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Old 09-06-2014, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Arizona
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Don't waste your time arguing with JR_C. He can't drive, needs public transportation, and will never say anything good about any suburb because he knows he can never live there. We have argued before. He has posted pictures of what he thinks are nice homes and most people would not agree with him.
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Old 09-06-2014, 04:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Likely the inner suburbs had decent schools, but with the move outward they're declining. School quality may not be the most mentioned topic, even less mentioned is causes of their low quality.

Not really. With schools sometimes there is an cycle. An new town or suburb attracts lots of young families who support tax increases that go towards schools. As the burb ages eventually there are fewer parents and the tax increases start failing at the ballot perhaps even an move to lower property or other taxes gains ground. The schools now decline to average instead of excellent. Only a few burbs keep excellent school ratings for decades and they do so with laws that support very expensive property(large lot size minimums) or high taxes.

In addition older housing stock sometimes can't command an large purchase price. It often lacks features like an second(or more) bathroom, larger bedrooms, and so on.
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:58 PM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,857,889 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Yes, my point was that substandard isn't really the cause. Old houses can be knocked down and new ones placed in the same lot or rehabbed.
Substandard housing can be A cause for building new developments while older houses sit empty. It can be cheaper (even including new infrastructure) to build new houses than to rehab or rebuild old ones. Or the old ones may be subject to regulations making it infeasible to rebuild; for instance, regulations may have changed in such a manner that a rebuilt house would need to be significantly smaller because of lot line or air-rights issues (this is one reason for the all-but-one-wall rebuilds you see in some areas).
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Old 09-06-2014, 09:35 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,992 posts, read 42,037,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
Not really. With schools sometimes there is an cycle. An new town or suburb attracts lots of young families who support tax increases that go towards schools. As the burb ages eventually there are fewer parents and the tax increases start failing at the ballot perhaps even an move to lower property or other taxes gains ground. The schools now decline to average instead of excellent. Only a few burbs keep excellent school ratings for decades and they do so with laws that support very expensive property(large lot size minimums) or high taxes.
Hmm. For the Long Island the reverse cycle is true. Less children than before, but the tax base hasn't declined as much. Think that's the more common situation in most Northeast suburbs.

Quote:
In addition older housing stock sometimes can't command an large purchase price. It often lacks features like an second(or more) bathroom, larger bedrooms, and so on.
Sometimes, but cheaper doesn't mean it's so cheap it has no value. Some towns here have old millworker housing, they're good deals for those looking to buy a cheaper house, they're not falling apart.
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Old 09-06-2014, 09:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Sometimes, but cheaper doesn't mean it's so cheap it has no value. Some towns here have old millworker housing, they're good deals for those looking to buy a cheaper house, they're not falling apart.

True, but everyone is not looking for an fixer upper and sometimes somethings in an house are non-negotiable. Too few bedrooms(2 bedrooms houses were common as starter houses or vacation houses) cause problems for people who truly need three or more. If both parents are working an 2nd bathroom becomes an lot more important and a one car garage(common where I live) won't cut it if two people have cars and need to drive(more common when two parents are working). Small bedrooms are also not attractive since people do more than sleep or read a book in the bedroom now days.
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:04 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Huh? Those houses I'm talking about have no garage yet plenty still drive. Most homes in my neighborhood don't have a garage, either.
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
Huh? Those houses I'm talking about have no garage yet plenty still drive. Most homes in my neighborhood don't have a garage, either.
Depends on the market. Where I live people really like garages due to the bleeping snow(and having to possibly scrape or clear off your car from late November till April.). Any house will sell if cheap enough, but people don't always want cheap.
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,666,018 times
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Wow, this thread sure went off track.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
If you are opposed to the idea of extending utilities at taxpayer expense, talk to your local legislators. Your area, like my home area not far away, has a lot of empty housing. Some of it should simply be removed. I know that's an anathema to urbanists, but a lot of this housing was substandard 50 years ago. There's obviously not a market for it. People forming new households don't want to live there.
The east side of Youngstown--the least developed side--may have some substandard housing. There was some hasty development over there after WWII. (there was post-war development all over the city, but the cheap stuff went over there) But, other than that, the housing stock is only substandard due to neglect/abandonment. The concentration of this is in the city, but the disinvestment is spreading into the adjacent suburbs.

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Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Seems to me that other people's tax dollars are subsidizing your lifestyle.
Everyone's lifestyle is subsidized by "other people's tax dollars."

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Of course her post made sense. She was exposing how silly your argument was.
As far as your alleged "housing surplus" - apparently you fear that the "surplus housing" wouldn't be perceived as preferable or desirable when people have choices. Maybe you should focus on why there is a surplus of undesirable housing in your area.
There is a surplus of houses, because the population of the metro is shrinking. The metro is shrinking because there aren't a lot of jobs to draw people to the area, in large numbers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALackOfCreativity View Post
If you restrict development where it is desired by people because nearby areas have reached the point where the human element has resulted in decline and decay you won't 'save' the declining areas with their surplus housing (which is only surplus because of that decline), all you'll do is drive up housing prices and cost of living in the adjoining areas which are doing okay.
I'll freely admit I don't like sprawl, but I don't want to restrict its development. I just don't think it should be subsidized with tax dollars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Taking these two together.

@ALackofCreativity: I know this. Although I now live in Colorado, I grew up in the same general area as JR_C, just on the other side of the Pennsylvania/Ohio line. It's old steel mill country. A lot of the 100+ year old housing was substandard as nei stated. A lot of it has been empty for 20-30 years, and wasn't in the greatest shape when abandoned. Youngstown/Mahoning County is closer to Pittsburgh than Cleveland. The other issue for families is that other topic urbanists don't like to talk about: schools. Now I'm not a huge fan of GreatSchools, but this does give you some idea. Also look at the demographics in Y-town: median household income about 1/2 that of the general US, and slightly more than half of that of Ohio; home values < 1/2 of the rest of Ohio, about 1/3 that of the general US; high crime. Unemployment now about the same as the US in general, although those numbers look out of date.
I believe the high crime and bad schools are symptoms of disinvestment, in part, caused by migration to the suburbs. But, it's a vicious circle; at this point, the continued migration to the suburbs is caused by the high crime and bad schools. As I pointed out earlier, though, the continued construction of sprawl is now causing the same problems in the suburbs adjacent to Youngstown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Then you have the issue of owning the most expensive house in the neighborhood, never a good idea for resale, especially when many of the occupied homes are not in much better shape. You also have the issue (in the area we are discussing) of having a plethora of elderly neighbors, no kids within walking distance for your kids to play with, etc. As far as "inner suburbs", etc, Youngstown's population at its peak (1930, 84 years ago now) was only 170,002, and has declined every decade since, except for a small gain in 1950, likely the result of the post-war boom. So I'm saying, I don't think there were a lot of "inner-ring" and "outer-ring" burbs there. In fact, I'd say Youngstown is probably an outlier.

Youngstown, Ohio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Youngstown's suburbs started as small towns, having histories that go back as far as Youngstown, itself. (Poland township, was township 1, range 1 of the Connecticut Western Reserve) But their populations didn't really start to take off until the 50s/60s.
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:31 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,197,156 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chirack View Post
True, but everyone is not looking for an fixer upper and sometimes somethings in an house are non-negotiable. Too few bedrooms(2 bedrooms houses were common as starter houses or vacation houses) cause problems for people who truly need three or more. If both parents are working an 2nd bathroom becomes an lot more important and a one car garage(common where I live) won't cut it if two people have cars and need to drive(more common when two parents are working). Small bedrooms are also not attractive since people do more than sleep or read a book in the bedroom now days.
This is very true of married couples with kids, but that is less than a third of all US households.
Single people with no kids will soon be over a third of all households. The point being is that given demographic trends, there will be greater demand for smaller homes in the future than large family homes. These vacant homes could be vacant and non functional for many reasons but size should not be one of them.

I can not speak for the rust belt, but in most of the west, the sunken capital costs of vacant lot, public infrastructure, water & sewer taps (plus other utility hook ups) plus foundation is much greater than the costs or value of the sticks and bricks. So generally speaking it is more cost effective to tear down an existing abandoned house and rebuild than to create new infrastructure and start from scratch.
Also the older house, in many cities, will have a better (closer) location.

I am curious what these abandoned homes in the rust belt are selling for?
Or can you get them for just paying the unpaid property tax?

But back to the original topic, in Colorado, "most" cities charge water & sewer tap fees, park fees, school fees, etc for new construction as a flat fee per unit. A big house on a big lot pays the same as a small house on a small lot, so therefore flat household fees DO encourage sprawl.
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
This is very true of married couples with kids, but that is less than a third of all US households.
Single people with no kids will soon be over a third of all households. The point being is that given demographic trends, there will be greater demand for smaller homes in the future than large family homes. These vacant homes could be vacant and non functional for many reasons but size should not be one of them.
Which still leaves about 2/3 of households as people with kids or grandkids(which most people want at least a spare bedroom). Older houses can also have features that are less appealing to older people such as not have an bedroom on the first level(stairs) so even when they downsize they want something newer.
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