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Old 07-29-2014, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Oceania
8,623 posts, read 6,246,452 times
Reputation: 8318

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Since so many worry about it I plan on buying a big old sedan and driving it into cars parked olong the side of the street.

Nothing to see...just some old guy who acts like he can't drive.

 
Old 07-29-2014, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,893 posts, read 7,653,336 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
The difference in opinions is because I spent many years as a remodeling contractor. I have been in, under and on top of houses of every vintage from the 1850s on. Here in the West, we have our share of mansions that have been lovingly tended for a century and a half. It wasn't the construction, it was the fact that it was always occupied by people with money who could afford to maintain the building.
I'm an unregistered architect (practicing for 14 years, but never sat for the exams) and now an amateur preservationist. I've spent the last 3 years restoring (not renovating/remodeling) my house, built in 1902. While I'd still consider myself relatively green, old houses have been a passion of mine since I was about 10.

No doubt there are some great old houses out west, too. I only mentioned regions, because higher quality housing seems to be much more common around here than other places. There have been a lot of houses demolished in Youngstown, but other than being derelict for years, and being stripped of any valuable materials, they were the same as the houses around them, that are still standing. There are no empty areas where the "crap" houses once stood. (in response to your post #38)

Quote:
Many of the construction techniques of a century or more ago were markedly inferior. One of the biggest ones was the use of unreinforced masonry. Of course, it takes real money to dig a crumbling brick foundation out from under an old Queen Anne house, replace it with reinforced concrete, then clean the old brick and use it to face the concrete so it doesn't destroy the historic appearance of a classic house.
Again, that must be a regional thing. My 112 year old sandstone foundation is doing fine, as are most of my neighbors' brick/stone/concrete masonry foundations. (jacking up a house to replace a foundation is something that would be noticed around here) I have a friend whose parents live in a 200 year old stone house. Of course, that one was remodeled by a famous local architect, Charles Owsley, in the early 1930s, so I can't say if stonework was done then, or not.

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The gingerbread detailing that was so common in a bygone era has nothing to do with the quality or durability of a house. Indeed, it just contributes to ongoing maintenance problems. The same is true of the complex roof lines that only resisted leaking because they were too steep to stand or work on. I have seen wealthy men blink at the roofing estimate of a 3-story house with a 12/12 roof pitch and a round tower at one end. There has been a recent trend to emulate the old complex roof lines in the last decade or so. The owners of that property better have deep pockets in 15 or 20 years, when the roof has to be replaced. At least their foundation will be fine.
I never said anything about gingerbread detailing...

Craftsman bungalows often had rather low-pitched roofs.

Quote:
Even something as fundamental as a flue liner in chimneys was not a common requirement until the 1950s.
They weren't as necessary before, as houses weren't as tight, and the flue gasses--from fires, or less efficient fuel burning equipment--were hotter, causing the flue to draw better. There's usually no reason a flue liner can't be added today, though.

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I won't even go into the electrical shortcomings of any house built over 50 years ago,
And, if we hadn't become more energy conscious, today's electrical wiring would have become just as outdated in 50 years.

Quote:
and of course the plumbing has long since been torn out and replaced. It was common for the toilet to be on the back porch, which was enclosed as an afterthought.
I replaced the original cast iron in my house. I wish I could have afforded to install new cast iron, as I'm told it's much quieter than PVC. My house had a bathroom since new, but a second one was added where the back porch was, when the house was converted to a duplex, in the 70s.

Quote:
The original owners never set foot in the kitchen, which was where the help worked. The kitchen was typically poorly lighted and miserably hot in the summer, though the wood cook stove warmed it in the winter.
I don't know what my kitchen looked like when new. It was remodeled in the early 50s. But my mom's old house, built in 1924, had its original, unpainted, wood cabinets.

Quote:
It's easy to look at a lovely old mansion and be oblivious to the fortune it took to nurse it into the 21st century.
My house would have required a lot less work if they would have maintained it, (it was a rental since the 70s, and they stopped maintaining it properly in the 80s) and if they wouldn't have remodeled the kitchen and original bath in the early 50's. Because it wasn't properly maintained for 25-30 years, the porch needed rebuilt. I hired a professional for that. But the biggest project I've taken on myself was removing all of the plastic tiles, (that were falling off) and stripping the oak wainscot underneath, in the original bathroom. I'm saving the 1950s kitchen for another day, as it's still functional.
 
Old 07-29-2014, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,893 posts, read 7,653,336 times
Reputation: 4508
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
The Greatest Generation is the one that supposedly "fled" the city for the burbs.
That's a good point. Youngstown's population started its steep decline between 1960 and 1970; too soon for the boomers to be a driving force. (The mills didn't start closing until September of 77, btw.)

Quote:
What happened in NE Ohio is the result of the collapse of the steel industry.
Yes, because of the diminishing industry, there weren't new people moving in, to take the place of those moving out to the suburbs.

Quote:
As long as the parents are alive and competent, THEY are the ones who sell the house. If they go into assisted living, they have to pay for it somehow.
And if they needed government assistance to pay for that assisted living, they were still forced to sell the house cheaply. For example, I had a neighbor who had lived in her house since 1958. She had to move into an assisted living facility, but didn't have the funds to pay for it on her own, so needed assistance. Because of that, she couldn't even give the house to her daughter who DID want it, (but couldn't afford to buy it) and ended up selling it for less than $10k to an investor. Just a few years later, there was a small fire (there was no evidence of it from the outside) and instead of fixing it, they just tore the house down.
 
Old 07-29-2014, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,501,291 times
Reputation: 15950
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
As everyone knows, the 70-80 million boomers will reach geezerhood shortly. Many will lose thir driving ability. While most will be retired so getting to work not an issue, they still need to get around. Quite a few will try to age in place. Not all have children willing to drive them. Since many, if not most, live in suburbs devoid of anything walkable or local mass transit (though they may have commuter trains to center city). What will happen. Driving enthusiasts note: this could happen to you someday.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
Computer-steered cars should be practical about that time.
I wish I could share Mr. Kirk's enthusiasm, but simulation and automatic control of vehicles is a very complex practice (some attempts at simulating transportation systems date back for nearly fifty years), and to date, and only with a couple of very limited applications, it hasn't been successfully adapted even to rail operations, where the network is much smaller, and the number of both routing options and outside factors is much more finite.

And even assuming that self-driving technology becomes adaptable to general public use, the first applications would likely be for large commercial vehicles on major toll roads in flat country, where the trucking industry can be enticed into picking up the tab for research and development that can be adapted to serve more people, later. Programming the side streets of a small, rural community in mountainous territory, so that Gramps can drive himself to the dentist is a very long way in the future, assuming it's possible at all.
 
Old 07-29-2014, 07:52 PM
 
483 posts, read 534,458 times
Reputation: 586
Well since older people are good voters, they will get what they want, which is probably elderly busses to drive them around. The older people already have things like that.
 
Old 07-29-2014, 08:24 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,985 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33045
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
That's a good point. Youngstown's population started its steep decline between 1960 and 1970; too soon for the boomers to be a driving force. (The mills didn't start closing until September of 77, btw.)



Yes, because of the diminishing industry, there weren't new people moving in, to take the place of those moving out to the suburbs.



And if they needed government assistance to pay for that assisted living, they were still forced to sell the house cheaply. For example, I had a neighbor who had lived in her house since 1958. She had to move into an assisted living facility, but didn't have the funds to pay for it on her own, so needed assistance. Because of that, she couldn't even give the house to her daughter who DID want it, (but couldn't afford to buy it) and ended up selling it for less than $10k to an investor. Just a few years later, there was a small fire (there was no evidence of it from the outside) and instead of fixing it, they just tore the house down.
Neither Medicare (health ins.for the elderly) nor Medicaid (for low income people) pay for assisted living. (Medicaid may pay for a short term stay in AL, but not for permanent residency.) Medicaid will pay for nursing home. So the story your neighbor gave you doesn't hang together. It is common to sell one's house to pay for assisted living. My mom sold hers to pay for her care; DH's parents did the same. In both cases, family (small, in the case of the DH family home) bought the houses.
Paying for Assisted Living
 
Old 07-29-2014, 08:41 PM
 
13,040 posts, read 15,382,569 times
Reputation: 15272
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwiksell View Post
Look, this was never about my parents specifically, because I've come to the same conclusion about their neighbors. And that's that they have about a five year window in which to still find home buyers who will value their homes as much as they do. After that, I believe they'll start to witness a fairly dramatic drop in prices..
I hope you are right. If so, in 5 years I'm going to buy a nice new house in the suburbs on about 5 acres real cheap!!!
 
Old 07-29-2014, 08:52 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,983 posts, read 41,929,314 times
Reputation: 14804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
The situation in the Rust Belt cities resulted from the economic collapse of the steel industry, an external source. It did not result from the housing choices of the Greatest Generation. There is no analogous situation here in Denver, or even in Chicago, which did have a lot of people working in the steel industry. It had a more diversified economy.
Not all the rust belt industry was dominated by steel. There was also a general trend of movement of jobs and people to the south and sunbelt.
 
Old 07-29-2014, 08:55 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,983 posts, read 41,929,314 times
Reputation: 14804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
The Greatest Generation is the one that supposedly "fled" the city for the burbs.
I can think of plenty of people of Baby Boomer-ish generation who grew up in a city and moved out to the suburbs.
 
Old 07-29-2014, 09:59 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,816,131 times
Reputation: 9769
Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
You're missing a key point and you're falling back on the false dichotomy of Manhattan apartment vs McMansion in the Poconos. There are a lot of places in between.
I'm not claiming any such dichotomy. Most of those in-between places are suburban.

Quote:
Of course people live in the suburbs and will continue to live there. The problem for boomers is that they have had a penchant for living on the fringe and on trading up to bigger and bigger houses. It's not that suburbs are passť. It's that big houses 30 miles or more from downtown are just not viable for a lot of people.
I think you're mistaken about it being the boomers living in the exurbs.
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