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Old 03-31-2011, 05:28 PM
N8!
 
2,456 posts, read 2,427,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQalex View Post
They don't build/they aren't new urbanist-type homes.
As someone who owned a home building business until recently, I can tell you that, while I personally like the proposed style of home, the average American home buyer doesn't want it.

It's going to be a tough row to hoe for the builders, and eventually (I bet) they start building generic Pulte/D.R. Horton cookie-cutter houses to generate sales and proft.
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Old 03-31-2011, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
631 posts, read 563,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoidberg View Post
I imagine most of those builders are large enough that they have a whole range of different homes available in different contexts. I would be surprised if they came up with cookie cutter versions identical to what you'd find in bedroom communities on the west bank, though they may not necessarily reflect the "new urbanist ideal" as some people may see it.

With perhaps an exception or two, I have been surprised how fiercely supportive of these homebuilders homeowners I've met have been in terms of the quality and satisfaction of the home purchase; surely if that aspect is maintained and ForestCity Covington has set forth covenants or restrictions to keep it from being typical sprawl, there's much to look forward to.
I certainly hope we end up with something other than generic cookie-cutter homes. I'm glad you said that btw, because that's what I was thinking in my head but didn't really want to say.

Now, I do not have anything against those kinds of homes. In all my life I've dreamed of living in many different kinds of homes, in many different kinds of neighborhoods. A cookie cutter house in one of those endless subdivisions on the Westside is not evil or horrible to me in the least.

What I'm concerned with is that Mesa del Sol is being sold as a community built on new urbanist ideals. Therefore, I'd be disappointed if we get anything other than that. The home designs must reflect those ideals or else what's the purpose.

I fear that Mesa del Sol is just another in an endless series of "master-planned" communities that the Albuquerque area has seen. You know, where most of the planning involves putting trails in the unbuildable portions of the land and adding a few tiny parks throughout the community.

What I'd like to see is something similar to Denver's redevelopment of Stapleton Airport. Forest City Covington is involved in that project too. I think that's what's made most people in Albuquerque excited about the prospects of Mesa del Sol.

But enlisting builders such as Pulte Homes, Rachel Matthew Homes, Raylee Homes, and Paul Allen Homes, makes me think what we are going to end up with is another of those master-planned communities. They may all be fine builders but none of them has ever built new urbanist homes here before. Pulte has had some experience with new urbanist communities in other states, but the end result has been questionable as to whether their home designs meet those ideals.

You may not be disappointed if we end up with something less than a new urbanist development, but I will.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
631 posts, read 563,188 times
Reputation: 741
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho_NM View Post
Just curious if you have had to slave, save and sweat to own your own home. We (my wife and I) did... And thank goodness for the GI Bill...

Like I said "there is nothing wrong with Loma Colorado. Had it been built about 30 years earlier when we had kids at home and if I had money then, I would have snapped one up. I have lived in a lot worse housing in my life."
I've had to slave and sweat to pay my rent.

I don't quite earn enough to put all that much into savings, but I do have have a savings account. Would you like to know the balance? It's not nearly enough for a house. Or even a down payment on a house. Right now I pretty much live paycheck to paycheck. What little I can save I save for the unknown and emergencies.

I do dream of someday owning a home, but I know that right now I can't afford it, perhaps when I hit middle age or older. In the meantime, I'm quite content renting. I certainly am not foolish enough to get in over my head like many others like me seem to have done.

If and when I do ever become a homeowner, I certainly will also stay realistically within my means, which is why the lower-priced new homes on the Southwest Mesa hold a certain appeal to me. Ventana Ranch and Loma Colorado seem awfully overpriced IMO.

Or I could stay right here in the Downtown area. Unfortunately, though, not many affordably priced new homes are being built here just yet. There are plenty of overpriced condos going up, but I couldn't even make payments on a loan for a down payment for most of them.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
631 posts, read 563,188 times
Reputation: 741
Quote:
Originally Posted by N8! View Post
As someone who owned a home building business until recently, I can tell you that, while I personally like the proposed style of home, the average American home buyer doesn't want it.

It's going to be a tough row to hoe for the builders, and eventually (I bet) they start building generic Pulte/D.R. Horton cookie-cutter houses to generate sales and proft.
Indeed most people do like living in cookie cutter homes in endless subdivisions. It's been the American Dream for over sixty years. And I have no problem with that.

I do have a problem with people promising one thing and delivering another. But as you say, I think the bottom line will indeed affect what gets built at Mesa del Sol. But I truly wonder if these builders ever will try new urbanist homes or if they intend to build yet more of what they've always built from the get-go.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque
5,553 posts, read 9,552,952 times
Reputation: 2462
Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQalex
I certainly hope we end up with something other than generic cookie-cutter homes.
What's going to be built is what people want and can afford.

People don't like other people buying and living in "cookie-cutter" homes.
However, "cookie-cutter" also implies lower-cost for better quality. If
a builder builds only 4-5 types of houses, then the house can be factory
assembled to a large extent and assembled on-site. Building standard
assemblies in a factory reduces waste of natural resources and energy
and improves quality, reduces defects and lowers the price for the owner.

Neighborhoods need to grow old to stop looking "cookie-cutter." I mostly
grew up in a house built in 1928. If you look really hard, you can see that
most of these old homes were built out of less than a dozen possible models.

"Cookie-cutter" has been around a long time.

Look at any old neighborhood in Albuquerque and imagine it without trees
and shrubs. They are all going to look "cookie-cutter." Every one of them.

Also, note that very many people, in their initial post to the forum explicitly
want houses on large lots so that they are "not on top of their neighbor."
As long as people are going to download more children, more houses are
going to be going up and "sprawling" all over the place.

Even if Mesa Del Sol built all European-style housing that was attached on
each side to another house, it would still be "sprawl" and it would still be
"cookie-cutter." Mesa Del Sol is also going to be mostly dependent on
the individual personal automobile.

If Mesa Del Sol is built with more density than the American average, then
the amount of personal automobiles is going to be higher than average also.
That means that the terrific bottleneck that is going to be the reality for
anyone working in Albuquerque will also be much worse than average.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
631 posts, read 563,188 times
Reputation: 741
Quote:
Originally Posted by mortimer View Post
What's going to be built is what people want and can afford.
I've already acknowledged this in other posts. In fact, my fear of that happening is why I posted what I did in my initial post to this thread.

Inevitability and market factors don't excuse people promising one thing and the end result being something completely different from that promise. All that amounts to is a big disappointment. If and when it actually does happen that Mesa del Sol is built like any other subdivision I will be disappointed.

And also a little angry since we were promised something else. Even now in this recession with the homebuilding finally getting underway we are being told it's going to be 'unlike anything we've ever seen' and that it may very well end up being the next Nob Hill.

Time will tell.

Quote:

People don't like other people buying and living in "cookie-cutter" homes.
However, "cookie-cutter" also implies lower-cost for better quality. If
a builder builds only 4-5 types of houses, then the house can be factory
assembled to a large extent and assembled on-site. Building standard
assemblies in a factory reduces waste of natural resources and energy
and improves quality, reduces defects and lowers the price for the owner.

Neighborhoods need to grow old to stop looking "cookie-cutter." I mostly
grew up in a house built in 1928. If you look really hard, you can see that
most of these old homes were built out of less than a dozen possible models.

"Cookie-cutter" has been around a long time.

Look at any old neighborhood in Albuquerque and imagine it without trees
and shrubs. They are all going to look "cookie-cutter." Every one of them.

Also, note that very many people, in their initial post to the forum explicitly
want houses on large lots so that they are "not on top of their neighbor."
As long as people are going to download more children, more houses are
going to be going up and "sprawling" all over the place.

Even if Mesa Del Sol built all European-style housing that was attached on
each side to another house, it would still be "sprawl" and it would still be
"cookie-cutter." Mesa Del Sol is also going to be mostly dependent on
the individual personal automobile.

If Mesa Del Sol is built with more density than the American average, then
the amount of personal automobiles is going to be higher than average also.
That means that the terrific bottleneck that is going to be the reality for
anyone working in Albuquerque will also be much worse than average.
I don't disagree with any of what you write. I've even pondered similarly myself before.

Take the 1950s neighborhoods of Albuquerque's Northeast Heights for example. Hoffmantown, Inez, Princess Jeanne, etc. Many today consider them great neighborhoods with lots of character. I among those. But in the 1950s they were essentialy what so many despise about the Westside today: Cookie cutter tract homes in subdivisions on the outskirts of town.

Of course it took time for them to mature and develop character, and of course for the vegetation to grow. But no one can argue that they are neighborhoods anything like those Downtown. It takes a certain kind of design and planning (or rather happenstance), and yes, many years, to achieve neighborhoods like those Downtown and the older parts of the city.

New urbanism seeks to emulate those things in a speeded up, planned, and purposely built way. You mention European cities as the model for new urbanism, yet new urbanism actually bases itself on the Midwestern towns of the 1800s and early 20th century. And you know what? Downtown Albuquerque was built that exact way in the late 1800s.

Sure there may be some elements of European cities that new urbanism wishes to incorporate, but a bunch of houses built right next to each other or the giant apartment blocks of Paris aren't necessarily the end product desired. Single family detached homes are still central to new urbanism.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:59 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
17,646 posts, read 19,044,376 times
Reputation: 20283
Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQalex View Post
I've had to slave and sweat to pay my rent.
Thanks, just curious. I think I was 33 when we were able to buy or first house. A two bedroom one bath and carport home built about 24 years earlier. Some people said it was a Levittown home, but it wasn't. But it was a nice neighborhood...

You ment "new urbanist ideals", that is fine and dandy, a term which can be misleading and vague unless defined... But here is one good (but at times vague) explanation, at least to its faults: Why New Urbanism Fails | Planetizen

I have worked in construction a bit over the years, was a licensed contractor and Real Estate agent 30+ years ago and have had a few homes in four different states. Currently we are cozy in our Rio Rancho home with a rented home in ABQ and a condo in Florida with some use by relatives. Have had the rural life etc. I am getting old, I want to be near a hospital, I don't want to die in a rural are with a bunch of horses and cows staring at me...


Rich
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
631 posts, read 563,188 times
Reputation: 741
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho_NM View Post
Thanks, just curious. I think I was 33 when we were able to buy or first house. A two bedroom one bath and carport home built about 24 years earlier. Some people said it was a Levittown home, but it wasn't. But it was a nice neighborhood...

You ment "new urbanist ideals", that is fine and dandy, a term which can be misleading and vague unless defined... But here is one good (but at times vague) explanation, at least to its faults: Why New Urbanism Fails | Planetizen

I have worked in construction a bit over the years, was a licensed contractor and Real Estate agent 30+ years ago and have had a few homes in four different states. Currently we are cozy in our Rio Rancho home with a rented home in ABQ and a condo in Florida with some use by relatives. Have had the rural life etc. I am getting old, I want to be near a hospital, I don't want to die in a rural are with a bunch of horses and cows staring at me...


Rich
Thanks for that link. I've actually read it before. I still believe in the ideals of new urbanism. That doesn't mean I'm against suburbia. But I'd like to see America building more urban neighborhoods once again.

Subdivisions are plentiful, new urbanist neighborhoods are not. People who desire a more urban living environment are pretty much limited in new places to live. I would like for that not to be the case.

Keep in mind I'm not of the belief that new urbanism is the only answer or the absolute best way to build neighborhoods. As I've already said, at times I've desired a house in the suburbs. There are elements of both suburbia and urban living which appeal to me. New urbanism, at least to me, manages to achieve some of the best elements of both quite well.
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV - Albuquerque, NM
105 posts, read 40,411 times
Reputation: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by berncohomes View Post
Do you have a reference for this? I can't find it.
It came out on Channel 4 the other night. A list of 2,000 people are on hold for interest, the MdS website has an 'interest list'.
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Nuevo México
1,820 posts, read 2,203,304 times
Reputation: 1790
If I were a first-time home-buyer or a retiree I might be interested in a MdS house, depending on the price. It could be exciting to be in on something new (for ABQ) and be part of creating a new community. I really like the views of the Manzanos from there, and I would be happy if they put in a lot of dedicated walking and biking trails. But I'd be concerned about possible noise and light pollution from Journal Pavilion concerts reaching the neighborhood. I think it's too close for comfort. JP basically points at where the development is planned and it's only about half a mile away.
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