Thursday, July 14, 2005

Lies Developers/Speculators Tell You

The July 8 issue of Lakewood People, which is a piece of trash they throw in our yard, had a couple great articles by JD Sparks about why you are living in the stone age if you don't sell your house to a suburbanite who would much prefer your plot of land.

PLEASE comment on this post with your own lies you've heard from people with economic interest in displacing our neighborhood.

1. The bubble will never burst on new home construction values. Well, actually, it may in certain cases, if we can slightly reduce the average selling price and ease of construction and sale of these properties. And say interest rates change rapidly, some of these companies will default on their loans before development is finished, and their financial house of cards will fall from there. Or, there may just be too many new houses. Hey, yeah, in general real estate will appreciate, but it is still a market! Look at stocks in 2000 as well, that's when people were saying the "bubble will never burst" too. Scary words to hear if you're the last one in.
2. The quality and value of these new homes is superior to the existing structures. Well, we've been here for 50+ years. Sitting on a real piece of rock. And we've seen some of these new houses going up in record time, and they are seriously matchstick/particle board frames with fortress-like papier-mache facades. They are built on hastily packed abutments of dirt to increase the "stature." The concrete and plaster is barely even dry by the time they're up for sale. Once the word gets out on some of the quality problems these builders have, including foundation and drainage problems, shoddy materials, mold from improperly dried surfaces, inability of the underlying piping and earth to handle the weight, etc. you will see some declining values. Sorry. Check out some of the horror stories of hastily built communities in the outlying areas of D/FW. There's new home owners who picked the wrong builder and are left with valueless houses, legally useless warranties, and nothing to show for it.
3. Your house is only worth the land it is sitting on anyway. This is their attempt to get you to concede now and sell your house for far less than it is worth, because you fear everybody else will! Notice that your lot taxable values are not-so-subtly increasing (since a good land value is good loan collateral), while it is easy to decrease the value of your house. They hope that you will react with fear now instead of standing your ground and fighting this outrageous claim. Your house is solid and will outlast every McMansion on your block unless they bulldoze it.
4. The new zoning overlays will take away your property rights. This is outrageous! You will hear from people insidiously claiming that any new zoning will make you unable to build a carport, put in a grill or add a new bathroom. This is exactly what they want you to believe, so you won't support a responsible development plan. They MUST build very large houses, with many square feet, very fast, to get their speculative loans and turn a quick profit on the sale. A zoning overlay would limit the overall size and height of their house and kill that quick profit. Don't believe this one. They know a new zoning overlay will be detrimental to unregulated (and inconsiderately large) new home construction and encourage renovation or reasonably sized homes instead.
5. They're putting in a luxury high-rise! What a ruse. Well, these may be responsible, or they may not be. But chances are they make much better use of a limited amound of land, comparatively. Bear in mind that this is a distinct and separate issue that deserves its own attention. But it turns out, when you bring up McMansions, some government people and real estate professionals talk about these condos instead. So, why would we not want a way for more "gentrified" residents to live close to the city and improve business and tax base, without destroying our neighborhoods? Oh, yeah, the developers and realtors who are complaining about the high-rise DON'T GET ANY PART OF THE DEAL!

There are many more ways developers are trying to hoodwink our homes right out from under us. Please comment here and we'll add them to the list.


At 7/16/2005 2:21 AM, Anonymous Emily said...

This article is outrageous! How dare these realtors and developers insinuate that the dream home I worked so hard to save for and buy is worthless.

My solid ranch house was built in 1953 and is in excellent shape; this tells me that the construction methods and materials used to build it have stood the test of time. Furthermore, my house was built by workers who took pride in a job well done, and intended that the home last for generations.

I see these McMansions being built quickly with cheap materials and laborers who are only concerned with a paycheck. Any logical, sensible person can figure out that the latter is a recipe for disaster.

At 7/25/2005 3:29 PM, Blogger fred said...

Ya right. I'm sure that everyone back then cared not for money, but only for a job well done. Get back into reality. Dont act like the workers on your house back then are any better than the ones now. That's great that your house is still around, but does it have the appeal of a 52 year newer home? Probably not. Face the facts: your house is not going to be around forever, and the style doesn't fit with today. Thats the reason that these new houses are so popular, and why many are getting torn down.

At 8/02/2005 10:40 PM, Blogger danielle said...

In fact, older houses are better built than today's houses, and any architect worth his salt will tell you so. They don't have the size and amenities that the building industry has trained people to expect, but they are more solidly built. One architect living nearby told me about an article he read recently that speculated that many of the newly built houses in Plano or Frisco (don't remember which one) would actually be falling apart in 20-30 years. Then what will happen to those neighborhoods?

The time has come for change in the building industry; doing things the old way is simply not producing a quality product. Anyone who is interested in learning about alternatives to traditional construction done by lowly paid foreign workers should check out a magazine called Dwell (on most newsstands).


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