless, of course, I misunderstood the OP all this time...?

    Thanks.

    [Dang, did all of that come out of *me*??? lol]

  • Holly Stockley
    last year

    I could drive around my small town and find you a snout house, another tract home that handles garages better, and a custom home in the same price range with similar locative features. (In fact, I could probably get at least the snout and the other tract within about 3/4 of mile from each other). At the same price point (locally, about $499,00 which doesn't really mean a lot other than that we aren't talking about first time buyers in this location), you'll find that the snout house is the largest, and on the smallest lot - although the neighborhood does boast a little playground area. The tract that is a somewhat better design - solely in terms of exterior proportions - is a little less square footage. Both will tend to have "upgrades" like quartz countertops. But staged to look like something out of The Joanna Gaines Collection. The custom home will generally be a little smaller yet, and in that range will not necessarily have top of the line finishes in all areas. Usually there are cost savings in guest baths, etc.

    I'm actually assuming for the purpose of this discussion that we're not talking SO much about why people buy existing snout homes. Because when you are shopping on the existing market, your calculus is based on what inventory is available and that's just going to vary so much by time and market. The fact that snout homes routinely sell for less when you pull comps. (which does happen - try it on for size) does sort of suggest they are considered less desirable?

    The bigger question I think whaas is asking (and possibly I'm wrong here) is why a new build snout would be preferred over a new build with a better designed exterior? (presuming, again, both options are available to the buyer. And often they are. Very VERY infrequently are their NO choices on the RE market. Priorities always come into play). My theory is that the factors involve include the following:

    Price per square foot - newer buyers are particularly vulnerable to the poor math this often represents. It's hard to explain that the exact number of sq ft you get is less relevant than the usability of it. And, often, no one explains to those buyers how to evaluate usability or measure for what happens to pathways, etc. when they bring in their OWN furniture - rather than the tiny cafe set in the dining room of the model. But, because the developer could put more houses on the same acreage as his competitor he can appear to offer a bargain.

    One level living - in my locale, at least, the most egregious snouts tend to be single story homes. Most two stories seem to include the garage a little more thoughtfully into the design, rather than pushing it forward. Again, this is sort of a small lot issue. A single story will have a larger footprint than a two story of the same square footage.

    The extreme popularity of larger and larger garages - I live in the Great White North. Most people up here shopping in that price range expect to have garage space for two vehicles, at least one of which is an SUV, and also the snowblower, a couple of snow mobiles, quads, or jet skis, etc. Once you get out of the very young buyers market, its becoming an expectation.

    The portion of the market that wants a NEW home is usually especially tuned into trends. They want "what the neighbors have, but a little nicer." Or possibly what they see on HGTV. They don't consider snout houses a problem, because all the people they know have them. As long as, again, they're presented with the sorts of choices they see as being on trend, they're pretty happy. In this market, the color the house is on the exterior is probably more important to them than the proportions of the facade.

    Again, when you're talking marketing new builds, there are more people who are willing to commit just enough time to select a plan from a portfolio of 4-8 and another 4 hours at the Design Center choosing finishes. Fewer are willing to put the massive time commitment into a custom build. (Which reminds me that it's time to shake the trees and see if new sketches, quotes, etc. fall out of them for mine. Try to talk the builder into the restored lighting place, visit a different flooring provider, and hit the parade of homes this weekend for other things I might not have thought of...)

    As relates to above, then, most people building a home are limited to the plans offered by the builders in developments. Now comes the other half of the equation. Most GC's are not good judges of design. You will occasionally happen upon one who is, but not that often. And, since most of them will pay somebody to draw up those plans, THEY won't prioritize good design over other factors like cost to build and including whatever features are good sellers right now. (Double doors on the master suite are popular with people who've never actually lived with them, for instance).

    So basically - The developer maximizes his profit by making as many lots as possible. On certain parcels, this can mean they're quite narrow, favoring snouts.

    The builder is going to maximize HIS profit by paying only as much as he has to for designs - maybe even an in house "draftsman" who doesn't really know any better.

    The buyer often is less concerned with architectural proportions than things like the color of the kitchen cabinets and the style of trim.

    They get built because the maximize profit for both developer and builder. They get bought because they builder and his agent know how to stage it to appeal to the vast majority of buyers.

    Eventually, like the bilevels of the 80's and trilevels of the 70's it will probably fall out of favor for some new "efficient" design.

    In fact, at least locally, the "modern farmhouse" thing is starting to put pressure on the snout house design because everybody knows a farmhouse has to have a porch and snouts make that difficult. I'll be interested to see what's on this year's parade of homes and how garages are handled. :-) Maybe I'll take photos.

  • queenvictorian
    last year

    Holly, very interesting post. I think you're onto something with the idea that many buyers are more interested in features, finishes, and gross square footage than the house's holistic architectural quality and effectiveness, which gets you lots of houses that complete checklists individually but aren't designed well as a whole and without regard to how the house relates to the street or the other houses in the vicinity (even if they are copies of the same house).


    Another thing, namely with tract houses, is that, despite being built all together and looking the same, they never seem to be intended to work together as a neighborhood. Snout garages add to the sense of isolation because they visually off the house from the street and neighborhood. The front yards are not designed to be played in or really interacted with. No, you'll be outside in your backyard behind your privacy fence.


    My husband and I bought a 108-year-old house in an equally old city neighborhood. Not only are (detached) garages rare, off-street parking is rare as well. The houses are too close together for sideyard driveways and backyard garages. There are no alleys either. Owning a car was an exception back then, so they were not considered in the layout of the neighborhood. On the flip side, every house has a broad, deep front porch. They are intended to be approachable on foot, and the porches make socializing with your neighbors automatic. We met just about everyone on and around our block just by hanging out on the porch. How do you do that if you have a front garage instead? Plunk your lawn chairs on your front grass like hick weirdos and wave at your neighbor as they drive by?


    At least in urban areas, there's a trend in my generation (millennial) to want to live in denser, more walkable neighborhoods near the city center and in effect reduce reliance on cars and need for huge garages. "Can I walk to stores and restaurant?" becomes a more pressing question than "Is there a (big enough) garage?" Maybe that shift will be enough to influence how developers design not only the houses themselves but how the houses work together as a neighborhood.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Why would anyone build a snout garage house if they have enough money for a custom-designed and built home, and enough land for a variety of house layouts?

    Holly's analysis hits the nail on the head.

    What is boils down to is that: 1) An owner doesn't know the difference about a snout or doesn't care; 2) The drafter or designer source of the construction drawings doesn't know the difference about a snout or doesn't care, and simply hands the owner whatever they ask for; 3) The builder is looking for the quickest and least expensive solution, preferably one he has built many times before.

    Time and again we hear owners who have snouts saying, "I don't care about the front of my house; I care about the inside and the back yard".

    Really, how much more creativity, time, effort or budget does it really take to forego the first scheme and focus on concepts embodying the second scheme:



    Holly is right that until or unless something else in common residential comes along which has greater mass appeal, snout homes and garage-homes will continue to be built and purchased. How many threads have we seen in this forum of folks asking for comments on the plans for a new custom designed home on ample land, where the plans are of a type designed for a 250-home tract subdivision?

    Snouts exist simply because folks with enough money for a custom-designed and built home, and enough land for a variety of house layouts, don't know the difference about a snout or don't care about it.

    It is about awareness of good design and about priorities.

    This is neither condescending nor critical--it's simply an observation based on experience over time.

  • whaas_5a
    Original Author
    last year

    I find all the dialog insightful but yes the original intent was to find out why builders and would be homeowners are building this type of home if not faced with lot constraints. I'm still not clear on the answer except that "some" GCs and builders don't care (or are aware) and would be homeowners aren't aware of the options or can't visualize the issue until its built.


    I bet the homeowners building the house near me had an oh shi*t moment when they drove down the street and couldn't see the front of their house. They will actually never see the front of the house unless they walk out to the street past their garage. Perhaps they don't care.


    There is a builder pumping out spec homes right now in which the garage is by far the dominant focal point. It hard to find the front entry door. I'm being sarcastic but not really. They really don't have to be designed this way either.


    This post has nothing to do with someone buying existing or owning a home with these characteristics. I've owned them and at the time didn't care as you're limited to choices and priorities come into play. But when you're building you likely have a choice to make a difference! lol


    I just want builders to stop building them when they don't have to and want would be homeowners to be aware that there are more than likely options! Beautiful land is being ruined by poor architecture. I'm beyond appointed when I see a poorly designed new house being built on a large flat lot that has a backdrop of beautiful sugar maples, red oaks and shagbark hickories.



  • patriceny
    last year

    Whaas, I think we've now come full circle and you've answered your own question. :)

    The simple answer is, some people just don't care.

    Frankly, that's the answer to a lot of life's questions. And if you figure out a solution let me know, because there is a huge list of earthly issues that could use a whole lot more people caring a whole lot more than they do.....

  • Lori Wagerman_Walker
    last year

    I have nothing to offer, I just want to say, Holly Stockley, I really enjoy reading your posts. :)

    Carry on.

  • galore2112
    last year

    I like the “Current” version better. The “Proposed” version has a much more complicated roof and too many corners.

  • Holly Stockley
    last year

    *lol* Thanks, Lori.

    For the OP, I do know what you mean since I see a lot of the same thing out here. But, one has to respect everybody's freedom to do what they like with their own land.

    If, however, you aim to embark on an educational campaign, you should pitch an idea to HGTV where would-be home builders tour multiple models on acreage before designing a home that fits their own piece of land. Or even explore multiple designs with a talented architect. Though this would be harder to generate visuals for.

    On a smaller scale, start a FB page celebrating well-designed "real farmhouses" - homes on acreage that relate to their sites and their families.

    By far the biggest factor here is simple ignorance (note to the Powers That Be - I am not calling anybody specific ignorant!! Please don't delete the post!!). People just bring snout plans to a builder and say "build this on my property." The builder shrugs and says, "Sure, it's your money." It never occurs to them that the tract-built homes that they're used to are operating under restrictions not present on larger parcels. And that removing those constraints can lead to so much more, in design terms.

    A visual repository (FB, Youtube channel, blog, etc) that celebrates a well-designed "country house" would lead to more people taking photos of THOSE homes to designers and architects and saying, "I like this."

    I may actually have to think about something like that...

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art
    last year

    Galore2112, I knew we could depend on you. Thanks!

  • whaas_5a
    Original Author
    last year

    I'd like to say I did my part by posting this thread lol. Freedom is a beautiful thing but you don't know what you don't know remains a blindspot for all of us. One of the reasons I embrace discussions like these. Albeit not all that important considering but at the end of the day this is simply a thread on a public forum about building a house, nothing more or less.

  • patriceny
    last year

    Whaas, I agree with you. Blind spots are...well, blind. (Yeah, I know, I'm brilliant. Ha ha.)

    My significant other trained as a landscape architect.

    I owned my first home when I first met him. I was pretty proud of that cute little starter home. Landscaping and all.

    To his eternal credit, he said nothing for a long time. Then he slowly started showing me things, and eventually it dawned on me the approximately 16,000 things I'd done wrong. Once you see it as wrong, you can't unsee it either.

    Same thing with snout houses. I know exactly what you're talking about. Heck, I own one right now. (It's a vacation home, the market was very limited, and I liked the amenities of the development.)

    But until you see......you can be blind to what's literally staring you in the face.

  • One Devoted Dame
    last year

    But until you see......you can be blind to what's [plain as the nose on your house's] face.

    Had to pun it. And I make no apologies. :-D

  • Lori Wagerman_Walker
    last year

    On a smaller scale, start a FB page celebrating well-designed "real farmhouses" - homes on acreage that relate to their sites and their families.

    I'm in if someone starts it :) lol


    Galore2112, I knew we could depend on you. Thanks!

    well someone had to say it...we "hear" enough here!! LOL



    Had to pun it. And I make no apologies. :-D


    Well done!!!



  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art
    last year

    whass_5a, you raised a good subject and the discussion (for the most part) has been informative and educational. Thanks.

  • artemis_ma
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Lori, hear hear! On a smaller scale, start a FB page celebrating well-designed "real farmhouses" - homes on acreage that relate to their sites and their families.

  • sprink1es
    last year

    Can we just go back to ignoring window sizes and sun angles, assuming sun only shines in 5' and the rest of a room is pitch black, and automatically calling everyone's non-architect designed plan horrible because they're soooo dark? This snout garage thing is exhausting

  • One Devoted Dame
    last year

    This snout garage thing is exhausting

    I say we create a sequel, "Why the pork chop returns?" We could make several very educational threads, linking them all together, as new "Why" topics emerge.

  • Elin
    last year
    Sure! describe the difference of a pork chop return to a proper one.
  • OneRidgeOff
    last year

    Since this thread shows no sign of dying yet, I’ll feed the fire a little longer. I’m not even touching the pork chop debate. Disclaimer: I chose to buy my current house which fits the majority of my needs within my budget, and yes I suppose it would be a snout- well, half of the garage projects forward, so just a half snout, only half as ugly as a full snout LOL.

    No, aesthetically it doesn’t bother me one bit. In a cold and snowy climate, any attached garage is a valued feature, and honestly don’t know anybody outside of the Houzz world who cares about this issue of “great import”. Reflecting on homes I’ve lived in over the years, I always preferred a front load garage. My one house with a side load garage was actually a PITA, as almost no one could find the front door from the driveway and always stood knocking at the man door of the garage wondering why I didn’t answer. Well maybe that was actually a bonus, as actual friends knew where to go, I probably missed a lot of important solicitors over the years lol

    I especially take issue with this rather elitist statement above: “I have no idea what I would do if all I could afford was a house in a subdivision with narrow lots and street after street of ugly house with snout garages. I’d probably try to figure out how to move to another part of the country where I could afford better. ”

    Well in the real world, general location and school districts trumps aesthetics of garage placement. Very few people can just pick up and relocate their employment and family needs for a trivial reason like getting away from snout garage neighborhoods. We moved for a job promotion, which put us closer to our elderly parents, a big priority. Another priority was being in a particular school district, for my autistic daughter who benefits greatly from a specialized program in this district. Houses cost more in this district, outside of this district prices drop quite a bit but the schools are quite lacking in comparison.

    So one more answer to the “why a snout” question- the average person in my world is just happy to have any attached garage and isn’t bothered by this aesthetic, and location and other house features are far more important.

  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art
    last year

    This is starting to sound a lot like the "trash can" thread...never ending...


    Let's start keeping score:


    "No, aesthetically it doesn’t bother me one bit"--1


    "Front facing garages don't have to be a snout"--0


    Don't forget that the OP stipulated a custom home costing at least $500,000 on at least an acre lot...


    Going into the top of the second inning...

  • fuzzy wuzzy
    last year

    it's not always a question of "I was blind and now I can see how terrible it looks" or "this is what I can afford in this neighborhood." The truth is that I really don't care about it. I don't think it looks terrible, I prefer to have rooms behind the garage that open into my backyard. And I don't need to be educated. I remind myself that the posting public on Houzz has also decreed that 4" back splashes are to be immediately removed and replaced by whole wall back splashes. Well, this is another "improvement" I declined in my new house. A 4" back splash is easy to clean, neat, and matches very well. I've (collective gasp now) painted the wall above the back splash.

  • whaas_5a
    Original Author
    last year

    Interesting I had to look up pork chop return. I recall being drawn to a craftsman style as it didn't have eave returns


  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art
    last year

    Modern or International Style houses don't have eve returns either. In fact, they don't have eves.

  • artemis_ma
    last year
    last modified: last year

    After reading the thread about the folk Victorian home that someone is helping to reno for Habitat for Humanity... that house would be hideous with a front facing and/or snout garage.

    But a lot of homes are just sort of basic? (Shall we say?) It doesn't matter for those styles where the garage is. Neither bad nor worse nor great. But definitely liveable and attractive in their own rights.

    I would not want a Victorian of any style with a snout garage. (In fact, the only way I can visualize a Victorian is with a detached garage.)

    When I went house hunting for my first house when I could no longer stand the Anxiety Condo from Hell, I sought out older homes like Victorians and Colonials. I do have taste for style! Unfortunately the ones I could afford at that time (close enough to work) were in such severe disrepair that I couldn't afford to do anything for them. So, I ended up with MCM ranch, and a side garage that looks from the north-driving perspective like a front garage (not a snout as there was a bedroom over it), a horrible driveway in winter, non-functional shutters, an extremely dysfunctional kitchen if one likes to cook, and only one critical repair to be made upon moving in (replacing the rusted water tank). And, yard privacy! BUT, I HAD to move. Either that, or loose the last cog of sanity I had left from dealing with the putative cokehead upstairs at the condo.

    I could afford it, it was closer to work, and the yard was PRIVATE!

  • artemis_ma
    last year

    Don't forget that the OP stipulated a custom home costing at least $500,000 on at least an acre lot...

    Location?

    If I were to build again today on the location of my old CT home (described above), it would probably cost half a million there to do so. It IS a one-acre lot. Much of it is unbuildable as it has lots of sloping behavior, and good old fashioned New England rock formations underneath (which if one did decide to blast out in order to build anything he/she wanted on that lot, would really up the price). But in order to build on the same footprint I had (1400 square feet, mind you, for the one-level ranch aspect, prior to my adding the den in downstairs) yep, I'd say about half a million today.

    What one can build for half a million in one region does not compare to any other region.

    (PS, I haven't sold the place yet, it will go on the market in the spring, and I won't get that sort of return on it, and that's fine.)


  • David Cary
    last year

    The funny part of his debate is that this is not a general RE forum. We are not supposed to be talking about what the average home buyer is concerned with as very few here are average home buyers.

    You know on my car forums, we discuss how pathetic it would be if we had to drive a Camry. That would just be horrific. It is the number one sedan by sales for the last decade - sometimes trades off with the Accord.

    This forum does not and should not represent the average public. It is for those who care about houses, design, and mostly who can afford to build custom. In that setting, comments that might seem a bit elitist aren't really in my opinion.

    Even my house that I purchased to live in temporarily, and then rent out, doesn't have a snout - it is forward facing.

    Last point, those living in HCOLA areas where people talk in sqft of land doesn't really compare to people building on 1 acre. Totally different design priorities.

  • PRO
    Anglophilia
    last year

    OneRidgeOff, you may call me elitist if you like, but I’ll just fall back to a quote by one of my favorite authors, English mystery writer PDJames. In her book, “The Lighthouse”, she has a character talk about “...the assault on excellence by naming it elitism.” Hmmmm....

    And yes, my husband did change jobs and we moved, with 2 children, 1/2 way across the country, to an area where we could afford to buy a house in a decent neighborhood that was attractive and safe; we never would’ve been able to do so in LA and could not afford to continue to rent.

    My home, and making it attractive and a welcoming place for my husband and children has always been a top priority for me. Call me whatever you like. Those were my values and those of my husband- my now adult children feel the same way.

  • Suru
    last year

    Last point, those living in HCOLA areas where people talk in sqft of land doesn't really compare to people building on 1 acre. Totally different design priorities.


    David Cary, I think you make a very good point. I had posted previously that snouts didn't really bother me, but every home I've lived in that had a snout was on a small lot in a subdivision. They were all affordable homes for my young family. I agree that if you have acreage and are building custom, why build your garage out front and center? Unless maybe you are trying to hide the front of your house or you are looking for privacy.


    While walking around my neighborhood this morning where the lots range from 1/4 to 1 full acre and all homes are custom built and of every style imaginable, I noticed that no one has a snout garage (except me with my sorta snout). Our CC&Rs suggests side entry garages if feasible which most everyone has. If the garage is front facing than it is in-line with the front plane of the house or set back behind it. My neighborhood is a very desirable place to live in my city and very pretty to look at. I wonder if it's because there are no snout garages or because every home is a custom built and different from the others, or both.

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    last year

    " . . . very few here are average home buyers."

    Is it the buyer that are average or the homes that are average?

    "Welcome to Houzz, where all the builders are strong, all the architects are good-looking, and all the home owners are above average."

  • nini804
    last year

    I don’t give a poo what other people live in. I am very focused on the aesthetics and architecture of my home and the homes I have to look at daily (my neighborhood.) Since that is important to me, I chose an architect & had a custom home built. I built in a neighborhood of custom homes with very strict CCRs. I really dislike snout garages and made sure that was one of the items addressed in the CCRs before we bought. I fully realize most people would never care about this. I do. I am grateful that I found a location and builder that prioritized this. This is the beauty of our economic system...if people want something and are willing to pay for it, someone will provide it. Simple as that.

  • David Cary
    last year

    Mark, I never said above average....just not average. Not a ranking of course.