On 2/14/2006 2:47 PM B a r r y mumbled something about the following:
Okay, I paid $30,000 for my 95 doublewide in 99 and $35,000 for the 5
acres of land in 2000. I spent $7500 putting in a septic system and
having a spot leveled for the home and having it put on the property and
having the electrical hooked up and having the first 60 ft of my current
200 ft driveway concreted (the rest is gravel/mud). When setup in 2000,
it was appraised at $85,000. I've added a 16x16 back deck and built a
16x24 shed on the property (total cost of $5000 for the both) and it was
appraised a couple of months ago at $114,000. The property with no
improvements on it would sell for about $60,000 today. Looks to me like
the value of my (now 10 year old) doublewide hasn't depreciated.
Now let's look at the guy 1/2 mile from me who built his house around
the same time. He paid $30,000 for 4 acres, and spent $150,000 building
his 2400 sq ft house. He now has it on the market for $220,000 (about
$5000 below appraised value).
Let's compare the two now.
I have total of 30,000 + 35,000 + 7500 + 5000 = $77,500 invested in my
property that's appraised at $114,000 for $36,500 increase in value in 6
years and was able to move in within a month after closing on the property.
He has a total of 150,000 + 30,000 = $180,000 invested in his property
that's appraised at $225,000 for a $45,000 increase in value and he
wasn't able to move in for over 6 months after closing on his property.
The percentage of increase in value of my property is 32%, his 20%.
I've also spent considerably less per month for my mortgage than he has,
allowing me to spend money on other things.
Will his house last longer than my doublewide? Probably so, since I
plan on tearing my manufactured home down in 10 years and build a
geodesic home on the back of the property.
Now THAT is a plan! A good friend of mine did the same as he built his
home over a 3-4 year period. You could then use the DW as a shop
building! <G> My BIL lived in a 30 foot Prowler that he bought for 3k,
while we spent 2 years building out a barn on his organic farm.
I'd like to point out in your example that your DW was used, the house
was new. Had your DW been new in '99 or the home constructed in '95,
the numbers would be quite different. Also, had you done the same
example in many other areas of the US, the home would have doubled, or
possibly even tripled in value from 1999 to 2005.
On 2/15/2006 7:55 AM B a r r y mumbled something about the following:
If my DW had been new in 2000 (the same year he built his house and I
bought the land), my value would be about the same as it is now, and I
would have been able to purchase a new DW for only slightly more than I
paid for the 5 year old one. Mobile homes (or as they are now called by
zoning and appraisals, manufactured homes) are built to HUD codes (have
been for almost 20 years now) and there are many out there that you
wouldn't even know were manufactured homes.
Those areas that would have doubled or tripled in value in 6 short years
are very few and far between, and if you read my original response one
more time, I said I moved 50 miles out from an area so that I can have
cheap housing and that the savings of having that cheap housing more
than offsets the commute costs (my commute costs is less than 10% of the
savings in monthly bills and taxes, in fact, the savings in taxes alone
pays for my commute). By living where it is cheap to live, I can afford
things that my coworkers cannot because I have more money left over
after the mortgage, insurance, and taxes, yet I have just as comfortable
of home to live in.
I have a workshop in a retail/residential building in what is currently
a very trendy and "gentrifying" neighborhood on the corner of a busy
The owners have a nice valuable piece of property. But sitting on it is
an old (four storey) masonry building with massive cracks in the
masonry, buckling concrete pad, with no end of plumbing problems,
electrical problems, and the floors and walls degrading, etc.
I believe they wanted to sell the property when, recently, property
rates hit their peak.
But they were determined to sell it as a piece of valuable land plus a
revenue generating building, where the buyers (again, speculation) were
looking at it as land value *minus* demolition cost... and then rebuilding.
So the building on the property could be viewed as negative value if it
is as derelict as that one.
 because they replaced the back door knob! And put a coat of ugly
paint around the first floor externals and doors.
Greg G mused:
>Perhaps I'm jaded due to the poor quality of new construction here.
>I think it's just a case of Atlanta having been a boom housing market,
>and it attracted a lot of carpetbagging, skank developers like Ryland.
>We barely have building codes here, compared to the north, and the
>inspectors are willing to overlook just about anything - for a price.
>Maintenance on the unsupervised beaner built $400k crap put here is
>already huge. A large development nearby, less than three years old,
>is already having roofs replaced and structural problems. Not to
>mention the erosion and flooding problems due to the clear cutting and
>terracing of the natural roll of the landscape. They are truly
>Heck, we live in a 15 year old house that is in need of constant
>repair due to the low quality work and the total lack of code
>enforcement during it's construction.
Hey Greg, if you think that your descriptions of Mcmansions are just
restricted to them or to your area, think again. Sadly, this greedy
mentality has permeated every area, including here in the northeast -
Our house was built in the late 70's, and you described it almost to a
"T" in your description of problems. They even used cinder block for the
basement when it had been outlawed here for home construction by code
some 20 years earlier due to its problem of disintegrating from the wet
ground. (And they didn't even have the decency to put sealer on the
outside of the block) The building inspectors inspected just the first
house in the development to be built, and signed off on all the other
'to be built' houses - leaving the builder to do anything he wanted.
There isn't much of anything I can find in this house that was built
properly or to code, including the electric and plumbing systems, the
undersized floor joists, the phenomenal warpage in the walls, the floors
that move up and down when you walk, every copper pipe joint springing
leaks, improper heating system design, ect, ect, ect. The fact that a
house today can get a certificate of occupancy is a testament to how
much a builder can bribe the local officials. But when a homeowner fixes
something and tries to get it inspected....
One of the largest builders in NJ is well known for building really nice
looking houses/condo's/etc., but after people move in and discover what
a peice of total crap it is, they are very often willing to take a huge
financial hit by selling out immediately and moving. He hires all
non-english speaking laborers for pennies on the doller and is presently
worth billions. This seems to be the norm, not the exception here. And
unfortunately, most all builders here are trying to compete with these
scam artists and so can not afford to do things "right" lest they go
broke. (At least that's their story)
Oh, lovely. Glad (!) to know it has spread throughout the entire US.
I lived in Mullica Hill, NJ for a while a few years ago, but it was in
a farmhouse built over 120 years ago. Didn't notice any of the
aforementioned greed-fest developments at the time, but I'm sure
things are changing. I know Indianapolis was covered with them, and
Metro Chicago, well... what can I say...
Seems to me that this phenomenon is directly attributable to the utter
gullibility of the American Public. Just what the heck are they
teaching in schools, and what knowledge are parents handing down to
their children? Heck if I know... But I get the distinct impression
that this lack of discernment has allowed the bile of greed to
contaminate our political/economic institutions as well as home
construction. For instance, why are banks loaning money on these
sorry things when are supposed to be protecting their investments?
Collusion and Avarice, why else?
We continue to reap the rewards of our own ignorant hubris by
sidestepping real issues/solutions/knowledge and resorting to finger
pointing, bandwagon jumping, and polarized rhetoric that has permeated
every aspect of life. Even on the wreck, where I come for respite
from such things, there are constant political jabs and OT flame wars
about Liberals vs. NeoCons - US vs Them. Hey, in this world, as it's
always been, it's every man for himself, and this crap ain't helping
anyone but the Barons who continue to profit, laughing all the while
at the rubes who allow it to happen.
Even though I haven't been involved in a car accident in almost 20
years/1.5 million miles, and avidly practice defensive driving, I have
to pay ever increasing amounts for LEGALLY MANDATED car insurance to
compensate for those who feel the need to eat, talk on the phone, and
dig around on the floorboards for the French Fries that were dropped
while hurling down the highway at 70mph in their 12mpg SUV. In an
impromptu survey while I was driving in downtown Atlanta Tuesday
afternoon, I noted that over 80% of the drivers on these crowded,
narrow city streets were yakking on cell-phones, paying little to no
attention to what was transpiring around them.
It's a pseudo-socialist ponzi scheme.
And I'm damned sick of being ask - nay, REQUIRED - to foot the bill
for these moronic masses of asses.
Sorry about that, I just plodded through 22 threads of such nonsense,
and just had to vent somewhere. It ended up being here...
Good. I miss the old Bob Vila kind of TOH. Its more like these days that
TOH is being showered with rich people wanting cheapie construction work
while the common people who gladly participate are left out in the cold.
The last episode with the single guy spending obscene amounts of money and
only participating in color selection was boring.
I saw the last episode of that modern house they did. I think the money
spent on materials for that "remodel" would buy adequate housing for a dozen
families. They imported teak beams from asia. They had the cabinets built
in Italy. I guess that USA built cabinets were not good enough. The
imported rock from Bulgaria and paid a mason for weeks on end to place a
million little peices of stone on a couple of low walls in the front yard
I am surprised they did not have a toliet carved out of gemstone. What I
don't understand is the need to hook up everything in the house to a digital
controller of some kind. They had the capacity to electronically lower and
raise window shades from a wireless controller. What is the extra cost to
include NASA style controls into a house? And wouldn't this type of video
game fanaticism in household controls add greatly to the lard on the owners
I could go on and on. If I had some big bucks to spend on a house, I would
not be importing crap from around the world or installing a super compuer to
run things. It is a house, not a space ship!
I would spend the money on a good home gym, a wood shop, metal shop, a small
blacksmith facility, a quilt room for the missus, etc. Ya know, practical
things where real americans make things with their hands. Talk about an
Whaddaya expect from a curmudgeon?
<grumble, grumble, bitch, bitch>
On Sun, 12 Feb 2006 10:32:41 -0500, "Lee Michaels"
Far be it for me to defend a lot of this stuff but some observations:
A number of years ago I got to talk with Steve Thomas, then the host
of TOH. I asked him why they were now in the business of showcasing
all of the latest doo-dads and the high-end construction. He replied
that I should not forget that this is a television show and is meant
to be entertainment for the masses, not a blow-by-blow how-to-do-it
show for the DIY crowd.
Nevertheless, there are real people who live like that. I was looking
at the latest issue of "Tucson Lifestyle" at the dentist's office the
other day. They were featuring ten of the most expensive houses
(currently for sale) in the area. Number 1 was on the market for
$19.5 M and was something like 26,000 sq ft, seven baths and six
I have a friend who lives in a gated community in the nose bleed
section of the foothills overlooking Tucson, who reports that many of
the multi-million dollar homes in his neighborhood are empty most of
the year. The owners only use them a few weeks when the come out to
play golf in the winter.
BTW, our PBS station is still showing the "modern house" series. The
last episode was the one where Norm visited the cabinet shop, which
wasn't located in Italy but New England.
I'm not a professional cabinet maker but there are some in this forum
and I'll bet a lot of them would love to get (and maybe have)
commissions from some of these rich folks. At least some of the
wealth is getting spread around to some craftsmen. Can't be all bad.
The original concept was more of a DIY than a showcase. As you point out,
people do live like that, but not the masses being entertained. My guess
also is that the typical PBS supporter and contributor has a higher income
level that Joe Sixpac and that is the part of the masses they want to court.
The higher priced is usually the most profitable. If you have the talent,
that is where I'd want to make my living.
My sense, PBS, which I support by the way, has gotten away from more
"show me" programming to showcase events. Even the cooking shows are
better on Food Network then on PBS. I remember watching Julia cook up
a storm and she showed you step-by-step how to do make whatever. Not so
anymore. For the "show me" kind of shows, the cable channels
have filled that in.
I don't blame Morsh and company for TOH direction (don't forget they
owned by Time/Warner) any more then I blame HGTV for showing a couple
building a house on a slope in Boulder and not taking care of the muddy
It's TV, not a how-to show. I think it's enteraining to see all of the
gadgets, whatever available for homes. I mean, I built our house just 2
ago and had put in a whole house video/audio system. Wouldn't have even
thought about that until I saw the first one they did on TOH. Take
like TOH with a grain of salt people. The TOH of years ago disappeared
12-15 years ago. I think the turning point was the Concord barn. That
the first time, my memory serves, that they rebuilt (in this case
build) a whole house vs just updating the kitchen.
My wife and I watch TOH as always, but they have moved away from
affordable remodels to whole house rebuilds years ago. The topper for
when they did that Shingle Style home in Manchester. Now that was a
rebuild that cost over $2m.
If you want more "hands on' things, Hometime is still there for the
and of course, HGTV and DIY can fill in as well.
Oh, a million dollars in my neck of the woods for a home doesn't put
you in the "rich" category at all. Now $2m, does!
But you have to remember that most of the people who are donating to
PBS aren't the Joe Sixpac DIY crowd, it's the upper crust
more-money-than-God people who want all the latest overpriced gadgets.
They don't want to do it themselves, they want to pay someone else to
do it while they sit around and watch PBS.
On Sun, 12 Feb 2006 14:56:14 -0500, "Lee Michaels"
Okay. The last episode shown here was Program #2514.
The Rhode Island shop was doing stair treads, a bathroom vanity and
the cabinets for the library.
So we are kinda behind out here in the AZ desert where we don't need
radiant heat under the driveway. (I'm in Tucson but watch it on the
Phoenix PBS station)
The thing that got to me the most was the garage...those plastic slats
are ok I guess, but that one wall of cabinets...$15K!! And the host
says something like "gee, now no one has an excuse for a dirty garage".
On 12 Feb 2006 08:12:27 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Because he'll pay to have the dust cleaned off it once in a while.
I particularly liked the steel reinforced half wall behind the vanity
so that it could cantilever off the wall with nothing under it for no
And here in the SF Bay Area, my 1750sf semi-fixer-up'r cost $333k in 1997,
and is up 800K now. 3 bd house across the street sold for 1.15M last year!
A 1200sf dump down the street sold for $458K 2 years ago. But it's okay
because we were the first place to have gas hit $3/gal last year, so it all
Given the obscene sizes of some of the later TOH houses, I've found it
amusing how much space they fill with areas "where you can sit down and
read a book". They always say that. It's all they can do with that 200
sq. foot alcove in the hallway between the den and the entertainment
room, or between the master bath shower's foyer and the antedressingroom.
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