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(Time)   Six things that are surprisingly banned from most front yards   (business.time.com) divider line 136
    More: Silly, vegetable gardens, garden gnomes, Whitefish Bay  
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24664 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Apr 2013 at 8:43 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-23 02:20:21 AM  

oohpah: Two blocks from me a guy planted flowers in an ugly toilet in his front yard. Came here to see toilets on the list. Didn't see squat.


Of course.

That's why we have toilets.
 
2013-04-23 02:57:34 AM  

oohpah: Two blocks from me a guy planted flowers in an ugly toilet in his front yard. Came here to see toilets on the list. Didn't see squat.


You should put a flowerbox full of feces on your front lawn. It will balance out the universe.
 
2013-04-23 04:26:26 AM  

TheSwissNavy: From the Whitefish Bay (the town that doesn't like book-sharing) municipal code:


All bicycles operated within the Village of Whitefish Bay are required to be licensed. The fee is $10.00, and the license does not expire.


What the bloody hell is the purpose of licensing bicycles ?


Bicycles are easily stolen or mis-taken and the license proves ownership. Unlicensed bike? I bet that's a $50 ticket  plus costs.
 
2013-04-23 04:54:45 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: ggecko: Quantum Apostrophe: Ah yes, home "ownership", because it's "yours" and you can do what you want... uh huh. Explain that to me again, mortgage-slaves?

Usually, people like you that want to do "anything" they want are the first to complain when others do things that you do not like.....

Who said I want to do "anything"? I'm just pointing out that home "ownership" isn't that great, and renting isn't that bad. I don't know anyone who owns who's satisfied, and home "owners" are usually the saddest, brokest people I know.

I have cash in my hands at the end of every year. Home owners have more poker chips every year.


My mortgage is £150 each month. To rent the identical house next door would now cost £800 a month, and here both figures have property tax on top. In five years my mortgage stops while the renter has to carry on paying.
Who has more money in their pocket at the end of the year?
 
2013-04-23 05:13:58 AM  

Flint Ironstag: Quantum Apostrophe: ggecko: Quantum Apostrophe: Ah yes, home "ownership", because it's "yours" and you can do what you want... uh huh. Explain that to me again, mortgage-slaves?

Usually, people like you that want to do "anything" they want are the first to complain when others do things that you do not like.....

Who said I want to do "anything"? I'm just pointing out that home "ownership" isn't that great, and renting isn't that bad. I don't know anyone who owns who's satisfied, and home "owners" are usually the saddest, brokest people I know.

I have cash in my hands at the end of every year. Home owners have more poker chips every year.

My mortgage is £150 each month. To rent the identical house next door would now cost £800 a month, and here both figures have property tax on top. In five years my mortgage stops while the renter has to carry on paying.
Who has more money in their pocket at the end of the year?


How old's your roof?
 
2013-04-23 06:34:20 AM  

lizyrd: Explain to me what makes me a "slave" to my mortgage.


The fact that if you miss a few payments "your" investment goes bye bye? I'm glad you can predict the future so well though. Oh and try not paying your taxes and see who owns what.

Flint Ironstag: Quantum Apostrophe: ggecko: Quantum Apostrophe: Ah yes, home "ownership", because it's "yours" and you can do what you want... uh huh. Explain that to me again, mortgage-slaves?

Usually, people like you that want to do "anything" they want are the first to complain when others do things that you do not like.....

Who said I want to do "anything"? I'm just pointing out that home "ownership" isn't that great, and renting isn't that bad. I don't know anyone who owns who's satisfied, and home "owners" are usually the saddest, brokest people I know.

I have cash in my hands at the end of every year. Home owners have more poker chips every year.

My mortgage is £150 each month. To rent the identical house next door would now cost £800 a month, and here both figures have property tax on top. In five years my mortgage stops while the renter has to carry on paying.
Who has more money in their pocket at the end of the year?


Um, until you sell, not you? No repairs and maintenance either, a magic house!
 
2013-04-23 06:49:02 AM  

Phins: Farkers who can't afford to buy houses are very disparaging of home ownership. They don't understand basic economics yet think they're more financially savvy than homeowners. Sour grapes served with sour finances.


So I pay 495$ rent in a province with a rental board. I have no taxes to pay and I get all my repairs done by the landlord. That lets me save easily 500$ a month, and usually much more. At the end of the year I put that money into an RRSP which lets me deduct the amount from my revenue before taxes ... which gets me a refund in the area of 50%.

I get ~4000$ a year back from the government because I don't have to put that money into a mortgage, municipal taxes, school taxes and insurance.

In the meantime I have actual money in my hands NOW. If I want to go on an all-inclusive two week vacation, I pay it cash. People pay that every year just in taxes. I get a "free" trip every year.

Because I HAVE the cash, and I don't have to feed it into the never ending chasm of bills and taxes that is a house.

But you go ahead and tell me about economics, as if life is just a series of figures in a spreadsheet....

Oh, and since every house also goes up in value, when you sell, you have to buy, well, how can you "make" money?
 
2013-04-23 07:48:59 AM  

untaken_name: Flint Ironstag: Quantum Apostrophe: ggecko: Quantum Apostrophe: Ah yes, home "ownership", because it's "yours" and you can do what you want... uh huh. Explain that to me again, mortgage-slaves?

Usually, people like you that want to do "anything" they want are the first to complain when others do things that you do not like.....

Who said I want to do "anything"? I'm just pointing out that home "ownership" isn't that great, and renting isn't that bad. I don't know anyone who owns who's satisfied, and home "owners" are usually the saddest, brokest people I know.

I have cash in my hands at the end of every year. Home owners have more poker chips every year.

My mortgage is £150 each month. To rent the identical house next door would now cost £800 a month, and here both figures have property tax on top. In five years my mortgage stops while the renter has to carry on paying.
Who has more money in their pocket at the end of the year?

How old's your roof?


Why does that matter? In the UK tile roofs just last. House I grew up in was over 200 years old and still had the original roof. A friend has a 400 year old cottage and still has the original roof. In the twenty years I have owned my house I have spent maybe £500 on maintanance, excluding gardening and redecorating for cosmetic reasons.
 
2013-04-23 07:51:26 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: lizyrd: Explain to me what makes me a "slave" to my mortgage.

The fact that if you miss a few payments "your" investment goes bye bye? I'm glad you can predict the future so well though. Oh and try not paying your taxes and see who owns what.

Flint Ironstag: Quantum Apostrophe: ggecko: Quantum Apostrophe: Ah yes, home "ownership", because it's "yours" and you can do what you want... uh huh. Explain that to me again, mortgage-slaves?

Usually, people like you that want to do "anything" they want are the first to complain when others do things that you do not like.....

Who said I want to do "anything"? I'm just pointing out that home "ownership" isn't that great, and renting isn't that bad. I don't know anyone who owns who's satisfied, and home "owners" are usually the saddest, brokest people I know.

I have cash in my hands at the end of every year. Home owners have more poker chips every year.

My mortgage is £150 each month. To rent the identical house next door would now cost £800 a month, and here both figures have property tax on top. In five years my mortgage stops while the renter has to carry on paying.
Who has more money in their pocket at the end of the year?

Um, until you sell, not you? No repairs and maintenance either, a magic house!


So what happens to the £650 I save every month? And see post above for maintenance costs.
 
2013-04-23 07:54:51 AM  

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: oohpah: Two blocks from me a guy planted flowers in an ugly toilet in his front yard. Came here to see toilets on the list. Didn't see squat.

You should put a flowerbox full of feces on your front lawn. It will balance out the universe.


Or you could be like this guy who lived down the street from me and put this up in your yard.  That'll show 'em.

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-04-23 07:55:46 AM  

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: oohpah: Two blocks from me a guy planted flowers in an ugly toilet in his front yard. Came here to see toilets on the list. Didn't see squat.

You should put a flowerbox full of feces on your front lawn. It will balance out the universe.


Flowerbox Full of Feces? I think I saw them open for Elvis Costello.
 
2013-04-23 08:22:48 AM  
How about an El Camino or Camaro on cinder blocks?  That's what my lawn needs.
 
2013-04-23 08:22:48 AM  

Flint Ironstag: So what happens to the £650 I save every month? And see post above for maintenance costs.


Which you only save after decades of paying mortgage... You're now old and have few years left to do anything, while I traveled the world while young. Your house ain't a time machine, so sorry. But do enjoy your tile roof in your rainy paradise.
 
2013-04-23 08:33:50 AM  
Yeah, can't say I disagree with any of these things. But I already know what types this thread will attract - the eccentrics who think there's nothing wrong with having shiat junk all over their property because fark you that's why.
 
2013-04-23 08:38:13 AM  

Flint Ironstag:  
Why does that matter? In the UK tile roofs just last. House I grew up in was over 200 years old and still had the original roof. A friend has a 400 year old cottage and still has the original roof. In the twenty years I have owned my house I have spent maybe £500 on maintanance, excluding gardening and redecorating for cosmetic reasons.


Heh... In a lot of the US the predominant roof type is asphalt shingles which get eaten by the sun. Depending on where you live you'll be lucky to get 20 years out of it before problems kick in, which is a big issue if you're buying a house that hasn't been re-roofed in a while as you'll soon find yourself forking out thousands of bucks.

As a roofing system it's cheaper to install and a lot lighter so saves on timber, but is much more of a maintenance headache than a decent tiled roof.

I assume you got your house a long time ago - congrats on the £150/month mortgage.
 
2013-04-23 08:41:35 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: Flint Ironstag: So what happens to the £650 I save every month? And see post above for maintenance costs.

Which you only save after decades of paying mortgage... You're now old and have few years left to do anything, while I traveled the world while young. Your house ain't a time machine, so sorry. But do enjoy your tile roof in your rainy paradise.


And generally rents keep increasing year after year.  With no tax deductions.  Both renting and buying have their place under the sun.  Buying is a better long term deal, renting is better if you need to be mobile.  Both, however, require the person to be smart, do the math, and make sure their decision fits the circumstances that they're in.
 
2013-04-23 08:48:09 AM  
My edible garden will stay in the front because that's the south facing side. Also, got my rain barrel from the city. Clothes line went up as fast as possible but everyone has one so it was no biggie. Still trying to convince hubby-to-be to build me a chicken coop (an argument I'm not winning).
 
2013-04-23 08:50:29 AM  

Flint Ironstag: Why does that matter? In the UK tile roofs just last. House I grew up in was over 200 years old and still had the original roof. A friend has a 400 year old cottage and still has the original roof. In the twenty years I have owned my house I have spent maybe £500 on maintanance, excluding gardening and redecorating for cosmetic reasons.


Well, I hope you live happily ever after in your magic house.
 
2013-04-23 09:11:18 AM  

untaken_name: Flint Ironstag: Why does that matter? In the UK tile roofs just last. House I grew up in was over 200 years old and still had the original roof. A friend has a 400 year old cottage and still has the original roof. In the twenty years I have owned my house I have spent maybe £500 on maintanance, excluding gardening and redecorating for cosmetic reasons.

Well, I hope you live happily ever after in your magic house.


I don't think that's too odd for some of the really old homes.  Structurally, many of those are built like brick shiathouses.  Of course, he's in the UK, which introduces it's own issues around land ownership and like such as, but still.  Assuming it's built well, I'd rather have an older house (100+ years) than one of the new developments.  They're sturdier and the interior details can be significantly more interesting.
 
2013-04-23 09:21:41 AM  

ronaprhys: untaken_name: Flint Ironstag: Why does that matter? In the UK tile roofs just last. House I grew up in was over 200 years old and still had the original roof. A friend has a 400 year old cottage and still has the original roof. In the twenty years I have owned my house I have spent maybe £500 on maintanance, excluding gardening and redecorating for cosmetic reasons.

Well, I hope you live happily ever after in your magic house.

I don't think that's too odd for some of the really old homes.  Structurally, many of those are built like brick shiathouses.  Of course, he's in the UK, which introduces it's own issues around land ownership and like such as, but still.  Assuming it's built well, I'd rather have an older house (100+ years) than one of the new developments.  They're sturdier and the interior details can be significantly more interesting.


Honestly, I'm just jealous that we don't have houses that are built like that here. But I also think it's pretty disingenuous to pretend like that is the norm (the OP, not you) - most people have to pay quite a bit to maintain their homes. I would also bet that there are things he's dealt with that he isn't thinking about as being home maintenance. Appliance replacement, for example.
 
2013-04-23 09:30:06 AM  

ronaprhys: untaken_name: Flint Ironstag: Why does that matter? In the UK tile roofs just last. House I grew up in was over 200 years old and still had the original roof. A friend has a 400 year old cottage and still has the original roof. In the twenty years I have owned my house I have spent maybe £500 on maintanance, excluding gardening and redecorating for cosmetic reasons.

Well, I hope you live happily ever after in your magic house.

I don't think that's too odd for some of the really old homes.  Structurally, many of those are built like brick shiathouses.  Of course, he's in the UK, which introduces it's own issues around land ownership and like such as, but still.  Assuming it's built well, I'd rather have an older house (100+ years) than one of the new developments.  They're sturdier and the interior details can be significantly more interesting.


Yep. A lot of homes in the UK are either brick or stone depending on local building materials and were generally built by highly skilled tradesmen, particularly if the house is more than a few decades old. You might have to replace the window frames every couple hundred years but as long as you're careful what you put down the drain and toilet your maintenance costs should be minimal.
 
2013-04-23 09:31:04 AM  

rugman11: Wizard Drongo: What I don't understand (being in Scotland) about these HOA's is how they actually enforce their batshiattery..

I know when you buy your house from the last victim, in the sale contract with the Owner, you have to sign the HOA contract...hence they can get you.
But what would happen if the person selling the house to you, declines to make that a condition;

At that point your contract of sale is purely with the Owner (who DOES have a contract with the HOA), but if you don't ink anything with the HOA, because the current Owner decides "fark em", aside from suing the old Owner once the sale has commenced, in what way can the HOA do shiat against you? You own the house; your contract with the previous owner, having no stupid clause about an HOA, is complete upon transfer of agreed funds etc. so how could the HOA, now a third-party to your contract with the Owner, come in and tell you to move shiat, change that, don't do this?

Any legal eagles in the US clear my ignorance up for me?

I'm actually wondering the same thing.  We just bought our house and there was no HOA contract to sign, but it turns out there is an HOA.  Now, the dues are minimal (like $20/month) and for the parks and walking trails we get it's worth it, and the restrictions aren't particularly onerous (no cars in the yard, no permanent clotheslines, try to keep trash bins out of site, etc.) but there is one big restriction that I'm curious about.  Supposedly, we're supposed to keep fences ten feet from the walking trails, but nobody seems to follow that restriction and I'm hoping it won't come up when we want to fence in our yard.  Honestly, I've seen a bunch of "violations" in the couple of weeks we've been here but nobody seems to really care about it.  It's probably the difference between a 1970s era HOA and a newer HOA.


Short answer is that an HOA is a covenant on the title of the land, not a contract with any owner. So, the sale contract doesn't actually have anything to do with it, which is why you make sure you get a title report that includes the covenant and read the thing before you close. The way the rules are enforced is usually by further encumbering the land - levying fines, then tacking on liens, and if it's bad enough, foreclosing. That's right - the HOA can actually sell your house out from under you if you paint it the wrong color.

As far as getting out of it, you really can't do much individually. But if the HOA stops enforcing parts of it, or fails to collect dues/do business, or basically starts slacking off, then you might be able to weasel out of some of the restrictions. Basically, it's a combination of time+apathy to make a HOA go away. Either that, or everybody who owns property bound by the HOA signs on to trashing the thing. But that can be a problem if the HOA is supposed to do stuff like plow streets or maintain a separate sewage system or whatever.
 
2013-04-23 09:35:57 AM  

untaken_name: Honestly, I'm just jealous that we don't have houses that are built like that here. But I also think it's pretty disingenuous to pretend like that is the norm (the OP, not you) - most people have to pay quite a bit to maintain their homes. I would also bet that there are things he's dealt with that he isn't thinking about as being home maintenance. Appliance replacement, for example.


Heh - appliance replacement can be a pain in the ass as there are no standard size built ins for fridges, ovens, washing machines etc etc as most of the housing stock long predates their invention.
 
2013-04-23 10:28:58 AM  
"Too Many Yard Sales"

That I can understand.  Where I grew up (Guntersville Alabama) made a law limiting yard sales because of people who were "essentially turning their front yards into secondhand stores" and calling it a yard sale to avoid paying a business license.
 
2013-04-23 11:02:45 AM  

Target Builder: untaken_name: Honestly, I'm just jealous that we don't have houses that are built like that here. But I also think it's pretty disingenuous to pretend like that is the norm (the OP, not you) - most people have to pay quite a bit to maintain their homes. I would also bet that there are things he's dealt with that he isn't thinking about as being home maintenance. Appliance replacement, for example.

Heh - appliance replacement can be a pain in the ass as there are no standard size built ins for fridges, ovens, washing machines etc etc as most of the housing stock long predates their invention.


I just helped my parents get a new washer and dryer. Even after measurement the dryer didn't fit because of the bizarre back panel, which I thought would be flat but had a large protrusion.

Then they went and bought a new fridge without asking me and they went and bought a thing that didn't fit through the door...

ronaprhys: Quantum Apostrophe: Flint Ironstag: So what happens to the £650 I save every month? And see post above for maintenance costs.

Which you only save after decades of paying mortgage... You're now old and have few years left to do anything, while I traveled the world while young. Your house ain't a time machine, so sorry. But do enjoy your tile roof in your rainy paradise.

And generally rents keep increasing year after year.  With no tax deductions.  Both renting and buying have their place under the sun.  Buying is a better long term deal, renting is better if you need to be mobile.  Both, however, require the person to be smart, do the math, and make sure their decision fits the circumstances that they're in.


So do municipal taxes and school taxes, generally with no limit on the amount. Rent increases are controlled in Quebec and can be arbitrated. There is no such mechanism in place for your taxes.

Generally, I pay 10$ more rent per month every year. That's easily swamped by the tax increases in Montreal. People *dream* of only getting 120$ yearly increases.

Yes, Quebec is a corrupt, third-world backwater and Montreal is a metropolis of corruption.
 
2013-04-23 11:23:59 AM  

Quantum Apostrophe: So do municipal taxes and school taxes, generally with no limit on the amount. Rent increases are controlled in Quebec and can be arbitrated. There is no such mechanism in place for your taxes.


Rent increase controls vary by locality here in the States.  In some places there are limits, in others there aren't.  Typically, if you try to increase it too much, it'll cause folks to move - which means you end up doing work on your own dime (depending on local regulations), paying for advertising, etc.  As such, most rents don't increase too much, but they'll go up $25-50/month each year.

Generally, I pay 10$ more rent per month every year. That's easily swamped by the tax increases in Montreal. People *dream* of only getting 120$ yearly increases.

Tax increases are somewhat controllable - voting and all.  Also, do some investigation before you buy.  If you're in a place that frequently sees tax increases, maybe you don't want to buy there.

Yes, Quebec is a corrupt, third-world backwater and Montreal is a metropolis of corruption.

Yes.  Yes it is.
 
2013-04-23 11:46:37 AM  
Quantum Apostrophe:

So do municipal taxes and school taxes, generally with no limit on the amount. Rent increases are controlled in Quebec and can be arbitrated. There is no such mechanism in place for your taxes.

Generally, I pay 10$ more rent per month every year. That's easily swamped by the tax increases in Montreal. People *dream* of only getting ...


Rent vs Buy is very much "Your Mileage May Vary".

Local taxes, fees, rent control or lack thereof, employment stability, family plans, tennant rights, future earning potential, housing cost vs rental cost, variable vs fixed mortgages and so on all affect whether buying is a good idea and will vary dramatically from area to area and person to person.
 
2013-04-23 01:02:13 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: The fact that if you miss a few payments "your" investment goes bye bye? I'm glad you can predict the future so well though. Oh and try not paying your taxes and see who owns what.


If I miss several payments, then the foreclosure process begins.  If I were to miss several payments in an apartment, then the eviction process begins.  Either way, I'm on the street.  My house is not an investment, it's where I live.  The bottom line is, I bought a house with a total monthly cost that was only slightly higher than what I was paying to rent.  Now, the rent in my old apartment is slightly higher than what I pay for my mortgage.  In less than 15 years I will only need to pay for taxes and insurance, the current total cost of which is around 1/5 of my total monthly payments.  My housing costs are much more stable than they would be if I were renting.

Taxes are not a big deal for me, and would never contemplate not paying them.  I was paying the taxes when I was renting, it was just that the landlord writing the check to the town.

No, I can't predict the future.  But I can say that unless both my wife and I lose our jobs simultaneously, we will not have a problem paying the mortgage.  It is unlikely that one of us will lose our job, almost beyond the realm of possibility that both of us would, and I have trouble imagining a situation in which it would happen at the same time.


Quantum Apostrophe: Um, until you sell, not you? No repairs and maintenance either, a magic house!

What's your point?  Do you think your landlord owns and rents out of the goodness of his heart?  Or does he make money off the rent?  He's not eating the cost of repairs, you're paying for them every month, whether they happen or not.  I'm only paying for them when they do happen, and in most cases I'm only paying for materials.


I don't care what you do for shelter.  Maybe renting is a better deal in Quebec, or a better deal for you because of career or geographic instability, or because you're not equipped to do your own maintenance, or whatever.  What I can tell you is that where I live doesn't have rent control, that I bought near the bottom of both the local housing market and mortgage interest rates, and that it works for me.  If you don't get that everyone isn't in the same living situation as you, I don't know what else to say.
 
2013-04-23 01:16:04 PM  

ronaprhys: untaken_name: Flint Ironstag: Why does that matter? In the UK tile roofs just last. House I grew up in was over 200 years old and still had the original roof. A friend has a 400 year old cottage and still has the original roof. In the twenty years I have owned my house I have spent maybe £500 on maintanance, excluding gardening and redecorating for cosmetic reasons.

Well, I hope you live happily ever after in your magic house.

I don't think that's too odd for some of the really old homes.  Structurally, many of those are built like brick shiathouses.  Of course, he's in the UK, which introduces it's own issues around land ownership and like such as, but still.  Assuming it's built well, I'd rather have an older house (100+ years) than one of the new developments.  They're sturdier and the interior details can be significantly more interesting.


Even modern built, average, houses in the UK have proper tile roofs and are built of brick. The only wood is the roof frame. Basically the exact same construction as the 200 year old house I grew up in. My house was built in 1980. and I bought it twenty years ago. I personally do not know anyone who has ever had to replace their roof. (There must be some, but it's that rare. It is certainly not something anyone will expect to have to do ever. The exception is flat roofs but they're almost always only on budget extensions added on to the house.)
Even when I first bought my monthly mortgage payment was about the same as the monthly rental cost, Even today that's much the same. I just looked up my area on rightmove.co.uk and to rent a house like mine I got a price range of £725 to £800 PCM, and the renter has to pay the property tax here so that doesn't include the tax. I then got a mortgage quote from moneysupermarket.co.uk and got quotes from £770 pcm.  My buildings insurance is about £25 a month.  Of course I had to put in a deposit of £20k, but then I can cash out and get back a much bigger figure. Even if I sell up and start renting I will be in the same position as someone who has always rented except I'll have a large lump sum in my bank account. Free of capital gains tax as well...)
So where does all this "I've save so much money by renting ha ha ha! Sucker!" come from? It's virtually the same at day one and as time goes by renting will go up and up while the mortgage will stay the same and then end in 25 years.
 
2013-04-23 01:19:05 PM  

untaken_name: Flint Ironstag: Why does that matter? In the UK tile roofs just last. House I grew up in was over 200 years old and still had the original roof. A friend has a 400 year old cottage and still has the original roof. In the twenty years I have owned my house I have spent maybe £500 on maintanance, excluding gardening and redecorating for cosmetic reasons.

Well, I hope you live happily ever after in your magic house.


It's just a house. I think from what I've read on fark it is the US that has magic houses that magically need thousands of dollars spent on them every few years to repair something or other.
Property prices in the US are generally far lower than in the UK. I've always assumed that is due to the scarcity of land here but maybe it is the quality and method of construction as well.
 
2013-04-23 01:27:06 PM  

Flint Ironstag: It's just a house. I think from what I've read on fark it is the US that has magic houses that magically need thousands of dollars spent on them every few years to repair something or other.
Property prices in the US are generally far lower than in the UK. I've always assumed that is due to the scarcity of land here but maybe it is the quality and method of construction as well.


You should come visit Quebec. At first glance you'd think we all live in temporary shelters made of cardboard, plastic, glue and wood chips and that our real houses are going to be built later.
/Hint: they're not

ronaprhys: Yes. Yes it is.


Oh, you've been? My condolences. Did your car survive the pavement?
 
2013-04-23 01:44:43 PM  

Flint Ironstag: I've always assumed that is due to the scarcity of land here but maybe it is the quality and method of construction as well.


It's partly cheaper land and better housing availability in the US but also:

New houses are normally timber, which is cheaper as a material and faster to construct. A well built timber house that is well maintained will last a very long time (hundreds of years) but shoddy waterproofing or poor maintenance will dramatically lower that.

The house building skill set is a lot lower than the UK, which drives down wages and the cost of building a house, but can lead to quality issues.


Plumbing - often immigrant workforce and the skill-set is lower.

Electricians - see plumbing.

Carpenters - often basically just a bloke with a saw and hammer.

Roofing, as mentioned before, is often asphalt shingle - very cheap but requires fairly regular replacement.

Depending on location, labor is often provided by undocumented workers, or workers in a very poor position to bargain on wages, who often either don't get paid the agreed rate (wage theft) or are working for below minimum wage on day-rates (http://www.npr.org/2013/04/11/176777498/texas-contractors- say-playing- by-the-rules-doesnt-pay )

Suburbia generally isn't like the UK equivalent. If you're in the suburbs you're normally on farmland that has been redeveloped into a residential only tract of housing with no shops or places of employment on the tract. They're very cheap to construct on but you'll need a car to shop, get to amenities, get to mass transit, get to school and get to work. High streets don't exist in these developments. There might not even be sidewalks so to get to other houses you may need to walk on the road. Older cities and old streetcar suburbs are exceptions to this, but are also normally more expensive.
 
2013-04-23 02:24:52 PM  

Target Builder: Flint Ironstag: I've always assumed that is due to the scarcity of land here but maybe it is the quality and method of construction as well.

It's partly cheaper land and better housing availability in the US but also:

New houses are normally timber, which is cheaper as a material and faster to construct. A well built timber house that is well maintained will last a very long time (hundreds of years) but shoddy waterproofing or poor maintenance will dramatically lower that.

The house building skill set is a lot lower than the UK, which drives down wages and the cost of building a house, but can lead to quality issues.


Plumbing - often immigrant workforce and the skill-set is lower.

Electricians - see plumbing.

Carpenters - often basically just a bloke with a saw and hammer.

Roofing, as mentioned before, is often asphalt shingle - very cheap but requires fairly regular replacement.

Depending on location, labor is often provided by undocumented workers, or workers in a very poor position to bargain on wages, who often either don't get paid the agreed rate (wage theft) or are working for below minimum wage on day-rates (http://www.npr.org/2013/04/11/176777498/texas-contractors- say-playing- by-the-rules-doesnt-pay )

Suburbia generally isn't like the UK equivalent. If you're in the suburbs you're normally on farmland that has been redeveloped into a residential only tract of housing with no shops or places of employment on the tract. They're very cheap to construct on but you'll need a car to shop, get to amenities, get to mass transit, get to school and get to work. High streets don't exist in these developments. There might not even be sidewalks so to get to other houses you may need to walk on the road. Older cities and old streetcar suburbs are exceptions to this, but are also normally more expensive.


We have a lot of immigrant workers as well, usually Poles. But generally they know what they're doing and work hard. Even the cheapest houses here will be brick up to the eaves with a wooden roof A frame. Floor joists will be wood as well but they're totally internal. The actual roof will be tile or slate, which will pretty much last until the end of time. Even a thatched roof should last fifty years plus!

Modern developments almost all have a lot of walking and cycling footpaths, public areas, greens, and often larget developments will have a superstore (Tesco/Asda/Sainsburys) on the edge of the development with good foot/cycle and car access as well as bus routes.
Check out  http://goo.gl/maps/cCSHo this example where a friend of mine lives, or here  http://goo.gl/maps/B2u0i  . No HOA there and yet though it was built maybe twenty years ago it still looks good. The council looks after the roads, cuts the greens etc. The little blue squares are bus stops.
 
2013-04-23 02:33:48 PM  

Flint Ironstag: We have a lot of immigrant workers as well, usually Poles. But generally they know what they're doing and work hard. Even the cheapest houses here will be brick up to the eaves with a wooden roof A frame. Floor joists will be wood as well but they're totally internal. The actual roof will be tile or slate, which will pretty much last until the end of time. Even a thatched roof should last fifty years plus!

Modern developments almost all have a lot of walking and cycling footpaths, public areas, greens, and often larget developments will have a superstore (Tesco/Asda/Sainsburys) on the edge of the development with good foot/cycle and car access as well as bus routes.
Check out  http://goo.gl/maps/cCSHo this example where a friend of mine lives, or here  http://goo.gl/maps/B2u0i  . No HOA there and yet though it was built maybe twenty years ago it still looks good. The council looks after the roads, cuts the greens etc. The little blue squares are bus stops.


If you look at Streetview and see any houses that are white, blue etc they will all be brick underneath, large concrete bricks called breezeblocks, and then plaster on the outside which is painted. My house just about needs painting. Should be around £500 if I get a contractor to do it.
 
2013-04-23 08:20:03 PM  

Flint Ironstag: Should be around £500 if I get a contractor to do it.


Here's one area where I can feel superior. As I live in Texas, I can get my house painted for about $30 and a case of beer. Plus the paint, of course. I just mention it to the guy who mows my lawn.
 
2013-04-23 10:09:13 PM  

untaken_name: Flint Ironstag: Should be around £500 if I get a contractor to do it.

Here's one area where I can feel superior. As I live in Texas, I can get my house painted for about $30 and a case of beer. Plus the paint, of course. I just mention it to the guy who mows my lawn.


I asked a (insert nationality of ridicule in your area) to paint my porch. He quoted me £50 so I said go ahead. When he finished he said "By the way, it's not a Porsche, it's a BMW."

/I'm here all week. Try the veal and tip your waitress.
 
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