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  • Showing only topics with the tag "housing". Back to normal view
    1. How do you fix housing?

      In a variety of countries there seems to be the common problem that housing is far too expensive as income inequality gets worse. Rent is too high, housing markets heavily skew in favor of...

      In a variety of countries there seems to be the common problem that housing is far too expensive as income inequality gets worse. Rent is too high, housing markets heavily skew in favor of sellers. It's all bullshit. Even if you can comfortably afford to buy a house, with cash, at twenty-five percent over asking price, you're still potentially dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home that could require tens of thousands of dollars in repairs. Even if you can afford to take that risk, it's bullshit that we allow housing market conditions like that to exist in the first place.

      So what's the fix? What countries don't have these problems because they have a better system for housing? How do you fix these problems in countries like Canada and the United States?

      I'm interested in replies that present "immediate solutions" that try to solve the problem while fitting nicely inside our neoliberal systems, basic things like rent control, building more homes, taxing the rich, etc.

      But I am also interested, more interested even, in radical solutions that perhaps require more widespread change. Examples:

      • Abolishing landlordism and rent, and what replaces them
      • Abolishing cars within a city and the effects of that
      • Creating a market where houses are more like cars, not investments, in that they necessarily depreciate in value

      How could we outright de-commodify housing?

      Bonus points if you tie your comment in to the ideas of permaculture and communal resilience.

      13 votes
    2. Great, affordable downtowns that don't require a car?

      Hi all, Yesterday I got the good news from my work that my remote work assignment is now permanent and I am free to live and work anywhere in the US. I get to keep my salary so really any place is...

      Hi all,

      Yesterday I got the good news from my work that my remote work assignment is now permanent and I am free to live and work anywhere in the US. I get to keep my salary so really any place is on the table for me and I wanted to get some feedback and advice from those who live or have lived across the US.

      While I would personally be content moving to the middle of nowhere, my partner has been aching to get out of the suburbs of the Bay area and be around more people and things to do that wouldn't require her to drive places. Personally, I'm looking to take my rent price down to a maximum of ~$2100 per month for a 2 bedroom that will give us enough space to each do our remote work. Some places that I have been looking at are:

      • San Diego, CA - not so affordable but has great dog beaches and vibrant downtown
      • Chattanooga, TN - affordable but small for my partner and lacks the restaurant variety we have grown accustomed to in CA. Knoxville, TN may be a runner up.
      • Kansas City, MO - I have nephews that I have neglected being a part of their life and this would put me within 30 minutes of being close to them. Apartments are dirt cheap in downtown.
      • Richmond, VA - closer to my parents but haven't looked too into this. I grew up on the complete other side of VA but am willing to come back to the state .
      • Chicago, IL - this place is massive and I have no idea what are the best places in the city to live vs. what to avoid. I have always heard Chicago is underrated and I'm not opposed to the cold. I like that they have tons to do but it isn't really close to family as I would like to be.

      Anyways, I'm open to hearing about some underrated places and putting some time into researching them. Walkability and things to do are critical in selling the city to my partner who really doesn't want to drive to do anything.

      27 votes
    3. Buying a house relatively soon, lay your advice on me!

      I'm in the market for a house, been looking pretty seriously for the past week or so. I've got two pre-approvals for mortgages, and I think I'll probably look for at least two more for fee...

      I'm in the market for a house, been looking pretty seriously for the past week or so. I've got two pre-approvals for mortgages, and I think I'll probably look for at least two more for fee comparison purposes. I have yet to actually see a house unfortunately, since every house we try to view gets sold that very same day :/ Hopefully the streak is broken, since we have an appointment with another house today!

      Anyway, who here has advice for (any part of the process of) buying a house? Things to look for when viewing a house, things to consider that the common person might not, tips for making offers, tips for not giving up because of the market, etc.

      I'll lead with some tidbits that I've gained from asking around friends and family that have already bought places recently.

      1. Apparently, sending a personal letter to the owners with the offer letter has gotten multiple people a house even when their offer wasn't the highest. For example, my sisters friend knew the owners had a cat, and has cats herself. So in the letter she wrote, she mentioned how happy her cats would be laying on the windows and running around in all the new space and such.... and she got it! The owners realtor was kinda pissed.

      2. Try to find out the reason the owners are moving out. My sister and her husbands realtor asked around, and they were able to close on their house because the owner needed a quick turnaround to get out as fast as possible. They got the house for 60K under asking price because they were able to sweeten the deal to suit the owner.

      3. Location is (generally) more important than furnishings. You can add or remove things from a house, but you can't move it once you buy it.

      4. Once you make an offer on a house and the owner accepts, make sure the contract includes the following two parts that are (apparently) very important:

        • House must appraise for at least the same value you've agreed to buy it at
        • Inspection must show no more than $buyer_defined_value dollars of necessary repairs, otherwise the deal should be re-negotiated or considered void.
      5. Always leave enough money in your savings account to pay for any extras (because there are always extras) after the house is yours. New furniture, carpets, smaller repairs, paint, etc. You don't want to drain your account for the house only to find out you can't do anything afterwards.

      I'm very excited (and exhausted already), but I want to make sure I'm as thorough as possible since I'll be spending the next several years of my life in it!

      Forgot to mention(Thanks @Thra11), this is the US East Coast.

      22 votes