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McMansions in the suburbs make less sense with high energy prices


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So you are basically accepting that poor people should keep poor housing just because they are poor. Why does it exists in the first place.

If you can't afford a kid, don't have them and expect the government to provide you welfare checks, if you can't maintain your car, don't drive it on the road and expect not to get caught in an accident without insurance, if you can't maintain the home you own, you should have never bought it.

Take pride and care of things you own, work hard for what you want, and alway take the opportunity to improve yourself and your surroundings. I don't accept the lazy answer and claim poverty as the reason why nothing improves. People create their own poverty and people can get out of it if they really want too (please refrain from attempting to name exceptions, yes EVERYTHING has exceptions, it's a tired response on HAIF). Laziness, neglect, and no ambition to improve is the reason why owners of most inner loop housing live in squalid conditions. People make something from nothing everyday. I don't buy that answer.

Ummm...ok. :mellow: You do realize that poor people aren't going away willfully, right? Even if you wish it really really hard.

So what realistic policy do you propose to combat poor people? Class-based genocide? Eugenics? What is your final solution, Puma?

Edited by TheNiche
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So what realistic policy do you propose to combat poor people? Class-based genocide? Eugenics? What is your final solution, Puma?

This is going well off what my intent was.

I was mentioning that people cause poor conditions of inner loop housing, the "cause" of this migration to outer sprawls because other people would rather live in nicer neighborhoods, which is the effect of neglect of owners who can't maintain them. If they use the excuse that they are "poor" and that's why they live the way they live, then there is a solution.

The solution. We already have it, it's called a rental.

You pay what you can afford, and let the landlord takes care of the maintenance.

When you are ready for home ownership, you should be ready to tackle the payments along with the upkeep.

Edited by Pumapayam
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We already have it, it's called a rental.

You pay what you can afford, and let the landlord take care of the maintenance.

When you are ready for home ownership, you should be ready to tackle the payments along with the upkeep.

:blink: Wow. Just...wow.

I could say so many things...for which Editor would probably kick me off of HAIF...and it would almost be worth it.

Edited by TheNiche
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When you are ready for home ownership, you should be ready to tackle the payments along with the upkeep.
I still live with stained/worn carpeting in my house because I am still saving for that next renovation project when I finally replace them.

neglect comes in many forms it seems.

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neglect comes in many forms it seems.

Include the entire post instead of your abbreviated version if you are trying to make a point. :rolleyes:

It took me 5 years to remodel my home, and I am still not halfway done. I still live with stained/worn carpeting in my house because I am still saving for that next renovation project when I finally replace them.

I bought the home in already depressed conditions, and it is always improving. There is a huge difference between buying a home, and letting decay settle in, versus buying a depressed home and renovating it.

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Include the entire post instead of your abbreviated version if you are trying to make a point. :rolleyes:

Keep at it man, I am happy you found someone like myself to keep you entertained. Too bad for you I take the higer road. B)

I bought the home in already depressed conditions, and it is always improving. There is a huge difference between buying a home, and letting decay settle in, versus buying a depressed home and renovating it.

it's ok if you can't tackle the upkeep. maybe you might be happier in a rental? the landlord would take care of the maintenance.

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No complaints from my neighbors, as it is a huge improvement over what used to be there in 2002. I don't see any issues with it, especially since I put my efforts on the exterior to benefit the overall neighborhood and my neighbors first and foremost. I don't see your point. I do see issues with homes that continue to look worse and worse each year. My home (not land) property values are going up because of my improvements and I have inspired my neighbors to do the same to their homes.

If more people attempted what I did, this outward trend to move away from the city due to "unsafe" looking neighborhoods would not be an issue. We need more owners that care. I am surprise you don't see that.

Edited by Pumapayam
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If more people attempted what I did, this outward trend to move away from the city due to "unsafe" looking neighborhoods would not be an issue. We need more owners that care. I am surprise you don't see that.

And if they're too poor (i.e. lazy) to do what you did, well they can just move into the showcase neighborhood that is Gulfton, a haven for renters that is spotless, crime free, and that is undergoing rapid gentrification due to its attractive location and high-quality housing stock. :wacko:

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You forgive those that are the least forgivable. And you bid good riddance to displaced poor even as you spite them for moving to inexpensive suburban housing stock. I don't care what your lifestyle is like--and even if more people actually wanted to live in the kind of home that you do, there aren't enough obsolete townhomes to be divided amongst all our newcomers--your opinions are profoundly elitist.

Wait a second here! In this topic people were griping that Puma thought OTHERS were "elitist". Now you're saying that HE is an "elitist". So which is it? :lol:

Seriously, I think that is one of those terms that people toss about that is vague enough to mean effectively nothing.

Sorry, had to point that out. Back to the topic...

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Wait a second here! In this topic people were griping that Puma thought OTHERS were "elitist". Now you're saying that HE is an "elitist". So which is it? :lol:

Seriously, I think that is one of those terms that people toss about that is vague enough to mean effectively nothing.

Sorry, had to point that out. Back to the topic...

I agree, actually. The term has different meanings that are hard to distinguish, even in context.

But here I said that his opinions were elitist, and that was very intentional on my part. I don't want to call him a snob, because that is more of a personal attack...for which I might be smote down by the almighty wrath of Wayne. But I will dub his opinions to be very elitist and in pretty much any sense of the word you could imagine.

I can't speak for those on the other thread, though.

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We have plently of existing 'burbs' as it is, plenty of them decaying and ready for people to reinvest in them, and I am sure we have plenty of them for sale to meet the needs of the Houstonians.

It's crap developments like this are unnecessary. Do we really need more of this, we had had dozens of "Master Planned" already and I doubt they are at full capacity. Bridgeland's mottos is Find Balance, sure more money for gas and less time with family, sounds like a great balance to me.

People just want to say they have a NEW home regardless how far away it is from the city. That is how this vicious cycle continues. More and more sprawl gets built further and further away. Houston is saturated enough with sprawl hoods. When are we going to learn our lesson and stop buying in the middle of nowhere.

Those people deserve to pay $5 gas, heck they should be required to pay $10/gallon for lack of common sense and handing their money away to greedy developers.

Have you even been to Bridgeland? Do you even know what master planned means? It is obvious you do not. also, again, you are to narrow minded to remember that we don't all work downtown. I live, work and play in Cypress. Should I move into the loop so I can commute all the way back out to Cypress? All of my neighbors that work less than 10 miles from their homes, should they do the same? Again, I have a shorter commute than you, a much more pleasurable, enjoyable, attractive and fun place to live than you. I have much more open space and trails and activities than you do. I have a much nicer, many times more energy efficient and overall better value home than you do. I get to spend as much time as I want with my family. I have a much better public educational system available for my child than you do. My child can walk to elementary, middle and high schools, all less than 1 mile form my home. I can go on and on, but I am sure it would be lost on you.

Also, Cypress is not exactly the middle of nowhere. I have just as many amenities and shopping areas available to me as you do, if not more, and more coming all the time. it may not have the "character" you like, but I am not you.

Also, how is a developer different than any other business. They are in it to make money. And to make money, you offer a product that meets a markets demands. if yo don't meet the markets expectations, you will not make any money, if you do, you will. It applies to developers, grocery stores, tire stores, banks, etc. It is basic economics. It is pretty obvious that you do not understand economics or economic factors. You can build the coolest place in the world, that solves all of the worlds woes, but if nobody wants to use it, it is useless and will fail. Every person buying a home knows the risks they are taking in buying a home. Nobody has a gun to their head. Being a free, open market, the consumer has more than enough choices, but it is ultimately the buyers choice, not yours!

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Back to the topic...

10 Things You Can Like About $4 Gas

2. Sprawl Stalls

Across the country, real estate agents are reporting that many home buyers are looking to move closer to cities. Gas prices are shaping their decisions.
You're wrong. And I can prove it.

TIME is wrong, and everyone else is lying. It's a trend of the majority (not including your special exception).

"Housing in cities and neighborhoods that require lengthy commutes and provide few transportation alternatives to the private vehicle are falling in value more precipitously than in more central, compact and accessible places."

McMansions are the new manufactured home. Just like cars, manufactured home lose value, rather than gain like most permanent housing. Looks like McMansions in key areas will follow that trend in this era of $4 gas.

Hopefully all new sprawl developments will cease and smart growth can assume the role for future development.

Edited by Pumapayam
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I think the clear difference between the past developements and present developements is that the past was not done for profit nor was it predetermined for us.

It was to establish new settlements on arable land near bodies of water and create a civilization, not master planned communities with no depth in them.

Read the article again if you don't get what point A and point B are in context to was I am referring to.

What in the world do you mean past developments were not done for profit? ____________ all of the Heights was a "master planned community" built for profits. Heck, Houston was founded by two developers that came up Buffalo Bayou to create a city for the purpose of making money. Everywhere you shop, live, eat, play was created by somebody trying to make money. Mot people do not do things just for the sake of doing something, with no positive return expected. Do you work for free? Should you not donate all of the excess money you make to charity or the poor on the street instead of buying you things that are not required to sustain life, like a computer? Wow, totally amazing how completely disconnected you are from the real world!

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Just a gentle reminder folks - the topic is about energy consumption and not personal preference of housing, scenery, and time spent...and no name calling please^^^

----edit----

Eep - i should post more quickly - there were like two new ones since I started!

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I live, work and play in Cypress.

Congrats on being an exception, you are one of the few. This topic does not affect you then. I am happy for you. Everyone will chime in, but I am just supporting what the topic states. Please email TIME magazine then and tell them to stop lying if you feel so passionate about it. ;)

And sorry Bridgeland is in the middle of nowhere. The development is fine if they can admit that, but they continue to market it as a Houston area neighborhood, that is the issue I see with it. It's a bit far to be relevant to Houston anymore, I think Bridgeland really takes association to conveniances Houston to a ridiculous level as does Fall Creek.

If Cypress is considered a city, that is how they should market it.

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What's done is done, the damage is done, it's built, might as well use live in it rather than let it go to waste.

But the rate of these new sprawls being built by developers is well over the actual demand.

The demand only exists because they offer it so cheaply. If the homes were built with better materials and quality and had ammenties other than a rentention pond and a golf course (waste of land), I can see it being worth something.

If they built homes a bit smaller, better quality, and incorporated more infrustrature, like grided neighborhoods instead of cul-de-sacs, it would be a better developement worth the price that can eventually turn into something better.

An example being Bridgeland. I don't think people were begging for a house in the middle of nowhere until they decided to make up a fancy name, stick a golf course in it and call it a masterplanned community.

But since a developer decided to create a master planned community, the demand is there.

Someone should redo Sharpstown.

Gas money is one thing, my life wasted in traffic because I decided to live 15 miles further away is another.

I can't put a price on that, but my free time after work and before bed is worth more to me having an extra 45-90 minutes a day to do what I want.

Again, you do not have any factual information.

Based on the most recent metro study, demand for homes is still exceeding supply, this includes new homes and resale homes.

Also, basic economics, you can not artificially create demand. If the demand for new homes in Houston is 40,000 a year, you can not create 50,000 new homes and automatically have them sold, there would be 10,000 new homes left over. The demand for 40,000 homes can occur all over, but typically a homebuyer has a set radius in which they are willing to purchase a home, whether for resale or new, all based on what is important to them - location, schools, etc., not what is important to you! if a developer could automatically create demand, there would be more sprawl than you could ever imagine! Also, Bridgeland has no golf course and has set aside over 3,000 acres of open space and large lakes. Do you have anything like that near you? No, I didn't think so!

A major problem with new urbanism is that grid streets are great on paper, but they do not sell. If the buyer wants a cul-de-sac, they will buy in a cul-de sac. Why do you like grid streets, do you have a true reason to like it more, or is this just repeated rhetoric you once read in a book? Did you know that Bridgeland is about to open a TND/new urbanism neighborhood that is adjacent to a village type retail center? No, I am pretty sure you didn't. Did you know that the developer will actually be losing money on this phase of development, and that it is done to see if yahoo's like you and your kind would actually live in a TND in the Houston area. None have been successful so far, we will see if this one is.

What should be redone to Sharpstown? Do you have a true, genuine idea that is not only functional and profitable? I doubt it.

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TIME is wrong, and everyone else is lying. It's a trend of the majority (not including your special exception).

Your article does nothing to refute the physical impossibility of the majority of suburbanites commuting to the central city.

Everyone will chime in, but I am just supporting what the topic states. Please email TIME magazine then and tell them to stop lying if you feel so passionate about it. ;)

Time magazine is not data. And it is certainly not specific to Houston.

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Your options for "reasonably" close work are fewer the further away you go. If you live near or within density, you have much more variety.

This does not apply to the people who plan the location of their home along with their dental office, salon, coffee house etc; that they manage or own as someone mentioned earlier. That is a rare case and does not apply to the focus of what the article targets.

Some people live above there work, or work at home, obviously they would be not be a good example either.

If you say the Energy Corridor has plenty of good paying jobs is out in the suburbs and living in Katy is not an issue, that is limiting to those with that career. There are plenty of people in Katy that travel to the medical center or downtown.

For everyone else that already has a place to live, does not want to move again, and puts a resume out there for what ever line of work you are in, you depend on a variety of available work "reasonably" close to home.

My last three jobs have been around I-45 S and Telephone, 59 S and BW8, and 290 and Gessner, and me living in nearby the city center his had a minimal impact on my driving time and driving distance.

What do you think people that work in the Energy Corridor do? If tis for a petroleum company, are they only engineers? No over half of them are support personal: maintenance staff, assistants, food workers, maids, etc. There is a job for pretty much every career field. Wow, you really need to think before you speak!

A smart person never bases a career choice on where the job is without taking all other conditions into context. Future growth, prospects and work conditions can far outweigh commuting. Did you know people can also move when changing jobs? It is amazing but it happens, no kidding,

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Sure, if you want to invest time and money developing the far out areas of the city which can take decades (see example below of Bridgeland), while the inner areas already established get neglected.

Right now, they are selling homes and getting ready to have people move in to a neighborhood in the middle of nowhere. The jobs available right now to sustain anyone to even think about purchasing those homes are few and far between, with the majority having to drive 20+ miles each way I am sure. Maybe 30 years from now like all exurb to suburb transitions, closer jobs with office parks will come, but that is 30 years from now.

How far out is enough!

I mean, this website promoting Bridgeland is markting the top header with a view of the downtown Houston skyline! You have more of a chance of seeing a watertower in Hockley.

www.liveinbridgeland.com

65c2oi.jpg

They even show the location of the master plan like it is "in" Houston, pointing out locations like (but not mentioning the actual distance to it in miles so I added them):

Memorial City Mall - 15.8 miles

Galleria - 20.7

Texas Medical Center - 35.1 miles

Reliant Stadium - 34.8 miles

Downtown - 30.5 miles

not mentioned

Energy Corridor - 12.4 miles

These are distances from the welcome center on Fry Road, and this development goes way back beyond Grand Parkway! Just getting out of the neigborhood with the cul-de-sac driven design will add a couple of more miles and time each trip.

Of course it's near, how would you argue against it? :huh:

You contradict your own argument of all of the job center being over 20 miles away. Like you listed, the Energy Corridor is 12.4 miles, much less than 20 miles, and about the same commute that you have posted you now have. Did you know a large percentage of Bridgeland residents work there? What about the HP campus? it is less then 10 miles away? What about professionals like me work in Cypress? There are more than one of us out here, there are thousands that actually work in Cypress, as hard as it is to imagine. What about the work centers near BW8 and 290? All of the hospitals in the area (3 and counting). Jersey Village. I can go on and on. Again, not everybody, including yourself works downtown or in the medical center. What about those like my wife that get to work from home sometimes, or even those that get to all of the time? They actually have the freedom to live wherever they want, amazing yet again!

Also, over 50% of new Bridgeland residents resided in Cypress before moving to Bridgeland. They sure must know something you don't to pay an average of over $350,000 for a new home in the middle of nowhere.

Again, it is obvious you have not been to Bridgeland to look at the layout, the collector road grid system to help make moving around easier. Please, have some basic knowledge of a subject before making untrue, fact less statements about them.

Then the Bridgeland marketing team should remove the Houston downtown skyline from their website and replace it with office parks, Home Depot and Walmart strip centers, and a Whataburger joint. That's is the sprawling environment that will actually surround Bridgeland.

This is how these developers promote themselves to sell you and make you believe that your new homes is reasonably "in" the city, to be referencing imagery of downtown Houston.

At this rate, a few years from now a Hempstead area developer will be promoting themselves as a Houston suburb and show imagery of downtown Houston.

Again, how far out is enough. :rolleyes:

FYI, that is not a bridgeland website, it is a realtor's own bandit site. She made the "mistake" of adding the skyline. Again, please check your facts.

Yeah. People are buying houses in Bridgeland because they're being misled into how far it is from dowtown. Because Bridgeland's marketing material is the first map of the city they've ever seen. :wacko:

Touch

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Guess the developers believe people are not so attentive, or else they would be more realistic about what the have to offer a new home buyer.

They must be wasting there time then making up lies about the great sprawls.

Wow, again, listen to the argument. Before plunking down for a persons largest investment, unlike you, they typically look in to all factors involving the house, including locations and commute times. You may believe all you hear, but many of us have more intellect and ability to determine their own truth. Again, if you knew anything about marketing, you would know the point is to get people in the door, after that, it is anybodies game, and amazingly, the buyer makes the final decisions. Most people are not strong armed into buying a home.

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Dude, all this is on you for buying a cheaply built house that you are obviously not happy with. The onus is on you to do the research on an area and the homebuilder/ quality of materials before making such a large commitment.

And lets please not go to Puma levels of generalizations. Just because your house is the suburbs in cheap (your words) not all of them are. There are a lot of choices of homebuilders in the Houston area and a wide range of price ranges.

If you feel the developers got one over on you than simply put you didn't do your homework.

Not trying to slam you, just the inferance that an apple is an orange because it is round and falls from a tree is getting old.

Agreed westguy!

I did my research, i got a very energy efficent house, all energy star, state of the art appliance and great fit and finish. its all about doing your homework. And you can get this in all price ranges from $200K and up if you do your research!

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I think Puma is also trying to relate some of the larger effects of sprawl/exurbia on the environment aside from the daily commutes/massive energy consumption that might occur (stuff that is discussed in some of the books here).

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This post is rather off-topic to the cost of energy discussion, but amen, brother. There are lots of ignorant homebuyers out there who would rather snatch up granite countertops and can lights than have quality drywall and plumb walls. This doesn't mean that all houses in subdivisions are bad - there are just as many poorly constructed new townhomes in Cottage Grove as there are poorly constructed new homes in Shadow Creek Ranch - it just means that construction quality and durability is just another one of those many variables, in addition to energy costs, that one has to weigh when deciding where to live. Our house was built in 1964 and aside from simple wear and tear, it is in excellent condition roof and foundation wise and you simply cannot find the same quality of lumber (red fir) in stores today that we have inside our walls, which is one of the reasons we paid up to live where we did.

Are you saying that in the 50's and 60's there were no poorly constructed homes, if you believe that, you are truly mistaken. Some of those poorly built homes are still around in other parts of town, and some have been taken down. don't be naive and think just because it is old it was built better.

I am commenting on the current situation, and existing suburbanites, like yourself, are taking offense to my comments and are ignoring pre-2000 Houston when I am sure most of the people move out there under better circumstances. I grew up in the suburbs too. With that in mind, no, you likely made a smart choice back then. So be happy and just get a smaller car and hope for better times. If you bought a house in Bridgeland, then keep reading.

Now, in 2008, these developers are still building cheap copy cat looking sprawl homes even FURTHER away from Houston; plus we have 4x the cost of gas and at least 2x the cost in electricty.

The average family who is interested in buying those still, now, under these economic times and energy prices, well, if I have nothing nice to say about there personal choices. <_<

I bought my brand new home in the burbs this year. i am fully aware of what actions I take and what i can and can not afford, and where I do and do not want to live. You are neglecting the fact that we are all entitled to free will. I am very happy about my choice, and the several thousand who bought homes out here recently are for the most part happy as well. it is amazing to think this, but most homeowners are capable of making fairly reasonable and good decisions for themselves on where to live and all of the implications associated with it.

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In an effort to knock some sense back to focus back around the topic again, and not get into sprawl/smarthgrowth/new urbanism as I admittedly did and with the revived serialize responses that h2obuff is just regurgitating. It's senseless and is going to be a repeat of points covered last week. We've already been there, as both sides have their valid points. Which is why sprawl/smartgrowth/new urbanism is both supported and hated.

Here is the PM I sent to cDeb.

Let's back track.

This topics covers 2 things.

People who live in sprawls and commute long distances to work. (initial cost saving, extra expense later)

Developers who build isolated developments without nearby ammenties (conveniant live, work, and play)

The above is true, it's covers plenty of people, and plenty of examples exist.

Everything else in this thread has become a "me too" I am right and your a wrong because of. . .and I am just going to forget it, it went no where other than people taking it TOO personally. On a side note, I did enjoy debating with you.

You are 100% right with some things, as was I. Done.

If you want to get into sprawl/smarthgrowth/new urbanism, just PM me. I was at fault, and I am not supporting this conversation anymore in that direction. Take it to the other thread.

Edited by Pumapayam
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Our spoke and hub freeway design begs to differ, as evidence in the morning traffic channeling into town, and afternoon traffic returning back into the sprawls. It is not necessarily focused on the CBD, but a trend is clearly shown with our daily commutes with the opposite traffic flow moving much more freely.

Thanks for the input, but there are many new home owners finally realizing that the savings and benefits of moving into the "starting from low 100's" starter home sprawls. They are ones that will eventually hurt from this. They are characterized by lower to middle income buyers that want the American dream of owning a home and take advantage of these "supposed" great offers. Long daily commutes and increased gasoline costs cause your subruban frugal lifestyle savings to dwindle quickly.

Again, do your research. Lets use 290 as an example. Over 40% of the traffic on 290 exits the freeway before 610 (I will try and scan in this report to share this info). I doubt this 40% is taking backroads to the CBD. Just because it is a wheel and spoke system does not mean that all traffic flows to the CBD.

Example, during the planning stages of BW8 and the hardy, the original projects were that hardy would make the most money, and help support BW8 to create a break even scenario for HCTRA. However, as we all know, BW8 has many times the usage of hardy. Where do you think all of the BW8 people are going, not to the CBD, but one of the several dozen other work centers around the city.

Your final argument did not address what i said, but instead created a new one. I wasn't discussing the $100k homes, but how many people, as hard as it is to believe, do not care. Look at this article yesterday:

http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/autos_content_landing_pages/593/hardest-to-get-cars/

The Prius and the Lexus LS, tow completely opposite cars are the most wanted. Do you think the person buying the $75k gas guzzler cares if gas is $2 or 5$? Probably not.

Try sticking with what a McMansion is, which my home is clearly not. :rolleyes:

The photo I posted is the rear of my home, faces the alley. Alleys are not supposed to be focal point of the home. I have a front door side with great curb appeal. McMansions share the front door with the garage. Not good curb appeal. Even older homes that had garage and fron access in the front side of the property used to have the garage at least recessed further back towards the rear of the home.

I was trying to make a point that not everything in suburbia has to look the same. And easily the majority of the lower priced starter home McMansion resemble these.

lr2173784-1.jpglr2069592-10.jpglr2011255-1.jpg

Also, my home was built at the time with concrete floors on the second level and a network of steel beams supporting the second floor. Most newer homes have plywood/OSB floors and wooden support structures. I am proud of my awesome home, and don't care what your opinion is about it. It is amazing and I am glad I saved it from going into disrepair. B)

These sure look much better than your picture.

Does a concrete necessarily mean better than a wood floor? No, it does not, it all depends on design, construction, craftmanship, etc. The only reason your place was built that way is becauuse it was the cheapest construction method for that product at the time, no other reason.

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The Prius and the Lexus LS, tow completely opposite cars are the most wanted. Do you think the person buying the $75k gas guzzler cares if gas is $2 or 5$? Probably not.

I'd be willing to bet they don't care about what/how much they consume in gas, and that's just what we need - more non-caring conspicuous consumers :rolleyes:

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Hate to tell you this, but the odds are that most homes are built that way. While the inside and outside of the house looks pretty and is well appointed, but the hidden spaces may be total crap. The only way to assure of a properly built home is to hover over the construction site and picking a construction company yourself.

If you live and work in the 'burbs, I won't hate on that because it works for you. Just don't complain about gas prices. :)

Again, I did my research, I picked my builder and visited my house under construction nearly everyday. if I found a problem, I spoke up. Even with older homes, you can hire a qualified inspector to use some pretty good technology to see what you are really getting. Again, you have to do the research and but some effort into it.

I sure would love to pay less for gas, but you will not hear me complain (what good does it do but make me sound like a whiner). I do what I have to do, period, regardless of the price of gas. I also have two very workable legs and a bike to get around on. Sure i sweat a lot, but it does work.

You're wrong. And I can prove it.

US 290 is basically 3 lanes each direction outside of 43rd Street. The maximum capacity of a freeway lane is 2,200 passenger cars per hour. Capacity is severaly undercut when traffic is jammed, however, and that number generally reduces to about 800 in stop and go driving. US 290 is generally jammed from 6 am to 9 am and has near capacity flows on the hour on either side of that. That means that about 21,000 cars use US 290 during the morning peak, or about 23,500 people after adjusting for US 290's average vehicle occupancy.

Considering that there are 15 times that many people living within a few miles of US 290, your assertion that the majority of those folks commute into central Houston is baseless, as the infrastructure cannot handle it.

Great post CDeb, you beat me to the punch!

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Congrats on being an exception, you are one of the few. This topic does not affect you then. I am happy for you. Everyone will chime in, but I am just supporting what the topic states. Please email TIME magazine then and tell them to stop lying if you feel so passionate about it. ;)

And sorry Bridgeland is in the middle of nowhere. The development is fine if they can admit that, but they continue to market it as a Houston area neighborhood, that is the issue I see with it. It's a bit far to be relevant to Houston anymore, I think Bridgeland really takes association to conveniances Houston to a ridiculous level as does Fall Creek.

If Cypress is considered a city, that is how they should market it.

You do not get it, I am not the exception, I am the norm. Your definition makes assumptions that are untrue. If the majority of my neighbors are in the same position I am, then it becomes the standard, and your arguments are the exception.

Yes, there are exceptions to everything, but because it differs from your opinion, you define it as an exception. I however, use facts and clear, reproducible logic to make an argument.

Again, if the majority of people in an area are like me, then we are not the exception, but the norm, destroying any argument you make.

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A similar response I PM'd h2obuff to get back on topic for the ##th time.

All of what you covered was sustainable when we had $1 and $2 per gallon gas.

Traveling those distances as we approach $5 per gallon gas is going to affect more and more people, but mostly those that live far from their "live, work, play" lifestyle and away from mass transit.

That's the point of the topic. I digressed into all sorts of extentions of related topics covered in other threads. Valid points exist on both ends.

But the development you love and support is now on "life support" and will become predominantly income based, just like those that claim urban living is too expensive. The higher the income you make, the less this affects you.

Someone making $50K versus $100K a year and drives 20+ miles each way to work will see things differently. Those are the people covered, and these low cost homes used to be the answer for first time home buyers who are middle class.

Sprawl needs to be re-evaluated and re-invented or else you will have people fleeing those homes when we hit $10 per gallon gas and have hords of vacant outlying neighborhoods, worse than suburban decay. Sounds a lot like the reverse migration of what happened in the inner cities before the 1960/70's suburban fleeing.

Edited by Pumapayam
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Someone making $50K versus $100K a year and drives 20+ miles each way to work will see things differently. Those are the people covered, and these low cost homes used to be the answer for first time home buyers who are middle class.

Used to be the answer? So what is the new answer? Have people pay more to live near work and be just as broke? That's not much of an answer.

And FWIW, I can't belive "Editor" lets you troll like this. This board has become quite the (lame) joke.

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Used to be the answer? So what is the new answer? Have people pay more to live near work and be just as broke? That's not much of an answer.

Put your housing choice in a basic math linear equation Y = MX + B

Y is total cost (during lifetime of home) - ($)

M is cost of transportation type used for distance X - ($/distance)

X is distance to (live,work, play) over a set time frame while in the home - (lifetime distance)

B is the cost of the home. - ($)

  1. Lower costing home B with increased transportation cost M and/or larger lifetime commute to live, work, play X.
  2. Higher costing home B with increased transportation cost with optional access to mass transit, walking, etc. M and/or shorter lifetime commute to live, work, play X.

One line will have a steeper slope, and eventually the lifetime cost will reveal itself.

The answer is based on the income level and your distance relationship to live, work, and play lifestyle.

The choice is ultimately a personal decision as the last 300 posts covered. :rolleyes: Don't ask a question no one has an answer too.

Edited by Pumapayam
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Sprawl needs to be re-evaluated and re-invented or else you will have people fleeing those homes when we hit $10 per gallon gas and have hords of vacant outlying neighborhoods, worse than suburban decay. Sounds a lot like the reverse migration of what happened in the inner cities before the 1960/70's suburban fleeing.

The sprawl will be re-evaluated (already is in fact) and re-invented by market forces. MPC developers are already in high gear on marketing due to the overall subprime mess cutting into their profits and gas prices making people in the market reconsider the math. Over time some neighborhoods will decay (that happens everywhere) but others will survive and maybe prosper as people adapt to the new circumstances. With transportation costs going up you are going to see more fuel efficient cars and fewer SUV's on the streets. Also, mass transit in one form or another will reach further out due to demand (see multiple recent articles about demand at local park&rides). The current big-box retail environment which presupposes that customers would be willing to drive long distances to go to stores will neccessarily morph into something else (i'm sure that is already being disucssed in boardrooms across the country). Some people will come back into the city, sure, but that is just going to drive real estate higher so many will stay in the exurbs and adapt.

What I suspect we will see is the development of exurbs as more independent communities with fewer ties to the city.

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You're wrong. And I can prove it.

US 290 is basically 3 lanes each direction outside of 43rd Street. The maximum capacity of a freeway lane is 2,200 passenger cars per hour. Capacity is severaly undercut when traffic is jammed, however, and that number generally reduces to about 800 in stop and go driving. US 290 is generally jammed from 6 am to 9 am and has near capacity flows on the hour on either side of that. That means that about 21,000 cars use US 290 during the morning peak, or about 23,500 people after adjusting for US 290's average vehicle occupancy.

Considering that there are 15 times that many people living within a few miles of US 290, your assertion that the majority of those folks commute into central Houston is baseless, as the infrastructure cannot handle it.

I'm not sticking up for anyone here, but your figures are off a bit. As of 2001, an average of 245,000 vehicles traveled 290 at 610 per day. These figures came from here:

http://www.houstonfreeways.com/ebook.aspx

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I'm not sticking up for anyone here, but your figures are off a bit. As of 2001, an average of 245,000 vehicles traveled 290 at 610 per day.

No, my numbers are not. I can assure you that freeway capacity is just that: there are only so many cars you can shove down a lane.

Those counts you cite are bi-directional, 24-hour counts on a five-lane (each direction) cross-section. I am quite familiar with them since I have a copy of the TxDOT Houston District Traffic Map from which they came. ;)

I was talking about one-way traffic during a five-hour window (traditional commute time in the traditional direction) on a three-lane cross-section further out, where the share of long-distance commuters is higher than it would be at 610 (where there are a lot more drivers from closer-in neighborhoods).

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Yeah, I know. 21,000 x 2 = 42,000. Are you saying the other 203,000 drive 290 outside of rush hours? I showed you my link, wanna show me yours?

Besides, whoever's numbers are correct, you can't deny that eastbound lanes of 290 are backed-up weekday mornings, and westbound lanes in the evening. I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but that's a pretty good argument that more people are leaving Cypress for work than entering.

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Yeah, I know. 21,000 x 2 = 42,000. Are you saying the other 203,000 drive 290 outside of rush hours? I showed you my link, wanna show me yours?

I don't have a link. But I have knowledge of traffic flow fundamentals and freeway capacity since it's my profession. Having given it more thought, those numbers are probably closer to 30k, IMO. I MIGHT be able to find you some pretty accurate hourly counts, but it would have to wait until Tuesday.

And yes, that is (sort of) what I'm saying (the rush-hour numbers on 290 near 610 will be higher since there are more lanes, and therefore there will be less than 203k driving during non-rush times). I drive on 290 all the time. During peak hours, the opposite direction is quite heavy, although usually not jammed. And during non-peak times, there are a ton of cars out there as well. The freeway is only light from about 11 pm to 5 am.

Besides, whoever's numbers are correct, you can't deny that eastbound lanes of 290 are backed-up weekday mornings, and westbound lanes in the evening.

Absolutely, which limits the amount of cars that can pass through. This may seem counter-intuitive, but freeway lanes that are flowing can allow almost 3 times as many vehicles to pass as those that are jammed. My numbers are probably off somewhat, but I am still quite comfortable in that they are an order of magnitude less than the number of people that live near 290 and would use it to commute into Houston if that were where they worked.

I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but that's a pretty good argument that more people are leaving Cypress for work than entering.

Naw, you're pretty sharp B) and I'm glad we're having this discussion.

1) I'm not saying that a lot people enter Cypress for work. I'm saying that a lot of folks that live in Cypress never get on 290 because they work in Cypress or other western/northern suburbs. It ain't just a huge blob of housing. There are a ton of businesses out here and the folks that work there have to live somewhere.

2) Your argument is a good argument that a lot of people in Cypress use US 290 (I agree, I'm one of many). But I don't believe it provides a good comparative argument vs. the people that don't use it.

Edited by CDeb
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The sprawl will be re-evaluated (already is in fact) and re-invented by market forces. MPC developers are already in high gear on marketing due to the overall subprime mess cutting into their profits and gas prices making people in the market reconsider the math. Over time some neighborhoods will decay (that happens everywhere) but others will survive and maybe prosper as people adapt to the new circumstances. With transportation costs going up you are going to see more fuel efficient cars and fewer SUV's on the streets. Also, mass transit in one form or another will reach further out due to demand (see multiple recent articles about demand at local park&rides). The current big-box retail environment which presupposes that customers would be willing to drive long distances to go to stores will neccessarily morph into something else (i'm sure that is already being disucssed in boardrooms across the country). Some people will come back into the city, sure, but that is just going to drive real estate higher so many will stay in the exurbs and adapt.

What I suspect we will see is the development of exurbs as more independent communities with fewer ties to the city.

Jobs would have to stay in one place, and most households would have to have only one income for that to happen. I don't think that is a likely scenario.

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Jobs would have to stay in one place, and most households would have to have only one income for that to happen. I don't think that is a likely scenario.

Why would jobs have to stay in one place? Companies will have to adapt to this just as much as employees do. To a certain extent jobs will move closer to the exurbs as well. You can see this already in the energy corridor and The Woodlands, just to name a few examples. Where were most of the corporate jobs 30 years ago? Downtown, I'd bet. Now they are spreading out beyond the loop. I read an article the other day about how employers were having a harder time convincing prospective employees to take jobs that required a long commute. That wasn't as much of an issue when it was just time involved, but now there is much more money involved in a long commute so people are rethinking their options and either finding jobs closer to where they live or moving closer to where they work. We are going to see a lot of reshuffling over the next few years as people and companies reorder themselves with the new economic realities. People will adapt to this, just like they have adapted to other events in history.

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Are you saying that in the 50's and 60's there were no poorly constructed homes, if you believe that, you are truly mistaken. Some of those poorly built homes are still around in other parts of town, and some have been taken down. don't be naive and think just because it is old it was built better.

I bought my brand new home in the burbs this year. i am fully aware of what actions I take and what i can and can not afford, and where I do and do not want to live. You are neglecting the fact that we are all entitled to free will. I am very happy about my choice, and the several thousand who bought homes out here recently are for the most part happy as well. it is amazing to think this, but most homeowners are capable of making fairly reasonable and good decisions for themselves on where to live and all of the implications associated with it.

Now H20, keeping on the financial impact of gas/power of this I have to take issue with your statements.

We lived in a brand new Real custom home in an "exurb," and now live in a 1960's home here in the Energy Corridor area. Which one was built with better product? The Memorial one. I see it everytime we remodel. The wood is like concrete and hasn't warped or rotten or twisted. I would bet that 30 years from now, this house will still be here and standing....if someone doesn't whack it down for the lot. The new custom was very nice and well built, but I can almost promise it will be paper mache' 30 years from now.

Which one is more "energy efficient?" I have no clue, but I do know our energy bills have gone down about 150, for same size houses, this June from last June in the other house. The new house had double pane windows and deluxe everything in those terms. But due to the ultra high ceilings, the units were constantly cooling. Now we did spray insulation and replace half the windows in the 60's home, but when the wind blows really hard you can hear it coming in through the eaves. Do I think that's bad? Not really, it's cooling off the attic. The biggest difference most likely? Our house is completely shaded by enourmous old trees,and so are all the houses around us. The Western sun is totally blocked and I think it probably allows the 3 A/C units to work a lot less.

As for gas, we virtually spend nothing. Both filling up once a month. But since school got out for the summer, I haven't filled up since May 24.

O/T rant-Oh and all the public schools are within a mile, kids walk to them all the time. The neighborhoods around here are loaded with children and it's very safe. We live on grid streets and it's fantastic compared to the isolated cul-de-sacs. It allows the kids better social interaction, creates privacy for adults, and it hasn't affected housing cost adversely here for 40 years. In fact the appreciation rate has been outrageous. I found all this to be true when we lived near the Galleria in Tanglewood/Briargrove as well. Apparently quality of family life can be found in the city.

And I know I know, I live in a Houston-burb area when it's compared to Midtown, but it's very urban compared to exurbia, and it's close to work, so I'm doing my thing to help conservation. And when you live in an old house you're recycling right? ;)

Edited by KatieDidIt
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Put your housing choice in a basic math linear equation Y = MX + B

Y is total cost (during lifetime of home) - ($)

M is cost of transportation type used for distance X - ($/distance)

X is distance to (live,work, play) over a set time frame while in the home - (lifetime distance)

B is the cost of the home. - ($)

  1. Lower costing home B with increased transportation cost M and/or larger lifetime commute to live, work, play X.
  2. Higher costing home B with increased transportation cost with optional access to mass transit, walking, etc. M and/or shorter lifetime commute to live, work, play X.

One line will have a steeper slope, and eventually the lifetime cost will reveal itself.

The answer is based on the income level and your distance relationship to live, work, and play lifestyle.

The choice is ultimately a personal decision as the last 300 posts covered. :rolleyes: Don't ask a question no one has an answer too.

There are so many more factors that go into selecting a new home than a three variable equaion. What about:

  • value
  • taxes
  • schools
  • churches
  • shopping
  • open space
  • etc.

As an engineer, I would like to generalize a home purchase so simplicity, but it is not truly possible, there are so many factors that go into the decision.

Edited by h2obuff
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A similar response I PM'd h2obuff to get back on topic for the ##th time.

All of what you covered was sustainable when we had $1 and $2 per gallon gas.

Traveling those distances as we approach $5 per gallon gas is going to affect more and more people, but mostly those that live far from their "live, work, play" lifestyle and away from mass transit.

That's the point of the topic. I digressed into all sorts of extentions of related topics covered in other threads. Valid points exist on both ends.

But the development you love and support is now on "life support" and will become predominantly income based, just like those that claim urban living is too expensive. The higher the income you make, the less this affects you.

Someone making $50K versus $100K a year and drives 20+ miles each way to work will see things differently. Those are the people covered, and these low cost homes used to be the answer for first time home buyers who are middle class.

Sprawl needs to be re-evaluated and re-invented or else you will have people fleeing those homes when we hit $10 per gallon gas and have hords of vacant outlying neighborhoods, worse than suburban decay. Sounds a lot like the reverse migration of what happened in the inner cities before the 1960/70's suburban fleeing.

What assumptions to you make to support these results (and any evidence to support it?)

In the late 70's/early 80's, it was thought that there would be a "reverse migration" to the city centers, but this was a theory that never happened, and the data supports this. Again, that idea is floating around again, but it is till not true. Yes, there is an increase of sales in the loop, but it matches recent trends, with no significant uptick - expensive new town-homes and large mansions continue to sell. Yes outside the belt sales are down, but this loss is almost entirely due to the current mortgage issues which affects home sales less than $200K - yet sales above $200K are still strong and the average price of these homes is actually increasing. If you look at the sales data without looking at the reasons why, you cant see the real story. Also, in city sales are much, much higher average per foot and/or total sales prices outside the belt.

I can not share all of my data but here are some good informatice articles and data to back me up:

http://www.har.com/mls/dispPressRelease.cfm

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/busine...te/5843392.html

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationw...0,4422376.story

As far as sprawl goes, people are much more likely to change some habits before making huge life changing decisions, much of which can already be seen.

People will first stop making unnecessary trips, and/or consolidate the ones that have to. Before dumping the SUV, people will start to carpool, cutting fuel cost in half. Or better yet, they will take more public transportation:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25010939

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2005/10/us_mass_transit.html

It is also much cheaper to buy a smaller, more fuel efficient car than to move into the city - especially if you are wanting to make a lateral housing change (new location, but same amenities, prices, etc. which is not possible from suburb to city).

Finally, what do you think MPC base marketing and sales on? It is all income based. Somebody making $50K/yr is not usually going to buy a $300k. You market to your audience, any other marketing is a wasted effort of time and resources.

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There are so many more factors that go into selecting a new home than a three variable equaion. What about:

  • value
  • taxes
  • schools
  • churches
  • shopping
  • open space
  • etc.

As an engineer, I would to generalize a home purchase so simplicity, but it is not truly possible, there are so many factors that go into the decision.

You can lump all these variables into "B," on an estimated cost basis... All of these should be factored into the cost of your house...

I want to say that I saw a new row of townhouses on Gray/Dallas, toward downtown... "Starting from the 410's" ... Starting to need to two incomes, over 100K each, to buy that kind of housing... Sure does seem like CA housing prices are creeping in... and there were no problems there.

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There are so many more factors that go into selecting a new home than a three variable equation. What about:

  • value
  • taxes
  • schools
  • churches
  • shopping
  • open space
  • etc.

As an engineer, I would to generalize a home purchase so simplicity, but it is not truly possible, there are so many factors that go into the decision.

More specifically, value and taxes, being part of the cost of the home could be estimated (as such on going maintenance, association dues, renovations. . . ) could be all apart of B, but that complicates things more.

Church, schools, shopping is all covered under X what I consider "live, work, play" or what you consider essential to your daily, weekly, monthly, yearly routine.

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More specifically, value and taxes, being part of the cost of the home could be estimated (as such on going maintenance, association dues, renovations. . . ) could be all apart of B, but that complicates things more.

Church, schools, shopping is all covered under X what I consider "live, work, play" or what you consider essential to your daily, weekly, monthly, yearly routine.

As much fun as it would be to have metrics to measure and put a price on enjoyability, fun, attractiveness, accessibility to open space, etc, it is not possible. As a father, husband, etc, there are so many things to take into consideration for you and your family that are not quantifiable but are definately part of teh decision making process.

If I happened to live in your complex, and we worked near each other, based on your equation, we would have the same values/slope. However, you appear to be single, as I am married and have a child, making my experiences and true value of the house much, much different than yours.

It is therefore great that we have the choice to do whatever the heck it is we want to do with where we live, work, play, etc, and are not all forced to live in a 30 year old townhouse complex close to the CBD.

In addition, if you were to try try to truly quantify the total cost of the home, there are a whole slew of economic factors that would need to be taken into consideration:

  • Inflation
  • Appreciation
  • Gentrification
  • Stability of local economy
  • etc.

Yeah, you could argue that these are built in to your equation, but to truly account for these market forces you would need to have at least an economic variable.

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Puma's formula does not account for the greatest component of commuting costs of all: time. It could've been used earning more money or engaging in more leisure activities and is really quite valuable.

If the opportunity cost of an hour of your time is $15, and your one-way commute is one hour along a 30-mile route with a vehicle that averages 20 mpg on a congested freeway so that the gas is going to cost you only $6 (at $4 per gallon), then the variable price of gasoline can only really have a limited impact as it relates to housing location preferences.

The price of gas could double, but high-earning workers that really can afford true 'McMansions' in the suburbs--the type whose opportunity cost of time is far higher than $15/hr.--wouldn't blink an eye.

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Puma's formula does not account for the greatest component of commuting costs of all: time. It could've been used earning more money or engaging in more leisure activities and is really quite valuable.

If the opportunity cost of an hour of your time is $15, and your one-way commute is one hour along a 30-mile route with a vehicle that averages 20 mpg on a congested freeway so that the gas is going to cost you only $6 (at $4 per gallon), then the variable price of gasoline can only really have a limited impact as it relates to housing location preferences.

The price of gas could double, but high-earning workers that really can afford true 'McMansions' in the suburbs--the type whose opportunity cost of time is far higher than $15/hr.--wouldn't blink an eye.

This makes no sense. If an individual's "opportunity cost" is so high, he/she will move to a location far closer than 30 miles away....and will not blink at the cost of housing. Clearly, some other factor(s) is influencing the decision to live that far away, be it schools, golf courses, or aversion to gays and liberal thinkers.

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This makes no sense. If an individual's "opportunity cost" is so high, he/she will move to a location far closer than 30 miles away....and will not blink at the cost of housing. Clearly, some other factor(s) is influencing the decision to live that far away, be it schools, golf courses, or aversion to gays and liberal thinkers.

I saw what you did there, and completely unnecessary. :rolleyes:

Likewise, the pseudo formula was only there to establish a "fixed home" cost in the loosest terms as a constant with the true variable discussed in the article being cost/distance from a typical "live, work, play" lifestyle, in which the increased price in gasoline is eating away at the cost savings of an affordable home further out in the suburbs.

If you start tacking in other variables to minimize the influence of cost/distance, then yes, the article this thread relates to is meaningless.

K.I.S.S. for this thread please. :)

Edited by Pumapayam
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