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Housing Madness?


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#1 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2013 - 06:33 AM

Here in Winnipeg housing prices have been rising and the builders are going pretty hard.  Good for the economy and all that.  I've noticed some things lately that have been driving me nuts though.

 

The first is a strip of condos that's being built.  I'm sure they are nice, and the landscapers certainly did a nice job, but the location is just stupid.  They are on a minor (major right now because of other construction, but that's temporary) truck route. They neighbour on some bars that are drifting from questionable to seedy.  They are across the street from CN Rail's maintenance and repair yards. Prices on the signs are from $289,000-$325,000.

 

The second is more general because it's happening all over the city.  We are building monster houses, McMansions, and luxury apartments and condos right next to industrial parks.  These are areas with little infrastructure and no services beyond a nearby bar or two.  The industrial parks are full of all the things industrial parks are full of...noise and dirt and trucks and machinery.  Not exactly family friendly.  Prices range from $300,000-$500,000.

 

Meanwhile we're building new industrial parks, often on what is good farm land, because the old ones are filling up. 

 

My feeling is that once the real estate market levels off, or goes bust because I can't see these prices being sustainable here, these areas are going to become the slums of the future.  That feeling comes from looking at the history of the city.  We've done this over and over again.  This city is full of formerly nice houses in neighbourhoods that have degraded at least partially because they are beside industrial areas.  Conflicts between older residential areas and established industrial areas make the news about once a month around here as it is, and now we're doing the same thing again.

 

So, are Winnipeg's city planners stupid or insane? 


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#2 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2013 - 06:43 AM

 
So, are Winnipeg's city planners stupid or insane?


Possibly both and more. It's very possible that it is planned that way, that the situations are being manufactured for either public gain (hoping the infrastructure will follow the housing) or insidious (as in the construction is designed to be a tax loss or someone is in someone else's pocket...)

I have a friend in Erie who bought a house in one of those cookie cutter condo places. It is surrounded by a small area of OK neighborhoods, then the typical derelict /bad. I hope for them that it stays the same or gets better... If not, the condos will be a Gated Island in a Sea of inner city issues.
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#3 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2013 - 06:51 AM

I always wonder where people get the $$$$$ to buy those big houses . Around here even if the condos are priced well the monthy maint. fees would kill me anyway . Does the pay scale in those industrial parks reflect the housing prices ?


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#4 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2013 - 07:09 AM

I always wonder where people get the $$$$$ to buy those big houses . Around here even if the condos are priced well the monthy maint. fees would kill me anyway . Does the pay scale in those industrial parks reflect the housing prices ?

No.  Most of the people working in the industrial parks here make less than $20.00 per hour.  Many of of them make less than $15.00 per hour.


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#5 pigsitter OFFLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2013 - 07:21 AM

I do HVAC work and the thing that kills me about the Mcmansions that I've been in is the amount of wasted material and space in those crazy multi level roof lines,we installed a system in an unused "attic" room that had about as much square footage as a bigger part of my house!


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#6 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2013 - 09:11 AM

The common sense of today is not good. People spend all(they have and can borrow) until their finances are maxed out. The banks have 40 year mortgages now which means people will never get out from under them. If they can keep up with them. A bumper sticker I saw in PA 8 years ago sums it up "Stupidity should be painful".

 

Most city planning has more political consideration than rational planning. Who owns the land, grants and tax breaks make irrational projects profitable. Big businesses are supported by the government in many hidden ways. Our tax dollars at waste.

 

I was a Town Engineer shared between a dozen small towns. I didn't play the political games. I wouldn't accept bribes and considered them a big insult. Threats didn't work as death and I came to terms in the Army many years ago. They(politicians and developers) tried tricks and going around me. Finally, they terminated me by eliminating my position and farming out the engineering. That job lasted 10 years and was my second favorite job of my career. My favorite was as an Army Combat Engineer Platoon Leader. I went on to other jobs where I butted heads with people that were only worried about the almighty dollar. Several collapses with loss of life on other jobs(when mine stood) got them to see my way for a short time but within six months they were back to wanting to cut corners.

 

Integrity is not tolerated in our government, they have too much that can embarass them. I am so glad that I am retired. I do avoid parking garages and new bridges. Good Luck, Rick


Edited by boyscout862, November 07, 2013 - 11:50 AM.

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#7 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2013 - 09:11 AM

The Complications of High finance exceed my brain power. There is a really nice strip mall that was built in my town about 15 yrs ago.

That Mall has never had a tennant since it was built, it just sits empty.  The building I am working in has space for 8 tenants.

3 are in use and one is vacant, but rented by FEMA in case there is ever another natural disaster in Iowa?

Yet the same developer is still building more buildings just like it?

 

It reminds me of a story told to me by a fellow worker many years ago. There was a Shopping Mall(owned by a syndicate of Lawyers from Omaha) that had a space about 30 X30 for rent in Newton.

His wife wanted to rent it and put in a Beauty Salon. Remember this was about 30 yrs ago, and they wanted $3,000 per month rent.

She asked if they could give her a break on the rent. They told he no, it was worth more in tax deductions vacant than it was rented.

She continued to operate out of her home.  

 

The same thing is going on in the Housing market. That and the Government is manipulating the economy so there are less and less jobs in rural america. The Metro areas are growing by leaps and bounds and small town america is drying up(very Sad). People have to go to the city to find work, creating a need for outlandishly priced housing.  While I work in the city, There was an article in the local newspaper this week about an Insurance Company that is closing in my Town eliminating 400 jobs. They are Moving to a suburb of Des Moines. The Employees are being offered a job in the Des Moines  office, but will heve to drive 45 miles each way to work. I'm sure a bunch of those people will be moving to the city to avoid the commute. I think I'm close enough to retirement that I can avoid the migration.


Edited by JD DANNELS, November 07, 2013 - 09:26 AM.

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#8 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2013 - 10:06 AM

That is our government supporting the rich. Also known as Corporate welfare.



#9 Titus OFFLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2013 - 11:37 AM

Nope, here in the US too. When I lived in Florida, we were looking for a home and our 1st idiot Realtor showed us a condo that was BEHIND A HOME DEPOT!!! So the view was the loading dock, and in the back, a mucky swamp....price tag for that POS was $250K... 


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#10 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted November 07, 2013 - 05:06 PM

Prices have been going nuts here on the east coast as well. I think the average price in Halifax is near 300K now. They are trying to cap the urban sprawl by building more condos in the city but the price is so high, 400K + that most people can't afford them even if they wanted to live in the city. I live about 25km from downtown and the prices out here are still in the 300K+ range for new houses on 1 acre + lots. I have a niece that is loosing her house right now because with a 95% mortgage and her husband out of work they can't meet the payments. Everyone seems to be financed to the limit and a real economic downturn here would cause some serious problems like it did in most of the USA in 2008. We mostly avoided that mess up here but I don't think we will be so lucky the next time. 






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