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Thread: Urban Sprawl

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    Urban Sprawl

    I was just thinking about this the other day. My wife watches House Hunters and I will sit and watch with her. My question is this, why do people buy cheap, track houses in the suburbs? I guess I can probably answer my own question, but I would be curious to get the opinion of younger people getting ready to start their own home buying experience. For those of you that have done it, I'm not being critical, that is what our first house was as well.

    Obviously, you probably get more inside square footage for less money. They are typically in neighborhoods close to schools. Having progressed to a third house, and having my youngest probably moving out in the next 4 years, I can flat out say I would never purchase a house like that again.

    I wish there was a good social and economical way to go into old neighborhoods and rebuild, re use houses and neighborhoods that society has passed on. When ever I fly and see all these outlying suburban housing divisions, it makes me think about this.....


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    Re: Urban Sprawl

    By cheap, track houses you mean the blocks upon blocks of houses that are all built the same??



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    Re: Urban Sprawl

    Quote Originally Posted by linkshero View Post
    I was just thinking about this the other day. My wife watches House Hunters and I will sit and watch with her. My question is this, why do people buy cheap, track houses in the suburbs? I guess I can probably answer my own question, but I would be curious to get the opinion of younger people getting ready to start their own home buying experience. For those of you that have done it, I'm not being critical, that is what our first house was as well.

    Obviously, you probably get more inside square footage for less money. They are typically in neighborhoods close to schools. Having progressed to a third house, and having my youngest probably moving out in the next 4 years, I can flat out say I would never purchase a house like that again.

    I wish there was a good social and economical way to go into old neighborhoods and rebuild, re use houses and neighborhoods that society has passed on. When ever I fly and see all these outlying suburban housing divisions, it makes me think about this.....
    I personally find no appeal to living in the suburbs. I watched a wonderful movie over suburbia and the problem of it. I'll try and find it real quick if your interested?


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    Re: Urban Sprawl

    They are cheap and nobody wants to send their kid to school with poor kids. May not be PC to say but that's the reason.




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    Re: Urban Sprawl

    I think in some cities it has a lot to do with the demographics of who moved into those neighborhoods when the wealthy and middle class abandoned them. Unless you can get people to move into them en masse, who with a decent income is going to want to move into that area?



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    Re: Urban Sprawl

    Quote Originally Posted by linkshero View Post
    I was just thinking about this the other day. My wife watches House Hunters and I will sit and watch with her. My question is this, why do people buy cheap, track houses in the suburbs? I guess I can probably answer my own question, but I would be curious to get the opinion of younger people getting ready to start their own home buying experience. For those of you that have done it, I'm not being critical, that is what our first house was as well.

    Obviously, you probably get more inside square footage for less money. They are typically in neighborhoods close to schools. Having progressed to a third house, and having my youngest probably moving out in the next 4 years, I can flat out say I would never purchase a house like that again.

    I wish there was a good social and economical way to go into old neighborhoods and rebuild, re use houses and neighborhoods that society has passed on. When ever I fly and see all these outlying suburban housing divisions, it makes me think about this.....
    I'm guessing because it's cheaper?

    I've owned three houses; the newest being a 1933 two story brick in Beaverdale and would never buy a post-war built house.


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    Re: Urban Sprawl

    Quote Originally Posted by BryceC View Post
    They are cheap and nobody wants to send their kid to school with poor kids. May not be PC to say but that's the reason.
    Like all the poor kids at Perkins Academy in Beaverdale?


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    Re: Urban Sprawl

    School systems and property taxes - I like the school district, and my property taxes would be at least $1000 more a year if I was in DSM. Polk County property taxes are higher than Dallas County, so I live in WDM - Dallas County. There are no other houses like mine in the entire subdivision, so I can't complain. My subdivision was developed by several small developers who built more unique homes vs. a subdivision built by Regency or Jerry's Homes.



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    Re: Urban Sprawl

    Quote Originally Posted by weR138 View Post
    Like all the poor kids at Perkins Academy in Beaverdale?
    Clearly that's not the situation I'm talking about, and likely it isn't the kind of situation being talked about by the OP as well.




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    Re: Urban Sprawl

    Quote Originally Posted by MNCyGuy View Post
    I think in some cities it has a lot to do with the demographics of who moved into those neighborhoods when the wealthy and middle class abandoned them. Unless you can get people to move into them en masse, who with a decent income is going to want to move into that area?
    Quote Originally Posted by Three4Cy View Post
    School systems and property taxes - I like the school district, and my property taxes would be at least $1000 more a year if I was in DSM. Polk County property taxes are higher than Dallas County, so I live in WDM - Dallas County. There are no other houses like mine in the entire subdivision, so I can't complain. My subdivision was developed by several small developers who built more unique homes vs. a subdivision built by Regency or Jerry's Homes.
    These are good points. It's hard to get regular folks excited about arhcitectural aesthetics to the point that they'd choose homes in old neighborhoods.


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    Re: Urban Sprawl

    Quote Originally Posted by weR138 View Post
    I'm guessing because it's cheaper?

    I've owned three houses; the newest being a 1933 two story brick in Beaverdale and would never buy a post-war built house.

    I'm guessing you are in the "they don't make them like they used to" camp. You might want to be more specific when describing post-war, because I think there have been several.

    I know that many people share that same line of thinking, but I don't really understand it. What is so much better about an extremely old house with outdated and potentially hazardous materials?



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    Re: Urban Sprawl

    Quote Originally Posted by BryceC View Post
    Clearly that's not the situation I'm talking about, and likely it isn't the kind of situation being talked about by the OP as well.
    Oh. I thought he was talking about choosing the suburbs over the city.


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    Re: Urban Sprawl

    Gentrification isn't a totally new concept


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    Re: Urban Sprawl

    I'll give you some ideas why. I'm talking about Des Moines here and not downtown condo living.

    Why spend $50K on remodeling a kitchen in an old home when you can buy a new home with the kitchen you want?

    A lot of older homes have small rooms compared to new homes. I and many others prefer large rooms as opposed to a ton of small ones.

    I'm not handy and I have no urge to remodel. I bought this house 5 years ago and everything was brand new. In 5 years I've had pretty much zero problems.

    It's easier to get 3,4,5 etc car garages in the burbs.

    Taxes are cheaper in the suburbs of Des Moines than the metro itself

    With a few exceptions, the schools are better.

    Things like restaurants and retail are begin built more in the suburbs so you're closer to the action.

    Some cases closer to work.


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    Re: Urban Sprawl

    I would also add, many of those houses in that beaverdale area are either smaller than my wife or I want since we might have 3 kids, or they are flipping unbelievably expensive. I live in Ankeny right by the interstate because I like to be right by everything down on Oralabor and I'm two minutes from the interstate so it's much easier to get to the places I want to go, especially when considering Beaverdale which was the only other place we really considered in Des Moines. Plus, we wanted a yard since we have a big dog.

    Edit: I was also thinking downtown.

    Edit again, last comment: I would also add that if I ever move from my current home (the only one my wife and I have ever lived in) I would build a house exactly how I wanted it. Very difficult to do in established cities.


    Last edited by BryceC; 01-21-2011 at 02:48 PM.


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