Suburbs - General Topics

Twin Cities Suburbs
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woofner
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby woofner » July 28th, 2015, 11:45 am

QuietBlue wrote:even if we were to stop building greenfield developments in the metro, it might just result in people choosing to live somewhere else rather than moving into the city. I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that density and the urban population will increase as a result.
Those same arguments were used against the creation of the Met Council and the MUSA line in the first place. That it hasn't happened has something to do with the fact that most people don't move to a place solely based on the cost of housing.

Although it has more to do with the fact that stopping exurban greenfield tract housing development does not end new housing development. On top of teardown activity, there are plenty of parcels available for smaller-scale development.

We've had 70 years to tally up all the ways that Levittown-type developments were a net negative to the public treasury, to the degree that we've forgotten about the shoddy building techniques that most developers used in those days to keep prices low (a big part of the reason new houses have higher sticker prices is that building codes have increased, allowing buyers to save the tens of thousands they would have to spend in the 50s to make up for the corners cut by developers).
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby QuietBlue » July 28th, 2015, 11:54 am

up north wrote: Why are those "must-have's"?

Most can get along just fine without those conveniences.
Everyone's version of a must-have is different, and they change over time.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby QuietBlue » July 28th, 2015, 12:04 pm

mattaudio wrote:Yeah, I understand people want that. But it's really tough for developers to make it worth their while for SFHs under $200. It's sort of like apartments... they start out as luxury then move downmarket over time. https://streets.mn/2012/09/24/affordable ... g-housing/
Oh, it's still perfectly doable to build a new house for under $200K in certain markets. You can still just barely buy a small (by modern standards) new SFH in Sioux Falls, for example, for that much. But it's probably not going to happen anywhere near a major city, nor would I have much trust in the quality of that construction.

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Postby seanrichardryan » July 28th, 2015, 12:56 pm

Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby up north » July 28th, 2015, 1:11 pm

QuietBlue wrote:
up north wrote: Why are those "must-have's"?

Most can get along just fine without those conveniences.
Everyone's version of a must-have is different, and they change over time.
Those are wants. Not must-haves.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby Mdcastle » July 28th, 2015, 1:44 pm

mattaudio wrote:What's the point of building new $120k homes when there are piles and piles and piles of existing homes in that price range? Even in metropolitan areas?
Because there's not enough for everyone that wants to live in them now plus everyone that will want one, given the projected growth of the area. I rarely see one in my neighborhood last a week on the market.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby FISHMANPET » July 28th, 2015, 1:49 pm

Again, I want a pony and a million dollars. That alone is not justification for the government to give me one. I bet if new houses were a dollar they'd go like hotcakes, why aren't you lobbying for dollar houses?

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby mulad » July 28th, 2015, 1:54 pm

Is this a specific area we're talking about, or is this still the exurbs in general?

Developers have often been far too eager to leap out to the edge to build things, when we really need to be paying attention to the buildings that are now becoming abandoned in suburbs as they age. As much fun as it might be to watch suburbs fall into disrepair just like inner cities did, it's not a good idea in the long term. There's a humongous amount of room to redevelop within existing urbanized areas.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby Mdcastle » July 28th, 2015, 2:35 pm

People of modest income like myself didn't always have to settle for either multi-family housing or used single family houses, of which there's a fixed supply and thus a lot of demand. I see this as a problem even if others don't.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby FISHMANPET » July 28th, 2015, 2:48 pm

I too see it as a problem that we don't have an ample supply of new large lot single family homes priced far below market price.
(not)

I believe that housing is a right, and certainly that even those who can't afford housing should be provided housing with some level of dignity. But that doesn't mean we should provide single family large lot homes, the most expensive possible form of housing from an infrastructure and environmental point of view (even moreso when we put it on the exurban fringe) and say that it needs to be affordable to people of all means all the time. You Monte, and many other people, have a preference for the large lot single family life style. And that's fine. But you should bear the full cost of that preference.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby Mdcastle » July 28th, 2015, 3:06 pm

Where did I say I wanted large lots. That requirement, driven by city zoning, is part of the problem that makes them unaffordable.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby FISHMANPET » July 28th, 2015, 3:10 pm

Well they sure as hell aren't building on 3000 square foot lots in the exurbs...

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby woofner » July 28th, 2015, 3:18 pm

Mdcastle wrote:People of modest income like myself didn't always have to settle for either multi-family housing or used single family houses, of which there's a fixed supply and thus a lot of demand.
Why don't you purchase the raw materials and build a house by yourself with the assistance of friends? That's the only way historically that people of modest incomes have been able to acquire new single-family homes. Make sure to build it near a source of raw lumber, though, or else you'll have to make do with a one-room hovel, like the vast majority of modest-income Americans have.
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby EOst » July 28th, 2015, 3:22 pm

Mdcastle wrote:People of modest income like myself didn't always have to settle for either multi-family housing or used single family houses, of which there's a fixed supply and thus a lot of demand. I see this as a problem even if others don't.
I am sympathetic to this, really. But I don't see a good way to resolve it either.

As we move toward becoming a more environmentally sustainable society, there are going to be a lot of conflicts like this. "People like you" didn't always have to think about whether to recycle trash, or how much carbon their actions would put into the atmosphere, or even (if you go back far enough) whether the land they wanted to build upon was ecologically fragile or unsuitable for human habitation. Even if you never buy into "Strong Towns" and their predictions of financial collapse, the ecological implications of unlimited new building on the fringes are absolutely horrible, and they're only going to get worse with every extra mile. Does the need for new, affordable single-family homes outweigh those implications? I know of no moral argument in that direction.

Like it or not, there is a radical disconnect between the American ideology of personal autonomy and choice, and the decisions of choices that we collectively are going to have to start making.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby acs » July 28th, 2015, 3:27 pm

This whole debate just reinforces why the teardown moratorium was such a bad idea. It takes away the option of building new and big on existing infrastructure rather than in greenfields.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby phop » July 28th, 2015, 4:08 pm

acs wrote:This whole debate just reinforces why the teardown moratorium was such a bad idea. It takes away the option of building new and big on existing infrastructure rather than in greenfields.
(1 new house) - (1 old house) = 0 additional houses. Doesn't really address the demand issue.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby FISHMANPET » July 28th, 2015, 4:22 pm

Well it is sort of tangentially related. If you want a house with certain features that aren't available in older homes then, you can either buy a new spec house or build your own. A new house or building your own is much easier out in the suburbs. If you allow a teardown you allow that family to live in the city, and if somehow the needle shifts and that house becomes too big to be in style it can be subdivided like a lot of the older large homes already have been in the city. Build that house in the exurbs and all it can do is rot if it goes out of fashion.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby mamundsen » July 28th, 2015, 6:47 pm

up north wrote:
QuietBlue wrote:
up north wrote: Why are those "must-have's"?

Most can get along just fine without those conveniences.
Everyone's version of a must-have is different, and they change over time.
Those are wants. Not must-haves.
I used "must haves" because for everyone I know building new has these features. It's true they are not needed, they are the current popular features in new housing. I was more getting to the point that I'd like these modern conveniences in a more reasonable sized house with a more reasonable sized mortgage. (not 3,500 sq ft and $450k)

If you still disagree with me, I have a feeling this will lead down a path to where we are debating if dish washers, laundry, forced air heat and AC are must haves. We can just agree to disagree and as was said. Everyone's must haves are different.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby Mdcastle » July 28th, 2015, 7:30 pm

The original 3 bedroom, 1 bath Levittown House payment was $67 a month (about $1000 today). Is that possible today, given that construction inflation seems to go up faster than general inflation?

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby seanrichardryan » July 28th, 2015, 8:27 pm

Sure, plus a bath!- http://j.mp/1VLNMrG
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