New agenda at TOH? Norm teaching basics?

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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.
--
Odinn
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Odinn wrote:

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.
Barry
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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.
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Odinn
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B a r r y wrote:

I thought "unimproved" meant no electric grid tie in and no water/sewage hookups. I might be wrong, but aren't you implying it is "no permanent building"?
er
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Greg G. wrote:

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 intersection.
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.[1]
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.
[1] because they replaced the back door knob! And put a coat of ugly paint around the first floor externals and doors.
er
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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 >abominations. > >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 - codes notwithstanding.
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)
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Sailaway said:

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...
FWIW,
Greg G.
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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.
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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 and chimney.
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 butts?
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 anachronism.
Whaddaya expect from a curmudgeon?
<grumble, grumble, bitch, bitch>
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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 bedrooms, etc...
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.
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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.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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Edwin:

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 (DIY/HGTV/Food Network) have filled that in.
I don't blame Morsh and company for TOH direction (don't forget they are now 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 driveway. It's TV, not a how-to show. I think it's enteraining to see all of the various gadgets, whatever available for homes. I mean, I built our house just 2 years 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 shows 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 was the first time, my memory serves, that they rebuilt (in this case actually build) a whole house vs just updating the kitchen.
My wife and I watch TOH as always, but they have moved away from everyday affordable remodels to whole house rebuilds years ago. The topper for me was when they did that Shingle Style home in Manchester. Now that was a major rebuild that cost over $2m.
If you want more "hands on' things, Hometime is still there for the DIY's 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!
MJ
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wrote:

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.
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Some furniture and glass fused tiles were made in New England. The kitchen cabinets were made in New England.
The big, tall, dark cabinets and bookshelves were made in Italy.
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On Sun, 12 Feb 2006 14:56:14 -0500, "Lee Michaels"

Okay. The last episode shown here was Program #2514.
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/tvprograms/houseproject/showdescriptions/0,16559,1062246,00.html
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)
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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".
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On 12 Feb 2006 08:12:27 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com 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 reason.
-Leuf
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Here in the DC area 250000 for a house is cheap! even 1 bedroom condo in the area sell for more than 300000.!!!
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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 works out!!!
Mike Alameda, CA

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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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