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Old 02-08-2013, 02:02 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
Depends what direction you're coming at it from. If you've lived in Manhattan for 30 years, rent control is great. You're paying basically nothing. .
Obviously.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:40 PM
 
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Over on city vs. city, Chicago is often touted as a relatively cheap, economically strong big city. Is there something fundamentally different about Chicago vs. New York?

One thing cities do, for those who like urban lifestyles, is substitute public amenities for private ones. Parks can substitute for yards. You don't necessarily need a large apartment for entertaining, you can do more of that in cafes and restaurants. Laundromats vs. home laundry machines. What all this means is that some things can be provided more cheaply in cities. Urban costs aren't necessarily as high as they can appear.

Cities also save on energy costs in several ways. Party wall buildings are more efficient. Distances are shorter, so transport costs are lower, and transport can happen in lower energy ways (e.g. walking).

While we're on this, dense low-mid rise building is cheaper than steel frame highrises. You can build a 5 or 6 story building with wood frame construction over concrete, and sell/rent it for far less than a steel frame highrise. You can achieve almost as much density this way as with highrises, because highrise is a less efficient building type.

Lastly, I'd caution against moralism about housing subsidies. Any of us paying off a mortgage and taking a tax deduction on that mortgage interest is getting a tax subsidy (one that's mostly captured by affluent households). The value of the mortgage interest deduction dwarfs what's been spent on affordable housing, or rent discounts from rent control.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:44 PM
 
9,525 posts, read 14,897,428 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlite View Post
One thing cities do, for those who like urban lifestyles, is substitute public amenities for private ones. Parks can substitute for yards. You don't necessarily need a large apartment for entertaining, you can do more of that in cafes and restaurants. Laundromats vs. home laundry machines. What all this means is that some things can be provided more cheaply in cities. Urban costs aren't necessarily as high as they can appear.
You're mistaken. Living in a small apartment in Manhattan can easily cost MORE than living in a house with a yard in the suburbs. A laundromat costs more than doing your own laundry.

Quote:
Lastly, I'd caution against moralism about housing subsidies. Any of us paying off a mortgage and taking a tax deduction on that mortgage interest is getting a tax subsidy
Getting to keep more of my own money is not a "subsidy".
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
You're mistaken. Living in a small apartment in Manhattan can easily cost MORE than living in a house with a yard in the suburbs. A laundromat costs more than doing your own laundry.

They're not cheaper when you consider all the infrastructure costs--the roads, the sewers, the power lines etc. to support them. You're just not paying for them. Often the costs of reaching spread out suburban places is "averaged" onto city dwellers.

Getting to keep more of my own money is not a "subsidy".
Why do you deserve a better tax break than a renter, who's usually poorer than a homeowner?
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:31 PM
 
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Trying to stay as apolitical as possible, but a special tax break for a select group is absolutely a subsidy, whether it's the child tax credit, mortage interest deduction, cash for clunkers, or whatever. In the interest of friendliness, I'd rather not get into whether or not these are wise subsidies.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:44 PM
 
Location: New York City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlite View Post
Over on city vs. city, Chicago is often touted as a relatively cheap, economically strong big city. Is there something fundamentally different about Chicago vs. New York?
Chicago doesn’t have the East River. Islands (Manhattan) and peninsulas (San Francisco and Boston) have a disproportionate effect on real estate values because they clearly delineate an “us vs. them” binary. People would be far more interested in living in Queens if the East River didn’t exist.

But I think the biggest reason is that Chicago doesn’t have much of a “cool factor.” Hip, young grads from top schools want to move to New York, San Francisco and DC. The demographic that really drives urban housing prices is not particularly interested in Chicago.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:18 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
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I'm not sure that's true. There's plenty of hip, young and cool in Chicago.

Honestly everything seems a bit cheaper there (cabs, public transit, rent, food, liquor).
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:41 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpk-nyc View Post
Chicago doesn’t have the East River. Islands (Manhattan) and peninsulas (San Francisco and Boston) have a disproportionate effect on real estate values because they clearly delineate an “us vs. them” binary. People would be far more interested in living in Queens if the East River didn’t exist.
Queens is still pricey for Chicago standards. Astoria and LIC across are only cheap compared to Manhattan.

Last edited by nei; 02-09-2013 at 07:50 AM..
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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One thing cities do, for those who like urban lifestyles, is substitute public amenities for private ones. Parks can substitute for yards.

Not entirely. I'd wager a guess you don't have kids. There's nothing like being able to send the kids outside while you (the parent) work in the house. You know they're safe, and you can get your work done. If you have to take them to a park, all you can get done, other than supervising kids or playing with them (which you can do at home as well) is maybe read a book, or in this day and age, do something on the computer or talk on the phone. (Mine were little before the age of laptops, the internet, and cell phones.) Now parks do have their positives. They're usually bigger than your backyard; you can get up a game of "ladderball" and sometimes even croquet (if the park isn't too crowded); they have more/different equipment than you can have in your yard; going for a walk to the park is fun and can burn off some energy.

Even for adults, there are pros and cons to parks vs yards for barbecues, etc. You have more privacy in your yard. I'm not usually doing illegal things, but it's nice to not have the whole world watching. If you have a barbecue at home, you don't have to worry about things you forgot. You can just go into the house and get them. You CAN do illegal things, like set off sparklers on the 4th of July. The bathroom facilities are closer and better. The pros are as above, if you want to play games like ladderball and croquet.


You don't necessarily need a large apartment for entertaining, you can do more of that in cafes and restaurants.

Again, the privacy issue. A funny story: We went into Chili's (OK, I'm a troglodyte and you don't even want to hear the rest of that story) during the Super Bowl and it was practically deserted. The waitress said it's like that every year. I told a friend about this, and she said she read that most people watch the Super Bowl at home. The people I know (I know, I've been told my experiences don't count on this forum and that my way is not necessarily mainstream) do a combination of entertaining in home and restaurants.

Laundromats vs. home laundry machines.

OMG! I've used my share of laundromats, and I can say this with authority. Compared to doing laundry in your own home, they suck! First is the same issue with taking your kids to the park vs sending them out into the yard; you can do something else while the clothes wash. The washers are frequently out of order, take your money and don't give you a wash, etc. Dryers usually are extremely hot or they don't work at all. Sometimes you have to wait until a washer and/or dryer becomes available. They're expensive, over time. When my cat threw up on my comforter, which I discussed in another thread here on Urban Planning, I didn't have to drop everything in my life (including posting on CD) to gather up supplies for the laundromat, drive to the laundromat, and hang out there until it was done. That's one of the main reasons we bought a large capacity washer/dryer. I've noticed that most of the apts my kids have rented lately come with a washer/dryer.

What all this means is that some things can be provided more cheaply in cities. Urban costs aren't necessarily as high as they can appear.


Certainly, over time, laundromats cost more than home equipment. The laundromat owner has to make a profit, no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlite View Post
Why do you deserve a better tax break than a renter, who's usually poorer than a homeowner?
In some states, Minnesota and MA, I believe, you can get a tax credit on the portion of your rent that goes for taxes.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,094 posts, read 102,844,640 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpk-nyc View Post
Chicago doesn’t have the East River. Islands (Manhattan) and peninsulas (San Francisco and Boston) have a disproportionate effect on real estate values because they clearly delineate an “us vs. them” binary. People would be far more interested in living in Queens if the East River didn’t exist.

But I think the biggest reason is that Chicago doesn’t have much of a “cool factor.” Hip, young grads from top schools want to move to New York, San Francisco and DC. The demographic that really drives urban housing prices is not particularly interested in Chicago.
LOL, eastern provincialism! Did you forget about Lake Michigan? Actually, I know quite a few hip, young grads from top schools who live in Chicago.
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