Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ridiculous Subdivision Names

Since the end of World War II, land in Arizona has been cheap and plentiful compared to other states. This has made Arizona a prime location for building massive communities of residential homes, known as subdivisions or suburbs.


Housing mega-developers such as Del Webb, Pulte, D.R. Horton, Richmond American, Lennar, Meritage, and Taylor Morrison Homes have purchased hundreds of thousands of acres of land on the outskirts of Phoenix and built massive master-planned communities, also called "satellite communities." The explosive growth of these communities has kept Phoenix on the top 10 list of "fastest growing cities in America" for decades.


Aside from the urban sprawl and increased traffic, what really bugs me is the absolutely awful names these new subdivisions have. Most of them are designed to appeal to yuppies, and therefore incorporate some sort of pseudo-luxurious or elite sounding word into the name. Take a look at the examples below. All of these are real names of subdivisions in the greater Phoenix area:

Silverleaf
Villagio
Verrado
Vistancia
Estancia
Dynamite Ranch
Anthem
Troon
Troon North
Tartesso
Trillium
Desert Highlands
Whisper Rock
Pecan Creek South
Rancho Bella Vista
Grayhawk
Serenity Shores at Fulton Ranch

You can find yuppies and real estate agents discussing pricing and locations of the various subdivisions on forums such as City-Data.com.

How could you ever tell your parents or your co-workers that you just bought a new house in "Troon North" with a straight face? Not only is it an embarrassing name, but you are admitting to the world that you were seduced into buying an overpriced, cookie-cutter home that was made for people exactly like you by market researchers and focus groups. This is conspicuous consumption at its worst.

If the pinnacle of your adult life is moving into a stucco castle in some brand new master-planned community with a ridiculous name like "Tartesso" or "Troon North," then you should know that I hate everything about your priorities and your lifestyle.

Check out the master list of silly subdivisions in the Phoenix area.

I am not the only one who feels this way:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DE4D61131F93BA25755C0A9609C8B63
http://denverinfill.com/blog/2006/09/guide-to-suburban-denver-subdivision.html
http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=20502
http://www.city-data.com/forum/houston/462251-amusing-ridiculous-contrived-subdivision-names.html

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