Love Thy Neighbor: A Little Wisdom Mixed with Luxury

On Thursday, June 14, 2007 I read an article in The Seattle Times called “Megahouses multiplying, but how big is too big?” This article brought up the point that people living in modest neighborhoods are complaining about large mansions being built nearby around the United States in places like Austin, Texas; Marin County, Calif.; Queens, N.Y.; Chevy Chase, Md.; Bellevue, Wash. and Atlanta. The following day I read this article, also in The Seattle Times, entitled “Pursuit of luxury knows no bounds for rich who splurge with abandon.” According to this article, the distance between haves and have-nots is as wide as it was during the Great Depression, and there seems to be a disregard among the super-rich for the costs of their tastes.

Suddenly the situation is becoming clearer.

I’m certainly not saying it is a bad thing to desire the best properties money can buy. Luxury home buyers are willing to pay top dollar for large, rare and unique properties because they are so luxurious and distinct from other homes. The incredible demand for immense, luxury properties is naturally pushing builders and real estate professionals to supply large, exquisite homes in new places. However, I am saying that wisdom and prudence should prevail as buyers and sellers make decisions about new properties that affect neighbors and society at large. Let us respect the needs of the many and not just the few so that all can benefit from new home sales that can raise neighboring property values instead of making neighbors feel uncomfortable.

As more buyers demand high-quality luxury properties we have more opportunities to help them make responsible, constructive decisions.

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