Author Topic: Boom about to go Bust?  (Read 72206 times)

lagatta

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« Reply #30 on: July 07, 2007, 07:19:56 PM »
Huh? People rip down buildings after 50 years out there?

My building in the co-op is the only one in it under 100 years old (it was built between the Wars) and probably the only Montréal dwelling I've lived in that is under 100 years old, though a couple might not have been quite 100 when I lived in them.

Are newer buildings all shoddier? (We have those too, even in this neighbourhood, obviously in more outlying ones and the suburbs).
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
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jrootham

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« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2007, 01:43:46 AM »
I watched some stacked townhouse condos go up across the street and I'd be pretty amazed if they are still standing 50 years from now.

skdadl

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« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2007, 06:44:16 AM »
Of the houses I lived in in Medicine Hat and Calgary as a kid, the only one that was knocked down was, sadly enough, the great stone mansion that we rented over one winter while a new house was being built -- the rented house was so big that it was later turned into the public health clinic -- very sad that  it was not respected. All the others were frame buildings, though, one dating back to the thirties and the other two to the fifties, and they all still look in fine shape to me.

In some areas of Calgary, sadly some of the loveliest, people with more money than sense are tearing down thirties classics and putting up monster homes. My sister sold one of those in a little enclave along the Elbow; I heard someone say to her "You know it's just a tear-down," and she agreed -- I was appalled. No way that house needed to come down.

T's old house was built in 1911; that would be about the date of much of the Annex, and areas west for a bit -- mostly brick, although near the railway tracks there are little houses, often frame, that were railway workers' cottages, still in fine shape, often little charmers. Above the tracks I think we date from the late twenties, early thirties, still brick but smaller. And really, you don't see much tearing-down. There are still lots of patches of Victorians downtown, and some early C19, although it's harder to save that area from development. Sigh.

deBeauxOs

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« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2007, 12:01:24 PM »
My daughter and son-in-law lived on the Plateau (in Montréal) for 6 months and they fell in love with the quartier.   All those amazing and magnificent stone and brick houses that have survived urban re-development, unlike Ottawa and some parts of Toronto that have been ravaged by short-sighted planners.

kuri

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« Reply #34 on: July 08, 2007, 12:18:11 PM »
Quote from: lagatta
Huh? People rip down buildings after 50 years out there?

Well, I'm not going to rip this one out, but a good number of older houses I looked at had foundations so rotten, so falling apart that there really would've been no point trying to keep it up. Most of the 100 year houses out here were built by mail-order kits. My MIL lives in one such house in Calgary. She's fixed it up nicely and lives comfortably. Yet, she's still quite certain that the people who buy that house from her when she finally has to move to a lower-maintenance (seniors' or otherwise) condo will probably want to tear it down and infill. The floors aren't 100% level (though I don't really notice anything, myself).

I don't like tearing down old houses, and when I was looking for a house, that was basically my main decision about whether to buy. If it could be fixed up - good; we're willing to do that. But there were also a lot of houses in older Edmonton neighbourhoods (like MacAulay, Alberta Avenue, Parkdale and other northside, inner-city areas) that had for example, 40 or more telepoles in the basement holding up floors that drooped up to 2 feet in the centre of the structure. Heating metres running fast enough for their movement to be visible to the naked eye because the houses lost so much heat. I knew we couldn't afford through good money after bad. A lot of this could have been upkeep (even seeing what happened to my house in the brief time it was a rental with really bad landscum was appalling - renters who do too many drugs to clean + landlords who just pocket the money but do no major upkeep = me tearing out filthy carpets, mouldy basement walls, etc.) But I also think there was something too cheap and too quick about who those houses went up. Nor do I think that houses being built today are in general much better.

But 50 years is the general expectation of the economic life of a new home, from a banker's perspective.

Do they have 100 year or inheritable mortgages out east, Lagatta? I know there's some regional differences across Canada (for e.g. out east they have a way of approving mortgages with no appraisal being done as long as there's one on file - that's too risky here in Alberta because of the very large number of grow-ops that really, completely destroy a house). I didn't think the timeframes from amortization were different though.

Quote from: lagatta
Are newer buildings all shoddier? (We have those too, even in this neighbourhood, obviously in more outlying ones and the suburbs).


I do think most of them are. Part of this (according to the inspector we had when we got our house) is the quality of wood available. The oldest, most original wood on my house is the best quality. It's old growth. You can't take old growth wood anymore for environmental and scarcity reasons, but that wood outlasted most of what is harvested today. The other thing is just cheaping out. The company from which we got our windows explained to us that what we were getting was more efficient than your average new home. Most of the developers choose the lowest quality product that still conforms to code - nothing more.

Steppenwolf

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« Reply #35 on: July 08, 2007, 03:36:02 PM »
Quote
Huh? People rip down buildings after 50 years out there?

Hey! You obviously don't get out to Vancouver metro area much! :mrgreen:

Out here, the real estate market has been so badly inflated and zoning laws have been so tampered with, it's not surprising to see, in some cases, even structure built in the 1980s being bulldozed.

Houses, especially in the richer parts of town, that World War II era or earlier bungalow type dwellings, are being bought up at exorbitant prices, bull-dosed and replaced by huge monsters homes at twice the price.

The 50-year-low interest rates are doing this. Even in the 1990s, though, when interest rates were much higher, the market was fuelled by an immigration boom partly spurred by the NDP government's social infrastructure investments.

Now everyone's indebted to the max.

Quote
Are newer buildings all shoddier? (We have those too, even in this neighbourhood, obviously in more outlying ones and the suburbs).


It's a real crisis out here. With the more-or-less busting of the unions in the residential construction sector via the legislative changes that water down building codes and skill requirements and  allow contractors and developers to set up numbered companies and weasel out of both collective and agreements and warranties, we have seen a massive spread of "leaky condos" (although houses, apartment blocks, co-ops and social/seniors/native housing projects are also affected, as are most non-union commercial projects, like high rises).

In the last 20 years, there has been an estimated $11 billion faulty construction in the BC Lower Mainland.

Tens of thousands of people have had to borrow more money, in addition to their mortgages, to pay for extensive repairs—sometimes costing as much as the initial construction project itself.

As a form of poetic justice, it’s the main reason there is still some degree of union presence in the residential and light commercial building sectors: fixing the shoddy workmanship.
 :annoyed:
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Boom Boom

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« Reply #36 on: July 08, 2007, 05:41:29 PM »
It's my guess that a house can be repaired or renovated no matter the quality of original construction, if one is prepared to pay, or at least do the work themselves. I live in a trailer moved here probably about 35 years ago. A concrete basement was added, then more rooms, and the outside had insulation and siding added. Since that time, the entire interior was stripped and rebuilt, to the extent that's its quite a comfortable, although small, residence (just two bedrooms). I have some work to do here - the roof will be redone, and the siding really needs paint, as does the small deck. I'd love to do more work if I had the money, but the place is quite liveable as it is. I'll probably sell when I pay off the ten-year CMHC mortgage, and move back to the city, if I'm still alive nine years from now. I imagine when I turn 66 or 67 I'd like not to have to deal with the snow.

kuri

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« Reply #37 on: July 08, 2007, 06:11:04 PM »
Quote from: Boom Boom
It's my guess that a house can be repaired or renovated no matter the quality of original construction, if one is prepared to pay, or at least do the work themselves.


But often the time and money of repairing really poorly maintained frames is more than the time/money cost of replacing it.

Boom Boom

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« Reply #38 on: July 08, 2007, 08:46:17 PM »
Yes, that's true.

Left Turn

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« Reply #39 on: July 09, 2007, 02:55:25 AM »
Quote
Actually, it is now possible to get a mortgage with 0% down, a change from the 5% minimum that was in place since the 80s. Not necessarily a bad thing to allow people with less Capital to buy a home after all, though 0% down seems like insanity to me. We scraped out all our piggy banks and came up with about 18% when we bought our wee box in the air.


These 0% mortgages and other ridiculous levels of personal debt are designed to keep workers spending, so we can avoid a crisis of overconsumption. I suspect the capitalists will be able to hold off a crisis of overconsumption while the baby-boom generation keeps living in their houses. Eventually, though, I suspect we will experience a crisis of overconsumption.

There is a considerable number of people in their 50s and 60s who own their houses outright. When these people eventually sell their houses, the shit's going to hit the fan.

The capitalists have been far too successful at supressing the wages of those of us currently under 40. We collectively won't be able to afford all these overpriced homes when the people currently in their 50s and 60s starts moving out of their homes in a big way. It's going to be a crisis of overconsumption that hasn't existed since the 1930s. Whether it will be anywhere near as bad as the great depression I don't know, but I suspect it will be worse than anything experienced during the lives of any members of this board.
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Caissa

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« Reply #40 on: July 09, 2007, 01:21:47 PM »
Given the thread title does this mean someone will be changing his name to Bust Bust?

kuri

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« Reply #41 on: July 09, 2007, 01:32:32 PM »
:spy: Looks like someone's code name has been discovered!

Boom Boom

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« Reply #42 on: July 09, 2007, 03:10:41 PM »
It ain't me, babe.  :whis:

deBeauxOs

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« Reply #43 on: July 09, 2007, 05:14:19 PM »
Busted!  :rotfl:

Boom Boom

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« Reply #44 on: July 09, 2007, 06:36:18 PM »
:pacing:

 

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