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Old 06-21-2017, 07:01 PM
 
4,706 posts, read 4,819,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilcart View Post
the answer to the OPs question is simply ZONING. Most of our housing issues (not all) can be solved by rezoning lands to allow a lot more building.

Vested interests prevent this for a number of reasons. The most important of which is of cost the devaluation of their assets and the second biggest is the typical NIMBY, who wishes to maintain the status quo.

Many areas need to accept that they need to build full blown cities instead of part measures. China may have taken it too far, but the USA is a joke when it comes to building new planned cities.
BINGO !

All other answers are tangential.

In my little hick town in hill and mountain country we had zero zoning til the 1980's. And everything was fine. Then out of state city folk moved in. Once their house was built - each wanted the town to stay the same. OR allow fancy expensive pretty homes on large acreage.

Each year we have more zoning amendments/articles at the town meeting to vote on. Each being more restrictive. To the point where no one can build an ordinary home. How a town meeting works and who attends the town meeting is for another post.

We have one acre lot minimum. That changed to one acre "buildable" acre required. Whatever that means.
One could build a 4 bedroom home on one acre. Cannot build a two family home with each unit having 2 bedrooms on one acre. What is the point of this? Well, the town does not want rental units as "poor" people are renters as they say.

Snob Zoning !
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Old 06-22-2017, 07:18 AM
 
9,834 posts, read 5,715,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambler123 View Post
That's not really the whole picture. The old rule of thumb was to never buy a house that cost more than 2.5 to 3 times your gross annual income. In today's age of zero job security, I would recommend staying on the low side of that range... but in many parts of the nations, that sticks you with falling apart trash homes and/or in high crime areas where you wouldn't be safe living. In the area in which I live, you only get old, crumbling trash for that type of money, with high crime tossed on as a possible factor, too.

While I do agree that the need for staggeringly huge homes in an era of fewer and fewer kids and married people is strange and, arguable, wasteful, there is no evidence for there being piles of truly affordable housing just "sitting around" because people only want to buy huge houses. This may be the case in rural America or places with few job and lots of land, but that's a different story. In the suburbs these days, there is very little that is affordable, and even the stuff that is has some horrible catch to it: it's a wreck, there's crime everywhere, it's a 50 mile commute one way to the jobs, etc. It's far worse than it used to be.
One man's trash is another man's or woman's fixer-upper treasure.

Nice suburban ranch homes in crime free areas are lingering on the market right now. Look you want a cheap starter home in a non-crime area you have to commute unless you are lucky to work closer to town. You have to sacrifice something. I'm finding people are choosing crime and expense over commute. They are hoping their hood will gentrify, in the meantime dodging drive-bys. Beyond that zone, they want bigger houses even as first homes.
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Old 06-22-2017, 10:16 PM
 
33,046 posts, read 20,708,082 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiluvr1228 View Post
In my area of Southwest Florida, the rents have had the largest increases in the nation (according to news sources). Around here they blame it on the large amount of foreclosures back during the housing crisis which caused people to lose their homes, ruin their credit and force them to rent. Plus we have too many people moving here and not enough places for them all to live.


I am seeing some new apartments being built that are going for over $1000 a month for a studio or 1 bedroom when in 2009 apartments were giving all kinds of incentives to get you to move to their place. I was paying $540 for a large 1 bedroom back then. Yes, I realize that was 8 years ago but this area has never seen the kinds of rents that we are seeing now. To make matters worse, the older complexes are hiking up their rents to "market value" so even living in an aging complex isn't going to be much cheaper than renting from one of the new places.


Thankfully I will be a homeowner soon and I can stop worrying about the constant rent hikes.

"Nobody is forcing them to rent." - Some people on C-D
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Old 06-23-2017, 09:08 AM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
6,810 posts, read 9,368,651 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambler123 View Post
I do care about the future of this nation, and I don't think you're a racist.

But I do feel that focusing on population growth alone is not the key factor. It is A factor, sure, but it's not the main one. The lack of good jobs is what matters most, and that is being whittled away more by global wage arbitrage and automation than anything else. Top it off with banks and house scalpers ("flippers") screwing up the housing market by making it a leverage-based game where the way to win is flipping, not buy and hold, and you have a pricy housing market that many people cannot afford to enter.

Even if you closed the borders and managed to keep the US population at its number today - or even half of that number - very little would improve on the housing front. Jobs would still vanish overseas to slave-labor nations - or just disappear thanks to more and more automation. Banks would still play games with the housing market to reward flipping and punish buy and hold. People would still have no job security and lousy pay, so taking on a big mortgage would be risky, and house scalpers would make sleazy fortunes flipping the newly vacated houses back and forth to each other, while piles of other now empty homes rot in newly crime infested areas.

People act like high population density or growth rates are something new - the numbers I've already presented prove that theory incorrect. The ONLY new factors are: loss of jobs to slave wages and automation, and the changing financial nature of the housing market to make it reward irresponsible leverage games and flipping vs. buy-and-hold. Clearly, those are the factors that are driving the current affordability in housing, not simple population numbers.
I agree with the major population growth historically, in fact you can go back to colonial New England for a population boom.

But a major difference with the earlier population growths, lets use the Baby Boom for example, there was still large rural areas that could be developed right outside our major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, WDC and Philadelphia. In other words, there was an "escape route" for the population growth. Those rural areas have now been largely developed and you would have to go further and further out to find rural developable land. Thus any new population growth in those metros is going to compete for housing with the existing population.
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Old 06-23-2017, 09:24 AM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
6,810 posts, read 9,368,651 times
Reputation: 6012
Default Zoning

Quote:
Originally Posted by unit731 View Post
BINGO !

All other answers are tangential.

In my little hick town in hill and mountain country we had zero zoning til the 1980's. And everything was fine. Then out of state city folk moved in. Once their house was built - each wanted the town to stay the same. OR allow fancy expensive pretty homes on large acreage.

Each year we have more zoning amendments/articles at the town meeting to vote on. Each being more restrictive. To the point where no one can build an ordinary home. How a town meeting works and who attends the town meeting is for another post.

We have one acre lot minimum. That changed to one acre "buildable" acre required. Whatever that means.
One could build a 4 bedroom home on one acre. Cannot build a two family home with each unit having 2 bedrooms on one acre. What is the point of this? Well, the town does not want rental units as "poor" people are renters as they say.

Snob Zoning !
Zoning plays a role. So does regulations, taxes and other things people mentioned like wage stagnation.

But ultimately IMO the biggest reason comes down to population. For instance, part of the reason we had wage stagnation for many workers is that we have a worker surplus - which again is partly caused by population growth faster then job growth. If you do not like the low salary and the loss of benefits, well we will just hire someone else.

Regarding zoning as you mention, stricter zoning is often itself a symptom of population growth. Now I am not saying that I know why every county or city in Montana, Maine or Alabama has the zoning policy it does. But in the more developed areas of the country, zoning is way of controlling buildings and population. Even NYC does this.

I would add that regulations may come with larger and denser populations and that may add to the cost of building new housing as well.
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
16,462 posts, read 19,996,430 times
Reputation: 22367
Quote:
Originally Posted by evilcart View Post
the answer to the OPs question is simply ZONING. Most of our housing issues (not all) can be solved by rezoning lands to allow a lot more building.

Vested interests prevent this for a number of reasons. The most important of which is of cost the devaluation of their assets and the second biggest is the typical NIMBY, who wishes to maintain the status quo.

Many areas need to accept that they need to build full blown cities instead of part measures. China may have taken it too far, but the USA is a joke when it comes to building new planned cities.
Indeed the Nimby's in some cities.

Santa Monica hasn't seen a new high rise since 1970, and a developer proposed a 21 story condo, a year or so ago, and the Nimby's screamed and hollered!

The entire West Coast housing shortage is not only antiquated zoning laws (72% of L.A. is still archaically zoned for single family homes only) but the rich Chinese cash buyers, who account for something like 20% of the home purchases in California.

Seattle has also become a hot market for the Chinese, pumping up the prices to almost equal Vancouver.

Big question is how much more air can the balloon take before it bursts? There's a RE crash coming and it will also include Canada and Australia.
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Old 06-23-2017, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Colorado
9,734 posts, read 6,265,376 times
Reputation: 17549
I think that every factor mentioned here is a piece of the puzzle and all are valid.

One thing I am seeing more and more of in Colorado Springs and Denver, there are a few companies (LLC's that anybody with some money to invest can get off the ground) that "buy houses for cash." They prey on those who are financially troubled and need to get out from under their mortgages, I assume. Then they run them as "rent to own" schemes. Near as I can tell, this takes advantage of the fact that many people don't have enough saved for a down payment on anything, so with these LLC outfits they pay something up front for a certain "buy option" plan that is higher than deposits, but not as high as a down payment to buy with a normal mortgage, and then some portion of your rent goes to building something like a down payment on the house, I guess. I don't know, I'm not hearing any success stories of how these schemes are really helping people get into home ownership. Well it sounds pretty sketchy, and many would be skeptical, so they've now tossed more icing on the cake. Our rental market here is tighter than tight, so they say that you can pick a house from the MLS, any house you like, and they will buy it with cash and rent-to-own it to ya.

I was curious enough to look into this out of desperation, knowing I'm going to want to rent a house before too much longer, and seeing how few are available in the areas that I want right now. But it still seems super sketchy so I'm thinking I will settle for less than what would be optimal in a house, and go with regular property management, rather than take a chance. But even the property management companies can be rough to deal with. They raise your rent every time they possibly can, and they fight like sharks over every penny of your deposit, even when you've left the house nicer than you found it. The laws here do not favor tenants.

Another change. In 2002 I found a house to rent from a private owner. He had an ad in the paper. In 2009, I found a house to rent from a private owner. They put a sign in the yard. Nowadays I almost never find homes to rent from private owners, everybody goes through property management, and there are no more classified ads in the paper or signs in the yard... So if an owner is happy to have a good tenant who pays on time and takes care of the house, and doesn't raise the rent for years...but a property management company is all "RENT OPTIMIZATION!" and jacking up the rent to "market" every year... And private rent by owner is becoming more rare, and management more common...

Clearly, rents are going to go up. It only makes sense. More aggressive players running the game now.
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Old 06-23-2017, 01:31 PM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
6,810 posts, read 9,368,651 times
Reputation: 6012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
I think that every factor mentioned here is a piece of the puzzle and all are valid.

One thing I am seeing more and more of in Colorado Springs and Denver, there are a few companies (LLC's that anybody with some money to invest can get off the ground) that "buy houses for cash." They prey on those who are financially troubled and need to get out from under their mortgages, I assume. Then they run them as "rent to own" schemes. Near as I can tell, this takes advantage of the fact that many people don't have enough saved for a down payment on anything, so with these LLC outfits they pay something up front for a certain "buy option" plan that is higher than deposits, but not as high as a down payment to buy with a normal mortgage, and then some portion of your rent goes to building something like a down payment on the house, I guess. I don't know, I'm not hearing any success stories of how these schemes are really helping people get into home ownership. Well it sounds pretty sketchy, and many would be skeptical, so they've now tossed more icing on the cake. Our rental market here is tighter than tight, so they say that you can pick a house from the MLS, any house you like, and they will buy it with cash and rent-to-own it to ya.

I was curious enough to look into this out of desperation, knowing I'm going to want to rent a house before too much longer, and seeing how few are available in the areas that I want right now. But it still seems super sketchy so I'm thinking I will settle for less than what would be optimal in a house, and go with regular property management, rather than take a chance. But even the property management companies can be rough to deal with. They raise your rent every time they possibly can, and they fight like sharks over every penny of your deposit, even when you've left the house nicer than you found it. The laws here do not favor tenants.

Another change. In 2002 I found a house to rent from a private owner. He had an ad in the paper. In 2009, I found a house to rent from a private owner. They put a sign in the yard. Nowadays I almost never find homes to rent from private owners, everybody goes through property management, and there are no more classified ads in the paper or signs in the yard... So if an owner is happy to have a good tenant who pays on time and takes care of the house, and doesn't raise the rent for years...but a property management company is all "RENT OPTIMIZATION!" and jacking up the rent to "market" every year... And private rent by owner is becoming more rare, and management more common...

Clearly, rents are going to go up. It only makes sense. More aggressive players running the game now.
I used to wonder about this myself. What if everybody wanted to make money by becoming a landlord and began buying cheaper properties that they could rent out? Would that not make it difficult for young families starting out to buy their first home?

Its the same with the "flip the house" type investors. People who could not afford to buy a mint home might be able to swing an old house that needs work. But now we have investors who buy up old homes, do a little bit of repair work, sometimes just a paint job and then resale a month or two later but mark up the price 20 or 40k. Obviously that makes it harder for people with less means to compete.

Now there is nothing wrong with all this, I actually thought of doing the same thing but does give an example of what increasing competition is doing to housing costs, especially in the more populated areas.
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Old 06-24-2017, 10:02 AM
 
9,834 posts, read 5,715,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LINative View Post
I used to wonder about this myself. What if everybody wanted to make money by becoming a landlord and began buying cheaper properties that they could rent out? Would that not make it difficult for young families starting out to buy their first home?

Its the same with the "flip the house" type investors. People who could not afford to buy a mint home might be able to swing an old house that needs work. But now we have investors who buy up old homes, do a little bit of repair work, sometimes just a paint job and then resale a month or two later but mark up the price 20 or 40k. Obviously that makes it harder for people with less means to compete.

Now there is nothing wrong with all this, I actually thought of doing the same thing but does give an example of what increasing competition is doing to housing costs, especially in the more populated areas.
They don't want the fixer-upper houses, or simply outdated or needing cosmetics, or they want them at a stupid low price. An older house is easier to rent than to sell so why not. A flipper knows they will be able to sell the house with the work done, even if it is cheapest grade materials but looks like fake tv houses, so why not. This is on the buyers.
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Old 06-24-2017, 12:48 PM
 
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My first home was a home nobody wanted... I bought it for 1/3 of list price and it had been on the market 90 days+

I really didn't want it either but the Broker was slick in a good way... as we talked she kept asking me for what I would be willing to pay cash for an AS-IS sale.

An hour later she had my earnest money check and I had signed the offer...

I was 21 and told my folks that night what I had done... there was a lot of silence and then I reassured them I had offered 1/3 of the MLS listing...

The next day the Broker called to congratulate me and now I had 14 days to come up with the cash which meant selling my pride and joy restored car and liquidating my savings and just about anything I had of value...

The second hurdle is the property was scheduled for a condemnation hearing so I had to act fast to nip that... and I did with my first dumpster arriving on the day I closed...

Oakland California and I still own this home today and the single best financial decision of my life... buying a home that no one wanted and scheduled to be condemned...
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