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Old 07-20-2008, 07:56 PM
18 posts, read 74,088 times
Reputation: 38


Housing is cheap because a majority of the homes here aren't anything to brag about, most are owned by slum lords, but there are very nice areas as well.

Re: Slum lords

My family is from TH. I've lived for many years in LA... but grew up half & half. Summers around TH. Winters in California.

Back around 1990 I bought a large Victorian house, which needed work, in TH. My parents, in their late 70s, wanted to move back & there was no way that I could handle 2 elderly people any reasonably priced apartment or home in LA. The one I bought had nice wide hallways & the upstairs had been divided into apartments many years ago. The repairs it needed were mostly cosmetic with some efforts to modernize. I planned to do it myself once my folks were living in the house. Renting 1 upstairs apartment would have supplemented income loss... while I could live in the other & have some life of my own.

When I bought it, we were not yet ready to move. I had to bolster my bank accounts by taking on some large, well-paying projects for a couple of years. So, I tried renting the house out.

The first winter, through a management company, I rented out the ground floor to a lady. I gave her an extremely low rent. In return, she was to keep the heat on thru the house high enough to keep the pipes from freezing. That was a disaster. She paid once. Allowed her dog to ruin the entryway floor. Allowed the pipes to freeze & 5 antique steam radiators burst. It then took the sheriff to get her out. Of the 9 mos. she lived there, 8 were free. I won in small claims court, but there was nothing to get from her. Later I found out from neighbors that she was operating a "house" in my house, which accounted for the dozens of used condoms I found scattered everywhere.

I went back that summer to repair the damages & to have some other things done.

The next fall, I rented to some college students. When I went back the next June, I found Bevis & Butthead murals throughout the house & an inch of paint on the laundry room floor. I also found the 400 lbs cast iron bathtub stuck on the staircase landing. They'd tried to steal it, but it got stuck at the turn in the stairs.

At that time, the most I was able to get rent-wise per student was $50/mo. They did at least pay the utilities, so I had no more frozen pipes. However, their rents & deposits in no way covered the damage that they did.

IMHO, because rent & property prices are so low, the only way that most landlords, particularly, if they have rental property to bolster a retirement income for themselves & not simply to provide housing for students on a break even or a loss basis, is to be a slum lord.

You get so little & face so many expenses, that you face a money pit unless you do as little as possible.

My folks died before the move. I sold at a loss just to be rid of the nightmare.
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Old 07-21-2008, 10:39 AM
1,095 posts, read 3,813,552 times
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Originally Posted by Scholastica8 View Post
IMHO, Kat sounds like a very mature person - for a kid. To me anyone under 30 is a kid.<g> She's was taking her parents concerns into consideration & trying to find an answer for them, which means that she probably values & respects their opinions & experience. Yes, Nap, older folks tend to have a tad more experience than younger folks - Perhaps not in teckie stuff or contemporary music, etc - but just generally in life. They've sidestepped or landed in the pitfalls themselves.
You're right, older people do have more experience than younger folks. That doesn't mean they should try to deprive their children of certain experiences just because they didn't work out well for the parents.

One little thing about taking out loans. You can end up in hock up to your a**. I had a friend who ended up owing over $70K after grad school. That was affecting every decision she made - whether or not to take a low paying, but promising, internship, later which jobs. She took one that she disliked, because it paid more, so she'd be off the hook faster. She & her boyfriend together owed well over $100K. At that time (& probably now, once again) they couldn't get a loan to buy a house. They put off marriage & children.

So, when you take out loans, you have to factor in consequences that you may not foresee or which loan officers may not tell you about. To get thru college w/o loans, I chose to attend locally & live at home. I was not sorry that I did because when I graduated I owed nobody nothing.
You're right about the loans, of course. That's why I think her parents will still help her out even if she doesn't go to a school of their choice. If they don't, I don't understand why.
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:49 PM
2,887 posts, read 6,283,060 times
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Originally Posted by MikiJayne View Post
I went to ISU, and I enjoyed it. i didn't feel like I was missing out on anything. Terre Haute has some very nice parks, and had everything I needed at the time. One thing about TH, though, is the smell. We just drove through there 3 days ago coming home from a trip, and it still stinks. Literally. I don't know if it is the factories or the river or what, but it definitely has a funky odor to it.
Isn't there a paper mill there? I remember the smell too!
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:09 PM
Location: Turn Left at Greenland
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They make Clabber Girl baking soda there .. maybe that's the stink?
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:33 AM
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Default The Odor

Odds are the smell, if it is still there, is the paper mill. However, on my last trip back in 1999, I do not recall the paper mill smell familiar from my childhood. I remember when we would drive back to Indiana, I'd be waiting for that smell, because when I could smell it, it meant that we were getting close to Grandma's House. I actually liked THE SMELL.

I doubt that the odor is Clabber Girl Baking Powder. Isn't that the old Quaker Maid? My mom worked there long, long ago.

Terre Haute also had an odor from the coking plant... that turned coal into coke for the trains. I think that's gone too.

IMHO it's possible that the paper mill smell simply permeated the fabric of the town.

The other possibility, I suppose, could be Sony... or maybe even Pfizer (is it still down near Farmersburg?). Where is the Eli Lily plant? I have a cousin who lives in TH & works there.

I don't think it's the river because if you cross the river elsewhere, like Hudsonville, the odor is not there.
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Old 07-26-2008, 01:29 PM
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The paper mill is what I was thinking. Very distinct smell.
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Old 07-27-2008, 01:31 PM
Location: Terre Haute Indiana
2 posts, read 11,950 times
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I just love how people love to comment on somewhere where they visited one time 10 years ago....Yes, Terre Haute doesn't have a lot of money in it. The paper mill is gone so the stench in Terre Haute is long gone. Clabber Girl has nothing to do with the smell either. I currently live in Terre Haute and have lived here since I was born. I can give you a few pointers about the town. Stay away from buying anything in the avenues. If it is on the avenues it is in center city and mostly lower income families, so resale is tough. Also there are a lot of meth houses in the area, which is one of the problems with the decay of Terre Haute's population. No worries if you avoid the drug scene. The east side is a great place to live, also the southside is nice. No there isn't a lot of things to do for the young people, but when I attended ISU I had no problems finding things to do over the weekend...there were Fraternities and Sorority events pretty much every weekend. If you aren't into that I am sure you can find something else to do. Terre Haute has lots of events in the summer. There are some festivals downtown almost every weekend. There is plenty of shopping and eating to be done here too. All in all, Terre Haute does have a bad rap, but plenty of people return to raise their children here because it is pretty much a safe place to live. Good luck in your endevors!
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:18 AM
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As a mother with a child who graduated from Purdue and another from ISU, there is nothing wrong with the city of Terre Haute. I live an hour away from Vincennes, Bloomington, and Terre Haute. I often choose to go to Terre Haute when possible. I have never been afraid in any of the three towns. However, in Terre Haute, as in Bloomington, Lafayette, and Vincennes, there is crime. You will never find a town that has no crime.
There are wonderful neighborhoods, and there are lower priced houses. You can find what you want. I personally would make a visit. Depending on what you want to pay, you will find a suitable place for your child, as you would in any of the other Indiana college towns.
I graduated from Ball State University in Muncie and have taken graduate courses at ISU. They are very similar and so are the cities. Muncie seems a little larger, but similar. I don't know what you read, but if you want 100, 000+ homes there are many there.
I don't feel, as a previous poster noted, that the city ignores their colleges. I don't think, however, that the city folds in the summers as many of the students leave, and I feel that shows a healthy city. Terre Haute is very supportive of the schools. It has 3 TV stations, and I don't really care if it has a Target. I can usually find anything I want to buy there.
Again, make a visit. I don't think you will find it much different tham most cities that size.
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:28 PM
Location: displaced in indiana
12 posts, read 45,719 times
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Default Terre Haute

Do not be fooled by demographics and the low housing prices. This city has always been a cheap place to live, not because of poverty, low class or problems with drugs or crime. Our crime is very low per capita and we are blue collar and industry rules here. I came from California, and was born here and glad to be back. The people are friendly, many educated and we just haven't gotten expensive. ISU is a good school for teaching and business degrees and a great nursing school. 2 good hospitals, and a renovation in place for downtown. Gun crimes are rare. We are a tight knit city, easy living, and not a beautiful city, but lovely neighborhoods. You will not find any big city attitudes here and the best thing to do is visit and see for yourself. Please don't pre-judge based on housing prices. Be happy it exists! I live in a very nice neighborhood, middle class, and I rented my home before I bought it. It is about 1950 sq. ft, 3 bdrms, 2 ba, family room, 100x150 ft back yard, patio and hardwood floors, french doors and fireplace. Quiet neighborhood on a blvd. leading to a nice big park. I paid $85,000 for it. A bargain I say. I rented it for $600, a real deal for sure! Relax about Terre Haute and the prices. We consider ourselves lucky to be here.
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:55 PM
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I live in Terre Haute and have for most of my life. We don't have a problem with gangs, our school system is phenominal. Quite frankly, I would reccomend Ivy Tech Community College in Terre Haute as the best college they have there. Of course, since I attended Tech myself, I am a bit biased. As an older post stated, there really isn't anything in Terre Haute to make it an "in demand" place to live. This explains the lower prices on housing. Overall, I would say that compared to most of teh other colleges in the midwest, the colleges in Terre Haute are definitely safer.
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