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Old 06-24-2008, 01:30 PM
 
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If Crystal Village is such a great development, why have there only been a few houses back there for years? I went through one of the houses when there was the Homes on Parade and it was a beautiful home, so I wonder what's wrong with it that no one is buying there.
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:56 PM
 
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Well first of all the market is absoulutly horrible right now. Many people have stopped building homes, and many of the homes that have stopped being built are the higher end homes. Crystal Village is a "higher end" home development. Plus Crystal Village wants to create an image for the development. They dont want to be slapping up houses of all the same type, not building a good quality house like other developments in the area, but instead they want to take the time to design a good looking and good quality house for people and they want to get to know the buyer and his or her likes and dislikes. Twin Cities people are the main buyers of these lots due to the large amount of them moving to the city. Many people from out of state are buying these lots and the market is doing bad everywhere. If you cant sell your house where currently live, you cant buy or move into a new house. So thats the state most people are in now. Many people are looking at the lots and wanting to build, but they cannot due to the shape the market is in at the current moment.

Last edited by duluthian2008; 06-24-2008 at 02:13 PM..
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Old 06-24-2008, 02:32 PM
 
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But this development has literally been there for years. Saying the housing market now has anything to do with it doesn't make sense. They started that project many, many years ago. Also they have dropped the prices of the lots. Obviously there is a different reason it's not working out. Any other development I've seen has moved along just fine and plenty of them have homes that are very pricey and certainly not the same type. Most developments of higher-end homes are NOT all the same home types and have very different, very beautiful homes.
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:42 PM
 
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Perhaps one of the reasons people are not buying or building in Crystal Village is due to the fact that there appears to be some conflict between the developers. Some friends of ours were not able to close on their lot AFTER having their plans approved by Crystal Village Architectural Committee, all of their contractors lined up, building permit work nearly complete, (and they were prepared for a delay with City Hall...but that apparently went smoothly...compliments to Duluth City Hall/Mayor Ness for resolving longstanding problems in that dept.), money all approved for construction and ready to start preparing their lot. They were told there was a lien placed on their lot preventing them from closing and the developers would not communicate, (ignoring phone calls from buyer in attempts to proceed with purchase), with them to assist them with moving the process along. So...proceed cautiously. (Minnesota Nice???)
And by the way, if anyone knows of a realtor or developer in Duluth, MN who is willing and able to assist a Duluthian with the purchase of land for building a new home...please respond. I'll pass your information along.
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:48 PM
 
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What do you call high end? My family is the owner of Crystal Village this is how I know this. The development is not going bankrupt like other developments. The development is doing just fine. There are many people looking at the lots and many people are being worked with on this development to build a home. If you knew something about the market at the current moment you would realize how bad it is. Homes are not selling. People cannot sell their homes. Look at the other high end developments in Duluth. Many of the homes you are seeing are called "Spec" homes. They are built for no person and they are strictly built to hopefully be sold to someone. These homes often sit in the development for years due to the market. Many of the developments you are seeing in Duluth with many homes are developments sitting there with Spec homes. No homes filled with families but instead homes sitting there completely empty less. Also the developments do not have the status Crystal Village does. This area is very well known and the other developments have done fine that the developer of Crystal Village has built. I can assure that Crystal Village is doing fine if not better than other developments. What you also dont see is the other homes being built by the developer, not in Crystal Village, but scattered through out the city and state. There can be many things happening with a development that you cannot see yourself with your eyes. A lot of the time now is spent getting people to buy lots with the development and then they will build one day. When the market becomes better you will see Crystal Village flourish. When the market gets better you will see these other developers have gone bankrupt. You dont need to ruin a company by building many houses in a development at one time. Lots are there for people to build on when they chose to, at the current moment many people are choosing not to because of the market. You need to understand the market. May I suggest you look in the archives of the Star Tribune. They had an article on the market in May and it talked about how many developments in the cities are being foreclosed on and the bank is giving the lots away. It diminishes the area that these lots are in and does not do anything for the city. The developers in the city built "Spec" homes too fast and too quickly. Thats might happen with the rate these other developments are building. It just takes time, you will see.
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:39 PM
 
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How incredibly unsurprising that it is your family. There are developments that aren't all spec homes. The market in Duluth stinks because the houses are marked up so bad and people can't afford them. What difference does it make what I consider high end? Obviously you are the expert on all things Duluth and anyone else who argues with you about what a great development this is compared to any other is going to be wrong. I know some people in a Hermantown development and it is not all spec homes there. Nearly everyone is being built for a specific family. I can look on a realtor's website to see how much the houses are selling for and I can also go to the St. Louis County website and see the taxable amount of a home. So I know what is high end and what is not.

ETA: I am well aware of spec homes as well in that if you've ever driven through most of the developments in Rochester you would know they are mostly spec homes. I know people in the Duluth area who own custom-built homes well over $400,000. Believe me I am well aware. I also know realtors up there personally.

Last edited by fromupthere; 06-24-2008 at 06:10 PM..
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:17 PM
 
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lvgupnorth, I really would like to know which one of the developers your friends worked with on a lot in this development. That really does surprise that they were treated that way. I will make sure to pass along what happened and how they were treated. The problem is there are two groups involved in this development. One that includes realtors from the city of Duluth and the other group of people are from the cities. I know for a fact that the Duluth people would not have treated them this way. If it was the Minneapolis people I will make sure they are told what happened and how that affected them. I am so sorry for what happened with them.

Duluth and Hermantown are two totally different cities. What I am trying to say here with out an attitude or being mean is that developments can be decieving. They may look great and fantastic with many homes built, but the truth is the development can be in serve debt and also can be filled with houses that are being foreclosed on and also spec homes. It takes a lot of time to get a development up and running and with Crystal Village they just want to make sure all goes well with the buyers and people who choose to build a home in that development. I do know the Sterling Ponds and Hawk Ridge also are two developments that are not filled with homes, but they are not filled with homes for another reason. There are many gorgeous and wonderful developments in the city of Duluth such as the developments off of Arrowhead. Crystal Village lacks many things but also has somethings others dont.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:41 AM
 
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Regarding Crystal Village and the developers, we do not know the specifics of the individuals. Having built some time ago, we were able to offer insight into the process and not having to work with multiple individuals was also not something we had to cope with. Sometimes with developments that is the problem, figuring out who you are really working with. But regardless, this experience certainly does not seem to reflect well on opportunities to build in the city.
With the new mayor, it looks like there may be a return to trying to get the city on the right track as far as development and pride in the city goes. But in our opinion, the city has a way to go to recover from the previous administration.
From other friends who went on the home tours, we heard that a number of lots in Hermantown have sold. Maybe the Duluth school issue is causing people to be concerned, not only where their children will go to school, but the tax liability.
And reading the discussion on "higher-end" homes, we have an opinion on that also. While the economy may be at a low or nearly low point, it seems unlikely that it will recover to the point of say 3 -10 years ago.
Therefore, it seems that those people who are moving away from "higher-end" homes (size wise), yet building quality, are very smart. This situation could be compared to the Hummer...which appears to be on its way out.
It appears to us that while overall prices in general may drop some, energy prices will most likely remain high due to the global economy, and people will be smart to consider the impact that has on maintaining larger homes, all of the costs associated with high energy costs and all of the other daily expenses one has to manage.
A wise person, (no matter their income level) does not put all of his or her resources into their house. They also need to consider resale value, because if you build a "McMansion" while that MAY be good for one person, who is going to buy it, if the need to sell arises.
It is our hope and belief that the young of today will consider not only the financial impact on themselves, but also the ecological impact resulting from overbuilding.
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvgupnorth View Post
Regarding Crystal Village and the developers, we do not know the specifics of the individuals. Having built some time ago, we were able to offer insight into the process and not having to work with multiple individuals was also not something we had to cope with. Sometimes with developments that is the problem, figuring out who you are really working with. But regardless, this experience certainly does not seem to reflect well on opportunities to build in the city.
With the new mayor, it looks like there may be a return to trying to get the city on the right track as far as development and pride in the city goes. But in our opinion, the city has a way to go to recover from the previous administration.
From other friends who went on the home tours, we heard that a number of lots in Hermantown have sold. Maybe the Duluth school issue is causing people to be concerned, not only where their children will go to school, but the tax liability.
And reading the discussion on "higher-end" homes, we have an opinion on that also. While the economy may be at a low or nearly low point, it seems unlikely that it will recover to the point of say 3 -10 years ago.
Therefore, it seems that those people who are moving away from "higher-end" homes (size wise), yet building quality, are very smart. This situation could be compared to the Hummer...which appears to be on its way out.
It appears to us that while overall prices in general may drop some, energy prices will most likely remain high due to the global economy, and people will be smart to consider the impact that has on maintaining larger homes, all of the costs associated with high energy costs and all of the other daily expenses one has to manage.
A wise person, (no matter their income level) does not put all of his or her resources into their house. They also need to consider resale value, because if you build a "McMansion" while that MAY be good for one person, who is going to buy it, if the need to sell arises.
It is our hope and belief that the young of today will consider not only the financial impact on themselves, but also the ecological impact resulting from overbuilding.
As a young person, my wife and I wanted an older home in an established neighborhood in Duluth with some character (natural woodwork, fireplace, crown moldings, built ins) that you can't find in some newer homes to the same quality. We found that easily in Duluth. Our home is modest, 1400 sq ft, natural gas hot water radiator heating, no central air with 3 bedrooms, den, kitchen/dining and large living room. The basement is unfinished but does not leak or flood! We added new siding, insulation, roof, furnace and are slowly updating the home. I think we bought wisely and do hope the current economy disuades people from the constant building out and sprawl we have in this country. Minneapolis is one of the best (worst) examples of urban sprawl in the Midwest if you ask me.

Also, I do not think Hermantown and Duluth are two totally different cities as was listed in a previous post. They blend right together at Haines Road and you can't tell them apart but for a small wood sign welcoming people to Hermantown. It would make more sense for Duluth to annex Hermantown and reduce the costs of double government and services in a small area. Joining cities together reduces taxes for all as it spreads the burden out. When I lived in Seattle the annexation of communities was more common as they grew near the border of a larger city.
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newcastle View Post
I think we bought wisely and do hope the current economy disuades people from the constant building out and sprawl we have in this country.
Amen!! I'm tired of all the developments - there and down here.
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