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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 15th, 2015, 11:18 am
by David Greene
FISHMANPET wrote:Sean has an anecode of two older houses that are not that great anymore. He has provided a counter example to the "all old homes are better built" claim.

You David have provided an anecdote about your house and used your singular experience to extrapolate to all old homes.

#notalloldhomes
True, not all old homes. But not all old homes are terrible as that web page suggests. Some run-of-the-mill old homes are indeed better-constructed than some new homes, even "high-quality" ones.

The point I am attempting to make (unsuccessfully, apparently) is that there is value in old homes (and buildings in general) beyond aesthetics and function, value that can't always be re-created with new construction.

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 15th, 2015, 11:25 am
by FISHMANPET
Remember, in cases of intensifying uses, that intangible value has to be somehow greater than the measurable societal benefit of allowing actual human beings to live in places with excellent access to jobs and amenities. Is your old growth wood grain and needlessly sturdy roof boards worth that?
*puts on sunglasses and zips away on scooter*
ImageImage
E: My 4 and a half day vacation starts in 34 minutes so I'm in an... interesting mood.

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 15th, 2015, 11:31 am
by sdho
FISHMANPET wrote:Sean has an anecode of two older houses that are not that great anymore. He has provided a counter example to the "all old homes are better built" claim.

You David have provided an anecdote about your house and used your singular experience to extrapolate to all old homes.

#notalloldhomes
True, we're both relying on (very different) personal experience. But, objectively, no 100-year-old home has grounded wiring, modern insulation, or modern HVAC -- unless someone like David (or previous owner) went through the messy and expensive process to modernize it. To put one more "difficult to change" point -- I doubt just about any 100-year-old home has over a 7' ceiling in the basement. I acknowledge that some of the details of new homes are chintzy, but I just mean to point out that I don't think we've lost the ability to create high-quality homes.

As other have written elsewhere, there's survivor bias in that the lower-quality or neglected homes are more likely to be torn down and replaced. The teardowns we continue to see in most of the metro are still part of that process -- the worse-off homes get torn down, because they're cheaper. The Edina/Linden Hills teardowns may be more of an exception to that, since there are fewer neglected homes in those areas, and because location matters so much more than cost.
FISHMANPET wrote:Remember, in cases of intensifying uses, that intangible value has to be somehow greater than the measurable societal benefit of allowing actual human beings to live in places with excellent access to jobs and amenities. Is your old growth wood grain and needlessly sturdy roof boards worth that?
I agree -- although that becomes a harder argument to make when teardowns are replacing SFHs with new, bigger SFHs.

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 15th, 2015, 11:37 am
by FISHMANPET
I find it hard to rag against bigger new homes because people just want bigger homes these days, and even though there are homes (like mine, 1200 finished square feet) that held an entire family 60 years ago, a DINK couple (like my wife and I) can pretty much fill the space up. Kids used to share bedrooms growing up, they don't anymore. We're a materially more wealthy society than we were 60-100 years, I don't think it makes us bad people for wanting a little more space.

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 15th, 2015, 12:27 pm
by mamundsen
Speaking of tear downs... Tell me if this would be considered a "tear down."

On the corner of E Como Blvd and Lakeview Ave, the house had the roof torn off. Then the front wall came down... (then I was on vacation for a week and didn't pass it for another week or so) Now when I pass by I see that the new 2 story home with a similar footprint is framed and wrapped. looking through I don't see any of the old exterior but it might have saved a wall or two.

Tear down or 2nd level addition?

Also, this house was just bought in Nov 2014 for $450k. This addition has to be easily $200k. WOW! A $650k house seems a bit extreme for the neighborhood.

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 15th, 2015, 12:35 pm
by sdho
Had a similar semi-teardown on the next block down from me. New garage, new second story, new roof, windows, siding, and everything interior replaced. But technically, the foundation and studs on the first floor are original. Not sure how to characterize it either. I would think at that point you're spending as much money as to just build a whole new house, without the benefits of a modern foundation. But it must be worth it financially, or I guess the person would have done that (house-flipper).

Before...

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After...

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 15th, 2015, 12:49 pm
by mattaudio
I've done roughly the same thing to my house, though with dormers rather than a full second story. But an entirely new roof structure and shell. Why would someone tear down an old house and build new? The architects I know agree with me that we get much better results when we have to adapt the old... it requires more creativity, maintains scale, and allows for quirks to remain that are not allowed under current zoning code (shifted setbacks, etc). And it would cost at least $10,000 to replace the quarter-sawn oak millwork on my main floor. What a loss that would be.

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 15th, 2015, 1:14 pm
by sdho
mattaudio wrote:I've done roughly the same thing to my house, though with dormers rather than a full second story. But an entirely new roof structure and shell. Why would someone tear down an old house and build new? The architects I know agree with me that we get much better results when we have to adapt the old... it requires more creativity, maintains scale, and allows for quirks to remain that are not allowed under current zoning code (shifted setbacks, etc). And it would cost at least $10,000 to replace the quarter-sawn oak millwork on my main floor. What a loss that would be.
As it happens, this particular house is on the market (post-reno owner only stayed there a year)... http://www.edinarealty.com/homes-for-sa ... -150314799. Oddly, none of the original details were saved. Although much wasn't worth saving, basically every house in this area was built with nice Oak floors. Perhaps they were damaged, but looks like laminate replacement. Also curious: they list year built as 2013. Hennepin County says 1950.

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 15th, 2015, 4:07 pm
by mamundsen
sdho wrote:
mattaudio wrote:I've done roughly the same thing to my house, though with dormers rather than a full second story. But an entirely new roof structure and shell. Why would someone tear down an old house and build new? The architects I know agree with me that we get much better results when we have to adapt the old... it requires more creativity, maintains scale, and allows for quirks to remain that are not allowed under current zoning code (shifted setbacks, etc). And it would cost at least $10,000 to replace the quarter-sawn oak millwork on my main floor. What a loss that would be.
As it happens, this particular house is on the market (post-reno owner only stayed there a year)... http://www.edinarealty.com/homes-for-sa ... -150314799. Oddly, none of the original details were saved. Although much wasn't worth saving, basically every house in this area was built with nice Oak floors. Perhaps they were damaged, but looks like laminate replacement. Also curious: they list year built as 2013. Hennepin County says 1950.
Looks like whoever bought it post flip isn't happy. Currently listed for about $308k. Prior sale history below.

DATE EVENT PRICE
02/07/14 Sold $292,000
05/09/13 Sold $90,000

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 15th, 2015, 4:14 pm
by Mdcastle
If its a house flipper, that explains it. If you want to flip it rather than live their style rather than substance adds to the immediate value. A buyer is going to see the new garage, the nice granite, and all the space, not a 50 year old foundation.

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 15th, 2015, 4:35 pm
by Anondson
Golden Valley about to have its own apartment boom.

http://finance-commerce.com/2015/07/apa ... en-valley/

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 20th, 2015, 2:18 pm
by xanadu
As a GV resident, I'm cautiously optimistic about these new developments. I'm glad that high-density development is happening, especially in the ugly industrial areas, but I'm hoping we don't end up with a bunch of giant apartment islands surrounded by oceans of parking and unnecessary landscaping. Due to the proximity some of these new buildings have to the West End, I can only hope some focus is placed on walkability.

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 20th, 2015, 2:30 pm
by Anondson
I guess the pedestrian crossing facilities along Xenia/Park Place Blvd are passable. I've hope the apartment building on the GV side of 394 from West End might give us a ped bridge linking Utica in SLP to the Wayzata Blvd frontage in GV.

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 26th, 2015, 10:45 am
by acs
Suburban Sprawl marches on. Thanks to the Strib for reminding me how much Scott County sucks.

http://www.startribune.com/renewed-subu ... 318542431/

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 26th, 2015, 11:25 am
by Anondson
Put up a sales tax to fund development that can't fund itself. The very definition of subsidy.

They get to slap a sales tax (with zero oversight) for road expansion as if it won't impact the regional system. But municipalities can't put up a sales tax to fund transit infrastructure unless a committee of irrelevant jurisdictions get a say. Got it.

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 27th, 2015, 7:27 am
by Rich
I’ve often wondered what efforts are made to inhibit development in the exurbs. Apparently there’s something called the Metropolitan Agricultural Preserves Program which has protected 210,000 acres from development in the last couple of years. Not bad! But Dakota County’s conservation guy says “the economic engine that drives development is much greater than what we have any kind of impact on.” I don’t doubt him. Development drives up the price of farmland, which further tempts farmers to cash in. It’s a vicious cycle. What else can be done?

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 27th, 2015, 7:45 am
by mattaudio
Rich wrote:I’ve often wondered what efforts are made to inhibit development in the exurbs. .... What else can be done?
We definitely don't inhibit development... we're constantly building more roadway capacity, interchanges, etc in the exurbs. We are literally subsidizing them into existence. What else can be done? First, #nonewroads (the do no harm ethic). Second, slowly remove existing road capacity, and toll existing freeway capacity.

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 27th, 2015, 7:49 am
by Rich
But what about the farmer who just wants to sell his land and retire?

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 27th, 2015, 7:51 am
by Anondson
What else can be done? Require developments prove their tax base supports the infrastructure given to the city before cities and counties approve them. Thought I just read in Sarasota they require this.

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Posted: July 27th, 2015, 7:59 am
by Mdcastle
Personally I'm hoping for a lot more exurban growth, but if that's really undesirable we could pass a law that no one can move to the metro since we don't want to built houses for them.