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Old 04-03-2014, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 10,774,658 times
Reputation: 20540

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
My parents owned a house built in 1918. The style is called "foursquare". It had softwood pine floors. It had no stained glass or ornate stairwells.
A foursquare is not a Victorian house (Queen Anne's, Empire, Romanesque are all Victorians). Yes, some were built in the time period, but they were purposely built to be boring and bland.

American Foursquare - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:53 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,304 posts, read 10,774,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
Since so many people seem to be skeptical about how common architectural features like stained glass and ornate woodwork were, I'm beginning to think that the NE and Midwest--where these things are common in older houses--were just wealthier than the rest of the country at the time. So, even the working-class were "wealthy" by comparison?
Totally depends on which part of the country you live. I've lived in different regions in my state and all the Victorians I've lived in or looked at that haven't been remodeled have ornate woodwork and stained glass. And these weren't built for the wealthy. One place I lived was a Victorian Flat. Stained glass and woodwork galore. It was built that way well over 100 years ago and never touched.



Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
I don't know about ornate woodwork; that used to be relatively cheaper than it is now. But stained glass was always expensive. I don't think you'll find much in the way of ornate houses with stained glass owned by the working class back then.
Actually, stained glass was not always expensive. I live in a very small town and we had a glass factory here about a century ago that made stained glass for windows. They shipped it all over the world. There's tons of Victorians with that stained glass in them in the city next door. Those houses were built by and for working folk not the elite or rich. Again, all of this totally depends on where you are located.

The largest collection of Tiffany windows is not in NYC like most people claim. It's actually in Troy, NY. And the windows are all over in churches, houses and row-houses.
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:54 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,412 posts, read 21,254,176 times
Reputation: 24241
A real estate salesman in Mexico told me: You can't get homeowner's insurance in Mexico on a house built out of wood. It must be concrete all the way, even the roof! Wood is not fireproof and wood is candy to the termites!

But then, if your house is built like a "war bunker" then why would you need homeowner's insurance, anyway, if it's not going to burn? Only the contents you need worry about!

When I had my house designed in Northern Baja every iota of that house was lacking wood and it was also built to withstand an earthquake!

How the Mexican home construction workers must laugh at each nail they pound into wood in this country!
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:25 AM
 
3,717 posts, read 2,201,548 times
Reputation: 4169
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
The southern states are all pretty high in 1940-1950, but some northern/western states had pretty high rates as well (>30% in 1940, >25% in 1950), e.g. Alaska (1950 only), Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii (1950 only), Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada (1940 only), New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon (1940 only), Pennsylvania, Rhode Island (1950 only), South Dakota, Utah (1940 only), Vermont, Washington (1940 only), West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Having rented a number of homes in my day, one thing I know is that it is rare to have upgrades in rentals. Certainly nothing built with the intent to be a rental is "upgraded". The rentals that do have such amenities were originally built to be owner occupied and then subdivided.
I would say that in the 1940s there were large rural portions of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Much of Maine is still rural. Same with West Virginia.
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Old 04-03-2014, 05:50 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,661,531 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
I don't know about ornate woodwork; that used to be relatively cheaper than it is now. But stained glass was always expensive. I don't think you'll find much in the way of ornate houses with stained glass owned by the working class back then.
I'm on a different computer this morning, and I see my Google link did work. The neighborhood I linked to was never meant for the wealthy, though it wasn't meant for the working poor, either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I've been accused of being snarky at time, but this does not deserve a response.
That wasn't my intention.

Quote:

Omaha is the midwest.

OK, then NE and Great Lakes (now known as the Rust Belt) regions.


Quote:

Do you know what was required for a mortgage before the FHA was established

in 1934?

Here's a good description:

HowStuffWorks "History of Mortgages"

Prior to the FHA:

**It wasn't until 1934 that modern mortgages came into being. The Federal

Housing Administration (FHA) played a critical role. In order to help pull
the
country out of the Great Depression, the FHA initiated a new type of
mortgage
aimed at the folks who couldn't get mortgages under the existing
programs. At
that time, only four in 10 households owned homes. Mortgage
loan terms were
limited to 50 percent of the property's market value,
and the repayment
schedule was spread over three to five years and ended
with a balloon
payment. An 80 percent loan at that
time meant your
down payment was 80 percent -- not the amount you financed!
With loan
terms like that, it's no wonder that
most Americans were
renters.**

Now you think the average factory worker could buy a house that was 3X their

annual income on those terms? It's obvious why home ownership was much
lower
than it is now, or has been since 1960.
When I was a kid, we rented a house that was less than 15 years old, when we moved in. It was the 1968 equivalent to the kinds of houses found in my previous neighborhood. (that I provided a Google link to, above)
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:56 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,634,943 times
Reputation: 33082
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss20ts View Post
A foursquare is not a Victorian house (Queen Anne's, Empire, Romanesque are all Victorians). Yes, some were built in the time period, but they were purposely built to be boring and bland.

American Foursquare - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Did I say it was Victorian?

And seriously "purposely built to be boring and bland"?
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:32 AM
 
Location: I live wherever I am.
1,935 posts, read 3,743,844 times
Reputation: 3235
Is newer housing disposable?

Well, let's consider the case of a McMansion buyer I knew back in 2006. Less than one year after buying their house, which was built brand-new to their specifications, there were cracks in the corners near the ceiling and they had a two-page list of issues that they wanted the builder to fix under warranty. I knew another family who got a new house built for them earlier that decade and they had a whole litany of issues with it which caused them to tell me that the builder "sucks".

Contrast that to the house my wife and I bought. It was built in 1917. As I type this, the furnace, which hails from the 1950's, is still happily chugging along keeping the house warm. The house itself does need some work but it's almost freaking ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD... see if YOU look as good at age 97 as you did when you were a teenager! Structurally, the house was built with REAL lumber (as in, a 2x4 was actually two inches by four inches, rather than the wimpy 1 1/2 by 3 1/2 that it is today) and it's on a concrete block (not cinder block) foundation. Every time that freight train goes past, which happens several times per day, the house shakes slightly... it's only detectable on the second floor unless you're REALLY paying attention... I imagine this has been happening for years... and still the house stands, in a condition good enough to live in. Would today's modern housing hold up to that? I highly doubt it. Today in the era of cost-cutting on materials and using cheap illegals (oh sorry, "undocumenteds") for labor, we'll be seeing a lot of these newer houses fall down after 20-30 years. You can't cut costs and not cut quality.
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Old 04-03-2014, 07:49 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,016 posts, read 102,634,943 times
Reputation: 33082
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post
Is newer housing disposable?

Well, let's consider the case of a McMansion buyer I knew back in 2006. Less than one year after buying their house, which was built brand-new to their specifications, there were cracks in the corners near the ceiling and they had a two-page list of issues that they wanted the builder to fix under warranty. I knew another family who got a new house built for them earlier that decade and they had a whole litany of issues with it which caused them to tell me that the builder "sucks".

Contrast that to the house my wife and I bought. It was built in 1917. As I type this, the furnace, which hails from the 1950's, is still happily chugging along keeping the house warm. The house itself does need some work but it's almost freaking ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD... see if YOU look as good at age 97 as you did when you were a teenager! Structurally, the house was built with REAL lumber (as in, a 2x4 was actually two inches by four inches, rather than the wimpy 1 1/2 by 3 1/2 that it is today) and it's on a concrete block (not cinder block) foundation. Every time that freight train goes past, which happens several times per day, the house shakes slightly... it's only detectable on the second floor unless you're REALLY paying attention... I imagine this has been happening for years... and still the house stands, in a condition good enough to live in. Would today's modern housing hold up to that? I highly doubt it. Today in the era of cost-cutting on materials and using cheap illegals (oh sorry, "undocumenteds") for labor, we'll be seeing a lot of these newer houses fall down after 20-30 years. You can't cut costs and not cut quality.
And let's look at my parents' house, built 1918, bought by them in 1956, kind of "newish" by today's standards, a 38 yo home. This was the aforementioned "purposely built to be boring and bland" four square mind you. It had no place in the kitchen for a refrigerator, b/c in 1918 people didn't have refrigerators. The first Christmas we were there, someone put a piece of bread in the toaster when the Christmas tree was lit, and the lights flickered. Oh, no! Need new wiring. When getting the house wired, they discovered it had also originally been piped for gas. Apparently the builders didn't think electricity was here to stay! Kitchen reno, living room reno, always something, always something. My mom once said that she thought in "these old houses" as she called them, they took whatever space was left over after building it and called it the kitchen. When I did some research on kitchens, I found out she was basically correct. A kitchen was not considered important in real old houses, b/c you had "help" to cook. Who cared what they had to put up with? Fireplace hadn't been used in years, couldn't be used until the living room reno was done and the chimney rebuilt. (They found a dead bat in it, LOL!) One bedroom had no closet and no heat (no furnace register). My dad put in a space heater in that room. Tiny closets. Single pane windows, practically no insulation. After the "energy crisis" of 1973 (before most of you were born, I suspect), my dad was constantly trying to improve efficiency, but really, there wasn't much that could be done w/o major renovations. Pine floors, not hardwood, as everyone claims ALL old houses had (except of course those purposely built to be boring and bland). One bathroom.

Now this was a nice house for my parents to raise a family in. And whenever you own a home, it's always something. We've owned two, and I learned that early on. When I was a visiting nurse, I went in many homes. I've seen a lot. I'd say it's a toss-up.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:26 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,908 posts, read 42,154,529 times
Reputation: 43311
I remember watching This Old House back when they were actually working on real old houses and Norm Abram said, "They don't build them like they used to and that's a good thing".
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:41 AM
 
7,495 posts, read 9,767,491 times
Reputation: 7394
Most of it looks like it could fall apart in a moderate windstorm. But the commercial estate always seems to look better and better. There was a time when houses were a strong as business buildings. I guess now that people and their money aren't considered as important as corporations, they get the short end of the stick financially.
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