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The New American Dream Is Living in a City, Not Owning a House in the Suburbs


Sam Frizell
April 25, 2014


http://time.com/72281/american-housing/

In June 2002, several years before the peak of the housing boom, President George W. Bush famously proclaimed that the American Dream is to own a home. At the time, construction workers across the country were gearing up for a wave of residential building, and banks were beginning to dole out millions of shaky mortgages to eager new homeowners. “I do believe in the American Dream,” Bush said at the time. “[And] owning a home is a part of that dream, it just is. Right here in America if you own your own home, you’re realizing the American Dream.”

Twelve years later, that dream has changed. Americans are abandoning their white-picket fences, two-car garages and neighborhood cookouts in favor of a penthouse view downtown and shorter walk to work. The latest housing data shows traditional, single-family suburban home construction is way down: after a walloping all-time high of 1.7 million single-family homes began construction in 2005, single-family housing starts have contracted after the housing bust to just over 600,000 in 2013. During the five years since the recession, single-family homebuilding has remained lower than it has been in decades.
An informative read that I thought I would share.



I wonder what the approval rate of Greenlight Pinellas is like with and without voter knowledge of this trend, and its far reaching implications?
 

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I've never had the urge to buy and house and I could never understand why some people seemed to run their life around that premise.
 

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I've never had the urge to buy and house and I could never understand why some people seemed to run their life around that premise.
To each their own. I love living in urban areas and walking to different destinations. That said, I will probably buy a house one day when I have some children. My wife and I have not decided when that will be yet, but I anticipate us having 3 or 4 kids. When that time comes, there is just a space concern along with cost concerns. A three bedroom apartment is expensive even in downtown Tampa. I can get a home two miles away for a fraction of the cost. As more people don't have kids or only have one child, I think that changes the dynamics a lot.
 

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^^
I hope so Jason.

I had not heard about this new "dream" although I've known for some time that owning a home out in the suburbs has been a fading prospect since the recession.

All of this will depend on whether meaningful, sustainable transit will be able to flourish. Some cities have a good foundation, while others like Tampa don't.
 

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The suburbs are meaningless to a lot of people, especially people that have lived in them for so long and they want a change of scenery. While suburbia may have more coveniences and advantages vs. downtown high-rise living it's not always viewed as utopia by some.
 

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Well, the definition of home in this case is ownership. That could encompass condos and town homes too likely to be in more urban areas.

We own a nice old 1920 bungalow walking distance to DT Clearwater, it's great to be close to the urban center and I hate suburbs myself. Ownership has it's pros and cons of course. Just renting a flat in the city can be costly and provides little financial advantages.

The tide is shifting I believe the definition of the American dream in regards to the 'owning a home' aspect. No one really lives in a place 30 years so the idea you could 'own' your home one day is fruitless. Also, the market being bad confirms that real estate isn't a solid investment although I did well during the boom getting out of a property.

If you are able to rent in a dense area that allows you to save on not having to purchase transportation, I can see how it might offset the loss of building equity in a home by allowing you to save that money and invest in some other return.
 

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Well I noticed in skypoint the average age of dwellers is getting younger and more people have children than before. Often the families still move to single family homes but very close to core of DT like Tampa heights or Hyde park and they delay moving by years. The children are often 3 or 4 by the time they move
 

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Brian72 pointing out that the recession has caused people to look at their entire budgets & find ways to make different investments than a home is something I see a lot. Also what I have done. That is part of the shift of younger (& boomer) households to more urban areas.

However even condo purchase is unlikely to appeal. It's not to say real estate won't be an investment in my life & laws make it a lot easier to own a home than say any other real estate. But my concern in home buying is simple: it's doubling down on the local economy wherever I live. My job is tied to the local economy & so is my home value. If something goes south then you double bit by falling home prices & possible layoffs. Add that to all the restrictions HOAs put on renting property to make money from my investment & it's not simple.

I just think it exposes people to a lot of risk which is why my money is in higher return investments and if I own anything it'll likely be a business.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Two public opinion polls came out in the last month suggesting the kinds of places Millennials like. Spoiler alert: it’s Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Chicago, as well as communities such as—I’m inclined to say once again, of course—Boulder and Austin. The key characteristics seem to be walkability, good schools and parks, and the availability of multiple transportation options.
Or in other words, pretty much the exact opposite of what the No Tracks For Tax ideologues are pushing as their retrograde vision of the future.
 
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