What is a Mansion?

by Candace Smith | Updated: Jun 17, 2021

Most people are fascinated with mansions. They’re imposing with their grandeur and impressive size so they often invoke our attention. People think of mansions as being mini paradises complete with lavish pools, large rooms and expensive decor. It’s almost like living your daily life as a non-stop vacation. 

Some people may even think they live in a mansion or at least nearby one. But exactly what is a mansion? There are specific aspects that make a house a mansion, and it’s not just the size. Let’s dive in and learn more. 

What makes a house a mansion?

Custom built luxury modern house on a cliff, rock in a residential neighborhood.

When thinking about what is a mansion, most people imagine images of a stately residence with vast acres of beautiful landscaping, grand ballrooms and sweeping staircases whenever they hear the word mansion. Some may think a mansion is the most elegant home in their neighborhood with world-class amenities such as a wine cellar, four-car garage and a koi pond. Homes like this tend to be at least 5,000 square feet, which was previously the standard for labeling a home a mansion.

However, according to today’s standards, real estate experts don’t consider a 5,000 square foot house a mansion. Today's real estate specifications state that a mansion should have at least 8,000 square feet (20,000 square feet to be a mega mansion) and have certain luxurious features. Some of these features include:

  • Entertainment facilities: Traditional mansions usually had salons, billiard rooms and lounges. Today's modern mansions have luxurious features that include movie theaters, elaborate game rooms, specialty bars and a pool that is complete with a cabana or a pool house. Modern mansions also include at least three kitchens to serve multiple guests. 
  • Lavish grounds: Other features on the property may include sports facilities, formal gardens, motor courts, water features, fire pits, extensive gardens, guesthouses and hiking trails.

Beautiful symmetrical english style garden with pool

  • Leisure space: Today's mansions have large spa facilities, high-tech media rooms and gyms. Some renters likely won’t consider renting or buying a mansion that doesn’t have these high-end facilities. 
  • Premium building materials and spectacular finishes: Mansions are built from high-quality materials, including luxurious stonework and fine woods. A modern mansion also has classic appliances and smart home features, such as a central control station (usually a phone or tablet) for monitoring the lights, temperature, alarm system and even the sound system. Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular and mansions use a lot of energy. Adding solar panels helps these homes generate a lot of their own power, ultimately reducing their carbon footprint.

What is the purpose of a mansion?

Back exterior view of mansion including pool and pool house.

  • Exclusivity: While size is important in defining what is a mansion, location is equally important. Mansions generally require a private and large open space either in an exclusive neighborhood or area such as an oceanfront or lakefront property. The remoteness of these spaces adds to the prestige of the home and gives it a feeling of being a small oasis. 
  • Awesome amenities: The amenities in a mansion explain why wealthy people opt to live in them. From elaborate game rooms, high-end bars and fully-furnished kitchens to superb water features, there are dozens of features that a mansion offers, allowing residents to enjoy the benefits of a rich lifestyle. 

Houseouse interior and outdoor including dining and kitchen beside living room, the dining or patio area has a wooden table with plastic see through chairs on the tile floor, the house illuminated

  • A worthy investment: Mansions are spacious enough to make a great investment for many years, especially considering how land value is currently soaring. 
  • Private open space: Mansions usually are located on a significant amount of land, giving an owner the opportunity to convert their open space into a personal haven. The space can be used for private gardens, a guest home or an athletic court. 
  • Pet-friendly: By being spacious, mansions are more pet-friendly, unlike other residential properties, such as apartments. Thus, you can own multiple since they will have access to outdoor areas. Moreover, your pets will have the liberty to move around, unlike when you live in an apartment. Such dwellings have strict guidelines regarding keeping pets. 
  • Landscape and architectural design: Mansions have often been considered art. They can be an opportunity to showcase the most innovative and creative landscape and architectural design of the past and present. They often feature one of a kind design elements, contrary to the repetitive structures of more affordable homes, and often employ the most acclaimed landscapers and architects to give their homes a unique look.

Front exterior of a stone mansion with elaborate landscape of green plants, shrubbery, and bushes.

Mansions have become a fascination for many with their unique designs and extravagant amenities. If you remember the game M.A.S.H, you probably recall hoping you got the “M” so you could “live” in a mansion. Even if you’re not able to buy a mansion, you can always rent one, although they often come with a pricey monthly rent. If you’re looking for a nice place to stay while on vacation, consider renting one to get the ultimate lavish experience. 

Categories: Landlords, Renters

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