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#272311 - 01/29/09 04:51 PM Re: Suburban sprawl and new developments [Re: Pikes Peak]
RC21 Offline
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Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 84
Loc: Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambr...
I love the little personal transportation vehicles that run on a track to move people around instead of cars-- looks like the future has arrived!

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#315091 - 11/24/09 04:02 PM HOT TOPICS: Suburban sprawl, builder designs, & related issues
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2009/05/27/shrinking-homes-how-small-will-homes-go/

That link to Realtor.org was interesting. It discusses plans by KB Homes for a smaller SF home community. This worked well in the past for seniors but with strong deed restrictions and HOA's. Many people are wanting this but...if the driveways are short and the playground is small and the garage space is lacking, this may be just another thrown together subdivision...like many costing a lot more.

I intend to spend some time watching what KB Homes does with this idea and asking questions of KBH. If done correctly, this would be fantastic. If done improperly, it will be just another compromise that homeowners have to make that is out of line with what they pay, even if it is only $64,000 (Houston dollars on a home before options, I am sure).

Now that conventional builders are looking in this direction, we have to think of the ultimate consequences. It will be interesting to see what the compromises are. One day, maybe we can even have it both ways...smaller affordable housing for those who want it without compromising living conditions.

If people want a new home but only qualify for a lower price range, then moving a family of six with four cars into a 880 SF home with a short driveway may not be the most comfortable solution...a larger older home may offer them more comfort and options. I see these small new homes working for young families as well as seniors and single people tired of apartment living but not wanting to go heavily into debt. Smaller than some apartments, these homes would help those groups build equity. Some get trapped in apartments and never get out. One thing I feel safe in predicting is far fewer foreclosures.

Depending on safeguards, I would seriously consider one of these homes. It would be a mansion after living in a travel trailer for a year. Twenty years ago, it would still have fit my lifestyle, because my old home was only 820 SF but with plenty of off-street parking in my neighborhood. Now with big screen TV's and other bigger toys, people just have to have more space. Let's watch this and see where it goes. I guess the buyers will lead us, not our own opinions.



Edited by Darlene B (07/25/10 06:37 AM)

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#365899 - 02/05/11 04:19 PM Re: HOT TOPICS: Suburban sprawl, builder designs, & related issues [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Check out this web site called: The Straight Dope" and their slogan "fighting ignorance since 1973...it's taking a little longer than we thought". Love that slogan.

I am offering up this link as the other side of my argument that cathedral ceilings are a waste of electricity. The argument of some of the posters on that site is that the higher insulation in today's new homes keeps the extra ceiling SF from making an impact on the electric bill. Here is a new concept...instead of trying to use up the energy they save with higher R-factors by installing tall ceilings, why not just NOT use it and maybe hope others will do the same. Maybe that will enable them to knock off at least one of the rolling blackouts they might experience during the winter. My mother's area had three this week and she isn't the one who is wasting electricity.

We have to stop the waste or our kids and grandkids will be in a lot of trouble. If cathedral ceilings only hike the bill a little bit because of the home's great insulation, they should try to remember that little bits add up in neighborhoods and cities and counties and states. I am talking to Reliant Energy in Houston Monday about this issue (or when they start answering their phones again in a timely manner...they have been swamped with calls). If they change my mind or provide anything that makes sense, I will post it here. Meanwhile, call your light company and see what they tell you. More space to heat and cool means more energy usage. Anything else does not compute. Doing things to lower the cost of heating and cooling this space is not the same as eliminating the need to heat and cool it. We have to start somewhere and personal sacrifice is it, even just a little bit. Corporations may be huge users of electricity but they are also working hard to change that. It is just not socially responsible any more not to do so.

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=591971

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