Welcome to City-Data.com Forum!
U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Alabama > Huntsville-Madison-Decatur area
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-23-2008, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Madison, AL
410 posts, read 1,653,264 times
Reputation: 129

Advertisements

Let Barbie be your guide.

Actually, the Five Points and South Huntsville ones don't quite jive with me. Five Points can be somewhat eclectic but is more diverse than anything else; the South Huntsville one I just don't get.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-24-2008, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
30 posts, read 92,270 times
Reputation: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
Thank you for the reminder. Actually we didn't forget about the Ledges. It's membership to use the pool is extremely expensive. Didn't seem like there were a lot of homes there, not too many for sale. Definitely don't want something hilly but I think it is sort of a plateau up there.

The Ledges did not seem big enough - not enough homes - not a huge subdivision. How many kids would be running around in the streets? I would suspect the demographics of the Ledges would be one of a lower density of kids, meaning not a high density of parents in their 30s, early 40s. After all, you can't read anything about the Ledges without the word "golf" in the paragraph. That is sort of the problem we have now in Colorado, lots of people who are a little older than that. I could be completely wrong though...anyone care to chime in?
I live in the Ledges so I can help you there. The Ledges is a small close neighborhood. Most of us live here because we like a nice home in a gated neighborhood where children still ride their bikes in the street and play at the n'hood playground without as much fear. Our small street consists of about 15 homes with about 9 of those homes having children from preschool age to teens. My child is in grade school and has about 8 children in his grade in the neighborhood and at least that many just above and below. The homes with children far outnumber those without. You have a number of grandparents who live in the same n'hood with their children and grandchildren. A Saturday afternoon finds the streets filled with people walking, biking, golf carts, and children playing. With the old fashioned home building restrictions, it is like a small town street decades ago. We are obviously not oblivious to things, but we do have a safer sense of security due to no "through traffic", sightseers, solicitors, etc. You do pay the price with expensive homes and fees are higher. Yes, we have a golf course, but some of us don't golf. Of course all these things add tremendously to the value and the resulting shortage of homes available for sale.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-24-2008, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,329 posts, read 93,739,305 times
Reputation: 17831
Quote:
Originally Posted by hsvgirl View Post
Our small street consists of about 15 homes with about 9 of those homes having children from preschool age to teens. My child is in grade school and has about 8 children in his grade in the neighborhood and at least that many just above and below. The homes with children far outnumber those without.
This is great information, I love numbers. Thank you for providing this. We should check it out then. The gated/ safety thing isn't that important to us but the Ledges is just another place we should check out for additional choices. Right now (and this should be a topic for another thread), everything we've seen in Hampton Cove has been pretty nice on the outside and for the most part in the neighborhoods. That is, we are ruling out any sloped or hilly nieghborhoods. The exterior of the homes is fine.

The biggest problems we're having is the layout of the homes as we've seen them on the internet (we haven't been in any yet). It seems every home we've seen has all sorts of useless or redundant rooms:
Sitting room in the master bedroom. Who ever uses one of these?

Formal Dining Room: I'd bet 90% of people use a FDR no more than five days per year. Another wasted room. Unfortuneately it's almost impossible to buy a home without a formal dining room. Probably the result of market research based on peoples perceptions of what they want. Just got to have a formal dining room to put in your fine china cabinet. People have these visions of entertaining when they buy a home (that's why just about every listed house description you read has something like "entertain your guests" or "great for entertaining".)

Second master bedroom. Ya right, like one out of a thousand people needs one of these.

Keeping room. What is a keeping room? Another wasted room to put furniture that no one ever sits on. Some people even cover this furniture with plastic.

Formal Living Room (when there is a great room). See above about a room full of expensive furniture with fancy pillows on it and other things grandma likes to look at but never use. Even if you don't play one, you could stick a grand piano in there just for looks.

Upstairs family room (when there is already a downstairs family room). Another wasted room. How many family rooms does someone need?

Parlor, In 2008?


Does anyone really ever sit in here? I can just hear: "Don't touch.", "Don't touch.", "Don't touch."
http://www.ncentral.com/%7Etowers/images/LivingRoom.jpg (broken link)
(image not protected by copyright)


This would be OK if I could rest my feet on the table and I could I eat and surf the net at the same time. Where do I throw my pizza boxes and crusts in here? Oh, notice they covered the $5000 wood flooring with a $200 rug.

(image not protected by copyright)

Last edited by Charles; 05-24-2008 at 09:14 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-24-2008, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Huntsville, AL
30 posts, read 92,270 times
Reputation: 22
Thanks for the laugh! It's true! When we decide to build a few years ago, we had the hardest time trying to find a larger home plan that didn't contain a formal living room or keeping room. I have a child and my home is child friendly, all of it. We do have a playroom where the largest amount of toys are kept along with video games simply so I wouldn't have to keep stepping on those little Legos (those hurt!). We finally started from scratch on our plans and put the rooms we really wanted in the design w/o the half dozen that are useless. A number of people including builders will tell you that for resale value you need this or that and it is true to a certain extent. A home too customized is harder to resale and can affect it's value so I think that is why you see so many useless rooms.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-24-2008, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Madison, AL
410 posts, read 1,653,264 times
Reputation: 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
The biggest problems we're having is the layout of the homes as we've seen them on the internet (we haven't been in any yet). It seems every home we've seen has all sorts of useless or redundant rooms:
You are spot on Charles, and this is a direct consequence of the cache of having a big home without actually needing the space. Most homes really need:

Bedrooms, as appropriate
A functional kitchen
A place to eat every day
A place to wash and care for clothes
Outdoor living area (here, that means a screened in porch and a spot for a BBQ grill)
A adult area where they can keep their nicer stuff and have friends over (living room, parlor, away room, keeping room, etc.)
A kids area where they can be messy (family room, den, bonus room, whatever)
A man's area where he can be messy (workshop, garage, shed, bonus room) -- although sometimes it's the woman who needs it

The rest is fluff and leftover space. But when you've decided you are designing a 4000 square foot 3 bedroom... well, you gotta use up the extra space somehow.

Quote:
Sitting room in the master bedroom. Who ever uses one of these?
Quite commonly used for an office space or a nursery, but it doesn't look as ritzy to put "nursery" on the house plans.

Quote:
Second master bedroom. Ya right, like one out of a thousand people needs one of these.
If you are facing the probability of caring for an elderly parent or parents in the future, this can be a good thing to have.

I've been up to my ears in architecture books and house plans for the last 6 months and I can honestly say that most of these useless rooms are just leftover space from bad planning and they had to put a name on it. The level of quality and usable space of an architecturally designed planned versus a "house designer" is very dramatic once you start actually walking through homes and living in them in your head. Don't ask me how many times I have changed my house plan now... eventually I will have to pick one and stick with it though! I actually NEED about 1000 square feet (and I work at home) plus an in-law suite or guest house, but I will build 2000 square feet plus a 2-car garage for exactly the reasons hsvgirl said -- unless you are in a historic district, you aren't going to resell 1000 square feet for a anything near what you paid to build it.

If you haven't read any of them Charles, the series of "Not So Big House" books talk about exactly the same subject -- useless rooms that cost money to build and effort to clean, but are never used.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-24-2008, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,329 posts, read 93,739,305 times
Reputation: 17831
Quote:
Originally Posted by NicoleC View Post
You are spot on Charles, and this is a direct consequence of the cache of having a big home without actually needing the space. Most homes really need:

Bedrooms, as appropriate
A functional kitchen
A place to eat every day
A place to wash and care for clothes
Outdoor living area (here, that means a screened in porch and a spot for a BBQ grill)
A adult area where they can keep their nicer stuff and have friends over (living room, parlor, away room, keeping room, etc.)
A kids area where they can be messy (family room, den, bonus room, whatever)
A man's area where he can be messy (workshop, garage, shed, bonus room) -- although sometimes it's the woman who needs it
Exactly. Our current home (6200sqft) here in Colorado is essentially that. Main level is huge kitchen and family room and unused dining room, laundry room, and huge master bedroom and office (messy-guy-on-City-Data-room..). Upstairs is three BR and loft (4th BR if desired) with two separate jack and hill baths. Basement is 2 BR and huge goof off room for kids. Nothing wasted (except dining) just big usable rooms. I wish we could just lift and relocate this house to Huntsville.

Below some shots including after back to back blizzards Jan 2007:

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd316/charles_ucsb/DSC_2276_small.jpg (broken link)

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd316/charles_ucsb/DSC_1600_small.jpg (broken link)

http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd316/charles_ucsb/DSC_2228_small.jpg (broken link)



Last edited by Charles; 05-24-2008 at 01:56 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-24-2008, 03:30 PM
 
1,645 posts, read 4,585,319 times
Reputation: 267
Hey Charles:

That is one BIG house!! Wow---beautiful.
We only have 3500 square feet in the new house in Hville, but every room does have a function for us. There are bigger versions of that style of house in Hville depending on the builder. We have:

big family room
kitchen with counter/breakfast area that opens to family room
formal dining room (but WE do use it regularly--love to entertain but we keep the "formal" informal at our house--no heavy furniture)
LR/Office (mine)
MBR with NO sitting area but it has door to back veranda
3 additional bedrooms 2 bedroom are on same level as MBR and have a J&J bath--not oversized
upstairs bedroom will be hubby's office
media room/we LOVE movies and games/hosting crazy movie parties like a LOTR Trilogy viewing with food Breakfast lunch and dinner as breaks!
Veranda
backyard/love to grill and smoke food
the requisite bathrooms--the more the better
3 car garage
laundry room

We feel very good about the circular flow and layout, but it is 2000 sq feet smaller than your place. I do know our builder is pushing dirt for houses int he 500,000 plus range so you might want to check his plans for that area--his houses are NOT the typical traditional floor plans.

Good luck!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2008, 09:57 AM
 
2 posts, read 11,431 times
Reputation: 10
Will your children go to public or private schools? By the way, Huntsville/
Madison is a great place to live!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2008, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,329 posts, read 93,739,305 times
Reputation: 17831
Quote:
Originally Posted by NATIVEHSV View Post
Will your children go to public or private schools? By the way, Huntsville/
Madison is a great place to live!
Since we have four kids, probably public.

Probably Hampton Cove Academy for preschool, Hampton Cove Elementary, Hampton Cove Middle, Huntsville High. We went into and visited and spoke with faculty in all of these schools except Huntsville High. We got positive vibes from all of them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-02-2008, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Alabama!
6,048 posts, read 18,417,767 times
Reputation: 4835
Well Charles, honey, I am just SO disappointed there wasn't a Decatur Barbie! LOL! Actually I could delete the sections of Huntsville and add the appropriate Decatur neighborhoods.
Analyzing how you use a house is something that develops as you use it. My own observations:
Sitting room with master bedroom: I agree, useless unless you turn the house over to the kids and retreat there. I'm not retreating.

Formal dining room: ours is a dump for my husband. We do, however, clean it up 4 or 5 times a year for the extended family Christmas/Easter/July 4/Labor Day/Thanksgiving bash, and it's truly nice to have a big room that almost everybody can get into. But I'd rather use it every day.

Parlor=formal living room: The only reason we have one is because it has French doors and my daughter could go in there and practice piano without driving us all insane. I have a friend, however, who insists she MUST have one in every house. She crams it with useless bric-a-brac and nobody EVER sits in there.

Keeping room: More furniture to dust.

One of my pet peeves: Laundry rooms FAR FAR removed from bedrooms, where laundry originates and is destined when clean. WHY can't these be built closer to bedrooms? (I couldn't be because MEN - who rarely do laundry - design the house, could it?)

Another peeve: Closet rods installed at 70" from the floor. I'm 5'2." Install my closet rod at 60" from the floor.

Two of the best things we did when we built our current house: A BIG great room, with the kitchen opening directly onto it. In our old house, the kitchen was totally separate. I was isolated when I cooked. The only good thing was I could blast Motown while I fixed dinner. We also built on a single story. Now I wish we had made sure all the doorways were wide enough for wheelchairs. My next house will have that, plus a handicap accessible shower.

Oh, and I miss my old front porch!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Alabama > Huntsville-Madison-Decatur area
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:20 AM.

© 2005-2024, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top