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Old 05-28-2012, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Maine
2,489 posts, read 3,380,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonsengineer View Post
Huge misconception made by false metrics. Great falls is expensive huh? McLean is expensive? Wrong, Clarendon, eastern market, and DC as a whole are WAY more expensive than any part of great falls when you compare apples to apples.

Comparing a 8000 sf mansion to an 800 sf condo by looking only at total price is an exercise in futility. If you actually compare them on a basis of square footage which means more you see that Great Falls is relatively cheap (not shocking seeing as truly rich people want more than just a dumb compound in the woods), thats why you dont see that many rich people living in Iowa where they could be buying countys let alone properties.

A 2.4 million dollar mansion is impressive, but if it is 8000 sf, that comes out to 300 dollars per sqft. Compare this to a 600,000 2br condo, 1000 sqft which comes out to 600 dollars per sqft.

Location location location people, the sticks and brick of a gaudy house cost basically nothing but the land that it sits and where it is located is EVERYTHING. PS for what its worth I know far richer people who DONT live in great falls than those who do live in that fake den of out of town lobbyists known as the potomac region. No offense for the small minority of people who aren't a-holes who live in Great Falls, huge offense intended if you are one of those out of town government leeches known as lobbyists who live in Great Falls.
This is a really bizarre, hostile, and intolerant reaction to the concept that some people want to live in a home with a bit of land around it. If you don't want to have land, fine, but you don't allow for differences in people's needs or desires. It's nice to live in a quiet area, whether it's in rural Iowa or Great Falls, Virginia.
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:58 PM
 
5,125 posts, read 10,036,301 times
Reputation: 2871
Quote:
Originally Posted by tysonsengineer View Post
Huge misconception made by false metrics. Great falls is expensive? McLean is expensive? Wrong, Clarendon, eastern market, and DC as a whole are WAY more expensive than any part of great falls when you compare apples to apples.

Comparing a 8000 sf mansion to an 800 sf condo by looking only at total price is an exercise in futility. If you actually compare them on a basis of square footage which means more you see that Great Falls is relatively cheap (not shocking seeing as truly rich people want more than just a dumb compound in the woods), thats why you dont see that many rich people living in Iowa where they could be buying countys let alone properties.

A 2.4 million dollar mansion is impressive, but if it is 8000 sf, that comes out to 300 dollars per sqft. Compare this to a 600,000 2br condo, 1000 sqft which comes out to 600 dollars per sqft.

Location location location people, the sticks and brick of a gaudy house cost basically nothing but the land that it sits and where it is located is EVERYTHING. PS for what its worth I know far richer people who DONT live in great falls than those who do live in that fake den of out of town lobbyists known as the potomac region. No offense for the small minority of people who aren't a-holes who live in Great Falls, huge offense intended if you are one of those out of town government leeches known as lobbyists who live in Great Falls.

If you want to live in the burbs more power to you. But the problem becomes when cities and regions have to change their design policies based on catering to suburbanites, ie Tysons Corner, ie Arlington telling the rest of virginia to stop trying to build more roads through it, ie Alexandria wanting a vibrant route 1 corridor, not a trash dump, by reducing the size of the road. And while we are at it, suburbanites that think all those roads they drive come free. They are subsidized on the backs of the larger population in the cities of this state, all the while when those cities want infrastructure that costs less in capital than the annual maintenance of those monstrosities they are told to go find their own funding. Well suburbs, find YOUR own funding for roads.

Enjoy the tax rates which would be needed to do so, roads cost about 25k per lane mile per year to maintain on average, and thats if you dont have truck traffic. Doing the math on that in a region similar to PWC and Loudoun will blow your mind as to how expensive the hidden costs of roads are. That is why transportation is the single most expensive element of any jurisdiction (though in Virginia some would argue education is larger when viewed as a state obviously) and why VDOT is a 4 billion dollar juggernaut and growing.
More than a little unhinged, dude. I don't live in GF, and I don't take issue with the notion that land is less expensive per square foot in western Loudoun than it is in Tysons, or that it's less expensive in Vienna or McLean than in Clarendon. What I take issue with is when that is eventually reported as if the place with the higher cost per square foot is more "desirable," which would only be the case if people all wanted and could only afford to pay for the same amount of property. You may not like Great Falls, but the reality is that most people who live there could afford to live in DC or Clarendon, while the converse is not true. They just would have to trade space for a more central location. The value of land per square foot is not the only relevant yardstick by which to measure a community's appeal.

Rail against the suburbs all you want. You are not necessarily going to convince someone who is happy in Great Falls that they would be better off if they were in a smaller property in Arlington just because the land value in the latter may be greater per square foot. If they bother to read your posts, it probably reinforces their gratitude that there is some distance between themselves and their neighbors.

Last edited by JD984; 05-28-2012 at 03:08 PM..
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
181 posts, read 473,406 times
Reputation: 302
Quote:
Singles might want to walk to the grocery store. Maybe couples who mostly eat out, and foodies who have the time available to stop in the market every day to pick up ingredients for dinner. But anyone buying more than will fit in a small shopping basket is probably going to opt for driving. Why the hostility towards those who make different lifestyle choices? There is a relatively limited group attracted to these "walkable" communities, and suggesting that what they really need is a good walk when they have sensibly decided that the car makes more sense for family shopping or bulk purchases is absurd.

The thing that irks me really is that a lot of people think of cities as suburbs. If you have a big family and need to buy that many groceries where you need to haul it in a car, then the suburbs in my opinion makes more economic sense to live in. Cities are not for big families. Cities are fast paced, they have clubs, subways, bars, and a large concentration of businesses. All of this in a small area. Cars are not made for that, hence the immense traffic.

Its called shopping more than once a month. Buy the groceries you need for that week. Trust me it all can fit withing 3 big cloth bags. A side benfit is you'll save money by doing this. (less wasted food from overshopping) If there is a married couple with one or two children then they can split the grocery shopping between the two of them. One buys 50 dollars worth of groceries one day, the other does the some a couple days later. That should last the whole week. The suburban standard where the wife does all the shopping once a month doesn't work that well in big cities.

I think these developers should charge for parking. If there is a grocery store, then charge five dollars to park there. If you live in Alexandria and still want to drive, then you should have to pay a premium. Towns and cities are supposed to be made for the people that live in them, not the ones who want to make the occasional trip to it. Narrower streets, and wider sidwalks make a place more livable.

Im not saying cars should be eleminated, nor should it, there justs needs to be a balance of things.



If you want to drive excessively and do everything by car, get the hell out of the city. It's not for you. Just sayin...

Last edited by tonyurban; 05-28-2012 at 03:08 PM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:10 PM
 
2,736 posts, read 5,426,066 times
Reputation: 2305
I think some people are misinterpreting, or maybe didn't read, the linked article in the original post.

I realize that some people are responding to other posters here, so I am not commenting on those responses. But to clarify what the NYTimes article said:

The word "desirable" or other subjective assessment of what is good or bad wasn't part of the article or the summarized study. The authors instead measured how "valuable" the properties were based on the market prices that people were willing to pay--residents for homes, companies for commercial rental properties, etc.

In the OP I included one pgh. that summarizes how walkability was associated with higher prices per square foot, etc. For anyone interested, if you click on the link in that pgh. to the authors' study summary, you'll see a link to download a .pdf for a more complete description of the study, including some info about what areas were included. For example, the authors state in the .pdf, "For neighborhoods within metropolitan Washington, as the number of environmental features that facilitate walkability and attract pedestrians increase, so do office, residential, and retail rents, retail revenues, and for-sale residential values."

They aren't arguing that every single person with money prefers to live in (or should prefer to live in) Georgetown or Courthouse vs. Great Falls--if that were the case, the authors probably would have found an even bigger "walkability" effect. However, there are enough people who can afford it and who want to live or rent business space, etc., in those areas, that there is a cost premium.

As for the grocery issue, I don't know any single people who can fit a week's worth of grocery shopping into two or three bags, especially if they have one or more children or pets. Maybe if they buy all their paper towels at Costco, pet supplies at PetSmart, etc., they can. Maybe those who can will want to chime in. But most people around here don't have time to go to the grocery (AND other stores for other supplies) several times per week--the inefficiency of doing that more than offsets the small amount of transportation cost (and possibly somewhat higher prices) involved in shopping once and putting 5 or so bags in a trunk.

By the way, there are an awful lot of people in Lyon Village (Clarendon) and Old Town, for example, who could easily afford to live in Great Falls. But individual anecdotes are really beside the point.

Last edited by ACWhite; 05-28-2012 at 03:37 PM..
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:37 PM
 
5,125 posts, read 10,036,301 times
Reputation: 2871
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACWhite View Post
I think some people are misinterpreting, or maybe didn't read, the linked article in the original post.

I realize that some people are responding to other posters here, so I am not commenting on those responses. But to clarify what the NYTimes article said:

The word "desirable" or other subjective assessment of what is good or bad wasn't part of the article or the summarized study. The authors instead measured how "valuable" the properties were based on the market prices that people were willing to pay--residents for homes, companies for commercial rental properties, etc.

In the OP I included one pgh. that summarizes how walkability was associated with higher prices per square foot, etc. For anyone interested, if you click on the link in that pgh. to the authors' study summary, you'll see a link to download a .pdf for a more complete description of the study, including some info about what areas were included.

As for the grocery issue, I don't know any single people who can fit a week's worth of grocery shopping into two or three bags, especially if they have one or more children or pets. Maybe if they buy all their paper towels at Costco, pet supplies at PetSmart, etc., they can. Maybe those who can will want to chime in. But most people around here don't have time to go to the grocery (AND other stores for other supplies) several times per week--the inefficiency of doing that more than offsets the small amount of transportation cost (and possibly somewhat higher prices) involved in shopping once and putting 5 or so bags in a trunk.
I recognize that neither you nor the study specifically used the term "desirable" to describe areas wither higher RE costs per square foot. I suspect I'm one of the few people who actually took the time to read the Brookings study. As I mentioned earlier, it didn't seem that many neighborhoods in either Fairfax or Loudoun were included in the study.

While you may not have done so, i'm not sure why some posters are so keen to pronounce the death of the outer suburbs. It must kill them when the latest reports continue to show that jurisdictions like Loudoun are doing well when they want people to embrace other, more dense styles of living.
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
181 posts, read 473,406 times
Reputation: 302
Well then walkable communities aren't for you. Thats the beauty of having choices. Choosing a part of the city that fits your lifestyle. If you have a big family with pets and stuff, then further out of the city makes more economical sense. If I recall, I'm pretty sure that is what I said. But since america has a the more the marrier attitude, maybe a weeks worth of groceries can't fit in 3 bags.

As far as property values and stuff, maybe it's the choices of having nearby amenities that makes these neighborhoods more valuable. When they say walkable neighborhoods, it's saying that so many things are so close by that a majority of the neighborhood can walk to these things. (Parks, restaurants, schools, retail, etc...) Having more of a community feel is what makes a neighborhood valuable instead of cheap, bland, mass produced communities that warehouse people and their food.
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:40 PM
 
2,736 posts, read 5,426,066 times
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Jeb, it seems to me that having choices is a good thing, but that the study was trying to make a different point.

If you look at the methodology description, it explains how the authors chose which areas to sample.
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:42 PM
 
5,125 posts, read 10,036,301 times
Reputation: 2871
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACWhite View Post

By the way, there are an awful lot of people in Lyon Village (Clarendon) and Old Town, for example, who could easily afford to live in Great Falls. But individual anecdotes are really beside the point.
There surely are, but average income levels and property values in Great Falls are higher than in Clarendon or Old Town, so it's not simply a matter of individual anecdote to point out that people generally don't live in Great Falls because they have been shut out of places like Lyon Village or Old Town. They usually are in a position to have made a choice to live there, whether they are doctors from the Middle East or lobbyists for a trade organization who grew up in Kansas.

Last edited by JD984; 05-28-2012 at 04:19 PM..
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:54 PM
 
5,125 posts, read 10,036,301 times
Reputation: 2871
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACWhite View Post
Jeb, it seems to me that having choices is a good thing, but that the study was trying to make a different point.

If you look at the methodology description, it explains how the authors chose which areas to sample.
I read the description in the actual study, but it seemed to suggest that they picked less walkable for inclusion in the study only if they had already been identified for denser development. By doing so, and then comparing them to areas that currently have walkable amenities, they suggest that such redevelopment efforts would be beneficial and enhance the values of the less walkable areas. That's fine but, by design, this doesn't allow you to compare walkable areas with less walkable areas that people like just fine and are NOT currently slated or identified for denser development. As a result, the conclusions that can be drawn are more limited in nature than might be inferred.

Perhaps I've misunderstood and you will correct me. At the end of the day, a lot of Brookings studies are like GAO reports. They generate a bit of publicity the week after they are issued, and then are quickly forgotten.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:30 PM
 
2,736 posts, read 5,426,066 times
Reputation: 2305
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
There surely are, but average income levels and property values in Great Falls are higher than in Clarendon or Old Town, so it's not simply a matter of individual anecdote to point out that people generally don't live in Great Falls because they have been shut out of places like Lyon Village or Old Town. They usually are in a position to have made a choice to live there, whether they are doctors from the Middle East or lobbyists for a trade organization who grew up in Kansas.
I certainly don't believe GF homeowners have been shut out of LV or OT, but my point is that many of the LV or OT homeowners have not been shut out of big houses in the suburbs, either, which is implied by your comment that:

"You may not like Great Falls, but the reality is that most people who live there could afford to live in DC or Clarendon, while the converse is not true."

That may be true for the younger folks in both of those areas in the one bedroom condos. However, comparing the average income levels and property levels, without any controls, as was pointed out earlier with respect to price per square foot, is like comparing apples to oranges. Clarendon has a much younger population, on average, than does Great Falls, and far more renters and single-income households. My hunch is that if you controlled for age, marital status, etc., the income levels would likely be comparable, and that the average 40 - 50 year old householder who has bought in LV or OT in the last 10 years, for example, could easily afford GF and is pretty similar on professional or wealth grounds to his/her counterpart in GF. It's beside the point to debate this because that's not the point of the study, which is primarily to note (with evidence) that walkability is associated with higher prices per square foot. Whether this is directly attributable to walkability, or to other factors correlated with walkability, such as proximity to downtown DC, for example, I don't know.

Last edited by ACWhite; 05-28-2012 at 05:38 PM..
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