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(The New York Times)   The rent is too damn high...and not just in NYC   (nytimes.com) divider line 117
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10247 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Apr 2014 at 8:03 PM (22 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-14 09:40:16 PM

zjoik: I wonder what the breaking point is


About 6mm to the brain side of your greedy landlord's skull
 
2014-04-14 09:40:45 PM
Speculators.  Once they can't fill anyone into those apartments, the rates will come crashing down.
 
2014-04-14 09:41:05 PM

mafiageek1980: 7th Son of a 7th Son: Meh, some people are too lazy to search for a good place. I pay $633 for an 800 sqft apartment in south Tulsa. Gated community, W/D included, etc. Sure I could pay less and live in the ghetto, or get a bigger place with roommates, but I love living with just my cats.

ha! TRY to find a place NOT in the hood here in Austin at that price! Good luck!


Like I said, you would have to live in Kyle or Georgetown for that. Pushing the poors out, make way for boring yuppies.
 
2014-04-14 09:41:47 PM

Rik01: You would not believe the advertising campaign that went out, suckering low income folks into getting mortgages with little money down, low interest rates and hardly any background check. Quite a few missed that little section in the papers that mentioned ballooning payments.

Now, after the bust, rents are still quite high.


Because there was no national push to readjust mortgages, rents stayed high because people are still paying mortgages on the high prices properties sold for.  I live in a solid neighborhood, but the two houses owned by speculator both went into foreclosure because that was the only way out for the owners.

Also, in many parts of the country (especially here in the NE) housing prices bounced back really quickly, so there was never really a correction to the rental market.  Given how many new apartments are being added to the local stock, I suspect that correction is coming in the near future.
 
2014-04-14 09:42:27 PM

Wessoman: star_topology: Wessoman: mafiageek1980: Maybe I missed it, but no where in that article was Austin.tx mentioned...just sayin!

They are just pushing the poors out to Kyle and Georgetown. But yes, as a man currently living in Austin and who lived in Los Angeles and Santa Cruz, rent is out of reach of the middle class. The only way out is basically enjoy roomates/housemates or live in some really sketchy places with sketchier landlords.

Besides, Austin is a city that's ready to die. The "Locals" harp nostalgic of the days when Austin was a "Small town" (HINT it never really was and it is now a city so build some damned infrastructure already why don't cha?), while the "Newcomers" think Austin is a bizarre crossbreed between Panama City Beach, FL and Sunnyvale, CA, and are doing a great job into gentrifying the city into Dallas 2.0.

#MADSOMAD.

Yeah it's easy to see that Austin is overcrowded, overpriced, and the traffic sucks.

Though, it's all relative. Been here for a year now, and couldn't love it any more than I do.  It took 29 years to get out of my shiathole of small conservative Texas town, and it's within driving distance of family and other friends who I left behind.

I'll take the good with the bad, because the scales tip far in favor of 'the good.'

Yep, but you don't have a clue how awesome the city used to be. BTW--Welcome to Austin. Keep it weird. Seriously.


Thank you. I think.  I'll do my best to keep it weird, but I'm just glad to be in a place where I feel like I can do my thing.

I'm a middle-class guy who came here with the job opportunity that I thought I'd never get. Wife and I (no kids, woot!) thought we were stuck in Bumfark,TX forever.  I'm very grateful that I got here with a little luck and some bootstrappiness and landed a good job.  I can't explain how this phenomenon works, but it just does. Career advancement opportunities and just more stuff to do in the city on the whole. Money is a secondary motivator. I ended up negotiating a 10% raise over my previous job, but I know my employer knew that I had a dead-end job and could low-ball me a bit, but I'm not sure I cared--If I didn't take the opportunity in a bigger city, it may have never came. Plus, being here can only going to lead to potentially bigger opportunities. Pascal's Wager, I suppose.

I ended up giving you far more of my life story than I wanted, but that's my perspective.

In your case, you've lived in large cities your whole life, and i hear folks complain all the time about people from California "ruining" Austin, when they fled a shiatty economy and, at first glance, the problems that are beginning to plague Austin, is that correct?
 
2014-04-14 09:45:05 PM
@Marine1 - Some parts of the midwest are getting bad or going up quickly.  Parts of ND are getting crazy right now because of the energy boom there.

  I live in Verona, WI (suburb of Madison), my rent is going from $1175 to $1240 this summer, for a 2 bedroom/1.75 bath.  In addition, we're now getting charged quarterly for water.  I'm strongly considering cashing in my SARs at work to make the down payment on a house, as a I can get a house only a few miles away in Madison with only 10% down and it would cost me less (especially if I take in a roommate)
 I can go month-to-month, but then its $1275 a month and my landlord restricts me from moving out  only from February through August, with 60 day notice, which sort of defeats the purpose of month to month when only half the year is available to leave.
     I know rent is going up here for two reasons though 1) my employer is based here and constantly growing (10-20% every year for more than the last 10 years) and 2) a bunch of newer apartments have opened that are about the same square footage and are charging more.


 
2014-04-14 09:47:42 PM
Probably because in the past 20 years, this country kept along building shiatty suburban subdivisions and condos, but few apartments or mixed-use semi-urban spaces.

/the last item is a large part why the googlers are taking over neighborhoods wholescale in SF
//ain't no techies wanting to live the suburban cul-de-sac lifestyle, yet that's the only housing paradigm outside of SF
 
2014-04-14 09:49:32 PM

Marine1: The part in blue wants to know what you all are biatching about.


Actually, Michigan and Illinois were in the most troubled category in the Harvard report due to the percentage of very low income renters. One major factor cited in the report was the cost of energy, as the midwest outside of Chicago lacks any real amount of public transit that problem will continue to grow as fossil fuels become more scarce and hence expensive.
 
2014-04-14 09:51:40 PM

Rising_Zan_Samurai_Gunman: @Marine1 - Some parts of the midwest are getting bad or going up quickly.  Parts of ND are getting crazy right now because of the energy boom there.

  I live in Verona, WI (suburb of Madison), my rent is going from $1175 to $1240 this summer, for a 2 bedroom/1.75 bath.  In addition, we're now getting charged quarterly for water.  I'm strongly considering cashing in my SARs at work to make the down payment on a house, as a I can get a house only a few miles away in Madison with only 10% down and it would cost me less (especially if I take in a roommate)
 I can go month-to-month, but then its $1275 a month and my landlord restricts me from moving out  only from February through August, with 60 day notice, which sort of defeats the purpose of month to month when only half the year is available to leave.
     I know rent is going up here for two reasons though 1) my employer is based here and constantly growing (10-20% every year for more than the last 10 years) and 2) a bunch of newer apartments have opened that are about the same square footage and are charging more.


Hey man, if that gets you into home, go for it.
 
2014-04-14 09:52:13 PM
Eventually the rent will become so damn high that vacancies will rise again, and prices will have to come down.  The cycle will then start over because we don't know any better and live in a Money Now, fark Tomorrow system.
 
2014-04-14 09:54:00 PM
Yeah, I know. Paying $625 a month for my three bedroom, two bath house on an oversized lot next to a school and a fire station is just unbearable. Of course, this is in small town, OK. so I guess I'll just have to deal with it. Did I mention that my mechanic's shop is just around the corner? My electrician is across the street, next to the day-care. The grocery store and the minor emergency facility are two blocks up.

Wait, what was I complaining about?
 
2014-04-14 09:59:30 PM

star_topology: In your case, you've lived in large cities your whole life, and i hear folks complain all the time about people from California "ruining" Austin, when they fled a shiatty economy and, at first glance, the problems that are beginning to plague Austin, is that correct?


The "People from California ruining Austin" meme is a bit old. It's usually a codeword for "I don't want those weird people who may smoke weed and tolerate gays moving to MY city". But what IS ruining Austin is Yuppies--Young urban professionals (Many from California, of course, but mostly from other places in Texas, and a lot from New York, Chicago, and Nashville) who like the job opportunities that Austin brings and it's easygoing people, but call the cops when parties get too loud and seek to gentrify the city into something that it isn't. They are the same people who hate all the homeless dragrats but are more than happy to get puking drunk and piss all over 6th street, they are the same people who buy giant condos and throw big social parties but file noise complaints when the local club hosts Ringo Deathstarr. THOSE people.

Personally, I love Los Angeles, but I understand why people hate it. West of La Brea Blvd, there is nothing of value in Los Angeles besides the beaches. East of La Brea is still the best city in California. It's funny to hear people biatch about LA, and I ask what part they live in, they say things like "North Hollywood", "Manhattan Beach" or "Santa Monica", in which case I can never contain my laughter. There is plenty of awesome in Los Angeles, but you need to find it for yourself. You can still find some not-unreasonable rent in LA. But you're aren't living west of La Brea. No way.

In my life, I have been to Austin 5 times before I settled here 4 years ago, my first time was 1991 and my last time was 2008. I've seen the city change a lot, in many ways for the better, in a lot of ways worse. My mantra is that I love that Austin is getting big, but a lot of the charm that makes Austin inherently cool is fading incredibly fast. Austin used to be a college town/music city, and was home to many bohemian, creative types. Having that paradigm replaced by workaholic yuppies that get up at 6am and work 12 hours at DiqSuq computers all the time doesn't exactly mesh well. It's oppressive, like the gentrification of Berkeley CA in the 80's. In the end, we all end up boring. Just like Berkeley.
 
2014-04-14 10:00:08 PM

generallyso: But hey, at least rich people are doing great.
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/the-rich-get-richer-thro u gh-the-recovery/?_r=2
The top 10 percent of earners took more than half of the country's total income in 2012, the highest level recorded since the government began collecting the relevant data a century ago...

But the total income of the top 1 percent surged nearly 20 percent that year. The incomes of the very richest, the 0.01 percent, shot up more than 32 percent.


Cause then it can trickle down!
 
2014-04-14 10:01:38 PM

Pattuq: Eventually the rent will become so damn high that vacancies will rise again, and prices will have to come down.  The cycle will then start over because we don't know any better and live in a Money Now, fark Tomorrow system.


In the meantime, all the cool and colorful people that made the place you live where you actually wanted to live move away because of high rent, making the place boring.
 
2014-04-14 10:02:17 PM

shtychkn: generallyso: But hey, at least rich people are doing great.
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/the-rich-get-richer-thro u gh-the-recovery/?_r=2
The top 10 percent of earners took more than half of the country's total income in 2012, the highest level recorded since the government began collecting the relevant data a century ago...

But the total income of the top 1 percent surged nearly 20 percent that year. The incomes of the very richest, the 0.01 percent, shot up more than 32 percent.

Cause then it can trickle down!


Don't piss on my back and tell me it's raining.
 
2014-04-14 10:05:48 PM
The cost of rent, or a house, doesn't matter as much as the percentage of your income.

If the cost of rent is over 50% of your income, you're stretching it.

If the cost of a house is many times your annual income, you need to think about something less.

Other than that ratio, the actual dollar amount in pretty meaningless.

/what you can afford is based on what you earn
//economics is hard?
 
2014-04-14 10:09:04 PM

germ78: Probably because in the past 20 years, this country kept along building shiatty suburban subdivisions and condos, but few apartments or mixed-use semi-urban spaces.


The explanation I've heard as to why apartment construction nose dived was the 1986 tax law rewrite that got rid of the accelerated depreciation tax credit (you could depreciate a buildings entire value over some 5 years, instead of 30, showing a yearly loss on paper while still making a nice profit).

This made rental properties a far less attractive investment for the big players and the money for new construction of mid range apartment buildings quickly dried up.
 
2014-04-14 10:15:51 PM

Thingster: shtychkn: generallyso: But hey, at least rich people are doing great.
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/the-rich-get-richer-thro u gh-the-recovery/?_r=2
The top 10 percent of earners took more than half of the country's total income in 2012, the highest level recorded since the government began collecting the relevant data a century ago...

But the total income of the top 1 percent surged nearly 20 percent that year. The incomes of the very richest, the 0.01 percent, shot up more than 32 percent.

Cause then it can trickle down!

Don't piss on my back and tell me it's raining.


It's Reaganomics!
 
2014-04-14 10:29:14 PM
When I was looking for a place to live last year, I looked up the cost of renting vs buying a house, and with real estate prices and interest as low as they are, renting made absolutely no sense at all, the difference in cost was negligible at best, and considering I don't plan on moving any time soon, the decision was a no brainer.
 
2014-04-14 10:29:29 PM
generallyso: The top 10 percent of earners took more than half of the country's total income in 2012, the highest level recorded since the government began collecting the relevant data a century ago...

But the total income of the top 1 percent surged nearly 20 percent that year. The incomes of the very richest, the 0.01 percent, shot up more than 32 percent.

shtychkn: Cause then it can trickle down!


I think trickle up economics is what we have today.
 
2014-04-14 10:30:33 PM

Ex-Texan: I'd let it go like Trenton. Sure if you're willing to commute, who cares? Granted, I'd rather live in the next county from Albuquerque, you get a lot more home, for less, and it's quiet at night. When we first moved here in 2008, we were looking at homes in the Rio Rancho suburb, but just lookrd at the crime, and no easy way to get to the freeway. So living out here, just one mile to the freeway, and not having to deal with that junk. The biggest problem I'm seeing now, is th retirees are heading out here in droves now. At least the cops here aren't blowing people away like Bernalillo county.


I'm a Rio Ranchoid since 06. Distance to the freeway does stink. Coyotes are always trying to eat our animals. Crime is way lower than anywhere south of I40 though, and the neighbors are great, but half are retired red-staters . It is actually kind of nice since they are always home, always planting trees, fixing up their property, and watching out for me and my family. Rent prices were pretty reasonable when we first moved here, but then we got jobs and had a house built in the same area. The house payment is only $200 more than the rent was. Home ownership isn't for everyone though.
 
2014-04-14 10:34:28 PM

fusillade762: Rents go up as wages go down. Can't explain that.


So the concept of percentage of income, which is the whole point of TFA, is completely lost on you, I see.
 
2014-04-14 10:37:04 PM
Arturo Breton, a 37-year-old waiter in Miami Beach, said that after years living on his own, he was joining forces with a roommate who works as a manager at J. C. Penney. "I've come down to the conclusion that in this country, it's easier for two people to pay the rent than for one person," he said.


I'm pretty sure that's not isolated to just this country, smart guy.
 
2014-04-14 10:42:20 PM

acad1228: Yeah, I know. Paying $625 a month for my three bedroom, two bath house on an oversized lot next to a school and a fire station is just unbearable. Of course, this is in small town, OK. so I guess I'll just have to deal with it. Did I mention that my mechanic's shop is just around the corner? My electrician is across the street, next to the day-care. The grocery store and the minor emergency facility are two blocks up.

Wait, what was I complaining about?



I believe you were saying you were stuck in small town OK.
 
2014-04-14 10:47:23 PM
I am surprised Seattle wasn't on the list.
 
2014-04-14 10:48:59 PM

netcentric: acad1228: Yeah, I know. Paying $625 a month for my three bedroom, two bath house on an oversized lot next to a school and a fire station is just unbearable. Of course, this is in small town, OK. so I guess I'll just have to deal with it. Did I mention that my mechanic's shop is just around the corner? My electrician is across the street, next to the day-care. The grocery store and the minor emergency facility are two blocks up.

Wait, what was I complaining about?


I believe you were saying you were stuck in small town OK.


Stuck? Not really. You can't really be stuck when getting away from it all means driving a half hour in any direction that doesn't take you into Tulsa.
 
2014-04-14 10:51:37 PM
My rent just went up. I had two choices : a one year lease where my rent went up $45 a month or a six month lease where my rent goes up $75 a month. Not happy about it.
 
2014-04-14 10:55:26 PM

fusillade762: Rents go up as wages go down. Can't explain that.


this. until...snap.
 
2014-04-14 10:56:44 PM

spman: When I was looking for a place to live last year, I looked up the cost of renting vs buying a house, and with real estate prices and interest as low as they are, renting made absolutely no sense at all, the difference in cost was negligible at best, and considering I don't plan on moving any time soon, the decision was a no brainer.


That's the key. Who's going to buy a house when they can't even be sure they'll have a job in 6 months? Things move too quickly to tie yourself down.
 
2014-04-14 10:57:50 PM

netcentric: acad1228: Yeah, I know. Paying $625 a month for my three bedroom, two bath house on an oversized lot next to a school and a fire station is just unbearable. Of course, this is in small town, OK. so I guess I'll just have to deal with it. Did I mention that my mechanic's shop is just around the corner? My electrician is across the street, next to the day-care. The grocery store and the minor emergency facility are two blocks up.

Wait, what was I complaining about?


I believe you were saying you were stuck in small town OK.


In an environment that' he's perfectly happy with.
 
2014-04-14 11:01:04 PM

Wessoman: by workaholic yuppies that get up at 6am and work 12 hours at DiqSuq computers all the time doesn't exactly mesh well.


Yeah, I work in IT, and an in the good ol' U.S. of A, working 12 hours a day (in any industry) is "how you get ahead" but I'm with a company that values the 5-9 just as much as the 9-5. Perhaps I'm naive.

Wessoman: My mantra is that I love that Austin is getting big, but a lot of the charm that makes Austin inherently cool is fading incredibly fast.


Isn't that what happens to anything that gets "big" or popular?

Wessoman: In the end, we all end up boring. Just like Berkeley.


True words.
 
2014-04-14 11:03:28 PM
Meh- in OK rent is controlled by what section 8 will pay. Here- it is near 650-700 a month.. so a nice place costs 800-1000 a month. Not a big deal until you realize the average income in the rural parts of the state is near 18k/year and families make less than 40k take home a year... it is an issue
 
2014-04-14 11:03:37 PM

Noticeably F.A.T.: Capo Del Bandito: How the fark do people not get the 'life is not fair' aspect of life?

No, it's certainly not, and I don't really have an issue with that fact (not that life would care if I did). I do have a problem with some folks' tendency to use that as an excuse to make things even more unfair. Life is shiatty enough without people going out of their way to make it worse.


THIS^^^
 
2014-04-14 11:04:08 PM
My rent's absurd, but the location is great, so I can't complain too much.  I'd love to save some money, but that would require roommates and/or a shiattier location (probably a combo of both), so I'll stick with paying a little too much to live close enough to exactly where I want.

I could think of locations that would be even better, but they're even more expensive than where I'm at.  Oh well.
 
2014-04-14 11:09:21 PM

evil saltine: spman: When I was looking for a place to live last year, I looked up the cost of renting vs buying a house, and with real estate prices and interest as low as they are, renting made absolutely no sense at all, the difference in cost was negligible at best, and considering I don't plan on moving any time soon, the decision was a no brainer.

That's the key. Who's going to buy a house when they can't even be sure they'll have a job in 6 months? Things move too quickly to tie yourself down.


Yeah the fact that so many people are still on edge about their jobs makes people pretty hesitant to pay for a house.
 
2014-04-14 11:14:56 PM
Not to worry. The boomers will be shedding volumes of real estate within 10 years.
 
2014-04-14 11:22:15 PM

Wessoman: star_topology: In your case, you've lived in large cities your whole life, and i hear folks complain all the time about people from California "ruining" Austin, when they fled a shiatty economy and, at first glance, the problems that are beginning to plague Austin, is that correct?

The "People from California ruining Austin" meme is a bit old. It's usually a codeword for "I don't want those weird people who may smoke weed and tolerate gays moving to MY city". But what IS ruining Austin is Yuppies--Young urban professionals (Many from California, of course, but mostly from other places in Texas, and a lot from New York, Chicago, and Nashville) who like the job opportunities that Austin brings and it's easygoing people, but call the cops when parties get too loud and seek to gentrify the city into something that it isn't. They are the same people who hate all the homeless dragrats but are more than happy to get puking drunk and piss all over 6th street, they are the same people who buy giant condos and throw big social parties but file noise complaints when the local club hosts Ringo Deathstarr. THOSE people.

Personally, I love Los Angeles, but I understand why people hate it. West of La Brea Blvd, there is nothing of value in Los Angeles besides the beaches. East of La Brea is still the best city in California. It's funny to hear people biatch about LA, and I ask what part they live in, they say things like "North Hollywood", "Manhattan Beach" or "Santa Monica", in which case I can never contain my laughter. There is plenty of awesome in Los Angeles, but you need to find it for yourself. You can still find some not-unreasonable rent in LA. But you're aren't living west of La Brea. No way.

In my life, I have been to Austin 5 times before I settled here 4 years ago, my first time was 1991 and my last time was 2008. I've seen the city change a lot, in many ways for the better, in a lot of ways worse. My mantra is that I love that Austin is getting big, but a lot of t ...


I'll second this. I wouldn't put the blame entirely on "California" either. But I also wouldn't single out yuppies. The problem is people from other large cities who bring their bad habits-- particularly their impatience. Austin is not at all laid-back any more. It's rapidly becoming another city when you lay on your horn when someone doesn't smoke her tires when the light turns green.

You *can* find plenty of laid-back people from all over the country-- Including TX, which is good. But try driving somewhere at 2:00-PM on a weekday and make note of how stressed and pissed the driving is. It's a minority of people I imagine. But it's readily observable. It's like the Hollywood rush: People are moving here to make it big in business, career, music, etc. And they'll step all over anyone in their paths to do it.

Just imagine having the calmness of your day ruined by an aggressive sociopath in a BMW or Lexus once or twice a day. Now extrapolate that sort of behavior to all other aspects of life. That's Austin. It's not as bad as many larger cities, but it's getting there.

By comparison, I've found Atlanta to be much more laid-back.
 
2014-04-14 11:23:35 PM

4seasons85!: Yeah the fact that so many people are still on edge about their jobs makes people pretty hesitant to pay for a house.


Yup... not like the old days before my father retired... worked for the same company for 35 years... that sh*t is over.
 
2014-04-14 11:27:21 PM

Satan's Dumptruck Driver: BMW or Lexus



Add "Audi" to the list as well.

I actually think drivers here are actually more CAUTIOUS than anything, except for all the sociopaths in luxury assault vehicles, in which case I think you are 100% right.
 
2014-04-14 11:27:26 PM
This happens in every nation. The return to land (the broad word for a naturally or socially made monopoly) is rent. Rent is surplus. Rent always rises faster than the return to capital and labor. Sadly, most economist have neither the brains nor balls to point this out. Instead we get economic whaarrbbll like "more austerity" and "more spending." fark mankind.
 
2014-04-14 11:27:40 PM

Satan's Dumptruck Driver: I'll second this. I wouldn't put the blame entirely on "California" either. But I also wouldn't single out yuppies. The problem is people from other large cities who bring their bad habits-- particularly their impatience. Austin is not at all laid-back any more. It's rapidly becoming another city when you lay on your horn when someone doesn't smoke her tires when the light turns green.


Thirded. OK grad student working a blue collar job. This state is a loss. Most of my contemporaries are leaving for austin or denver.
 
2014-04-14 11:27:52 PM

star_topology: Yeah, I work in IT, and an in the good ol' U.S. of A, working 12 hours a day (in any industry) is "how you get ahead" but I'm with a company that values the 5-9 just as much as the 9-5. Perhaps I'm naive.


Luckily, many of the software companies in Austin are like that, but most aren't. So you get a lot of people who are boring with more money, displacing the very reason they moved to Austin. Like I said, this happened in Berkeley in the 80's. This doesn't happen to every place that becomes big or popular (Good example--Santa Cruz is a lot more expensive but now people just housemate it to death as opposed to gentrifying the city), but it is happening in Austin. Making the situation worse is that locals, who fear all expansion thanks to waves of new population, don't want to build anything for Austin- so the road infrastructure and Public Transportation are laughable. This limits mobility to find work and increases the housing prices (In LA, I worked in many places and lived in many places, I could always find work because, amazing as it may seem, the transportation infrastructure was not as bad as it is currently in Austin), and even worse, leads to suburban sprawl (As you see in Round Rock to a nauseating degree).
 
2014-04-14 11:35:14 PM

Wasn't most of the last "recovery" in real estate because of hedge funds snapping up property with cash beating out families?

Link

I assume they wish to retain a positive cash flow while awaiting a rebound in prices? So they've got to raise rents. Less people who can afford to rent or buy homes squeezes the rental markets. The rich get richer, and the middle class joins the poor.

I'm no economist, but when the top 20% control 85%+ of a nations wealth there just can't be much for the rest of us to scrabble over.
 
2014-04-14 11:38:09 PM

Satan's Dumptruck Driver: I'll second this. I wouldn't put the blame entirely on "California" either. But I also wouldn't single out yuppies. The problem is people from other large cities who bring their bad habits-- particularly their impatience. Austin is not at all laid-back any more. It's rapidly becoming another city when you lay on your horn when someone doesn't smoke her tires when the light turns green.

You *can* find plenty of laid-back people from all over the country-- Including TX, which is good. But try driving somewhere at 2:00-PM on a weekday and make note of how stressed and pissed the driving is. It's a minority of people I imagine. But it's readily observable. It's like the Hollywood rush: People are moving here to make it big in business, career, music, etc. And they'll step all over anyone in their paths to do it.

Just imagine having the calmness of your day ruined by an aggressive sociopath in a BMW or Lexus once or twice a day. Now extrapolate that sort of behavior to all other aspects of life. That's Austin. It's not as bad as many larger cities, but it's getting there.

By comparison, I've found Atlanta to be much more laid-back.


I agree--I shouldn't say Yuppies..I guess it's basically the rat-racer workaholic types. A lot of the tech companies bring in this mentality and it's part of the problem, which is why the commute between Round Rock and Tech Ridge is perhaps the most dangerous drive in America. What makes Austin a lot worse is that these Sociopaths that you refer to also drink and party hard---Clubs are raising their prices on drinks, venues become even more exclusive, and smaller clubs around condos and apartments get shut down. Heck, one of my favorite little clothing stores on 1st (The street I live off of), New Brohemia, got trashed because some drunk crashed his Mercedes Benz into it at 3am, and simply walked away from his wreckage. Seriously.

Atlanta is a good example how a town can expand and still be laid back, and that's a good thing. Right now, Austin is doing it wrong. It has to trump up what makes our city great (Let's make SXSW a showcase for Austin bands again, OKAY?), AND build infrastructure because it IS growing faster than ever.
 
2014-04-14 11:43:01 PM
If it's gross income then I'm not doing as badly as I thought I was.

I'm looking at apartments right now and to be within spitting distance of my workplace is going to put me at about 34%. I could live further away and bring it down to 27%, but that would cost me 5% in gas -- not worth it for the extra hour or more per day I would have to sit in traffic. I don't even want to think about how far I would have to drive to get to a place where I could afford to own anything (and how shiatty of an area it would be).

Luckily, I have no debt, otherwise I'd be looking for roommates and train schedules... and I'm not getting any younger. In retrospect, living in NYC was not that bad, I was at 19% at the time, but I took an awful lot of $25-30 cab rides home from work when I was too drunk/tired/both to spend an hour-fifteen or -thirty on subways and busses in the middle of the night. The alternative was a 45-minute bike ride, which is also no fun when you're drunk and have been tending bar for 10-14 hours. And the coke weren't cheap neither!
 
2014-04-14 11:51:48 PM

Wessoman: Keep Austin Weird


Keep in mind gentle readers, Austin's idea of "keeping it weird" is copying what they see on TV about California and NYC and encouraging a homeless alcoholic drag queen drink himself to death because it was SO FUNNY how said homeless alcoholic drag queen ran for mayor every few years.  Hey, he died for our entertainment at least, that was pretty weird and like so groovy, right man?

//lived their 7 years
//fark that city
 
2014-04-15 12:17:59 AM
Cities today need to come up with better ways to keep housing costs down. You don't get much of a community in your neighborhood if everyone is constantly getting priced out.
 
2014-04-15 12:20:24 AM

rewind2846: 4seasons85!: Yeah the fact that so many people are still on edge about their jobs makes people pretty hesitant to pay for a house.

Yup... not like the old days before my father retired... worked for the same company for 35 years... that sh*t is over.


I planned to stay with this company I am working for after graduation, but they are enacting changes that make it seem like they are going to get rid of everyone except very basic people. Every few months they are announcing layoffs. I do not like the way I have been treated in the last year. It is sad because I have the most experience and I can contribute a lot. I know a lot of companies are doing this right now too. It's just very sad.
 
2014-04-15 12:23:57 AM

Shades: Wessoman: Keep Austin Weird

Keep in mind gentle readers, Austin's idea of "keeping it weird" is copying what they see on TV about California and NYC and encouraging a homeless alcoholic drag queen drink himself to death because it was SO FUNNY how said homeless alcoholic drag queen ran for mayor every few years.  Hey, he died for our entertainment at least, that was pretty weird and like so groovy, right man?

//lived their 7 years
//fark that city


Lived their? Their what?

From what I see, looks as if you wasted 7 years of your life because you didn't exactly get the community that is Austin. But I do recommend Berkeley for ya. You can get up at 5am every morning, have the most pedestrian, uncreative, boring life imaginable, rat race on freeways and the whole shebang, all the while at the same time smugly proclaim that you live in the most enlightened city in America. Seems like your speed. Or maybe Louisville KY?

For the record, "Keeping Austin Weird" means "Keep Austin's rent cheap enough so I can work at a place like Homeslice and still play in a band and maybe smoke bad weed from time to time.". Having been to both NY and LA, Austin isn't really trying to emulate either city, but a lot of former residents of those cities are bringing their bad habits with you.
 
2014-04-15 12:27:50 AM

Sliding Carp: Hey, we've been told for at least the last 2 decades that constantly-increasing real estate prices are the only valid measure of the health of the economy.


We've also been told that inflation has been near zero for that same time, so anyone who says that prices of things like food, rent, and utilities are rising relative to income must be mistaken.
 
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