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Old 08-22-2019, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
10,891 posts, read 10,381,441 times
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Even if you are buying an entry level house, it’s more than likely higher that your salary so it should be built well regardless of price. Buying entry level doesn’t entitle one to a ****ty build. period.
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:56 AM
Status: "Goodbye Portland, Hello Las Vegas!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Henderson, NV
5,931 posts, read 6,120,926 times
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I wish that were true but it’s just supply and demand. It sucks but I can’t think of anything else where the average is so terrible. The average phone is very good, excellent even, the average car is boring but solid and reliable, definitely not bad. The average movie is fun and entertaining if not memorable. The average or “median” priced home in any market is godawful. Tell me the median for a city and I’ll Zillow search, guaranteed 95% of the houses at that price are absolutely horrid. You have to be 50% above the average price to start to see what I think should be just the average house, and 100% above the median to get what would be a good to very good house.

I wish it were possible to have higher quality average priced houses but for one, they get old, and old houses are just miserable looking most of the time. New houses for cheap may also look and feel cheap, so you’re not out of the woods there either. For me I’d rather a house be smaller but higher quality, like stop trying to slap together garbage larger houses and build a super solid, completely insulated, sound respectful smaller home with nice build quality and superior appliances and good materials. That’s just not really how they do it, though.

You know why? Think long and hard about TVs and how most people - probably even you - talk about TVs. Consumers are idiots when it comes to understanding even the first thing about quality and apparently don’t care. All I ever hear is, “Yeah man check out CostCo they got 65” TVs for $500, can’t believe you paid $3,000 for a 75”!” So... TV shopping is find the largest screen possible for the cheapest price? Yikes, yeah if you’re a moron! Is it edge lit? Back lit? How many zones of brightness are there? What’s the processor upscaling like? How is the contrast ratio? Smart TV features? What’s the input lag for gaming? How is motion blur for sports? How accurate are the colors and what is the TVs performance at an angle? In a bright room? These are all relevant questions. I buy TVs based on quality, I’m completely unconcerned how cheap you managed to find a piece of garbage TV at CostCo.

With home purchases, it’s the same thing. “Oh wow $400,000 for 2,200 square feet in X city? Way overpriced! Look hun here’s a 3,000 square foot house for $350,000!” Umm what? Since when is house shopping about the square footage and price alone? What’s the R value of the insulation? Are interior walls insulated? Ceiling heights? Solid core doors? Is the AC system single stage, two stage, variable? Solar panels on the roof? There are a million factors in a home purchase.

As long as people are so stupid they can’t figure out how to evaluate something except by size and price, they’ll get whatever garbage the average builder or manufacturer tosses out there and they’ll lap it up like dog food because they’re not sophisticated enough to deserve anything better. Period.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:25 AM
 
2,553 posts, read 908,332 times
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Sadly, people watch too much HGTV. When DH and I sold our McMansion, I'd gotten rid of the crappy wallpaper and the popcorn ceilings, we'd added insulation in the attic, the A/C unit was only a few years old. The feedback: light fixtures were "dated", the appliances weren't stainless steel- it was all superficial. No one asked about the utility bills.

A property-casualty actuary I know, based in FL and heavily involved in pricing hurricane coverage, joked that he wanted the house he and his wife were building to have extra-strong roof straps and only porthole windows. Wife wanted floor-to-ceiling windows, of course, and the builder balked at having to do so many "invisible" things that made the house more likely to withstand a hurricane but weren't very glamorous.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:30 AM
 
4,094 posts, read 2,852,944 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanLB View Post
The average or ďmedianĒ priced home in any market is godawful. Tell me the median for a city and Iíll Zillow search, guaranteed 95% of the houses at that price are absolutely horrid.
LOL, and yet most of us are totally fine with our homes and actually like them. And many of those old houses are still standing, still providing shelter for families after 80-100 years, with beautiful mature trees and greenery on those old lots.

I just don't see any homes that are godawful or horrid and I've lived in homes that have been between 5 and 100 years old.

Personally, I just don't need the super expensive best quality of anything. Functional, affordable and looks nice is fine.
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:41 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 908,332 times
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I actually prefer houses that have been standing for awhile- time will tell how well they've aged and it will give you and idea of how well they were built. I really don't care about the latest finishes. I'm sure quartz and stainless steel will be "out" in a few years and something else will be more fashionable. I've also known family members and friends who had houses built for them and it always seems to be a major ordeal- delays, not following the plan, and a giant bill at the closing for "upgrades" over bare bulbs and particleboard flooring. It would be nice if you could count on the local building inspector to verify that everything is up to code but I don't even trust them.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,664 posts, read 3,773,696 times
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I live in a brick house built in 1946 and it is well built. The house needs some love and updating, but I’m renting so not much I can do. Rare to find a house older than the 70s here in Phoenix, let alone 40s or earlier. 99% of Phoenix is cookie cutter it seems, you can’t get around that or HOA fees. But if I stay here, I’ll more than likely move into an older house or condo in the central area. Avoid this builder nonsense. Besides Phoenix, contrary to popular belief, has some great older construction because so many snowbirds and old people are obsessed with new. I disagree, the new builds are boring with no character, square footage inefficient, and long commutes on top of that. Many with vaulted ceilings which are terribly energy inefficient, in addition to large windows which are terribly in a hot and sunny climate like I’m in (those A/C bills are not a joke here).

If I take the same budget for the cookie cutters on the outskirts and put them somewhere central I’ll get less square footage, but more free time and less nonsense. And proof a house has stood its time.
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Old 08-24-2019, 11:26 AM
 
Location: equator
3,809 posts, read 1,671,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recycled View Post
^^^ No, not saying one is better than the other, or how things should be done today. Just pointing out how much things have changed. Heavy masonry walls in California don't make sense with the earthquake danger. It just seems like for the price you pay for a new home in OC, you might expect something a little better than a stucco/osb/styrofoam box. It also makes me wonder how long some of those new homes will last.
I'm from Orange County too, but now live WAY down south in earthquake zone. It's ALL heavy masonry here but we did stand up to a 7.8 earthquake in 2016.

I love the quality and sound-proof quality of the concrete block.

Ex and I used to build spec houses and no one appreciated the non-visible quality work we put into them. Buyers only cared about the superficial glitz, not 2x6 instead of 2x4 and the best furnace, etc.
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Old 08-28-2019, 11:40 AM
 
5,735 posts, read 3,734,348 times
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Originally Posted by Sand&Salt View Post
I'm from Orange County too, but now live WAY down south in earthquake zone. It's ALL heavy masonry here but we did stand up to a 7.8 earthquake in 2016.

I love the quality and sound-proof quality of the concrete block.

Ex and I used to build spec houses and no one appreciated the non-visible quality work we put into them. Buyers only cared about the superficial glitz, not 2x6 instead of 2x4 and the best furnace, etc.
2x6 walls are standard in new homes. A boiler is a boiler for the most part. New ones are better than 20 year old ones. New one vs new one is marginal.
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Old 08-28-2019, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
9,851 posts, read 19,100,611 times
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We're just starting in on a major fixer-upper. It's been a few years since the last one, probably five or six years. I'm noticing a huge drop in the quality of components.

Some bath surrounds have the integrity of a soap bubble! Formed plastic, not fiberglass at all and fairly thin plastic at that. Some 'plywood' is now layers of fiberboard of some sort with perhaps an actual plywood core. "Veneer" is contact paper instead of wood. I don't remember this low of quality even being available a few years ago. A lot of this new 'engineered' flooring is nasty contact paper over pressboard/fiberboard. For a floor? What's the expected lifespan? Three years? If that?

If a whole house were built with this level of materials, I'd expect it to have a functional lifespan of less than twenty years before it became a major fixer or a tear down. That's not even the term of most mortgages.

After this fixer upper is fixed and upped, we may build a house for ourselves, but I don't think we will use a contractor unless we specify and verify all materials.

We used to have a 'cookie cutter' home builder around here who built what was - at the time - considered to be lower end homes. I don't know if Hicks Homes is still around, but their houses were modest and well built. Solid flooring, solid wood walls (Hawaii had 'single wall' construction at that time). Typical Hicks Homes had big sheets of glass framed in for picture windows with wood louvers above or below for ventilation. Less expensive in materials and they had a trained work crew that went from house to house doing fairly high level carpentry with inexpensive materials. Although, now, the 'less expensive' materials are scary so it would need an 'upgrade' to the now more expensive yet what used to be the cheap stuff.
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Old 09-04-2019, 05:09 AM
 
18,857 posts, read 20,819,853 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanLB View Post
Yeah Iíve heard some buyers complain about Lennar but they were buying entry level houses. Youíre not going to get anything good for that. I actually had a negative bias against them too just because thatís how I think of all big builders, theyíre usually not as quality conscious. But I have to say at the higher end, they did a great job.

The biggest issue with discussing real estate on a nationwide forum is some terms donít really have any meaning in some markets. Like when you say ďtract housing,Ē itís supposed to be some sort of insult, I guess, in parts of the country. All real estate in Las Vegas is bought by the builders - individuals donít really have any option to buy land. Itís a desert and surrounding land is controlled by the BLM. Nevada is the most federally owned state. Thereís no such thing as NOT tract housing, unless you mean buying a tract and hiring your own architect which some communities let you do - like maybe 2 or 3 Valley-wide. Those houses literally cost $4-5M at least. Thatís not top 1%, thatís top 0.1%. Everyone else even very wealthy people are building on a tract with a floor plan selection from the builder. The best ones will give you options but there arenít that many options about the structure itself, more the interior finishes.

I was picky about the actual build quality as far as what insulation is put in? Whatís the wall thickness? When I knew it was way above code insulation and 2x6 construction, and I could choose my finishes, and I have a perfect view of the Strip and mountains, I donít care what else the builder does I can upgrade it. I upgraded the garage to epoxy flooring, upgraded lighting in 5 rooms of the house and every light will be a smart switch, upgrading HVAC, upgraded interior paint, upgraded shower door, etc.
I never meant to say tract housing as a insult. I just know who builds them and what goes on behind the scenes. Therecsimply isnít enough time or inspectors to check everything. The inspectors Simply donít have enough time to look at everything. They catch some stuff but plenty gets past them.
Weíre talking about typical housing that Joe and Suzy Sixpack is gonna look at buying not 3-4 million dollar tract housing on a golf course. And even that can have its own downfalls. Just because you paid more doesnít necessarily mean youíre getting a better house. Youíre getting a bigger house with ďupgradesĒ. And believe me youíre paying for those upgrades through the nose.
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