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'Giant house' trend angers Phoenix residents

Posted at 6:29 PM, Dec 07, 2015

A new trend in the Valley is making some people very upset, while making others a lot of money.

Hundreds of houses are being torn down and neighbors are calling into the city to ask how they can stop it.

"It's just ridiculous. It's ruining the neighborhood," said Milnikel.

Milnikel lives in Arcadia, just one of many Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley neighborhoods that have been experiencing a growing real estate trend.

Instead of just remodeling homes like they did in the past, developers are bulldozing. Replacing relatively small single story homes with massive two story ones.

"My home is 720 square feet. All the new one's being built around me are 3,000 plus. You can just look at a house like that and tell it doesn't belong here," said Milnikel.

While exact numbers are hard to come by, the City of Phoenix's planning department says more than 430 homes have been demolished this year.

Neighbors say the homes built in their place have been much larger.

"We have been getting a number of calls from people saying, 'hey this house looks way too big for more neighborhood can you come and verify,'" said Mo Glancy with the City of Phoenix.

Glancy says that while his office inspects new homes to make sure they meet all local ordinances, many existing ordinances allow for much larger that are usually found in the neighborhood.

"Two story has always been legal, it's just that in the past people have built one story homes," said Glancy.

Real estate experts say the larger homes are good for property values.

"It really creates a great hype. And it's certainly increased the property values and tax value," said real estate agent Bobby Lieb.

Lieb says that in recent years home buyers have started a shift towards more urban areas. Developers are building larger properties to try and maximize the square footage of a property.

Glancy says that while it's too late to do anything about previously approved homes. Neighbors can petition to change local ordinances.